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Daily Rapid Fire

Designs in for Long-Range Bomber | Predators in Latvia | Israel Upgrading F-16s vs S-300 Systems

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Americas * With dread, Pentagon watchers are seeing circumstances line up suggesting that a budget breakthrough may not happen, leaving the possibility of a semi-permanent continuing resolution funding mechanism. * The General Accountability Office found that the DoD hasn’t done much more to conform to a set of recommendations on creating an ethical culture. After implementing some items from a 2008 set of recommendations, a 2013 study on its progress made explicit a gap between what the DoD was willing to do versus what the original authors thought it must do. Since then, the GAO found “DoD has decided to take no further actions.” * The Office of Personnel Management hired ID Experts to offer identity theft prevention services to the myriad federal employees whose records were hacked recently. The services include coverage of up to $1 million against identity theft and credit report monitoring. * The Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Congress that their rejection of her branch’s decision to retire the A-10 – a cut projected to save about a couple billion dollars per year – could cause major problems and delays for programs such as the F-35, the new long-range bomber and the KC-46 refueler […]
Americas

* With dread, Pentagon watchers are seeing circumstances line up suggesting that a budget breakthrough may not happen, leaving the possibility of a semi-permanent continuing resolution funding mechanism.

* The General Accountability Office found that the DoD hasn’t done much more to conform to a set of recommendations on creating an ethical culture. After implementing some items from a 2008 set of recommendations, a 2013 study on its progress made explicit a gap between what the DoD was willing to do versus what the original authors thought it must do. Since then, the GAO found “DoD has decided to take no further actions.”

* The Office of Personnel Management hired ID Experts to offer identity theft prevention services to the myriad federal employees whose records were hacked recently. The services include coverage of up to $1 million against identity theft and credit report monitoring.

* The Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Congress that their rejection of her branch’s decision to retire the A-10 – a cut projected to save about a couple billion dollars per year – could cause major problems and delays for programs such as the F-35, the new long-range bomber and the KC-46 refueler – programs that together constitute unprecedented expenditures for any nation in history.

* Northrop Grumman and competitor coalition Lockheed Martin and Boeing submitted designs for the new long range bomber, with a decision expected in October. The first versions produced are expected to be manned craft, with unmanned craft coming a few years later. Designs are said to be more detailed at the stage than is typical.

* The FAA issued a warning to pilots in Florida indicating that unspecified military activity may interfere with anti-collision systems.

* The storied Glomar Explorer (now the GSF Explorer) – the ship built by the CIA under the cover of a mineral research vessel, but actually designed to pilfer Russian submarine, missile and nuclear bomb tech from the periodic wrecks of the Russian submarine service – is set to be scrapped, now the victim of low oil prices.

* After having botched the sterilization of anthrax samples and sent them all over the world, the Army is suspending operations at four labs.

Asia

The much-anticipated Chinese military parade did indeed show some significant hardware previously kept under wraps. Expect round-ups in the next day.

Europe

* Two MQ-1 Predators are in Latvia, establishing a forward operating capacity example and boosting the sense that NATO allies share security concerns over the Baltics.

Middle East

* The UAE put itself in the running as a suitor for the French Mistral craft originally built for Russia. France is to pay Russia back about $1 billion for failing to deliver the vessels. Russia of late has been suggesting that it should have a role in the choosing of the eventual recipients.

* Israel announced that it is upgrading its F-16 variants to be able to handle the vaunted Russian S-300 anti-aircraft system. Iran is perennially about to receive shipments of the system.

Today’s Video

* Russia’s Su-30SM gets the marketing video treatment, complete with pans of the controls…

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