Rapid Fire August 13, 2013: Rockwell Colling to Purchase ARINC for $1.4B to Increase Commercial Exposure
“I think that this is it for Ingalls’ Composites Manufacturing facility in Gulfport. They need to recognize that it hasn’t worked. Some of us never thought it would, but you can’t tell retired admirals anything. They should now face the unpleasant truth and close it. Don’t prolong the agony: finish the current job and sell it.”
- You can watch general sessions of this week’s AUVSI Unmanned Systems 2013 trade show live on C-Span (i.e. it is an intermittent broadcast). Earlier today that included an anti-drone heckler who got escorted out of the room after shooting and waving her banner across the room. Panels on drones and civil liberties, and maritime UAVs, are scheduled at 1pm ET today.
- In the UK’s Telegraph:
“While there seems faint prospect that Spain will repeat Argentina’s grave miscalculation over the Falkland Islands in 1982, and attempt to claim Gibraltar by force of arms, the excessive security checks introduced on the Spanish side of the border bear all the hallmarks of a blockade. The presence of several British warships in the Gibraltar Strait will therefore help to reassure Gibraltarians that they are not alone in their latest dispute with their irrascible neighbours.”
- The Spanish government’s recent actions do not seemed back by a broad consensus in their own country (see El Pais, in Spanish). Stirring trouble over old sovereignty claims while in the middle of a political and economic crisis, followed by petty bureaucratic hassling, would fit right in place in some of their former colonies in South America.
- Jack Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard Law School, offers food for thought on the relationship between oversight of NSA and NSA’s national security mission:
“The right way to think about this relationship at the most general level is that scrupulous oversight and regulation of NSA empowers and enhances its mission. Intensive scrutiny of NSA activities is a vital prerequisite to its political sustainability before Congress and the public, and thus to NSA receiving the authorities it needs to do its job […] It is unrealistic to think that NSA could carry on its current mission, which involves extraordinary and unprecedented surveillance in secret, without extraordinary and unprecedented checks on its activities.”
- Bell Helicopter and the United Auto Workers Local 218 trade union have made some progress last week on their contract negotiations. The union will have its next meeting on Sunday August 18, presumably to discuss their 8 remaining open propositions.
- Industry consultant Loren Thompson notes that BAE Systems is getting into the habit of winning technical services contracts in programs with entrenched incumbents.
- Tech startups are seeking funding in the commercial aerospace and space sector that is becoming more scarce on the defense side.
- Elon Musk has already funded his Telsa and SpaceX ventures, and then some. He explains in the video below why he’s attracted to big problems poorly addressed by sclerotic incumbents whose reliance on subsidies makes them adverse to risk and poor innovators: