- Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s likely last procurement emphasis is his call for a replacement of current strategic bomber capacity, which currently consists of 159 airframes between the Air Force’s B-52s, B-Lancers and B-2s.
- Contractors such as Lockheed are salivating at the potential domestic UAV market, now that the FAA appears to be slowly opening the spigot of licenses to use UAVs in a commercial capacity. The dike appears to be bursting, with the first licenses going to a realty photographer and, yesterday, CNN. That said, the quality of consumer-grade drones has spiked with intense competition in the past year, and the prices of these are many orders of magnitude lower than military-grade airframes.
- The Navy, as many predicted, is looking to drop adherence to the “mission module” model of producing the Littoral Combat Ships, with the director of the Surface Warfare Division indicating he can either make four to six ships over 15 to 20 years with that originally-envisioned model versus spitting out 20 LCSs in 7 to 10 years. The hope is that a modified version would be better offensively armed – a major program weakness – and as a result be able to operate in smaller groups with fewer dependencies.
- Italy is moving industrial support funds to its military programs, which in some cases are one and the same. New supports – despite budget tightening seemingly everywhere else – will go to armored vehicles and a shipbuilding program desperately needed to replace rather old boats. Meanwhile, the FREMM program runs apace, with the latest delivery arriving and pictured here.
- Today’s video comes from the recent Consumers Electronic Show: a targeting system for rifles that makes even tech writers sharpshooters…