Rapid Fire Feb. 28, 2013: Light Air Support Reawarded to Sierra Nevada / Embraer

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* The US Air Force awarded again its $427M contract (with a $950M maximum) for light air support (LAS) aircraft for the Afghan forces to the team which had already won last year, before the Company Now Known as Beechcraft contested the acquisition and the Air Force cancelled the award.. * After having run a series of articles heavily criticizing big-ticket US weapon systems, Bloomberg puts procurement in perspective: it’s personnel costs driven by healthcare that have really jacked up spending at the Pentagon through the past decade. In comparison, jeremiads about acquisition, while justified, are decades old. Defense departments across industrialized countries are facing at a smaller scale the same tightening demographic and fiscal constraints faced by these nations as a whole. * The Washington Post boils down guidance [PDF] from the Office of Personnel Management for federal employees about to face furloughs. Yes, you should come to work tomorrow. * Far-center New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, about the Administration’s dire sequestration admonitions: “Spare me.” * The Administration is no doubt overstating the supposed effects of the sequester, but the Budget Control Act makes DoD bear half of these discretionary budget cuts. General Dynamics NASSCO notified 375 employees they […]

* The US Air Force awarded again its $427M contract (with a $950M maximum) for light air support (LAS) aircraft for the Afghan forces to the team which had already won last year, before the Company Now Known as Beechcraft contested the acquisition and the Air Force cancelled the award..

* After having run a series of articles heavily criticizing big-ticket US weapon systems, Bloomberg puts procurement in perspective: it’s personnel costs driven by healthcare that have really jacked up spending at the Pentagon through the past decade. In comparison, jeremiads about acquisition, while justified, are decades old. Defense departments across industrialized countries are facing at a smaller scale the same tightening demographic and fiscal constraints faced by these nations as a whole.

* The Washington Post boils down guidance [PDF] from the Office of Personnel Management for federal employees about to face furloughs. Yes, you should come to work tomorrow.

* Far-center New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, about the Administration’s dire sequestration admonitions: “Spare me.”

* The Administration is no doubt overstating the supposed effects of the sequester, but the Budget Control Act makes DoD bear half of these discretionary budget cuts. General Dynamics NASSCO notified 375 employees they might be laid off soon.

* Huntington Ingalls Industries reported 2012 sales up 2% to $6.7B. Their product/service mix remains stable at about 86%/13%. Total backlog was down 4.7% to $15.5B (backlog was 66% funded at the end of 2011, where that stands now will have to wait till the 10K report).

* Vladimir Putin confirmed in a speech to senior Russian officers that he plans a massive modernization program for the country’s military forces. Kremlin | AP.

* China’s Navy received its first corvette in the new mass-produced Type 056 class. China calls them frigates but their displacement is below 1,500 tons, far from what most navies file as a frigate. Official announcement | Taipei Times.

* The US Army’s Product Director Army Watercraft Systems (PD AWS) has an RFI [PDF] out for Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) approved rescue boats. These 15′-17′ (4.5-5m) boats will be for the US Coast Guard.

* What the Indian press has already judged and sentenced as the “chopper scam” is going to be subjected to an investigation from a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee. Defense Minister AK Antony says he wants to get to the bottom of what happened in the deal with AgustaWestland, but some ask why he waited until the Italians arrested former Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi before ordering an Indian investigation of long-known corruption allegations. In a new hearing yesterday, Orsi continued to deny any wrongdoing, report La Repubblica and RAI [both in Italian].

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