Eric Shinseki resigned this morning as Veteran Affairs secretary. With tepid support from the White House after yesterday’s interim report from the VA’s Inspector General and bipartisan calls for his resignation, there was little else he could do. He made a final statement to apologize for the VA’s “systemic” problems (video) a couple of hours before resigning.
Brazil took long enough to modernize its future fighter fleet, and they’re waiting even longer to modernize another important air force capability. Their KC-137 Boeing 707 derivatives were built in the 1960s, and Brazil took delivery in 1986. In 2008, Brazil’s air force general staff (EMAER) launched the KC-X2 program to replace them – but the planes retired before a replacement contract was in place…
In June 2012, the US DSCA announced South Korea’s formal request to buy up to 367 CBU-105D/B Wind Corrected Munition Dispenser (WCMD) Sensor Fuzed Weapons and associated parts, equipment, logistical support and training, for an estimated cost of up to $325 million.
South Korea has been moving to modernize its air force, from F-15K Slam Eagle fighter buys, to talk of modernizing its F-16 fleet, to the imminent introduction of its own FA-50 lightweight fighter, in partnership with Lockheed Martin. Its latest move would buy a formidable vehicle and boat-killing weapon that could be used from any of these fighters. So, what is a WCMD?
The US Veterans Health Administration’s Inspector General published an interim review [PDF] on the Phoenix Health Care System’s patient wait times, scheduling practices, and their effects on patient outcomes: “To date, our work has substantiated serious conditions at the Phoenix HCS.”
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) characterized the Inspector General’s report as “damning and outrageous… reveals potentially criminal behavior”. Removing veterans from treatment waiting lists in order to make performance statistics look good, and causing veteran deaths and suicides, certainly ought to qualify.
PJ Media looks in detail at the record and activities of Rahim Sabadia, “a South African-born, California-based defense contractor who has bankrolled the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)” who continued to pursue defense contracts through a new company after his security clearance was suspended in 2011. Last decade Sabtech Industries, headed by Sabadia then, received millions of dollars of contracts for computer parts for AEGIS ships.
Incidentally it looks like facerolling is a legit data entry method among US Navy contract officers. Here is the verbatim of the requirement for a $7.7 million task order to Sabtech Industries, as per the official FPDS database:
“200512!459406!1700!N00178!NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER !N0017805D2027 !A!N! !Y! ! !20050926!20100925!131239295!131239295!131239295!N!SABTECH INDUSTRIES INC !23231 LA PALMA AVE !YORBA LINDA !CA!92887!86832!059!06!Yorba Linda !Orange !California!+000007731670!N!N!000007731670!AC57!RDTE/Weapons-Operational System Development !S1 !SERVICES !000 ! !334418!E! !3!B!S! ! !D!20100925!B! ! !A! !A!N!U!2!001!B! !Z!Y!Z! ! !N!B!N!N! ! !A! !A!A!000!A!B!N! ! ! ! !1700!N00178!0001! !”
The CIM-2000 Scorpene class diesel-electric attack submarine partnership was just the first step for Spain’s Navantia, as it joined with France’s DCNS to enter the global submarine market. Now Navantia is building on that base of expertise, to field its own S-80 Class for the Spanish Armada. Spain’s new submarines will be larger boats than Navantia/DCNS’ Scorpene Class, with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems as standard gear, and completely new designs for both external shape and internal systems.
This article will cover the S-80 submarines’ capabilities and associated key events and contracts – including sub-contracts to American, British, and Italian firms.
In March 2005, Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile (or JASSM) cruise missile won the competition with Boeing’s SLAM-ER and the Taurus KEPD 350 for the AIR 5418 Follow-on Standoff Weapon (FOSOW) requirement. This marks the first international sale of this stealthy cruise missile, which was originally developed for the US Air Force and Navy. The contract includes production, integration and support, and was signed in September 2006. Total project cost was revealed as A$ 300 million (about USD$ 230 million), and production will be integrated into the existing line at the Lockheed Martin Pike County Operations facility in Troy, AL, USA.
The Australian government noted that “acquiring a long range air to surface missile has been publicly listed in Defence’s Capability Plan since 2001 and specific details were announced in August 2004,” and JASSMs were expected to be operational on Australia’s aircraft fleet by December 2009. Nevertheless, the purchase raised some controversy at home concerning its effect on the region, the reason it was chosen, and some of the choices that accompany its selection.
What’s the history behind this buy? Why did Australia make this particular choice, and choose the JASSM over the SLAM-ER? Is the regional destabilization controversy valid? And what happened?
President Obama announced the US would leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan in 2015, then cut than number by half the next year.
US Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO, SAC-D member) sums up the Republican reaction:
“If we are going to leave forces in Afghanistan, we should leave enough people to do the job. The president can’t know what the situation will look like in Afghanistan two years from now. By announcing the next cuts this far in advance, the president’s plan won’t provide the stability that America’s servicemembers and their families, who sacrifice and endure loss of life and health, deserve.”
Ukraine elected businessman Petro Poroshenko as its next president with a relatively high margin, and one of his pledges is to wrap up operations in Eastern Ukraine quickly. Fighting in Donetsk (Eastern Ukraine) reportedly led to the death of about 40 pro-Russian insurgents over the past 48 hours. KyivPost | USA Today | CSIS timeline of Ukraine’s crisis.
Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day in the USA. As we mentioned on Friday, DID honors those who have given all of their tomorrows in American military service, and will not be publishing. Readers are reminded that in America, the Memorial Day moment of silence takes place at 3:00 pm.
A survey commissioned by The National WWII Museum in Washington had only 20% say they were very familiar with the day’s purpose, which is to honor those who have fallen in America’s wars. It’s the same purpose as Remembrance Day/ Armistice Day (Nov. 11th) in the British Commonwealth and elsewhere – but in America, November 11th is Veteran’s Day, honoring all who have served in the US military.
The Economist notes that “money and reform have given Russia armed forces it can use.” There are serious remaining weaknesses, and Russia may not sustain this forever, but with more than 20% of public spending dedicated to defense, the current modernization effort is real and in stark contrast with Western Europe’s sagging investments.
The Russian Air Force says it will start receiving PAK DAs, its next generation long-range bombers, in 2023, after a maiden flight in 2019. Standard caveats about dates associated with development programs apply.
The same caveat applies to claims by the chief executive of Tactical Missiles Corporation says a modified missile for use on Russia’s 5th-gen fighters should be ready by 2016, with hypersonic missiles coming by 2020.
The Havana Times prints one Cuban’s view of the recent Cuban-Russian security agreement: “We are constantly demanding the lifting of the blockade, and now we throw everything to the fire.”
As Eastern European countries fret about Russia renewed assertiveness near their borders, the White House released an overview of NATO and bilateral reassurance measures in Romania.