Mar 06, 2015 05:49 UTC
- The Air Force again concluded it should phase out the A-10, after an oddly brief reconsideration period (a week). The plan is to move the close air support mission to F-16s and F-15s until such time as the F-35A can take on the role, which is not expected to be soon. General Herbert Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command mused that at some point after the A-10 budget has been shunted to the F-35 program, the Air Force could conceivably replace it, and even named a potential contender, the Textron Airland Scorpion.
- After dropping more than 3,000 bombs along with its allies, the U.S. is looking at what it might need to do to
- Procurer-in-chief Frank Kendall said that cyber attacks on U.S. weapons programs are pervasive and that future procurement will pay much more attention to maintaining secure systems.
- More and more it seems that the Navy many need to hedge its bets on the F-35, keeping the F/A-18 production lines open (scheduled to be done current orders in 2017) in order to retain adequate protection for its other aircraft. It also is not lost on the Navy that it can purchase three or four Super Hornets for the cost of an F-35, which matters in times of sequestration.
- The Navy is using underwater drones to suss out the salinity, temperature, currents and melting patterns in what are likely to become shipping lanes in the Arctic.
- Alaska appears to be making some progress in winning a basing decision for the F-35.
- The European Commission president suggested in an interview that the 28 EU nations should combine their militaries. Europe’s militaries have in recent decades been more instruments of industrial policy than military capacity. Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposal would be designed to attack this weakness, but it presupposes that various European nations have the same foreign policy and military designs; likely to be a tough sell in some capitals.
into a single organization.
- Despite the spontaneous combustion issue, Germany remains committed to the NH90, signing a deal for 18 new helicopters for its navy.
- A competent review of the Russian Borei class boomer included the total cost estimate of the first of the new SSBNs: $713 million, including the research and design. It isn’t an SSBN-X, but it appears to be effective in its deterrent role for a third the cost of an Ohio-class U.S. boomer.
- The Netherlands are looking to diversify their UAV portfolio.
- The U.S. State Department approved a potential sale of M31 Unitary Guided Multiple Launch rocket Systems to Jordan.
- A look at technology used to explore under the ice (this project in the Antarctic, rather than the arctic)…
Mar 04, 2015 04:49 UTC
- The U.S. approved BAE’s Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system for export.
- The General Accountability Office released its study (PDF) of 15 ACAT II and ACAT III programs – those not reaching the lofty spending heights of the major defense acquisition programs (MDAPs) – and found that, generally, they face the same problems as the MDAPs. That is, they are more often than not over budget and late, and that the reasons behind the overages and tardiness are the same: “changing performance requirements, testing issues, quantity changes, and flaws in original cost estimates, among other factors.”
- Bell Helicopter announced a 200-helicopter deal signed with Air Methods Corporation, a heavy user of helicopter emergency medical services craft.
- Orbital ATK is starting to test newly designed propulsion components to power what it hopes will be a March 2016 first launch for the upgraded Antares rocket. In October, an Antares exploded in an event blamed by Orbital ATK on Russian engines designed and built about half a century ago and refurbished by Aerojet, a Russian firm. The new engines are to be RD-181 engines made by Russian firm Energomash.
start sea trials
- Now that the U.S. has green-lighted UAV sales to allies, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. and Spanish engineering firm SENER are partnering to bring the Predator B to Iberia.
- In the course of expressing some unvarnished opinions to the AP about the benefits of providing arms to Ukraine, General Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, gave the short shopping list of what Ukrainian military officials would most want: “intelligence, counter fire capability and something that can stop a Russian tank.”
- Defense News caught a small procurement competition notice asking for up to 50 buses to be provided in Ukraine to ferry trainers and troops in support of an American training effort to train four companies of Ukrainian National Guard. That plan is said to be on hold while the Administration waits to see how successful the most recent cease fire proves.
- France will soon have a second built-for-Russia Mistral class helicopter carrier on its hands. The first, the Vladivostok, is biding its time while France waits for a period during which Russia does not appear to be acting war-like against European allies. The second, the Sevastopol, should
later this month.
Israel is asking for almost half a billion dollars in help with anti-missile defense, and amount about three times what the White House’s budget had tabled, and a difficult one to shift into the budget if sequestration is retained through the coming fiscal year. One observer said he thought the funds might be freed, and if so, it would be likely to come from the Lockheed THAAD program budget.
- BAE’s old but much respected Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures system, recently approved for export…