Monthly Archives: February 2013

Judge accepts Manning pleas; 12 charges remain

(The Associated Press) FORT MEADE, Md. — Bradley Manning, the Army private arrested in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that could send him to prison for 20 years, saying he was trying to expose the American military’s “bloodlust” and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LAS in, LAS out: Counter-Insurgency Planes for the USA and its Allies

Winner(click to view full) The USA needs a plane that can provide effective precision close air support and JTAC training, and costs about $1,000 per flight hour to operate – instead of the $15,000+ they’re paying now to use advanced jet fighters at 10% of their capabilities. Countries on the front lines of the war’s battles needed a plane that small or new air forces can field within a reasonable time, and use effectively. If these 2 needs are filled by the same aircraft, everything becomes easier for US allies and commanders. One would think that this would have been obvious around October 2001, but it took until 2008 for this understanding to even gain momentum within the Pentagon. A series of intra-service, political, and legal fights have ensured that these capabilities won’t arrive before 2015 at the earliest, and won’t arrive for the USAF at all…

CVN-72 Carrier RCOH: Shall not Perish, but May Be Delayed


Somewhere, overthe rainbow…(click to view full) Nuclear reactors save a lot of diesel fuel on huge ships like aircraft carriers, but there’s a catch. Mid-way through the ship’s 50-year life, the nuclear reactor needs to be refueled. The resulting “Refueling and Complex OverHaul” (RCOH) is a long, complex, potentially hazardous, and very expensive process, which also includes widespread upgrades throughout the ship. Anyone who has ever done home renovations knows that the opportunity to make upgrades can be nearly irresistible in these situations. In truth, this stage in the carrier’s life is an excellent time for that kind of work. …

Rapid Fire Feb. 28, 2013: Light Air Support Reawarded to Sierra Nevada / Embraer

The US Air Force awarded again its $427M contract (with a $950M maximum) for light air support (LAS) aircraft for the Afghan forces to the team which had already won last year, before the Company Now Known as Beechcraft contested the acquisition and the Air Force cancelled the award. USAF | American Forces Press Service | Embraer | Defense News. After having run a series of articles heavily criticizing big-ticket US weapon systems, Bloomberg puts procurement in perspective: it’s personnel costs driven by healthcare that have really jacked up spending at the Pentagon through the past decade. In comparison, jeremiads about acquisition, while justified, are decades old. Defense departments across industrialized countries are facing at a smaller scale the same tightening demographic and fiscal constraints faced by these nations as a whole…