House Armed Services Subcommittee Chairmen Shuffle Chairs
- US House Armed Services Committee Chairman-elect Thornberry announced subcommittee chairs: Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities: Joe Wilson [SC – was Thornberry]; Seapower and Projection Forces: Randy Forbes [VA – same]; Military Personnel: Joe Heck [NV – was Joe Wilson]; Tactical Air and Land Forces: Michael Turner [OH – same]; Strategic Forces: Mike Rogers [AL – same]; Readiness: Rob Wittman [VA – same]; Oversight and Investigations: Vicky Hartzler [MO – was Joe Heck, she’s the only new entrant]. All Republicans of course since the GOP controls the lower house.
- BAE Systems is to buy Eclipse Electronic Systems from Esterline for $28M. Reuters.
- Earlier this week AVIC president Lin Zuoming sounded very confident in the superiority of the J-31 over the F-35. Today an anonymous source at AVIC is deflating expectations in the Global Times.
Russia & Europe
- Commissioning of the 1st nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine in Russia’s Borei class had to wait for 5 years after launch because of software problems, but 2 years later these issues seem to have been resolved as boat #2 was commissioned a year ago and the 3rd sub in the class was just accepted [TASS] by the Russian navy. 3 others are currently under construction, and 2 final boats are planned for unspecified dates.
- The 2nd of 4 Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates under construction in Russia was launched today [TASS]. The lead ship in project 22350 is expected to be commissioned soon now.
- Ukraine’s defense Minister Stepan Poltorak asked parliament for a 50 billion hryvnias ($3.2B) defense budget for 2015, as well as an increase in the number of troops. That’s a sizable increase, but financing will be more difficult than ever as the country is again on the verge of bankruptcy. Interfax Ukraine | Russia’s TASS | Deutche Welle.
- Ukraine’s new truce sort of worked for its first 24 hours, since shots fired didn’t result in casualties: Bloomberg | Ukraine MoD.
- Today’s video was released earlier this week by the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research and shows tests that proceeded aboard USS Ponce during a deployment in the Persian Gulf between September and November. The CRS has a good backgrounder [PDF] on shipboard lasers. Sadly the Iranians missed an opportunity to test their “US designed” UAVs in the process.