The Pentagon’s latest proposition for furloughs of its civilian employees is down to 11 days, spread between July 8 and the end of FY13 on Sept. 30. That’s half of their earliest estimate and the exact number of unpaid days might still get lower. Announcement | Background briefing.
The US Army Contracting Command in Warren, MI, has an RFI out to determine industry capability to develop systems that enable remote and semi-autonomous control of HMEE-1 excavators and RG31s. This would not be a proper MILSPEC RFI without an acronym, so here goes: this plugs into the Route Clearance and Interrogation System (RCIS). On background, an addendum [PDF] to an Unmanned Ground Systems roadmap published last year.
French shipbuilders DCNS and Piriou are taking their partnership beyond the building of Gowind OPVs with the creation [PDF, in French] of Kership, a joint venture dedicated to ships for nonmilitary state actors (i.e. coast guards, customs, police…).
Speaking of DCNS, Mer et Marine is less than convinced [in French] by a recent article from Defense News claiming (based on an anonymous source) that the French government wants to sell DCNS to Thales. It sounds more like a consolidation scenario among many than a sure thing, as the French government is struggling with a stalled economy and was recently lambasted by the Cour des Comptes (roughly a GAO/NAO) for weak management of its defense portfolio.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet [in French] his British and American peers to present the country’s latest whitepaper. The full document is not available in English, but the MINDEF at least translated an exec summary [PDF].
How many American troops will stay in Afghanistan after 2014 should be announced soon. That decision will shape what other allies such as Germany will do.
Is the British MoD’s future equipment plan realistic based on future budgets? Some members of Parliament have their doubts, in today’s video: