- The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its interim report [PDF] on the pretroleum-related logistics capabilities of the Afghan National Army (ANA). NATO’s Combined
Brazil relies heavily on Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter models for its armed forces, and a billion-dollar deal with Eurocopter made the Eurocopter EC725 Cougar Brazil’s standard medium helicopter across all 3 services. Nonetheless, a modified S-70 variant of Sikorsky’s HH-60 “Pave Hawk” search and rescue (SAR) helicopter seems to be carving out its own niche in Brazil.
Flown out of Manaus by the Army Avicao do Exercito’s Falcao Negro squadron, and by the Forca Aerea Brazileira’s 7/8 “Harpia” air group, Brazilian S-70 and H-60L helicopters are used in Amazon basin SAR (search and rescue) operations, humanitarian relief, and anti-drug efforts. US DSCA requests to buy more were submitted in 2007 and 2008. They aren’t the same thing as signed contracts, but now additional helicopters are being bought, and delivered.
The May 2008 IEEE spectrum magazine, in “The Hunt for the Kill Switch“:
“Feeding those dreams is the Pentagon’s realization that it no longer controls who manufactures the components that go into its increasingly complex systems. A single plane like the DOD’s next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, can contain an “insane number” of chips, says one semiconductor expert familiar with that aircraft’s design. Estimates from other sources put the total at several hundred to more than a thousand. And tracing a part back to its source is not always straightforward. The dwindling of domestic chip and electronics manufacturing in the United States, combined with the phenomenal growth of suppliers in countries like China, has only deepened the U.S. military’s concern.”