UK foreign security delivers to Parliament the first quarterly report on Afghanistan, noting that the Afghan National Security Forces are expected to number 260,000 by the end of 2010.
Australian Department of Defense plans to invest A$1.6 billion in 48 force protection measures for troops in Afghanistan over the next three years; also, department releases redacted secret defense brief.
Oops!: In a campaign flyer, a North Carolina state legislator uses a photo of reenactors in WWII-era German uniforms to tout his pro-US military stance.
What happened to those nukes?: US military is looking into an incident in which the USAF lost communication for 45 minutes with 50 ICBMs siloed in the northern US.
As a result of bankruptcy reorganization, Russia’s Energia Overseas Limited will take majority ownership of Sea Launch, which provides satellite launch services from its sea-based platform at the equator.
Latest updates: With GATM done, this is this article’s final update.
KC-135R Stratotanker (click to view larger)
The goal of the KC-135 Global Air Traffic Management program is to update the US aerial tanker fleet’s avionics. The last KC-135 was delivered in 1966, and civil aviation has seen considerable changes to navigation and safety avionics since then. In order to help the USA’s critical aerial tanker fleet run more smoothly, and give them the option of flying in civil airspace, updates were required.
That has spawned a number of sub-programs, from Pacer CRAG to the current Block 45 avionics effort.
iCD Research: The Israeli defense sector is expected to grow at a 3% compound annual growth rate, reaching $15.8 billion by 2015; defense spending is expected to focus on procurement of missile defense systems, fighter aircraft, submarines and armored vehicles.
Final settling up results in a government credit; Program details and history expanded. (Oct 22/10)
The future E-10A MC2 (Multi-sensor Command & Control) program was conceived as a fusion of Northrop Grumman’s advanced Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) Wide-Area Surveillance (WAS) radar and Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2) mission suite into a modified passenger jet (likely a 767), creating a successor to both the E-3 AWACS air surveillance and E-8 JSTARS ground surveillance and SIGINT (signals intelligence) /communications relay planes. This multi-duty approach provides flexibility, but also invites potential shortages and overuse unless the system can be procured in sufficient numbers or supplemented with less expensive options (see “Brittle Swords: Low-Density, High-Demand Assets” [PDF] for a deeper discussion).
The entire program could easily have been worth $10 billion. On February 23/07, however, the firm received notice from the U.S. Air Force that the E-10A MC2 Weapon System Integration (WSI) program was being formally ended. So, what now for the E-10’s technology? And why is this still relevant in 2010?
IAP World Services in Panama City, FL received a $12.4 million firm-fixed-price contract exercising the 2nd option year (3rd year of service) to operate and maintain the electrical power grids at Forward Operating Bases Salerno, north of Khowst and Sharana in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. The contracts will run until Oct 15/12. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 5 bids received by the Defense Contract Management Agency at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan (W91B4N-07-C-0075).
Previous awards under this contract have not been publicly announced.
Promoting Diversity: Pentagon wants to diversify supplier base for cybersecurity systems and products.
Supply Bottleneck: Prices for rare-earth metals used in high-tech weapons have soared in response to Chinese export quotas.
Sikorsky and partner firms are funding 2 prototypes of their “S-97 Raider” X2 compound helicopter, and intend to fly it in 2014. The Raider will be a scout/ light utility/ light attack machine, with V-22 class speed, but the safety and lower costs of a helicopter design.