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Daily Rapid Fire | DARPA | France | Pre-RFP | Scandals & Investigations | Think Tanks | USA

Euronaval Brings Local Shipbuilding to the Forefront

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* Herve Guillou, the new boss at French shipbuilder DCNS, is eager to get a share of Canada’s huge forthcoming naval programs, and is willing to build ships in Canada with local partners as well as transfer technologies to sweeten the deal. National Post. * Dutch shipbuilder Damen is flaunting [Defense News] its recently-acquired French credentials at the Euronaval tradeshow in Paris. Damen’s big business challenge will be profitably overseeing all those shipyards, and welding them into a coherent strategy. Cheap Bulk Translation * DARPA wants to hear from organizations who can help lower the cost of automating the translation of less common languages. The fictional Klingon is available through Google and Bing, but many of the earth’s 7,000+ languages are not, which by itself is a statement about Western priorities. DARPA shook their infamous acronym generator until it spat out Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents (LORELEI). Here’s the Broad Agency Announcement [FBO], there’s a Proposer’s Day on November 13 in Arlington, VA. * Since Western countries, from the US to Sweden [The Local], cannot be bothered to properly handle visas for Afghan translators threatened by the Taliban, let’s hope DARPA figures LORELEI out by the next conflict in […]

* Herve Guillou, the new boss at French shipbuilder DCNS, is eager to get a share of Canada’s huge forthcoming naval programs, and is willing to build ships in Canada with local partners as well as transfer technologies to sweeten the deal. National Post.

* Dutch shipbuilder Damen is flaunting [Defense News] its recently-acquired French credentials at the Euronaval tradeshow in Paris. Damen’s big business challenge will be profitably overseeing all those shipyards, and welding them into a coherent strategy.

Cheap Bulk Translation

* DARPA wants to hear from organizations who can help lower the cost of automating the translation of less common languages. The fictional Klingon is available through Google and Bing, but many of the earth’s 7,000+ languages are not, which by itself is a statement about Western priorities. DARPA shook their infamous acronym generator until it spat out Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents (LORELEI). Here’s the Broad Agency Announcement [FBO], there’s a Proposer’s Day on November 13 in Arlington, VA.

* Since Western countries, from the US to Sweden [The Local], cannot be bothered to properly handle visas for Afghan translators threatened by the Taliban, let’s hope DARPA figures LORELEI out by the next conflict in faraway places. This gets even the reliably liberal British comedian John Oliver righteously angry at the US government.

Russian Test Flights

* Russia’s military flights in NATO’s ADIZ have increased markedly [BBC] this week. Opinions vary widely [Daily Beast] about Russia’s intent, from simply increasing their readiness and proficiency at long range missions for deterrence purposes, to more ominous nuclear drills.

Back to Think Tanking

* Robert Martinage, who was asked to resign earlier this year from his position as acting undersecretary of the Navy, released a report at the CSBA think tank advising the US to adopt a new “offset” strategy meant to:

“counter adversarial investments in A2/AD capabilities in general – and ever expanding missile inventories in particular – by leveraging US “core competencies” in unmanned systems and automation, extend-range and low-observable air operations, undersea warfare, and complex system engineering and integration in order to project power differently.”

$1.6M Silencers

* Martinage resigned at the time because investigators looking into very expensive silencers found he was having an affair, which had nothing to do with said silencers, but hey you shouldn’t do that. Lee M. Hall, the Navy intelligence officer involved in the $1.6M deal to procure these silencers from a California-based hot-rod mechanic (true story!) was found guilty [Stripes] by a federal judge earlier this week. Hall alleged that Martinage had verbally approved the purchase, which Martinage denied during his testimony.

EM Risk

* Today’s video is a quick reminder from Bloomberg that on a short-term basis, exchange rate fluctuations are big contributor to financial risk in emerging markets. Good reminder to keep rosy defense export forecasts in check:

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