Now, European Union defence ministers have agreed on a new plan that appears to advance Whitney’s aims on the bureaucratic front. Discussions will begin on Nov. 21, 2005 re: attaching a code of conduct to this agreement – and that’s precisely where things are likely to get interesting.
DID has noted past issues with the bi-national Franco-Italian FREMM (Fregate Europeene Multi-Mission) program, a variant of the Horizon Class air defense frigate. Now the FREMM program has its Memorandum of Understanding delayed again, and may even risk cancellation over the Italian government’s failure to include the necessary funding in its draft 2006 budget. Worse, the budget cannot be modified after its recent approval by Cabinet on Sept. 29, 2005 and pending submission to Parliament. Defense-Aerospace notes that according to Italian press reports, the financial shortfall amounts to about EUR 400 million for 2006.
Italian officials are scrambling to find a legal way to appropriate the additional funds without re-opening the domestic budget debate, before FREMM begins to stand for Failure to Reliably Execute on Monetary Matters. The secondary impacts of failure on this front are widespread, and include:
The European defense integration front has been a blizzard of activity lately. Contributions include a European Parliament report, another from the well-regarded Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), comments from NATO’s supreme commander that could see the alliance’s immediate concerns extend to Russian pipelines and the Gulf of Guinea, and a report from senior NATO generals regarding Europe’s defense future and spending needs.
Aviation Week reports that Raytheon and Lockheed Martin reached an out-of-court settlement agreement regarding recent litigation. The legal battle began after Lockheed jilted its 2002 partner and hooked up with Northrop Grumman to take the contract for the new Block 20 phase of the USA’s Distributed Common Ground Systems (DCGS) program.
What is DCGS, and how does it fit into Network-Centric Warfare?
The US Missile Defense Agency has issued a pair of cost-plus-award-fee sole source contract modifications to provide scientific, engineering, and technical assistance support for the Executive Management Council. The contracts will end by Nov. 30, 2006.
The total value of these modifications is $48.6 million. The companies in question included: