Archive for the ‘LCS’ Category

After Eight Boom Years, Defense Spending Likely to Slow

October 13, 2008

ByBy Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 13, 2008; Page D01

At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center last week, Army soldiers, Pentagon weapons buyers and defense company representatives milled about a cavernous trade show floor for a look at the latest military equipment and gadgets.
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Huge tanks sat beside armored trucks and machine guns. In one aisle, a stack of fake sandbags were arranged around a free cappuccino stand sponsored by KBR, one of the biggest government contractors in Iraq.

The annual exposition — put on by the Association of the United States Army — is one of the largest industry shows of its kind in the country, and the bustling convention floor was a testament to the success of an industry that has enjoyed steadily rising sales over the past eight years.

But the mood at the show was hardly celebratory. Rather, Topic A was whether those good times would continue.

Many assumed they would not.

Attendees worried that a new administration may be forced to cut back on defense spending as the nation strains under a global economic crisis and as presidential contenders talk about the eventuality of bringing troops home. Major weapons systems built by the likes of Falls Church-based General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin of Bethesda are likely to face new scrutiny — potentially dealing a blow to an industry that has helped insulate the region from deeper economic pain.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there,” said Kevin G. Kroger, president of Pura Dyn, a small Boynton Beach, Fla., company, who came to the trade show to pitch the Army on buying more of its oil filters for armored trucks. “We’re not sure where the budgets are going and what’s going to get funded. It leaves us nervous.”
Uss Zumwalt.jpg
Above: ZUMWALT Class destroyer

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2008/10/12/AR2008101201724.html

Two F-22A Raptor in column flight - (Noise reduced).jpg
Above: F-22 Raptor

SecDef Gates, Admiral Mullen Testify Before SASC

February 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the Sente Armed Services Committee today.  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is chairman of the committee and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) is the ranking member of the minority.

Several issues of interest were discussed.

Asked about the size of the defense budget both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen said that the budget needed to be 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Admiral Mullen said that 4% of GDP should be an annual “floor” or lowest national investment in defense.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness ...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh) 

Secretary Gates said that there has been a recent shift in understanding by the government of Pakistan and that President Musharraf and his closest advisors now realize that the free reign apparently given to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan has now resulted in an “existential threat to the current government of Pakistan.”  Consequently, President Musharraf and his advisors are now waging a much more effective war against terror in the tribal areas.

US intelligence chief Mike McConnell told a Senate hearing yesterday, Tuesday, February 5, that the al Qaeda network in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered setbacks, but still poses a persistent and growing danger from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He stressed that al Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States” more than six years after 9/11.

Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen supported and reiterated that view.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol ...
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, today, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh)

On the issue of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Senators expressed concern that all NATO nations had not fielded troops in Afghanistan.  Secretary Gates said that he feared the evolution of a two tiered NATO with one tier “fighting and dying” and a second tier not participating.  Secretary Gates said that he will continue to persuade NATO member nations toward a more active role in the war against terror.

Secretary Gates said he had become a “nag” to the Defense Ministers of NATO by pestering them about their contributions to the mission in Afghanistan.

In January some NATO defense ministers went public with their resentment for Mr. Gates.

“This is not the Robert Gates we have come to know,” Van Middlekoop told the Dutch broadcasting agency NOS last month, following criticism from Mr. Gates. “It’s also not the manner in which you treat each other when you have to cooperate with each other in the south of Afghanistan.”

Today Secretary Gates went out of his way to compliment the Dutch, Canadians, British, Australians and others for their work in Afghanistan.  But he said there were still several NATO member nations not taking the mission seriously enough. 

Secretary Gates said he would continue to press this issue this week end at a Defense Ministers’ meeting. 

Last month, Pentagon spokesman Geo Morrell said, “The secretary is not backing off his fundamental criticism that NATO needs to do a better job in training for counterinsurgency. But he is not — nor has he ever — criticized any particular nation for their service in Afghanistan.”

Secretary Gates also spoke eloquently about the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense system now deployed at sea, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and THAAD.

On combat troops in the war zone, Admiral Mullen said, “The well is deep, but it is not infinite.  We must get Army deployments down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates makes a statement about the ...
Secretary Gates at a recent Pentagon briefing.

From the  Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080206/ap_on_go_
ca_st_pe/us_iraq_21

From Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080206/us_nm/
usa_budget_wars_dc_1

Defense procurement

August 5, 2007

James A. Lyons
August 5, 2007

Over the years defense procurement programs have provided our military forces the necessary resources which has resulted in our having the most sophisticated and technically superior combat forces in the world today.
Our technical superiority is a recognized force multiplier.

However, many of these programs have taken more than a decade to produce, primarily due to incorporating requirements and specifications that require overreaching performance criteria and reliability.

Out-of-control congressional earmarks and keeping the “old boy network” alive are other factors that drive up costs.

Read the rest:
http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070805/COMMENTARY/108050011