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unhappycamper

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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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Deckhouse of new ($5 BILLION) destroyer ZUMWALT (DDG 1000) makes unplanned stop at Norfolk

http://blogs.defensenews.com/intercepts/2012/11/deckhouse-of-new-destroyer-zumwalt-ddg-1000-makes-unplanned-stop-at-norfolk/

Deckhouse of new destroyer ZUMWALT (DDG 1000) makes unplanned stop at Norfolk


No, the strange-looking blockhouse structure is not yet a ship — but wait a few years, it’ll be back with a proper hull under it.




Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:58 AM (1 replies)

Cerabino: Rep. Allen West wearing out his welcome with latest congressional race

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/cerabino-rep-west-wearing-out-his-welcome-with-lat/nSzrL/




Cerabino: Rep. Allen West wearing out his welcome with latest congressional race
Posted: 6:22 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
By Frank Cerabino

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

I’m sure Allen West has a bright future.

Just not anywhere around here. That ought to be clear by now.

Congressman West made a big splash on South Florida’s political scene as a buffoonish bitter commando who wanted to “take our country back from tyrants.”

Using the language of the battlefield, and still wearing his military decorations on his civilian clothes, West’s tough-guy routine played well with the tea party crowd.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:54 AM (1 replies)

Bradley Offspring, GCV, May Top 84 Tons, Heavier Than M1 Tank

http://defense.aol.com/2012/11/08/bradley-offspring-gcv-may-top-84-tons-hheavier-than-m1-tank/




Bradley Offspring, GCV, May Top 84 Tons, Heavier Than M1 Tank
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 8, 2012

What may weigh more than an M1 Abrams tank and carry 12 soldiers? The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle. New weight estimates for GCV, released this week by the Congressional Budget Office, will likely go over like a lead ballon with the program's critics in Congress and in the Army itself.

Depending on the model and add-on armor package, an M1 weighs 60 to 75.5 tons. According to a CBO report released this week, the General Dynamics design for the GCV weighs 64 to 70 tons. BAE's proposal is still heavier, at 70 to 84.

There's a tactical reason for all this weight: It's armor. The Ground Combat Vehicle is supposed to replace the Army's current frontline infantry carrier, the M2 Bradley, carrying more foot troops in back -- nine instead of six -- and protecting them better against everything from rocket-propelled grenades to roadside bombs. Even the most heavily uparmored models of the M2, at almost 40 tons, proved too vulnerable for the worst streets in Baghdad during the "surge," so commanders often sent 70-plus-ton M1s to clear the way. Even some of those M1s blew up, in part because the insurgents could build huge improvised explosive devices, in part because the M1's armor is mostly on the front to protect against enemy tanks, not on the underside.

So there is some logic to making any future troop carrier at least as heavy and well-protected as the M1 tank -- especially since it would have more American lives inside. It's just not the direction the Army was trying to go with GCV.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:35 AM (2 replies)

Spy Sat Costs Are 'Unsustainable,' Warns Space Commander; BTW, Don't Cut Space, Cyber

http://defense.aol.com/2012/11/07/spy-sat-costs-are-unsustainable-warns-space-commander-btw-d/




Spy Sat Costs Are 'Unsustainable,' Warns Space Commander; BTW, Don't Cut Space, Cyber
By Otto Kreisher
Published: November 7, 2012

WASHINGTON: The head of Air Force Space Command worries that tightening defense budgets and looming force structure cuts could reduce his critical space and cyber capabilities.

"Because these capabilities are so vital, and the need to maintain local and global capabilities, space and cyber capability doesn't really scale well with force structure reductions," Air Force Gen. William Shelton said Wednesday. "You either maintain global coverage or you don't."

Space Command must maintain force structure "in this fiscally constrained environment," he said. The budget "is always at risk," he said, particularly "at times like this, when there are a lot of people out there with their budget knives out." But, he added, "this is kind of a one or zero game. You either provide the kind of coverage needed to have full capability, or you don't."

At the same time, Shelton warned that producing national security satellites and the costs of launching them are "unsustainable." That limits America's abilities to replace them and increases our vulnerability should any be lost to either hostile acts or to accidents.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:32 AM (1 replies)

As NATO Nears Exit, Construction Dries Up

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/world/asia/as-nato-nears-exit-afghan-construction-dries-up.html



A driver at an Afghan construction company on Jalalabad Road, in Kabul, which is lined with formerly busy contracting firms and idled heavy equipment.


As NATO Nears Exit, Construction Dries Up
By ROD NORDLAND and SANGAR RAHIMI
Published: November 4, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Jalalabad Road, the heart of what might be called the Afghan capital’s military-industrial complex, has also become the place where heavy construction equipment comes to die.

Lined with Afghan and NATO military facilities and the contracting firms that serve them, the road is also garlanded with miles of brightly colored holding yards — in the yellows, oranges, blues and reds of backhoes and diggers, forklifts and bulldozers, cranes and cherry pickers, graders and rollers.

Most of them are new, or newish, and nearly all are idled. Nowhere is the impending collapse of Afghanistan’s construction industry more evident than here, where Afghan companies that hire out heavy equipment to construction firms have hit hard times.

