US House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils [PDF] Republican answer to Obama administration’s FY 2012 budget; Republican version reflects $178 billion in defense savings over the next 5 years identified by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are proposing $12 billion in cuts for discretionary spending in the FY 2011 continuing resolution, while boosting DoD funding [PDF] by $7.6 billion over FY 2010 levels through Sept 30/11.
The European Parliament approves plans to extend the EU list of dual-use items that can be exported to “nonsensitive” countries in exchange for greater oversight of the notification system from the European Council.
Artillery-locating radars like the AN/TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 Firefinder radars, and the lighter LCMR, automatically detect, track and locate enemy mortars, artillery and rocket launchers. Once incoming rounds are picked up, the radar system backtracks the projectile’s flight, in order to pinpoint the launcher before the incoming round has even landed. Meanwhile, back-end systems can trigger alarms, giving people in the target area the critical seconds they need to get under cover. The TPQ-36 radar is specifically designed to counter medium range enemy weapon systems out to a range of 24 km/ 15 miles, while the TPQ-37 can locate longer-range systems and even surface launched missiles out to 50 km/ 31 miles.
Mortars and rockets have been common threats in Iraq, and advanced counter-battery radars have been the first line of defense for military bases and key civilian sectors. The systems do suffer from “false positives,” but on the whole, they’re very valuable. Michael Yon, embedded with 1-24 (“Deuce Four”) in Mosul in 2005, offered a first hand description of counter-battery radars’ effect on enemy tactics. With American forces drawing down and leaving, it’s no surprise that Iraq wants some.
Chile is a country with a lot of area to cover, ranging from long sea coasts and maritime areas to deserts and mountain ranges, in temperatures that range from hot to near-Arctic. While new F-16 C/D aircraft from the USA and second-hand Dutch F-16 MLUs will replace its 15 Mirage 50 Panteras as they prepare to retire, its F-5 E/F fleet is also headed for the scrap yard soon. In more prosaic roles, Chile has rather fewer military helicopters in its Army, Navy, and Air Force than one might imagine given its rugged topography. Looking over its long coast, meanwhile, the country must contemplate the finite lifespan of its aging P-3ACH Orion maritime patrol aircraft.
Fortunately, copper prices had risen again by 2007, which gave the country some fiscal breathing room to undertake fleet recapitalizations – including a 2007 purchase of Leopard 2A4 tanks. Now, a pair of recent aircraft purchases aim to begin redressing Chile’s recapitalization needs in helicopter support and maritime patrol – though neither is what one might call a large deal.