Monthly Archives: June 2014

Iraq is Buying, Fielding Russian Weapons Again

Pantsir-S1(click to view full) In October 2012, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki signed a deal with Russia’s Rosoboronexport, variously estimated at $4.2 – $5.0 billion. The deal is characteristically murky, but is reported to include a combination of 40 Mi-35 and Mi-28NE attack helicopters, and 42-50 mobile SA-22 Pantsir low-level air defense systems. Their combined cost is unlikely to approach $4 billion, unless very extensive long-term support arrangements are included. There has also been discussion in the press concerning MiG-29M2 fighters or armored vehicles as follow-on options, and the recent crisis in Iraq has led to a limited sale of refurbished SU-25 close air support aircraft. The deal does fill some important military and political holes for Iraq…

Western Countries Lining Up to Court New Indian Government

France’s foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius is the first of a series of Western officials to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and is #2 Arun Jaitley to discuss what some hope may be a new wave of defense acquisitions. Fabius is eager to finalize the Rafale contract, but like Qatar that may still stay in the “not quite done deal” category for a while. Meanwhile Modi is touting India’s cost effective satellite launching capabilities. US Acquisition Policy The Government Accountability Office notes that the US Army and Air Force have yet to institutionalize their use of open systems the way the US Navy did years ago: “Despite the positive developments we identified in this review and our July 2013 report, DOD continues to face a number of challenges to consistently and effectively implement an open systems approach to weapon acquisition. …

CRH-60M: The USAF’s New Combat Rescue Helicopter

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HH-60G, Afghanistan(click to view full) In 2006 the US Air Force awarded Boeing a contract worth north of $10 billion for 141 HH-47 combat search-and-rescue helicopters, but by mid-2009 the CSAR-X program was cancelled during its System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase by the Pentagon. At the time Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote that this program had “a troubled acquisition history and raises the fundamental question of whether this important mission can only be accomplished by yet another single-service solution.” That cancellation may have been warranted, but the underlying operational constraints are increasing as years go by, with a tentative replacement for aging helicopters that keeps slipping. …

UK MoD’s Umbrella Contract for Small Boat Maintenance

Pacific 24 RIB(click to view full) Britain’s Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Police have about 1,450 small boats that need to be maintained. They include offshore raiding craft, pontoons up to 50 metres in length, police launchers, Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), and inflatables. Large ships get a lot of attention, but many of day-to-day missions rely on these craft in various ways. Over the next 5 years, the UK will maintain work among 6 UK companies to provide maintenance, upkeep, repair, chartering, defect rectification, technical support, provision of spares and replacements: Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd, based in Bristol and Devonport UK Docks Tyne Slipway and Engineering Company, based in Tyne and Wear Berthon Boat Company, based in Lymington MPI Services (UK) Ltd, based in Portland Marine Specialised Technology, based in Liverpool BAE Systems Surface Ships, based in Portsmouth The contract’s maximum is GBP 111 million ($193 million). Source: UK MoD, “£111 million of work buoys UK’s boat support industry”