Archive | March, 2007

Aerial Common Sensor Is Re-born

You might think the army would still be shy over publicity for the Aerial Common Sensor (ACS, for short). Some of you will recall that ACS was the acquisition program that got cancelled in January 2006 in a most embarrassing fashion. Somehow, Lockheed Martin promised the army that they could squeeze a 20,000-pound sensor on […]

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Super Dogs

I’d like to make an announcement. After four years and who-knows-how-many-billions, the Department of Defense has discovered a new potential sensor solution for the problem of detecting mines, such as improvised explosive devices. I give you the newly-unveiled pilot program for the "Munitions of Concern Detection Dog". Chew on that term "munitions of concern" for […]

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Globalize This

Let’s call it a bad week for the forces of globalization in the defense industry. Not that there’s ever been a truly good week, mind you. On Tuesday, ITT Corporation pleaded guilty to illegally outsourcing components of a night vision goggle to suppliers in China, Singapore and the UK without an export license. On Thursday, […]

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Pratt (or Rentschler) Day

‘Media Day’ at Pratt & Whitney headquarters was yesterday. I was there and so were 10 top Pratt executives and about other 15 reporters. After a mercifully brief corporate presentation in the morning, reporters got paired up with half-hour individual interviews with sector presidents for space, military, commercial, engineering and so forth. One executive called […]

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How the US Buys Weapons

"The weapon systems acquisition process apparently is out of control. Initial time and cost estimates and even updated estimates cannot be depended upon. Mandatory engineering changes arise continually throughout the process. Management information and control systems do not identify impending problems in time for preventive action to be taken." I am quoting from the book […]

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Special Forces Say ‘No’ to the M4 (barrel)

If somebody wanted to really help the US Army, they would do something about those godawful M4 carbines that American troops are forced to endure. This is a recurring theme in this blog, and I’m returning to it again because of yet new information that sheds light on the problem with the army’s standard-issue weapon […]

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Sufas For Sale

Well done to Defense News for this huge scoop: Lockheed Martin may offer the Indian Air Force a clone of the Israeli Air Force F-16I Sufa. This is the latest twist in the most important international arms deal of the year. India is soliciting bids for a contract to buy 126 multi-role fighters with extensive […]

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The JSF Numbers Game

Start thinking about two sets of numbers. They are: 5-16-47 2-12-16 The first series of numbers is good. The second series of numbers is disturbing. I’ll explain. Number 1 is the original production rate for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Look it up here (see the chart on page 6). This means the  […]

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Bell Helicopter Textron must stop work on the ARH-70 Arapaho. After a nearly one-year schedule slip, mounting technical problems and a recent crash of a prototype on its maiden flight, the army decided it was time for a re-think. At least that puts the Arapaho in good company. I’ll start with the HV-911 Eagle Eye, […]

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Spotted: ARH Is Dead … or Is It?

Is the contract for ARH — the army’s ARH-71A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter made by Bell Helicopter — dead or not? David S. Harvey, a very good journalist on rotorcraft issues for Shephard’s, may have a huge scoop today at Rotorhub.com that says yes. ARH: Bolton issues Show Cause letter; other options being studied The US […]

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