Flash: email fm GeoEye CEO says “we are proposing acquisition of DigitalGlobe.” ALSO, EnhancedView “fully funded” thru 2012 contract year @Colinclarkaol
WASHINGTON: Congress needs to take a larger role in deciding how to get unmanned technologies into the hands of American allies while keeping them out of hands of U.S. adversaries, according to a new congressional study.
The use of unmanned systems on the modern-day battlefield has increased significantly over the past decade. Unmanned aircraft have become the weapon of choice for U.S. military and intelligence agencies in counterterrorism missions across the globe. So far, American defense firms have been the biggest beneficiaries of this boom in the drone market. But as the rest of the industrialized world begins to catch up in unmanned technology, there are concerns the U.S. could fall to second place — or further — to a number of near-peer countries. “Much new business is likely to be generated in the [unmanned systems] market, and if U.S. companies fail to capture this market share, European, Russian, Israeli, Chinese, or South African companies will,” analysts from the Congressional Research Service claim in a Jan. 3 report. Competition for unmanned technologies will only get more intense as U.S. firms begin to look to overseas markets to bolster their bottom lines. Keep reading →
WHITE SANDS, NM: After weeks of testing at the Army’s vast facility here a private summed up the service’s newest iteration of the so-called Nett Warrior communication system in one phrase: “It ain’t ready.”
Soldiers with the 2nd Heavy Combat Brigade, 1st Armored Division (2/1 Armored) spent several weeks at the Army’s latest network integration exercise here putting Nett Warrior and other communication systems through their paces. Nett Warrior was so flawed it might well end up getting American soldiers hurt or killed if put into the field, five soldiers told me. The Army plans to ship out the first iteration of Nett Warrior to Afghanistan next year. The system being sent overseas in October will be a less-capable “bridge” version of Nett Warrior, Army spokesman Paul Mehney said. The full version of the system should hit the field sometime in 2014. Keep reading →
Washington: Defense giant Boeing is wasting no time pushing its newest attack helicopter onto the international market.
Boeing is already fielding informal solicitations from a number of foreign militaries about the newest version of the Army’s AH-64 Apache. Representatives from several foreign militaries visited Boeing’s facility in Mesa, Arizona to commemorate the delivery of the first Block III Apache to the Army, Mike Burke, director of business development for the company’s attack helicopter division, said yesterday. Keep reading →
UPDATED Washington: The list of jobs being piled onto the Navy’s newest do-it-all ship might get a little bit longer in the near future.
The Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command have held informal talks with the Navy about the possibility of developing new mission module packages for the Littoral Combat Ship, to support their respective operations. Keep reading →
F-35 AF-1 and AF-2 Ferry Flight to Edwards AFB showing 2 F-35s in flight and aerial refueling
Depending on what figures you use, the United States is either going to spend as much as $1 trillion — with a T — on the F-35 program over its life or something closer to $379 billion to design and build 2,443 of the fifth-generation fighter. That second number does not include the costs of operating and maintaining the aircraft, which typically comprise 70 percent or more of a weapon systems total cost, so the first number is likely more accurate. But how accurate? The numbers are very difficult to pin down so early in the program. For all the effort the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and NASA put into it, cost estimating and judging life cycle costs is daunting work. Keep reading →