Jan 15, 2013 16:24 UTC
EADS’ CN-235 & C-295
In December 2005, fresh from an expedition that tentatively sold $2 billion worth of military hardware to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez regime, Spain’s Defence Minister made the neighboring state of Colombia an offer. A combination of sales and aid transfers would give the FAC another 21 light tactical transport planes – and if they’d buy, he’d throw in 4 helicopters for free.
It was a peace gesture of sorts, but it failed to appease the USA, who blocked the Venezuelan aircraft by using US military export laws against key equipment. Even so, it was a smart marketing move. Colombia was already an EADS-CASA customer, thanks to previous transfers of Spanish C-212 Aviocar light STOL transports as anti-terrorism aid, and a 2002 buy of CN-235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. In the end, Colombia bought at least some of what Bono was offering, and they’ve continued to add to that fleet over time.
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Jan 15, 2013 15:18 UTC
In January 2013, the Colombian Ministry of National Defence awarded a $65.3 million contract to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, for 24 of the firm’s double-V hulled LAV-IIIs with add-on armor. In the USA, this LAV-III is known as the M1126 Stryker DVH, but Colombia’s new armored personnel carriers won’t have the same internal electronics fit-out. They’ll also swap in RAFAEL’s Samson RCWS weapon station up top. The contract was signed through the Government of Canada’s CCC export agency, and deliveries will be complete by May 2014.
The Ejercito Nacional de Colombia operates a very broad mix of APCs: M1117 ICVs from Textron, Russian BTR-80s, Brazilian EE-9 and EE-11s, and old US M113 tracked vehicles. None have the LAV-III DVH’s ability to survive land mine blasts. That’s becoming a bigger part of Colombia’s defense planning lately: Oshkosh’s Sand Cat vehicle was picked as a light patrol MRAP in December 2012.
Jan 11, 2013 09:50 UTC
- Soon-departing US SecDef Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey held a press conference (transcript, video) mostly focused on budget issues:
“The continuing resolution (CR) expires on March 27th. If Congress fails to pass the appropriations bill for FY 13 and simply extends the CR through the year, our overall operating accounts would decrease by about 5% below the proposed budget presented by the president for our 2013 budget. That amount roughly comes to about $11 billion that would come out of Operations and Maintenance (O&M).”
- As colliding deadlines loom ever closer and Congress has been stuck in a holding pattern, Panetta is directing the department to “curtail facility maintenance for non-mission-critical activities, freezing civilian hiring, delaying certain contract awards.” Dempsey was somewhat confused about how much sequestration would impact the remaining part of FY13 (about $43B-$45B according to Comptroller Dale and CSBA, not $52B) but nonetheless took a comment from Bloomberg’s Capaccio in stride: “Actually you’re not correcting me, because I’m right.” (Dempsey’s point on the burn rate was right but his number was incorrect.)
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