Posts Tagged ‘Weapons Procurement’

Boots on the Ground or Weapons in the Sky?

October 31, 2008

Budget Crunch Forces U.S. Military to Choose Which Form of Defense to Pursue; This-War-Itis vs. Next-War-Itis

Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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For years, the military has been roiled by a heated internal debate over what kind of wars it should prepare to fight.

One faction, led by a host of senior officers, favors buying state-of-the-art weapons systems that would be useful in a traditional conflict with a nation like Russia or China. The other side, which includes Defense Secretary Robert Gates, believes the military should prepare for grinding insurgencies that closely resemble the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The dispute has long been largely academic, since the soaring defense budgets in the years since the September 2001 terror attacks left plenty of money for each side’s main priorities.

That is beginning to change, a casualty of the widening global financial crisis.

Read the entire article at The Wall Street Journal.

DoD Institutes “Peer Review” Over Major Procurement Contracts

October 31, 2008

The Office of the Secretary of Defense has instituted a new policy that requires a service to subject a major weapons acquisition program to peer review by its sister services during and after contract decisions, reports Air Force Magazine, citing Bloomberg news wire.

Bloomberg news wire service reported Monday that the new process took effect Sept. 30 for programs worth more than $1 billion and is meant to increase the level of confidence in the decisions that each service renders and thereby make it harder for losing bidders in high-stakes competitions to protest and derail these programs.

Among the first programs expected to face the peer scrutiny are the Air Force’s CSAR-X rescue helicopter and KC-X tanker, Bloomberg said. Boeing won the $15 billion CSAR-X competition in November 2006, but two rounds of successful legal protests by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky caused the Air Force to reopen the contest. The service had planned to select the winner before the end of the year, but, just last week, announced a “minor delay,” making it now likely that the decision will not fall until after the new Administration is in place.

As for KC-X, Northrop Grumman prevailed in February in the $35 billion contest, but Boeing lodged a legal protest and won, prompting OSD to take the lead role in the program and seek revised bids. But Defense Secretary Robert Gates last month decided to punt the decision to the next Administration.