Weekly Defense Notes

With the AUSA show over, TDM gets back to work. Here’s our (belated) rundown of interesting defense news from last week.

The JLTV program is dealing with significant uncertainty due to sequestration, the continuing resolution in Congress, and the government shutdown. Breaking Defense quotes one colonel as saying this is the “most depressing” situation he’s seen in 34 years of service. Evidently, testing on the 22 prototypes by AM General, Lockheed Martin, and Oshkosh stopped on four hours notice early this month. Now they are several weeks behind. Oh well, there’s always the Aztek!

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments recently came out with a study cheerfully entitled “Chaos and Uncertainty: The FY 14 Defense Budget and Beyond.” Among many interesting points, the study notes that the cost of one soldier in Afghanistan will be $2.1 million annually. Like other things in life, deployments must work on economies of scale.

Rock-sized surveillance equipment makes appearance. Lockheed Martin says, according to Danger Room, that it has “‘covert, perpetually self-powered wireless sensor network’ that can provide ‘unobtrusive, continuous surveillance’ in units so small they can fit in a rock.” Well, likely not a real rock, but one of those plastic things in which you hide your front door key. Called a Self-Powered Ad-hoc Network (SPAN), the sensor can be left for indefinite periods to monitor an area or piece of infrastructure.

(Lockheed Martin)

(Lockheed Martin)

Syria has dropped off the paperwork needed to confirm and plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile. It always seemed a bit odd, given their repeated denials in the past, but I suppose it’s never too late to admit you’ve got a bunch of illegal WMDs.