Russia plans another substantial increase in defense spending next year to pay for across-the-board military upgrades, development of new weapons systems and improved social benefits for defense-sector employees. DID has noted on occasion the procurement difficulties created by Russia’s budgetary shortfalls. Russia’s land forces have been particularly hard-hit, even as the country attempts to move toward a more professional military.
AFP reports that a draft FY 2006 budget for Russia allocates 668.3 billion rubles (USD $24 billion, EUR 19.5 billion) for spending on national defense, an increase of nearly 22% on this year’s defense budget and a figure equivalent to about 2.75% of Russia’s projected gross national product.
The Washinton Post reports that U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John D. Negroponte will be using his power over funds spent by the U.S. intelligence community’s 15 agencies to review and decide upon several classified satellite programs. The two new generations of spy satellites are being developed by the National Reconnaissance Office, a Pentagon agency that also reports to the DNI.
On May 20/05, DID reported on the ongoing battle between the Pentagon and its unions over streamlined appeals processes, market-based compensation, merit pay, et. al. Now similar proposed changes at the amalgamated Department of Homeland Security have been struck down by a DC appeals court judge in Civil Action No. 05-201: National Treasury Employees Union, Et Al., v. Michael Chertoff, Secretary, Department Of Homeland Security, Et Al.
GovExec.com has coverage and also a full copy of the decision [PDF format] The Washington Post notes that the unions have called on Chertoff to meet with them in the wake of this decision, that the administration is reviewing the decision and what it may mean for its broader cause of civil service reform, and that plans for the new National Security Personnel System at the Pentagon have not changed.
The Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland began her journey back to Devonport on Aug 11/05, following a year-long, GBP 20 million (USD $36.1 million) refit at Babcock’s dockyard in Rosyth. That refit added a number of combat enhancements, and also made the frigate the first Royal Navy ship to have a revolutionary silicone paint called Intersleek 700 applied to its hull.
Small business qualifier Essan Metallix Corp. in Hartwell, GA received a $5.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for stainless steel sheets and plates. Work will be performed in Hartwell, GA and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2006. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on June 9, 2005, and one bid was received. The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL issued the contract (W52H09-05-P-6162).