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Rapid Fire March 1, 2013: Conventional Wisdom Denied

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* When a so-called super-committee was formed to negotiate US federal budget trade-offs, the conventional wisdom was that a lot of drama would be followed by a final hour deal. When the committee failed, it set in motion a sequestration trigger that, again, most observers thought would not come to pass. Yet, here we are, and it’s on, as last-minute bills failed. Statements from Speaker of the House John Boehner | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid | President Obama. The pattern is clear: the other side did it. * The next big fiscal milestone is March 27 when the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently taking care of FY13 spending – by definition at FY12 levels – is set to expire. If the CR is simply extended through the rest of the fiscal year, then new programs will suffer the most as there was no, or not enough, funding for them in the previous fiscal year. * The US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces had a hearing (video) yesterday on the impacts of the CR and sequester on acquisition. Heidi Shyu, head of the Army’s acquisition, sees [PDF] a reduction of about $3B in procurement and close […]

* When a so-called super-committee was formed to negotiate US federal budget trade-offs, the conventional wisdom was that a lot of drama would be followed by a final hour deal. When the committee failed, it set in motion a sequestration trigger that, again, most observers thought would not come to pass. Yet, here we are, and it’s on, as last-minute bills failed. Statements from Speaker of the House John Boehner | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid | President Obama. The pattern is clear: the other side did it.

* The next big fiscal milestone is March 27 when the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently taking care of FY13 spending – by definition at FY12 levels – is set to expire. If the CR is simply extended through the rest of the fiscal year, then new programs will suffer the most as there was no, or not enough, funding for them in the previous fiscal year.

* The US House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces had a hearing (video) yesterday on the impacts of the CR and sequester on acquisition. Heidi Shyu, head of the Army’s acquisition, sees [PDF] a reduction of about $3B in procurement and close to $1B in RDT&E for the rest of the fiscal year spread equally across 400+ programs. Among them, there will be less Apache AH-64s and OH-58 Kiowa Warriors. With sequestration Javelin missiles will see a 12% unit price increase because of reduced quantities. See also Air Force | Navy/Marines [PDFs].

* The US Marines cancelled their Improved Helmet Suspension System (IHSS) program yesterday. They had started market research in September 2012.

* UAVs are not a high priority for the US Coast Guard, said its Commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. They had been looking at ScanEagles in recent years.

* The Pentagon has been working on drafting a strategy to gain in-transit visibility over its massive logistics flows, but the GAO assesses what they have seen as far from comprehensive.

* DFARS regulation on how DoD should work with the GSA’s Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS – see DoD PDF FAQ) has been finalized with few changes from the October 2010 interim rule.

* Bernard Gray, the UK’s Chief of Defence Materiel, advocates more collaboration within NATO and Europe on large acquisition programs.

* Jean-Bernard Levy, recently appointed as Thales’ CEO, thinks increased sales to emerging markets are the solution to the company’s problems, rather than mergers and acquisitions.

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