“In the past two months nobody has rented a single piece of my machinery,” said Shafiq Ahmad Sidiqi, 28, who owns a construction company and rents out hydraulic lift platforms, of which he has 30 in various sizes. “The foreigners are leaving, and the money is drawing down.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:57 AM (1 replies)

Moss Point Northrop Grumman plant to produce another unmanned aircraft

http://www.sunherald.com/2012/11/06/4287309/moss-point-northrop-grumman-plant.html

Moss Point Northrop Grumman plant to produce another unmanned aircraft
Published: November 6, 2012
By KAREN NELSON — [email protected]

MOSS POINT -- Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point will begin production on a third type of aircraft next week.

The plant currently handles major assembly on Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk and Fire Scout.

But on Tuesday, the specially skilled workforce will begin three Tritons, also an unmanned aircraft.

"Triton will be provided to the Navy to monitor vast areas of open ocean and be able to fly missions up to 24 hours at altitudes over 11 miles high," said Warren Comer, spokesman for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "The Navy plans to build 68 aircraft, with these three being the start of those production efforts."
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:54 AM (0 replies)

Obama Foreign Policy To Face National Security Crises In Second Term, From Iran And Syria To China

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/obama-foreign-policy-second-term_n_2089122.html

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Obama Foreign Policy To Face National Security Crises In Second Term, From Iran And Syria To China
David Wood Become a fan
Posted: 11/07/2012 3:06 pm EST Updated: 11/08/2012 2:11 am EST

WASHINGTON -- In the last hours of the presidential campaign Monday, the Los Angeles class attack sub USS Jacksonville quietly slipped her moorings at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and headed west under hazy skies, likely carrying a combat loadout of Mark-48 anti-ship torpedoes and land-attack Tomahawk cruise missiles.

For six months, the Jacksonville will prowl the volatile Western Pacific with other U.S. warships -- a vivid reminder that beyond the campaign rhetoric, American military forces daily confront tricky national security challenges that the campaign did little to clarify.

From the violent uprising in Syria to the puzzle of rising superpower China's engagement in both global trade and cyber-war attacks, difficult problems confront President Barack Obama in his second term -- challenges that will require adept skill at managing both immediate crises and long-term problems.

~snip~

On the other side of the world, 66,000 American troops are holding on in Afghanistan, where the pledge endorsed by both former Republican nominee Romney and Obama to withdraw all U.S. combat troops by the end of 2014 appears to be in trouble. A devastating new report by the International Crisis Group concludes that deep corruption and political squabbling inside the Karzai government signal its unreadiness to hold new presidential elections that would pave the road home for U.S. and allied troops. Prospects for a smooth election, transition of power and the takeover of security by Afghan forces, the report said, "are slim."
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:34 AM (0 replies)

Obama's Second Term Foreign Policy Will Bring New Challenges Over Drone Strikes

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/obama-drone-strikes_n_2089836.html




Obama's Second Term Foreign Policy Will Bring New Challenges Over Drone Strikes
Joshua Hersh
Posted: 11/07/2012 5:17 pm EST Updated: 11/08/2012 2:08 am EST

WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday morning, as many Americans sifted through the voter data and exit poll numbers of President Barack Obama's reelection the night before, the Twitter feeds of close watchers of Yemen lit up with reports of another sort of presidential event: an apparent U.S. drone strike had killed several individuals in that country.

There was no way of being certain if the strike was indeed American, or for that matter if it was a drone strike at all, although it had all the markings of one.

"All signs (after dark, suspicions of locals, target) point to Sanhan strike being a US drone," Yemen-based freelance journalist Adam Baron wrote on Twitter.

~snip~

Whatever its provenance, the strike served as a macabre reminder of the burdens that Obama faces as he turns his attention away from the campaign and back to the business of being commander in chief.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Nov 8, 2012, 07:29 AM (0 replies)

The Next $1 Trillion Market: F-35 Sustainment Work

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121104/DEFREG02/311040001/The-Next-1-Trillion-Market-F-35-Sustainment-Work



Support work for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is projected to be worth more than $1 trillion over the next 50 years.


The Next $1 Trillion Market: F-35 Sustainment Work
Nov. 4, 2012 - 01:31PM |
By AARON MEHTA and MARCUS WEISGERBER

~snip~

That shift will be on full display starting Nov. 14, when more than 100 defense firms will descend on Washington for an industry day focusing on sustainment of the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Sustainment of the aircraft is projected to cost more than $1 trillion over the next 50 years, and the companies will be scoping how to snap up their piece of the JSF sustainment pie.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Nov 7, 2012, 09:32 AM (5 replies)

Pentagon arms buyer previews next phase of acquisition reforms

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/05/pentagon-acquisition-reforms-idUSL1E8M5EQV20121105

Pentagon arms buyer previews next phase of acquisition reforms
Mon Nov 5, 2012 5:28pm EST

WASHINGTON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The Pentagon's chief weapons buyer mapped out the next phase of a "better buying power" initiative on Monday, saying the U.S. military could do "infinitely better" in the way it buys weapons and services.

~snip~

He said new weapons programs generally had cost overruns of 27 to 28 percent, while major weapons programs were often 8 to 9 percent over budget during the early years of production.

Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co, Northrop Grumman Corp, General Dynamics Corp, Raytheon Co and other defense firms are awaiting news on the Pentagon's approach to contracts as they brace for lower defense spending after more than a decade of growth.

In recent years, many of the companies have criticized the Pentagon's war on overhead costs, arguing that government oversight itself sometimes makes weapons more expensive. They have also cited long delays in getting contracts signed.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Nov 7, 2012, 08:39 AM (0 replies)
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