In August 2012, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Brazil’s official request to buy 26 Assault Amphibious Vehicles with Reliability, Availability and Maintainability/ Rebuild to Standard modifications (AAV RAM/RS), including ancillary equipment and machine guns. The Brazilians will also upgrade their existing fleet to the RAM/RS configuration, along with associated weapons and ammunition, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, and other U.S. Government and contractor support.
About 10 militaries still use the AAV7, or pre-1984 LVTP variants…
Out in the field, one of the most important questions is also one of the simplest: where am I? Map-reading and orienteering remain critical soldiering skills, but the explosive growth of the GPS receiver market offers modern-day soldiers – and their opponents – new options. GPS has a military channel as well, of course, offering greater precision. These military-grade GPS receivers are becoming common among American units and their allies, often operating alongside civilian units from firms like Garmin that can include in-country roadmaps for front-line zones. Then again, you probably wouldn’t want to offer nearby airstrike coordinates based on a civilian unit if there was any choice in the matter.
Defense Advanced GPS Receivers (DAGRs) will serve as a smaller, lighter, replacement for the Precision Lightweight GPS Receiver (PLGR). Their electronics can be integrated into tanks, UAV drones, etc., or serve as standalone handheld systems for both advanced and basic military GPS users. Authorized Department of Defense (DoD) and foreign military sales (FMS) customers receive a hand-held Precise Positioning System (PPS) with a dual-frequency (L1/L2) receiver that weighs less than a pound, and incorporates the next generation, tamper-resistant GPS “SAASM” (Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module) anti-jamming and security module.
US House and Senate leaders agreed to consider a 6-month resolution in September to keep the federal government funded through the election period. It means the work of appropriations committees won’t see the light for a while since a Continuing Resolution (CR), well, continues existing lines of funding. This affects the House most where seven FY2013 appropriations bills have already been passed, including defense earlier this month. The Senate Appropriations committee is working on its defense markup today, but with CR in sight, don’t hold your breath for a vote in the full Senate where no FY13 appropriations bills have been passed yet. Politico has more inside baseball.
As expected, yesterday’s House Armed Services Committee hearing with OMB’s Jeff Zients didn’t produce much. Somehow averting defense budget cuts that the Administration itself deems catastrophic has become irremediably tied to increasing taxes on wealthier Americans.
In a joint press conference with his counterpart from Israel Ehud Barak, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that “preventing a nuclear-armed Iran is a top national security priority by the United States and that all options – all options – are on the table.” Panetta insisted that every other option had to be exhausted before resorting to military action. Israeli officials think the current course based on sanctions and international pressure is not having the desired impact on Iran.
Japan issued its 2012 defense white paper expressing its concern with China’s mix of assertiveness and lack of transparency:
“[I]n the Asia-Pacific region, where a lack of transparency and elements of uncertainty still exist, the presence of the U.S. forces remains extremely important in order to achieve regional stability. Japan and other countries have established bilateral alliances and friendly relations with the U.S. and they allow the stationing and deployment of U.S. forces in their territories. In addition, measures have recently been taken to further strengthen the presence of the U.S. forces.”