Feeds

US Defense Dept shuffles self

Obama 'disarms America'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday outlined a sweeping set of changes to the Department of Defense's budget that he described "will profoundly reform how this department does business".

The changes cut many a congressperson's pet project, shuffle billions out of some programs and into others, and thoroughly reorganize and reprioritize the US's warfighting capabilities.

Among Gates' proposals are the following:

  • Continue working on the electronics and communications elements of the Army's $159bn Future Combat Systems, but put the $87bn vehicle component on hold until "we ... re-evaluate the requirements, technology, and approach - and then re-launch the Army's vehicle modernization program, including a competitive bidding process."
  • Cap the much-maligned, over-budget F-22 Raptor fighter-aircraft fleet at 187.
  • Increase purchases of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Force fighter, up to an eventual fleet size of 2,443.
  • Eliminate the $13bn VH-71 Kestrel presidential helicopter fleet, which is six years behind schedule.
  • Kill the $26bn Transformational Satellite Communications System and instead beef up the Milstar 3 Advanced Extremely High Frequency system with the addition of two more satellites.
  • Delay the Navy's next-generation cruiser, the stealthy CG-X.
  • Increase purchases of the Navy's high-speed Littoral Combat Ship from two to three ships in 2010, with the eventual fleet to number 55.
  • Kill off the unproven Multiple Kill Vehicle missile-defense system.
  • Increase support for the missile-toting Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), used frequently in Iraq and now Afghanistan, by 62 per cent.
  • Increase the number of the Navy's Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) ships from two to four.
  • Add $700m to field more force-protection anti-ballistic missile systems, including the Theatre High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) systems.
  • Terminate the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue X (CSAR-X) helicopter program.
  • Cancel the second airborne laser (ABL) prototype aircraft because the program "has significant affordability and technology problems and the program's proposed operational role is highly questionable."
  • Renegotiate contracts to build the planned three DDG-1000 low-radar-profile destroyers - and if the contracts can't be fixed, build only one "prototype."

In his remarks, Gates said that he had "consulted closely with the president" and that the chairman and vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were in complete accord with his recommendations.

He didn't mention, of course, those pork-hungry congressfolks - one of whom, Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying: "I cannot believe what I heard today. President Obama is disarming America."

Now the real war begins. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.