Rapid Fire Jan. 22, 2013: Fix These Ships (Or Not)

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* In the absence of FY13 appropriations, the US Navy is stuck with Ticonderoga-class cruisers that it wanted to decommission but Congress decided otherwise. However federal funding is currently provided by a continuing resolution (i.e. the extension of FY12 spending levels) that does not include money to maintain, let alone upgrade these ships. Congressional cognitive dissonance? Say it ain’t so. Virginian-Pilot | CRS backgrounder [Dec. 2012 PDF]. * NAVSEA has issued solicitation N00024-13-R-4400 for the Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of USS Porter (DDG 78). Work will include repairs after the destroyer crashed with a tanker last August. Bids expected by Feb. 15, 2013. Voyage repairs were made in the UAE and the ship returned to Norfolk, VA, in November. * The NYT notes that China, flush with 3 trillion dollars in foreign reserves, is investing in aerospace which in turn raises security questions. The appropriate time for such considerations from lawmakers and the media would have been before selling China more than one trillion dollars worth of US treasuries [CRS briefing, PDF]. * The French edition of China’s People Daily claims that India’s imminent purchase of Rafale jets will fuel aggressive and expansionist ambitions and pose a “serious […]

* In the absence of FY13 appropriations, the US Navy is stuck with Ticonderoga-class cruisers that it wanted to decommission but Congress decided otherwise. However federal funding is currently provided by a continuing resolution (i.e. the extension of FY12 spending levels) that does not include money to maintain, let alone upgrade these ships. Congressional cognitive dissonance? Say it ain’t so. Virginian-Pilot | CRS backgrounder [Dec. 2012 PDF].

* NAVSEA has issued solicitation N00024-13-R-4400 for the Extended Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of USS Porter (DDG 78). Work will include repairs after the destroyer crashed with a tanker last August. Bids expected by Feb. 15, 2013. Voyage repairs were made in the UAE and the ship returned to Norfolk, VA, in November.

* The NYT notes that China, flush with 3 trillion dollars in foreign reserves, is investing in aerospace which in turn raises security questions. The appropriate time for such considerations from lawmakers and the media would have been before selling China more than one trillion dollars worth of US treasuries [CRS briefing, PDF].

* The French edition of China’s People Daily claims that India’s imminent purchase of Rafale jets will fuel aggressive and expansionist ambitions and pose a “serious threat to peace and stability in Asia.” How do you translate “chutzpah” in Mandarin Chinese?

* Graphene, a carbon material with (possibly) a bright future ahead, is the topic of a surge in patent applications, especially in China and South Korea, says [PDF] research firm CambridgeIP. Korean electronics/industrial conglomerate Samsung is leading [PDF] with a portfolio of more than 400 patents.

* United Technologies has reached an agreement with Triumph Group to sell them a pump and engine control systems business they had to divest after acquiring Goodrich. A sale of that unit to TransDigm fell apart last month because regulatory authorities objected. They hope the transaction will close later this quarter.

* France now has more than 2,000 troops either already in Mali or about to get there, including [in French] soldiers from the 92th Infantry Regiment coming with VBCI APCs to be transported on the Dixmude LHD.

* The US has helped France’s Operation Serval with transport aircraft, but whether they will provide tankers is still under discussion, according to the Financial Times.

* Russia will reportedly honor its 2010 order with Italy’s Iveco for Lynx LMVs, but a Russian competitor still hopes to get similar contracts in the future, as more tests are scheduled by the Defense Ministry.

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