Feeds

Obama & Gates vs the US military-industrial complex

Battle of Porkbarrel Hill begins

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Analysis The US Defence Secretary has signalled a serious attempt on his part and that of President Obama to reform the world's largest military machine. If the two men get their way - and that's a big if - the Pentagon will become much less a capital-intensive tech porkbarrel and much more an organisation of properly-backed combat troops.

Secretary Gates' speech yesterday - full transcript available here - sets out the plans. The axe falls on a long list of expensive hi-tech projects, many of which will be familiar to Reg readers. Among the victims are the US Army's networked ground force vehicles, which originally started out as something not far off a robot tank legion; the partly-British presidential helicopters; the orbital multikill ICBM-busters; and the fantastically expensive Raptor ultrasuperfighter, whose numbers remain capped at 187.

That said, it's far from a clean sweep in the military crazytech sector. Fans of the nuke-nobbling raygun jumbo jet, the Airborne Laser (ABL) will be relieved to note that the current prototype will continue into flight tests - but there won't be any money for more laser 747s unless those tests go unexpectedly well.

Nor is the news all bad at the controversial Missile Defence Agency. While plans for more land-based midcourse interceptors in Alaska are shelved, there's cash for more SM-3 naval interceptors - of the sort which nailed a malfunctioning US spy sat over the Pacific last summer - and ships to fire them from.

The US battle fleet, as Mr Gates notes, has a "healthy margin of dominance at sea". As a result, all big blue-water ship programmes are pushed back and plans for a future electrically-driven destroyer are replaced by increasing the production run of existing Arleigh Burke jobs. However, the new Littoral Combat Ship, handy for inshore work of the sort common in modern warfare, gets the nod.

Across the board, there are cuts in expensive, very-high-tech things which would only be useful for fighting unlikely wars against first-rate opposition, and preservation or increases for more basic stuff which is handy for day-to-day business. The only exception to this rule is that the C-17 heavy airlifter is to cease production this year, perhaps a curious move given that airlift is always overworked in modern military operations.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.