Talkin C-17 Blues

For my weekly appearance on Federal News Radio, the topic was the future of the C-17 production line. To sum up: it’s not as bleak as Boeing says it is. Listen to the interview here: Download 03052007_fednewsradio.wma

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The F-35B Strikes Back (Part 2)

The debate continues about V/STOL, the Harrier and the F-35B. Bob Ehling comments: VTOL also gives the Harrier the capacity to "viff" (vector in forward flight), which allegedly gave it a high kill ratio at low altitudes in Red Flag exercises some time ago. The F-35′s lift fan may have similar attributes for future ACM, […]

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Source Watch: Wheeler on Defense Budget

Earlier today, I forecasted that the DOD budget will soon equal the 5% of GDP benchmark clumsily called for by the American Enterprise Institute. To sum up: the AEI’s Gary J. Schmitt and Thomas Donnelly think the defense budget should rise until it hits about 5% of GDP. And, as I pointed out, that’s redundant. […]

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Baaaaaddddd Typo

All typos are bad. Some are REAL bad. Read it on DefenseLink: Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $23,700,000 cost-reimbursement contract on Mar. 2, 2007, to procure long lead material in support of the FY07 production of Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSM) for NATO Seasparrow Consortium countries and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.    Raytheon […]

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Source Watch: Aboulafia on C-17

Richard Aboulafia, The DEW Line’s favorite logorrheic aerospace analyst for the Teal Group, gave The Los Angeles Times on March 3 an interesting quote about the future of the approaching-death’s-door-again C-17 production line. Says the Times story: But the program is likely to get another reprieve, much as it did last fall, because of strong […]

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The F-35B Strikes Back

I’ve made some new friends and some apparently bitter enemies with my recent rant on the relative merits of V/STOL technology for fighters. One comment posted at DefenseTech.org, which was nice enough to cross-post the item, is so good that I’m cross-posting it back here. I think the anonymous SteveD is really onto something: The […]

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Somebody Give Schmitt and Donnelly a Calculator

Good news! Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006 was a whopping $13.2539 trillion. Now that we know that, The DEW Line gets to ask the billion (or even trillion-) dollar question: how much of that bounty needs to be invested in the defense budget? Your answer will depend on how you read the trends in […]

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The Revolving Door Series: Robert “Ched-Bob” Chedister

Meet retired Major General Robert "Ched-Bob" Chedister, former commander of the US Air Force Air Armament Center (AAC) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Under Chedister’s watch from 2003-2005, the AAC conducted the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) competition, eliciting bids from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The contract award went to Boeing, but that was partially […]

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Oil-Free By 2050

The US military needs oil — about 300,000 barrels a day, in fact — to fight. Lots of oil comes from the same places where the military actually is fighting today, or may be fighting sometime in the not so distant future (Iran, are you listening?) Oh, the irony! It should come as no surprise […]

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The Infantry’s Curse (Part 2)

It’s the US Air Force to the rescue again. A couple years ago, the army cancelled a program to replace the .9mm berretta with a larger-calibre handgun. Special operations attempted to revive the Joint Combat Pistol program a year later, but that, too, was cancelled. Now the air force is taking the lead, according to […]

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