SAIC’s 2013 Sales Testament to Services Doldrums
- Post-spinoff SAIC announced FY2013 revenue down 14% to $4B, confirming the generally depressed state of defense services.
- Pursuing a more thorough overturn of sequestration beyond FY15 is again on the Senate Armed Services Committee’s agenda.
- The Government Accountability Office disagrees with the US Navy’s decision to decommission the USS Port Royal (CG-73) missile cruiser. In 2013 the Navy postoned their initial decommissioning timeframe, but USS Royal is set for retirement next year.
- The US Navy cancelled its RFP issued in March 2013 for a Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System (JTC TRS) “due to a change in requirements.”
Dealing – or not – with Ukraine, Russia
- Russia’s Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) and Volvo subsidiary Renault Trucks Defense announced in September last year that they would jointly develop an infantry fighting vehicle. That plan is now on hold as the truck maker consults with the French government on how to proceed. This would be a much more palatable sacrificial lamb for the French than the much bigger Mistral contract.
- Indeed, the Kyiv Post notes that isolating Russia is proving to be no easy task.
- Daily Beast: U.S. won’t share invasion intel with Ukraine.
China Sharply Reasserts Claims During Meetings with US SecDef
- Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan yielded no ground during a joint press conference with Secretary Hagel yesterday, with strong accusations against Japan and the Philippines and territorial claims leaving no room for negotiation. Based on how Chuck Hagel phrased one of his answers, it also sounds like China is not explicitly committing not to declare an Air Defense Identification Zone in the South China Sea.
- Hagel also met with Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, who said he was “dissatisfied” with Hagel’s recent statements. Chang’s assertiveness can be summarized with his remark: “China’s development can’t be contained by anyone.” Overall the Chinese sounded abrasive and even somewhat dismissive.
Flying Cars Getting Closer to Production
- Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V, says his company is seeing interest from militaries for their flying cars, whose first prototype flight took place 2 years ago. The 3-wheeled vehicle tilts on the road to maintain stability, and flies as a gyrocopter. DID talked with a PAL-V representative who told us they will start taking orders in the second half of 2014, with production starting in 2016 in the Nertherlands, aiming for hundreds of vehicles per year. They would not comment on which countries have expressed interest for military applications. Video below: