Sunday, September 15, 2013

Woodstock does its bit to contain China

USS Santa Fe
Under a September 12 contract, Woodstock's armaments manufacturer will send a fan to the USS Santa Fe, a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine that was recently deployed to the Western Pacific, where it is no doubt taking part in Obama's destabilizing and expensive "pivot" toward a beefed-up military presence in the area to surround and contain China. The $2,157 fan is to be rushed to the sub under an "URGENT AND COMPELLING EMERGENCY REQUIREMENT."

A Navy website tells us that "A verstile [sic] platform, SANTA FE is equally at home in the roles of tactical intelligence gathering and surveillance, regional sea denial and task group support. Should conflict arise, her inherent covertness, near vulnerability to attack, and cruise missile capability provide SANTA FE a unique ability to be in place and undetected offshore for precision strike or ground warfare support."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ball Bearings: $104 each

Super Hornet
Among recent weapons contracts of Woodstock's military contractor is one dated August 16 to supply the U.S. Navy with 24 ball bearings at $104 each. Webflis (see this post) tells us that these high-end ball bearings are specifically destined the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet multirole fighter aircraft, built by Boeing, which played a significant part in the war on Iraq. The high cost of these ball bearings (a "critical application item" according to the contract) is put in context by noting that the Defense Department's FY2013 budget includes $2.6 billion for 37 new Super Hornets, which works out at about $70 million per aircraft. The DoD also budgets some $18 million for spare parts for the Super Hornet, presumably including this contract, which thus represents a tiny drop in the great murky sea of so-called "defense" contracts. Once again Woodstock provides a small window into the world of military procurement.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Woodstock's Part In Global Hawk Spy Drones

This blog has been silent for a while, but Woodstock's military contractor (and the town's largest employer) has continued its business-as-usual supply of components for warships, military communications systems, and who knows what other weapons systems.

Global Hawk
We decided to look at some of Ametek Rotron's recent contracts. Here's one that caught our eye: dated June 6, and worth $20,650, it supplies 25 fans for the Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft. While itself unarmed, this spy drone plays a crucial part in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, gathering intelligence and identifying targets for drone warfare. Veterans For Peace recently called it an "accomplice" in the highly controversial extrajudicial drone killings. In addition, the Global Hawk is slated to be armed with Triple Terminator missiles.

We have reported before on Woodstock's role as sole supplier of a crucial component for another drone, the Predator.

Two other recent contracts, both dated May 30, supply components to the air forces of Kuwait ($14,658) and South Korea ($3,248). Both are apparently paid for by the US taxpayer. Kuwait is under scrutiny from Human Rights Watch, the State Department, and others for increasing human rights violations. And supplying yet more arms to South Korea can only inflame the dangerous situation in the Korean peninsula with its threat of escalation to nuclear war.