Any major military acquisition program, from the M1 Abrams tank, to the FA-18A Hornet, to the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft may reliably depend upon a vocal critic within the Pentagon to decry its lack of war fighting effectiveness and operational suitability. Defense acquisition is necessarily a zero-sum game, and a funded program is a [...]
Abu Muqawama – AKA Andrew Exum of the Center for New American Security – has the inside scoop on the Pee Haitch Dee track and the Washington Beltway think tank market.
I satisfy myself with the notion that, having carelessly spent my youth flying fighters, I have every intention of spending my [...]
The Castle’s BillT has had quite a role mentoring the nascent Iraqi Air Force in fixed-wing trainers and fling-wing aircraft. The time has just about come for things to get serious (WSJ subscription required):
Iraq has quietly started negotiations to buy U.S. fighter jets and air-defense systems worth billions of dollars, a purchase Washington [...]
Writing in the pages of the WSJ, former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld sounds a cautionary note to his next-but-one successor:
Our country has taken an ax to our national security budget—both the Defense Department and the intelligence community—after every war of the 20th century. And every time we later regretted it. After years of grinding [...]
Bad news for NGC’s Global Hawk program:
A new version of Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Global Hawk drone is “not operationally effective for conducting near-continuous, persistent” intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions that it was designed to conduct, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester.
The RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 was capable of providing [...]
Boeing is shopping a groovy list of options to foreign Super Hornet customers at an airshow in India:
Improvements include the Next Generation Cockpit outfitted with a new 11-by-19 inch large area display with integrated intuitive graphics and increased situational awareness.
“Basically, it’s one big iPad, which provides the pilot with a large increase [...]
The Fort Wort Star-Telegram has a pre-postmortem on the F-35 schedule delays. As usual, it comes down to a fundamental lack of realism on the front end, in terms of technology risk, schedule and cost, and change management in process, as engineers were dedicated to re-working the Marines’ F-35B STOVL variant for weight creep:
U.S. Nears Deal For Russian Copters
The U.S. military plans to award an exclusive contract to Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport to supply helicopters for Afghanistan’s military, speeding a deal that was outlined as part of a “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations.
In a Jan. 13 notice, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Contracting [...]
The PRC’s J-20 “5th Generation” stealth fighter needs to get its boogie on, if it’s going to be operationally effective according to the crew at Aviation Leak:
China’s newest combat aircraft prototype, the J-20, will require an intense development program if it is going to catch up with fast-moving anti-stealth advances.
In fact, anti-stealth [...]
John Noonan – who has really grown up in the world – writes in the Weekly Standard that the way to untie the USAF tanker replacement’s Gordian acquisition knot is to buy from both Boeing and EADS:
With Airbus and Boeing producing capable aircraft with unique advantages, Congress could split the baby with a [...]