FY2015 US DoD Budget Request Scheduled for March 4
Life as a Prime Contractor
- Lockheed Martin reported FY13 sales down 3.9% to $45.4B. Missiles and Fire Control is the only segment that grew last year. The backlog grew by $300M from a year ago to $82.6B. The company expects 2014 bookings to fall short of sales by between $2B and $3.5B, or about 94% book-to-bill, reflecting a continued slump in demand.
- Boeing and General Dynamics finally settled their 23-year legal fight with the US Navy over the cancellation of the A-12 Avenger by Secretary Dick Cheney in 1991. The two companies will each provide $200M in goods and services, which is not the outcome they sought when they sued the government for breach of contract, but it beats paying almost $1.5B each as the Federal Circuit had ruled a few years ago before being overruled by the Supreme Court.
- US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) will host an industry day on Feb. 4 in the Washington, DC area to discuss its evolving surface ship modernization and maintenance/repair contracting strategy, with the goal of maximizing competition and the use of fixed price type contracts.
- A year after indicating its interest in Vanishing, Programmable Resources (VAPR), DARPA awarded a $4.5M to BAE to make vaporware real.
Another Call for European Cooperation
- The German Institute for International and Security Affairs released a working paper [PDF] reviewing the fragmented state of defense spending and capabilities within the European Union. You’ll often hear such calls coming from Berlin, Paris or Brussels, but London clearly objects. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron is saying he’s confident the UK will stay in a European Union that it will contribute to reform. But with the Euro crisis Britain has looked increasingly isolated, and there’s been sustained pressure from Eurosceptics at home.
India’s missing military-industrial complex
- Hemant Krishan Singh and Sanjay Pulipaka look at the structural constraints bedeviling India’s domestic defense industry. They’re advising to put to the test former US Deputy SecDef Ash Carter’s promises that the US would share advanced technology with India.
Paper Deal in South Sudan
- Opposing factions in South Sudan signed a ceasefire agreement that many doubt will really put an end to infighting that killed thousands of people in past weeks.
- Foreign Policy argues that the US “needs to inject a healthy degree of risk into Beijing’s calculus”, lest the Chinese feel they can have a field day with their “playbook of tailored coercion.”
- Admiral Locklear, Commander of USPACOM, talks about the fleet’s rebalance to the Pacific in the video below, with the usual polite deflection that “it’s not about a specific country”, though he’d like to have a hotline with his Chinese counterpart: