Japan, Germany Warily Eye Their Big Neighbors
- Japan released its latest annual defense whitepaper, with a wary eye on China’s increasing military spending and improving capabilities.
- Germany cancelled a €100M ($135M) deal to build a training camp for Russia. Deutsche Welle | Süddeutsche Zeitung [in German].
- The latest Western estimates [NYT] count as many as 21,000 Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.
- A paper [PDF] released for the Defense Acquisition Symposium in Washington argues that working off rough data to estimate the lifecycle costs of complex programs is much better than delaying logistics-oriented cost analysis.
- Here is the state [PDF] of the Advanced Amphibious Assault (AAS) program pursued by the US Marines. A Materiel Development Decision (MDD) was recently made, and they hope to operate about 200 vehicles early next decade, at a cost of $5-6M each.
- Several USMC program managers will hold an industry day on Target Engagement Systems in Stafford, VA on September 11.
- India’s MoD has put all new deals with Finmeccanica on hold [Times of India] until it gets “the attorney general’s opinion on the entire blacklisting issue in the VVIP helicopter case.”
- The Italian firm released its half-year results [PDF], with revenue down 1.1% to €6.6B ($8.8B). However new orders rebounded strongly from last year with a 1.1 book-to-bill ratio, thanks to helicopter deals with the UK. This helped grow the backlog by 8% to €37.7B ($50.3B). Video presentation from CEO Mauro Moretti.
- Israel is pulling some of its troops [BBC] from Gaza after the first of several cease-fires that looks like it may actually have heft.
You’re Not Yet Paranoid Enough
- Researchers from MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can rebuild audio signals by analyzing video of minute vibrations affecting common objects. They were able to pick up faint but somewhat intelligible speech from high-speed video of a potato chip bag. Video below: