Oct 24, 2007 18:29 UTC
“Dogfight at the Casbah: Rafale vs. F-16” noted the dwindling odds of a Rafale fighter sale to Morocco, but reported rumors that Morocco would purchase one of the new 142m, 6,000t Franco-Italian FREMM frigates for about EUR 500 million (about $710 million) during French President Sarkozy’s visit.
True to form, there has been no announcement yet concerning the Rafale in conjunction with French President Sarkozy’s visit. The frigate sale appears to have gone through, however, as France’s military shipbuilder DCNS has now announced that “the Kingdom’s highest authorities confirmed an agreement between the two countries to provide the Royal Moroccan Navy with a FREMM multimission frigate.” Morocco is the design’s first international customer beyond the 2 partner nations, and almost certainly not the last. Current plans call for 27 vessels for France (17) and Italy (10), and FREMM is available in anti-submarine, anti-surface, anti-air and land strike versions in order to meet client navies’ specific needs.
Oct 24, 2007 17:09 UTC
Checking into it
On August 22/07, the Pentagon released its Selected Acquisition Reports for the June 2007 reporting period, and the US Marines’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program was listed:
“The SAR was submitted to report schedules slips of approximately two years since the December 2006 SAR. In February 2007, the program experienced a critical Nunn-McCurdy unit cost breach due primarily to system reliability challenges and a quantity reduction. The department certified a revised program to Congress in June 2007. Program costs increased $4,069.4 million (+34.2 percent) from $11,902.7 million to $15,972.1 million.”
To be sure, the new $3.5 million South Korean XK-21 amphibious IFV hasn’t had these problems; but then, the specifications they were handed were more restrained in key areas like water speed (about 5 kph) and aiming to cross rivers rather than swim in medium ocean sea states. DID went and talked to the EFV Program Office to get some explanations for this latest SAR, and also of the EFV’s overall cost growth history. We also wanted a per-vehicle cost for the EFV, because we’d seen numbers ranging for $16 million to $27 million. What follows is their explanation. DID has removed nothing, but we have spliced together both the original response and their further clarification in order to create a single explanation…
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