Military Spending

Why To Cancel A Pentagon Procurement Program

There are basically three reasons to cancel an acquisition program. In no particular order, the reasons are:

We can’t afford it.

We don’t need it.

It doesn’t work.

This means Defense Department leaders have to continually ask three important questions throughout the development of a new military system:

“Captain America Needs a New Shield”

The Army has awarded The Johns Hopkins University a contract that could reach $90 million to develop lighter and stronger armor for its troops and vehicles. The Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute will zero in on just what happens at the moment of impact so it can figure out how to improve armor’s ability to shrug off such …

Concurrency: From the Inside

There’s a lot of criticism these days of a practice called concurrency, an engineering approach the DoD implemented a reform or two ago. Concurrency was supposed to help move things to the field faster. Unfortunately, like many …

“Increasingly Expensive and Incapable…”

Former Army intel officer Chris Davis, who served with a light-infantry unit in Afghanistan, is pondering the price, and cost (there is a difference) – of the U.S. military over at Small Wars Journal:

As the defense budget continues to grow, the military is less able to deliver desirable political outcomes in America’s conflicts.

“…For Changes to the Configuration…”

These are the first two contracts in the Pentagon’s Tuesday list (click on them to enlarge). They’re for changes to be made to the F-35 fighter’s design. Even though the planes already are coming off Lockheed’s Fort Worth assembly line (the machinists’ strike launched Sunday nonwithstanding), changes in the $400 billion program’s …

How Not to Buy Weapons

This simple graphic, from a Government Accountability Office report released Friday, shows how weapons should be developed:
After all, it makes sense: you don’t start building something until you’ve developed the technology it needs to work. Then you develop the weapon. Only after those two steps do you begin bending metal, as they say, …

They Better Be 100% Silk

Five of the first six contract awards announced Tuesday were for parachutes costing nearly $1 billion. All five contracts were for “low-cost, low velocity parachutes.” Alas, as is becoming increasingly common, the contract …

The Army’s More Deadly Bullet: Stateside Only

The Army has just ordered its first batch of 9mm Jacketed Hollow Point bullets. But it’s limiting the rounds to its law-enforcement personnel based only in the U.S. and its territories.

So how’s that for a paradox: the Army is buying deadlier bullets for use on American soil, most likely for use against Americans, than it …

Rhetoric Gone MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)

Part of the reason that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fears that sequestration – the budget axe slated to chop another $500 billion or so out of the military over the coming decade if Congress can’t get its act together – is how each side is welded to its will-not-budge goals.

Of course, he was speaking of his former comrades …

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