* The Air Force again concluded it should phase out the A-10, after an oddly brief reconsideration period (a week). The plan is to move the close air support mission to F-16s and F-15s until such time as the F-35A can take on the role, which is not expected to be soon. General Herbert Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command mused that at some point after the A-10 budget has been shunted to the F-35 program, the Air Force could conceivably replace it, and even named a potential contender, the Textron Airland Scorpion.
* After dropping more than 3,000 bombs along with its allies, the U.S. is looking at what it might need to do to
* Procurer-in-chief Frank Kendall said that cyber attacks on U.S. weapons programs are pervasive and that future procurement will pay much more attention to maintaining secure systems.
* More and more it seems that the Navy many need to hedge its bets on the F-35, keeping the F/A-18 production lines open (scheduled to be done current orders in 2017) in order to retain adequate protection for its other aircraft. It also is not lost on the Navy that it can purchase three or four Super Hornets for the cost of an F-35, which matters in times of sequestration.
* The Navy is using underwater drones to suss out the salinity, temperature, currents and melting patterns in what are likely to become shipping lanes in the Arctic.
* Alaska appears to be making some progress in winning a basing decision for the F-35.
* The European Commission president suggested in an interview that the 28 EU nations should combine their militaries. Europe’s militaries have in recent decades been more instruments of industrial policy than military capacity. Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposal would be designed to attack this weakness, but it presupposes that various European nations have the same foreign policy and military designs; likely to be a tough sell in some capitals.
* A competent review of the Russian Borei class boomer included the total cost estimate of the first of the new SSBNs: $713 million, including the research and design. It isn’t an SSBN-X, but it appears to be effective in its deterrent role for a third the cost of an Ohio-class U.S. boomer.
* The Netherlands are looking to diversify their UAV portfolio.
* China is rebadging its Changjiang-10 cruise missiles as Dongfeng-10, or DF-10s.
* Australia is putting out for tender a request for 21 patrol boats to be provided to a dozen Pacific island neighbors.
* China is pushing hard to increase its share of the Latin American military exports market, selling cheaper goods and – key for several countries – goods without pesky restrictions.
* The U.S. State Department approved a potential sale of M31 Unitary Guided Multiple Launch rocket Systems to Jordan.
* A look at technology used to explore under the ice (this project in the Antarctic, rather than the arctic)…