General Dynamics had basically flat Q3 2014 revenue, with total sales of $7.7B, masking a 13% drop in information systems balanced by growth of about 7% in aerospace, combat systems, and marine systems. Their total backlog reached $74.4B and has been robustly growing throughout the year, though most of that growth is unfunded.
Like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman’s Q3 sales dropped by 2% YoY to $5.9B. However their total backlog grew by 8% to $38.5B thanks to $9B in new awards (a 150% book-to-bill ratio) led by the E-2D Hawkeye.
Raytheon’s Q3 sales declined more, with a 6.3% drop to $5.5B. That’s mitigated by $5.9B in bookings, a 1.07 book-to-bill ratio. That takes the backlog to $33.2B, one billion dollars more than a year ago.
Boeing’s Q3 sales [PDF] grew by 7.7% to $23.8B, again thanks to commercial aircraft as Defense, Space and Security’s revenue slightly declined by $100M to $7.9B, with book-to-bill barely above 50%, and a $60B backlog for the division, or less than 15% of the company’s total backlog.
For perspective, Apple’s free cash flow for the same quarter was $9.3B, more than what defense primes pull in *revenue*, an an order of magnitude more than their free cash flow.
The US Air Force released a draft RFP [FBO] for the development and production of its Advanced Radar Threat System Variant 2 (ARTS-V2), a “pre-Milestone B Program to develop and field a high fidelity threat emitter for live aircrew training for anti-access/area denial environments.” They will hold an industry day on Nov. 19 at Hill AFB, UT.
Intelsat was awarded a contract by the USAF to study the commercialization of its Satellite Control Network which could help lower costs.
Elbit announced an $85 million contract from an unidentified Asian customer for “an F-5 aircraft avionics upgrade program and… electro-optic and communications systems” over 3 years. Jane’s rules out previous upgrade customers Singapore and Thailand, but Thailand’s F-5T upgrades were a late 1980s deal, and Singapore’s F-5S variant achieved FOC in 1999. We wouldn’t rule either of them out.
The Gatestone Institute, a think tank with neoconservative instincts, argues that fatalities have decreased while Hamas fired more rockets at Israel, ergo Iron Dome works.
Sweden continues to hunt [National Post] an elusive, putative Russian sub, while Estonia says [AP] a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft crossed into its airspace on Tuesday, leading to the usual scrambling and intercepting dance [Reuters]. Support among Swedish political parties for increased defense spending may be rising [The Economist].
A Chinese national who tried to fraudulently obtain technology from U.S. companies in 2003-06 was sentenced [FBI] to 15 months in prison. Will he get a medal for effort when he returns home, or punishment for getting caught?
New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence released a report [PDF] on how to optimise industry involvement in the local defence sector. Defense spending is now two-thirds local, but that’s out of a small NZD 800M total (about $626M). And while operating expenditure is 80% local, 70% of capital expenditure is sourced abroad.
3 Afghan districts seem firmly under Taliban control and administration, according to the Long War Journal.
Developing Fast but Safe Rockets
Today’s video from Los Alamos National Lab shows their work testing a new rocket design which tries to combine high-energy fuel and a motor design meant to provide safe performance:
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