29 Jul 12. The Army has started a behind-the-scenes campaign to defend its homegrown battlefield intelligence system against critics in the field and in Congress. The Army is implying that soldiers’ requests for a competing spy tool are “ghost written” by defense contractors, internal documents show. Rep. Duncan Hunter has accused the Army of making it difficult for soldiers in Afghanistan to buy a software system called Palantir. In internal emails to the Pentagon, deployed soldiers have raved about the off-the-shelf program’s ability to calculate where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are buried. (Source: glstrade.com/Washington Times)
02 Aug 12. Raytheon Company delivered the 2,000th Evolved SeaSparrow Missile to the NATO SeaSparrow Consortium. Deployed by the U.S. Navy and 11 international fleets, ESSM defends the battlespace by delivering ship self-defense firepower against high-G maneuvering anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as surface and low-velocity air threats. As a tail-controlled missile, ESSM uses recent enhancements to its guidance system to take advantage of improved seeker sensitivity, increased propulsion and greater weapon accuracy. Combined, these features result in ESSM arriving at the intercept point with more speed and agility to counter the threat.
02 Aug 12. Defense Appropriations Includes Earmark for Wasteful Missile Program – Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Despite being rejected by three-out-of-four relevant congressional committees, the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on July 31, 2012 included in its version of the Department of Defense (DOD) spending bill $380m for the widely-criticized Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Since no authorization exists for MEADS, the funding added by the Senate subcommittee qualifies as an earmark under Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) longstanding criteria. This development comes on the heels of a letter from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging further funding for MEADS. Panetta cited the age-old excuse that cancelling the program would jeopardize transatlantic cooperation and lead to a dispute over cancellation costs.
However, a confidential April 2012 DOD report obtained by CAGW concluded that the U.S. can withdraw from the contract without committing additional money or paying termination fees. The report cited language in the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding among the three countries stating that if Congress fails to appropriate funding for MEADS, the U.S. can extricate itself from the program without penalty. In other words, the objections of Germany and Italy would not matter. Further, discontinuing funding for MEADS does not seem likely to irrevocably alter defense procurement cooperation between the U.S. and Europe given the skepticism with which Germany and Italy view the long-term viability of MEADS, and the close partnership the U.S. has with European nations on many other defense projects. The Obama Administration has previously advocated cancelling MEADS after the completion of the so-called Proof of Concept phase that was to run for two years ending after fiscal year (FY) 2013. To this end, the President requested $400.9m for MEADS. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)
14 Jun 12. Dillon Aero looks to podded system for M134D. Dillon Aero has developed a pod system for its widely deployed 7.62 mm M134D Gatling gun. Speaking to IHS Jane’s at the Eurosatory 2012 exhibition in Paris, Alan Neugebauer, Dillon Aero’s marketing director, said the company has developed the system with the close air support (CAS) role in mind. The pod is designated the DGP2300. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
26 Jul 12. Sanctions may have hampered Iran’s ballistic missile plans. There is mounting evidence to suggest that sanctions imposed on Iran may have affected Tehran’s plans to develop and produce long-range ballistic missiles capable of striking potential targets in western Europe and be