Rapid Fire Sept. 20, 2013: Getting Ready for Potential US Federal Shutdown

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* The Pentagon is brushing up on its shutdown plans as there is less than 2 weeks to go before the US federal government potentially legislates itself out of money. Meanwhile the defense authorization bill won’t even be brought to the Senate floor before December. * Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani pulled a Putin by writing an Op Ed in the Washington Post calling for constructive multilateral diplomacy, a day after Syrian President Bashard al-Assad went out of his way to sound reasonable – even soft – in an interview with Fox News. But even the New York Times acknowledges that such a “quick turn of fortunes”, as diplomatic options apparently open up with Syria and Iran, may turn out to be elusive. * Turkey’s parliament recently approved a defense cooperation agreement signed with Saudi Arabia back in May. * Bosphorus Naval News is trying to keep up with all the naval surface vessels currently in the Eastern Mediterranean. * The latest from DARPA: 1) a Request for Information for to improve the autonomy and collaborative capabilities of UAVs, without relying on space assets; and 2) a Proposer’s Day on October 7 in Arlington, VA, to present their XS-1 program, […]

* The Pentagon is brushing up on its shutdown plans as there is less than 2 weeks to go before the US federal government potentially legislates itself out of money. Meanwhile the defense authorization bill won’t even be brought to the Senate floor before December.

* Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani pulled a Putin by writing an Op Ed in the Washington Post calling for constructive multilateral diplomacy, a day after Syrian President Bashard al-Assad went out of his way to sound reasonable – even soft – in an interview with Fox News. But even the New York Times acknowledges that such a “quick turn of fortunes”, as diplomatic options apparently open up with Syria and Iran, may turn out to be elusive.

* Turkey’s parliament recently approved a defense cooperation agreement signed with Saudi Arabia back in May.

* Bosphorus Naval News is trying to keep up with all the naval surface vessels currently in the Eastern Mediterranean.

* The latest from DARPA: 1) a Request for Information for to improve the autonomy and collaborative capabilities of UAVs, without relying on space assets; and 2) a Proposer’s Day on October 7 in Arlington, VA, to present their XS-1 program, a fast reusable aircraft meant to put payloads into low earth orbit (LEO) for less than $5M/launch.

* Finland’s 2014 defense budget is down by more than 4% to 2.75 billion euros (about $3.7B), driven by a drop in procurement spending. Ministry of Defence [in Finnish] | Defense News.

* Nexter CEO Philippe Burtin said he’s not interested in splitting the company in two, which pours cold water on an offer from Renault Truck Defense (RTD) boss Gérard Amiel to merge RTD with Nexter’s vehicle business. Les Echos | La Tribune [both links in French].

* Tunisia is considering upgrading the avionics of its fleet of 12 F-5s.

* Today’s video shows US Marines during a forward aerial refueling exercise in Japan:

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