The US Defense Acquisition University posted a bunch of slideshows and videos dedicated to the implementation of Better Buying Power. Try this one [PPTX] for a start, which sensibly advocates basing programs on realistic requirements rather than “desirements.”
The French government released a much-delayed White Paper [PDF, in French] to refresh France’s defense outlook. What happened since the previous Livre Blanc published in 2008? The global financial crisis and the accelerated degradation of public finances in many Euro countries. Chocked with deficits running all the way back to 1974, France will pursue further defense personnel and armament reductions, without touching its core nuclear deterrence or aspirations to be heard worldwide. The building of a second aircraft carrier is shelved for good, and recent rumors of cutting Rafale purchases to 225 over the life of the program are confirmed by a description of what French forces should look like by 2025. Helicopters, transport aircraft and tanks will also see reduced quantities, while special forces are the rare recipient of additional resources.
The US Army’s Heavy Brigade Combat Teams have relied on BAE’s 30+ ton Bradley family of M2/3/6/7 vehicles for a variety of combat functions, from armed infantry carrier and cavalry scout roles, to specialized tasks like calling artillery fire and even short-range air defense. The Bradley first entered US Army service in 1981, however, and the fleet has served through several wars. Even ongoing RESET, modernizations, and remanufacturing cannot keep them going indefinitely.
The Army’s problem is that replacing them has been a ton of trouble. Future Combat Systems’ MGV-IFV was terminated, along with the other MGV variants, by the 2010 budget. A proposal to replace it with a “Ground Combat Vehicle” (GCV) program raised concerns that the Army’s wish list would create an even less affordable solution. Now a revised GCV program is underway. Can it deliver a vehicle that will be effective on the battlefield? Just as important, can it deliver a vehicle that the US Army can afford to buy and maintain, in the midst of major national budgetary problems and swelling entitlement programs?
BAE Systems and its suppliers are lobbying the US Congress to sustain Bradley orders from the US Army and keep their production line open.
Lockheed Martin’s Q1 2013 revenue was down 2% Y/Y to $11.1B, dragged down by the Aeronautics segment because of fewer F-16 and C-130 deliveries. They estimate sequestration could lower net sales for the year by $825M. Boeing’s sales for Q1 were down by 3% to $18.9B, with BDS at $8.1B.
Discussions about cyberwar doctrine often gets stuck on a difficulty to properly detect the origin of attacks (what’s called the attribution problem). That does not mean such intrusions cannot be tracked down at least by country. A report issued by a team led by Verizon states that:
Another big Mideast sale is coming down the pipe that will include F-16E/Fs for the UAE, and cruise missiles for the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Israel to get V-22 tiltrotors, AESA fighter radars, and KC-135 aerial tankers. Choosing 707-based tankers is odd, given their growing support costs, and IAI’s cheap K-767 MMTT alternative.
In July 2012, Qatar’s government announced their interest in purchasing up to 200 Leopard 2A7 heavy tanks from Germany. The tanks would more than replace Qatar’s existing set of 30-40 French AMX-30 medium tanks, which are a 1970s era design. The deal was completed in 2013, and it turned out to be smaller but broader.