* France’s foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius is the first of a series of Western officials to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and is #2 Arun Jaitley to discuss what some hope may be a new wave of defense acquisitions. Fabius is eager to finalize the Rafale contract, but like Qatar that may still stay in the “not quite done deal” category for a while. Meanwhile Modi is touting India’s cost effective satellite launching capabilities.
US Acquisition Policy
* The Government Accountability Office notes that the US Army and Air Force have yet to institutionalize their use of open systems the way the US Navy did years ago:
“Despite the positive developments we identified in this review and our July 2013 report, DOD continues to face a number of challenges to consistently and effectively implement an open systems approach to weapon acquisition. The most difficult challenge is overcoming a general cultural preference within the services for acquiring proprietary systems that puts life-cycle decisions in the hands of the contractors that developed and produced those systems.”
* The Pentagon adopted a final rule in its DFARS regulation establishing procedures for the timely notification of any contractor that performs a function that the Secretary plans to convert (in-source) to performance by DoD civilian employees and provide the congressional defense committees a copy of any such notification.
* The Defense Acquisition University’s latest AT&L magazine [PDF] looks at prototyping as a way to accelerate programs, and reviews how the AC-130J acquisition unfolded.
* The House Armed Services Committee had a hearing on successful DoD acquisitions last week, here are the transcripts.
* The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant insurgents rebranded themselves as just “The Islamic State” and self-proclaimed a caliphate spanning parts of Iraq and Syria.
* The latest clashes between the insurgents formerly known as ISIL and Iraq’s military mainly took place near Tikrit and Kirkuk, north of Baghdad.
Russia’s Ever More Frequent Border Flights
* Russia sent bombers near Canada’s airspace at least twice this month, in a pattern of similar testing/messaging from Moscow these past couple of years everywhere from the US west coast to Japan to northern Europe. US Army Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command, says “they are much, much better than they ever were during the Cold War.”
UK Track Show
* Today’s video is a recap of this year’s Defence Vehicle Dynamics in the UK, which adds an outdoors test track to the usual tradeshow booths: