After recent contradictory news reports, President Obama confirmed that all American troops would leave Iraq by 2012. The US’ request for troop immunity was the deal breaker with the Iraqi government. Thousands of private contractors will stay there though.
US SecDef Leon Panetta turns his attention to Asia where he is currently traveling for the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM). A meeting with Indonesian leadership may lead to increased military ties between the two countries.
The US DOD’s DOT&E Oversight List has been updated (CAC required for access). Last year’s version is publicly accessible here [PDF].
Retired Rear Admiral Kenneth Deutsch will lead CSC’s Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) bid.
DCNS delivered the 1st Gowind Offshore Patrol Vessel L’Adroit to the French Navy. The ship was designed and built on private funds and remains under DCNS ownership. It went through sea trials last summer.
Textron’s revenues for Q3 ’11 grew by 13.5% to $2.8B. Its subsidiary Bell delivered 9 V-22s and 7 H-1s. Textron’s statement included a $781M “reduction in the backlog primarily to correct an error made in the fourth quarter of 2009 which recorded as backlog the full value of a V-22 contract rather than Bell’s proportionate share”. At 12% of the remaining $6.4B backlog, this is quite a sizable error. Meanwhile, Flir Systems’ Q3 2011 financial results: stable income, 12% topline growth and $55M added to the government division’s backlog – a 17% increase.
Germany’s EC665 Tiger UHT/HAC scout and attack helicopters have traveled a long road since the initial 1984 requirement that launched the program. They were originally slated for service in 1992, but technical delays have dogged the project. Schedule slips and funding shortfalls meant that the EUR 3 billion for 80 helicopters wasn’t placed until 1998. Deliveries from Eurocopter began in 2003, but instead of having 67 helicopters in service by the end of 2009, Germany had just 11 – none of which are considered fit for operations, or even for training.
That issue came to a head in May 2010, as the German government moved to suspend the contract until these technical issues are fixed:
With Qaddafi dead, NATO operations in Libya are set to wind down quickly.
Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems to cut 800 jobs in Maryland and other states (further details are lacking). Meanwhile the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) won’t have to lay off people but they may have to use furloughs.
India, Brazil and South Africa are in early talks of trilateral defense cooperation.
Oct 19/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] France’s official request for up to $180 million in equipment to upgrade the Marine Nationale’s fleet of 4 E-2C Hawkeye-2000 airborne early warning planes, which fly from NAS Lann-Bihoue and FS Charles de Gaulle. The Hawkeye 2000s have already been through one major upgrade cycle, improving their mission computer, electronics throughout the aircraft, satellite communications, and propellers.
This is a less comprehensive upgrade, but it’s still important. France will be improving navigation and avionics. American hardware will include 5 AN/ALQ-217 ESM systems, which help the planes sense and then backtrack radio/radar emitters. The core of their upgrade, however, is Mode 5/S Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), which is also being added to their larger, land-based E-3F AWACS planes.
CSC’s Chairman and CEO Michael W. Laphen announced he’s retiring. He’s ready to stay around for up to a year until his replacement is found. Laphen started his career and CSC in 1977 and was appointed to his current position in 2007.
To be able to meet budget constraints while avoiding crippling effects, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) is suggesting DoD to change the way it approaches [PDF] compensation/benefits, the use of unmanned systems, and the relative burden it takes relative to US allies.
The US Senate’s Armed Services Subcommittee on readiness and management support had a hearing with acting Under Secretary of Acquisition Frank Kendall and other DoD staffers in the wake of the Commission on Wartime Contracting’s findings in Iraq and Afghanistan: archived webcast.
US lawmakers are getting worried by the Deficit/Debt Supercommittee’s lack of apparent progress so far. Despite initial promises of transparency the committee has mostly met behind closed doors.
Think Defence has a good round-up of UK Parliamentary question and answers from ministers relevant to defence issues.
The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, GA is an outgrowth of the BRAC 2005 process, which consolidated the Army Armor Center and School with the Army Infantry Center and School. In October 2011, they issued a 5-year, maximum $458 million contract among 14 contractors.
Winners will bid on task orders to help the center produce training strategies, doctrine, capabilities, analysis, instruction and products for the current and future force. Per standard procedure, work location will be determined with each task order, during a contract period that will run until Sept 30/16. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 34 bids received by the Mission Contracting Office in Fort Bragg, NC. The 14 winners were:
The U.S. State Department continues to jawbone NATO missile defense, the key issue – as ever – being Russia’s reaction and Europe’s reaction to Russia’s reaction.
Admiral Bernard Rogel, Chief of Staff of France’s Navy told the parliamentary armed forces committee on that country’s capability: “the format of our navy is barely sufficient to meet the defense and security ambitions of our country.” Rogel joins U.S. and U.K. defense officials in the race to convince legislatures of their finance abject conditions.
US Rear Admiral Craig Faller, Commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3, muses over the value of a CSG in terms of power, flexibility and mobility.
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) released a briefing [PDF] on the state of Iran’s chemical,
biological, and nuclear capabilities. The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) also published several updates about Iran’s nuclear facilities and centrifuges.
Winslow T. Wheeler from the Center for Defense Information (CDI) takes US SecDef Leon Panetta to task on the latter’s assertion that “the American military today is without question the finest fighting force that has ever existed.” Wheeler’s contention: “We got this smaller, older, less ready force not because of less money but because of more.” While some may object to Wheeler’s tone, he’s summoning accurate facts to support his rebuttal: the US Navy does have fewer ships than it used to, and USAF planes are indeed aging on average.
Video below of a Q&A with Dmitri Trenin at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Russia where Putin is likely to again become President:
The DLA issued a different $103 million contract to Xerox in August 2011, for what appears to be the same services, over a very similar timeline. Then again, DLA Document Services’ reach is extensive. Their services ranging from traditional offset printing, through on-demand output, to online document services, where they are the DoD’s catalyst for moving the department toward the use of online documents and services. They even have a website design group. The group currently manages more than 180 service facilities, primarily located on U.S. military bases world-wide in 7 countries.
Atlantic CommTech Corp. in Virginia Beach, VA received a $12 million firm-fixed-price contract. They’ll provide interior intrusion detection systems for protective aircraft shelters, and redundant cable, for the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing. Atlantic CommTech will be performing 100% of the work throughout 6 NATO installations in Europe. This is not surprising. Back in February 2008, “The Blue Ribbon Review of Nuclear Weapons Policies and Procedures” raised concerns about security practices at nuclear-capable facilities in Europe, and recommended a number of steps to improve the situation. Meanwhile, European countries’ waning desire to even host such weapons has become a subject of high-level debate among NATO members.
The 498th Nuclear Systems Wing is part of USAF Materiel Command, and handles nuclear maintenance projects, programs, & systems integration, advocacy, and oversight. The wing’s groups and divisions include the 498th Missile Sustainment Division based at Tinker AFB, OK, the 498th Nuclear Systems Division at Kirtland AFB, NM; the 498th Munitions Maintenance Group at Whiteman AFB, MO, and the 798th Munitions Maintenance Group at Minot AFB, ND. The USAF Nuclear Weapons Center/PKE at Kirtland AFB, NM, manages the contract (FA9422-12-F-0001).