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William LaPlante

Whither Nuclear Command, Control & Communications?

Posted by Colin Clark on


Most of the system that allows the president to launch nuclear weapons and to know what the enemy is doing with theirs is ancient. No one yet agrees what it must replaced with. And no one knows how much it will cost, although late last month the Congressional Budget Office issued an estimate of $77 billion.

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DoD Wastes Billions On Outdated Technology, 809 Panel Tells HASC

Posted by Sandra Erwin on


The Pentagon acquisition system has gotten so bad that it is undermining the nation’s military and literally obstructing modernization efforts, a panel of independent advisers told the House Armed Services Committee today. Representatives of the congressionally-mandated “809 panel” painted an alarming picture of the state of defense procurement. The panel delivered an interim report to the… Keep reading →

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Air Force Modernization On The Table: CSAF Gen. Welsh

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh made clear today that, while his service will make its arguments for modernization programs such as the JSTARS replacement, F-35 and Long Range Strike Bomber, the Defense Secretary and the combatant commanders will make the final decisions. The military’s latest and highest profile program, the Long Range Strike… Keep reading →

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LaPlante: Remember Occam’s Razor

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: My favorite line from Bill LaPlante’s final interview before he sheds the title of head of Air Force acquisition: “We used to suck, and now we don’t suck as much.” That could be the overall assessment one gives to Pentagon acquisition these days, though it might not be entirely fair. But LaPlante was only talking… Keep reading →

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Sell US Weapons Faster Or Allies Will Buy Chinese: LaPlante

Posted by Colin Clark on


CAPITOL HILL: The head of Air Force acquisition, just back from the Dubai Air Show, said the United States must act fast to make it easier and quicker for allies to buy US weapons through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. If we don’t, Bill LaPLante said at an event put by on the Lexington Institute,… Keep reading →

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Kendall, LaPlante Complete Long Range Strike Bomber Review: EXCLUSIVE

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: The Pentagon’s top acquisition official, Frank Kendall, and the head of Air Force acquisition, Bill LaPlante, have just completed a review of the Long Range Strike Bomber program. “We looked at the design to make sure it’s at the level of maturity it’s supposed to be,” Kendall told me in an interview in his… Keep reading →

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Who’s Right On C-130 AMP: The Congressman Or Air Force Lawyers?

Posted by Colin Clark on


UPDATED: Corrects Cost Per Plane To $3.8M; Holmes “Misspoke;” Adds Enhanced Mode S Upgrade CAPITOL HILL: The law is the law. But the law must be written and it must then be interpreted in practice. Ay, there’s the rub. Add the National Guard, local politics, aging C-130s, and a wobbly defense budget in which hard choices must… Keep reading →

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Air Force Keeps Mum On New Bomber RFP

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON:The Air Force really, really doesn’t want to offer any new details about its Long Range Strike bomber. In light of last Friday’s  comments by the new head of Air Force acquisition, Bill LaPlante, to the effect that the new RFP for the Long Range Strike bomber would be out in “days,” I dug around… Keep reading →

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