For want of a nail…

It’s an electronic one, but still…

A key tool in the U.S. Navy’s fight against Russian and Chinese submarines weighs eight pounds, is three feet long and it doesn’t even explode.

The sonobuoy is an expendable, waterborne sensor that has been air-dropped by the hundreds to detect enemy subs, a go-to capability for America and its allies for decades. The Pentagon wants to buy 204,000 sonobuoys in its fiscal 2020 budget request, a 50 percent spending increase over 2018.

While this might seem to be pretty trivial, it’s not! The joint company that currently makes sonobuoys is in deep trouble, and probably will not be able to deliver on the order.

Full article, HERE.

I can honestly say we’ve dropped millions of sonobuoys over the years, and they were and are the primary means to locate submarines. Without them, we’ll be pissing in the wind… This is yet another fallout of the military sequestration under Obama. They cut the orders back to minimums, which didn’t allow the companies to upgrade and keep top employees.



For want of a nail… — 11 Comments

  1. And with unemployment as low as it is, they’re going to be even harder pressed to find folks to fill the jobs this will create. Our economy is doing so well that it’s actually making it hard for employers to expand to meet the growth the prosperity is bringing. As for military contractors this is really concerning to me. Thanks for something new to keep me up at night. ;P

  2. It’s a good example of the bureaucratic pogies that were advanced to high military positions during the Obama Administration. They didn’t have a clue on how their incompetence endangered the United States. That, and how a less polite society would have had at least one of them shot at sunrise on any given day.

  3. How sure are we sure that it wasn’t enemy action?

    There’s some evidence that foreign governments may have been purchasing influence in US government. Whether we are talking outright campaigning, candidates less than careful about identifying the source of funds, or retirement positions for bureaucrats, there is a lot of concern.

    A number of policy positions, held by our domestic adversaries, could be interpreted as intended to disrupt the economy in general or military procurement in specific. From entitlement spending on down. Though, I would note that corrupt contracting should explicitly be considered in this for several reasons.

    This may be excess paranoia, and addressing it directly would open cans of worms that maybe ought stay shut.

    Indirectly… With adversaries like the Chinese, what happens if use access to maintain holes in or compromise capabilities, or create or exploit vulnerabilities? Is there some way to address that outside of any organizations that they can control?

    STEM education is the fad now. Engineering is meaningless without the business and economic environment that makes the technical work possible and productive. Academia’s understanding of the humanities is heavily compromised, they are a gap, not a resource.

    Pardon the enthusiasm, I’ve been wondering at this for a while on a more specific topic. A solution unfolds for the more general case, but it is not clear that it is a viable solution.

  4. Bob- Depends on ‘who’ you consider the enemy… sigh And yes, there are a TON of issues.

    • I’m known for my expansive definition of enemy. 🙂

      I think I may have found a solution for the general problem. Have an outline, probably going to find the time to draft it and send in for a guest post at ATH.

  5. Some asshole in congress will be sure to suggest that we buy them from China!

    • Wouldn’t that be Rep. Some Asshole ?-PRC to us mere mortals?