Rapid Fire Jan. 21, 2013: You’re Grounded!

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* The US Marines’ F-35Bs are grounded because of a glitch in a fuel line used in the exhaust system. * The US Navy and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) are investigating whether a faulty digital nautical chart might be the reason why the USS Guardian (MCM 5) minesweeper ran into reef in Philippine waters last Thursday, where it remains grounded. * Embraer and AgustaWestland signed a Memorandum of Understanding “aiming at establishing a joint-venture which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.” As the phrasing indicates [emphasis: DID], this is not a finalized, operating deal yet. * Stan Collender, who knows a thing or two about the US federal budget: sequester and government shutdown more likely than fight over debt ceiling. * Edward Greer, who headed the Pentagon’s Development Test and Evaluation (DT&E) office, left to join the MIL Corporation as its COO. DT&E was created with the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA). This leaves Steven Hutchison [PDF] as its acting chief. * 60% of voters in a referendum in Austria chose to maintain conscription there. Deutsche Welle/AFP/DPA. * […]

* The US Marines’ F-35Bs are grounded because of a glitch in a fuel line used in the exhaust system.

* The US Navy and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) are investigating whether a faulty digital nautical chart might be the reason why the USS Guardian (MCM 5) minesweeper ran into reef in Philippine waters last Thursday, where it remains grounded.

* Embraer and AgustaWestland signed a Memorandum of Understanding “aiming at establishing a joint-venture which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.” As the phrasing indicates [emphasis: DID], this is not a finalized, operating deal yet.

* Stan Collender, who knows a thing or two about the US federal budget: sequester and government shutdown more likely than fight over debt ceiling.

* Edward Greer, who headed the Pentagon’s Development Test and Evaluation (DT&E) office, left to join the MIL Corporation as its COO. DT&E was created with the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (WSARA). This leaves Steven Hutchison [PDF] as its acting chief.

* 60% of voters in a referendum in Austria chose to maintain conscription there. Deutsche Welle/AFP/DPA.

* French Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 [in French] that Russia was part of the many countries that had offered aerial transport support to France’s operations in Mali.

* The UK’s House of Commons’ Scottish Affairs Committee believes “the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will not place an order for the type-26 new Royal Navy frigates until the constitutional position [DID: i.e. whether Scotland leaves the UK] is clear.”

* The AP reported that Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev announced a $700M increase in his country’s defense 2013 budget vs. $3B allocated last year.

* The Indian Navy is commissioning INS Saryu, the lead ship of a new class of homegrown Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).

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