Rapid Fire, Sept. 16, 2013: US Navy FY14 Sequester Impact

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* US Navy Chief of Information Rear Adm. John Kirby writes about the FY14 budget outlook: “Sequestration could cost us a littoral combat ship, an afloat forward staging base/mobile landing platform, and up to 25 aircraft (Prowler, JSF, Osprey and others) needed for our future fleet. It will also delay a Virginia-class submarine.” * USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is starting a 14-month Drydocking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) in Norfolk Naval Shipyard. * An agreement reached between the US and Russia on Saturday would start inspections of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria in November, with their destruction starting next year. Believe it, or not. * The UN inspectors sent to investigate the August 21 attack near Damascus did conclude [PDF] that sarin gas was used against civilians, though they note several times that the sites had seen heavy foot traffic by other individuals before and during the investigation, with signs of tampering with possible evidence. * India’s 2nd test of an Agni-5 ballistic missile succeeded yesterday: DRDO [PDF] | Business Standard | Economic Times. * China’s carrier-based J-15 jets possibly enter mass production, if the usual Chinese military/propaganda tassology can be trusted. * According to IsraelDefense, the US and […]

* US Navy Chief of Information Rear Adm. John Kirby writes about the FY14 budget outlook:

“Sequestration could cost us a littoral combat ship, an afloat forward staging base/mobile landing platform, and up to 25 aircraft (Prowler, JSF, Osprey and others) needed for our future fleet. It will also delay a Virginia-class submarine.”

* USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is starting a 14-month Drydocking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) in Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

* An agreement reached between the US and Russia on Saturday would start inspections of chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria in November, with their destruction starting next year. Believe it, or not.

* The UN inspectors sent to investigate the August 21 attack near Damascus did conclude [PDF] that sarin gas was used against civilians, though they note several times that the sites had seen heavy foot traffic by other individuals before and during the investigation, with signs of tampering with possible evidence.

* India’s 2nd test of an Agni-5 ballistic missile succeeded yesterday: DRDO [PDF] | Business Standard | Economic Times.

* China’s carrier-based J-15 jets possibly enter mass production, if the usual Chinese military/propaganda tassology can be trusted.

* According to IsraelDefense, the US and Israel are currently considering transferring a part of the production of Iron Dome interceptor missiles from Israel to the US (Raytheon in all likelihood).

* Senator David Johnston will reportedly be Australia’s new defence minister, after having been the Liberals’ shadow defence minister for years. Jason Clare, who was Minister for Defence Materiel twice in Labor governments in recent years, will be their shadow defence minister.

* An unknown 3rd-party wanted to get [PDF] pricing and payment information about Australia’s LAND 58 AN TPQ36 radar acquisition from Raytheon, using a Freedom of Information request. They didn’t get much in return [PDF] because “disclosure of this information would have an unreasonable and significantly adverse effect on the owner of the information, as it would provide visibility of commercially sensitive pricing information to potential competitors in the market.”

* Dakota Meyer and Bing West decry how visa applications from Afghan interpreters are handled in practice:

“The State Department has defied Congress by denying visas to thousands of interpreters who […] fight alongside our soldiers. Congress has authorized 1,500 visas per year for Afghans who have assisted us; the State Department annually approves about 200. […] To qualify for a visa, Afghan interpreters must provide recommendations from U.S. officers and be interviewed and approved by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The next step is the bottleneck: If approved there, the application must be reviewed by security committees in Washington.

* With survival rates higher than in more conventional conflicts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in more research being dedicated to alleviating or curing non-fatal conditions. This goes beyond the loss of limbs, as brain damage (TBI) from explosives-caused pressure can be lasting.

* Today’s video below shows the final sorties for RQ-4As as they’re replaced by RQ-4Bs, and what the upgrade brings:

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