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Budgets | China | Daily Rapid Fire | Fighters & Attack | Fuel & Power | Issues - Political | Missiles - Ballistic | Textron | University-related | USA

Rapid Fire, June 10/13: New Space & Old Estimating Games

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* POGO’s Winslow Wheeler has just finished dissecting the F-35 program’s official costs, in a series for TIME’s Battleleand. Agree or disagree, it’s a substantive criticism. Summary? “PAUCs based on unachievable production numbers, APUCs derived from learning curves that never happen, URFs that assume that purchasers want to buy airplanes they cannot operate, prices translated into obsolete dollars, convenient declarations of savings to be realized 25 years from now, predictions proclaimed to be as reliable as a coin flip.” * Bell Helicopter workers rejected the firm’s offer, and may head out on strike soon. Main issues include a proposed shift from defined benefit to matched-investment retirement plans, and less rigidity re: who can do certain jobs. * The US House Armed Services Committee votes to restrict new uniform camouflage patterns, unless they’re open for use by other American military services. There’s some military benefit to having service patterns, but overall, the sharing idea is sound. HASC also want a Joint Combat Uniform base design within 5 years, which is much less likely to be successful. * The Jamestown Foundation publishes “How China Got There First: Beijing’s Unique Path to ASBM [DID: Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile] Development and Deployment.” Short answer: not […]

* POGO’s Winslow Wheeler has just finished dissecting the F-35 program’s official costs, in a series for TIME’s Battleleand. Agree or disagree, it’s a substantive criticism. Summary? “PAUCs based on unachievable production numbers, APUCs derived from learning curves that never happen, URFs that assume that purchasers want to buy airplanes they cannot operate, prices translated into obsolete dollars, convenient declarations of savings to be realized 25 years from now, predictions proclaimed to be as reliable as a coin flip.”

* Bell Helicopter workers rejected the firm’s offer, and may head out on strike soon. Main issues include a proposed shift from defined benefit to matched-investment retirement plans, and less rigidity re: who can do certain jobs.

* The US House Armed Services Committee votes to restrict new uniform camouflage patterns, unless they’re open for use by other American military services. There’s some military benefit to having service patterns, but overall, the sharing idea is sound. HASC also want a Joint Combat Uniform base design within 5 years, which is much less likely to be successful.

* The Jamestown Foundation publishes “How China Got There First: Beijing’s Unique Path to ASBM [DID: Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile] Development and Deployment.” Short answer: not from the Russians, and not entirely from the Americans.

* If you haven’t heard the term “New Space” yet, pay attention. The USAF may have throttled back on “Operationally Responsive Space,” but private industry and universities are charging ahead. Your future competitors are in this space – and so are some of your top recruits. This video below discusses a Penn State project called “Lunar Lion,” which aims to land on the moon again and win an X-Prize:

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