* Airbus intends to buy Salzburg München Bank, pending regulatory approval, to turn it into Airbus Group Bank and further the financing options they can offer. In the wake of the 2008 and Euro crises, the company ramped up vendor financing as credit conditions became very tight and European banks scaled back their aircraft financing.
Tracking of Pentagon Contracts Impaired by FPDS GIGO
* US Defense Acquisition undersecretary Frank Kendall is a self-avowed fan of data. But you have to take federal procurement data with a big grain of salt when the people tasked with contractual data entry point out significant taxonomy shortcomings in the FPDS-NG database used to keep track of contract actions. The proportion of contracts competed by DoD has been decreasing in past years, but it’s hard to know precisely what’s going on when you drive with a broken tachometer.
* Kenny E. Toy, a civilian employee of Military Sealift Command (MSC) pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to taking a bribe from a contractor in exchange for steering government work to the company between 2005 and 2013. Note that the FPDS database cannot be queried by contracting officer. If DoD has the capability to datamine their awards by individual, please let us know what that is.
Next Time, Play Nice?
* Hardball competition between Elbit and IAI to sell UAVs to Poland got so out of hand that Israel’s Ministry of Defense decided to forbid them from pursuing that market further. This is not the first attempt from Poland to procure Israeli UAVs that doesn’t end well.
* India is reportedly considering Mi 8 upgrades, Mi 17V5 upgrades, a new acquisition, or temporary leases, to provide its VIPs with the helicopters they decided not to procure from AgustaWestland before allegations of corruption have been proven in court.
China to Cambodia: We’re Watching You
* That’s how we’re reading the implicit message of an apparently innocuous Xinhua article. Cambodia is dependent on foreign aid, primarily coming from China. In return, China has been expecting support for its divide-and-rule approach to territorial disputes. China’s stance towards the Cambodian government has been less openly supportive lately. The Chinese have to take into account that their support of the Khmer Rouge doesn’t play well with the Cambodian public.
Dealing with the End of Permissive Environments
* A panel at WEST 2014 discussed how the US Navy can regain the skills necessary to fight peer adversaries, in an environment where everything has an IP address: video.
* Only one defense firm was named to Fast Company’s list of 50 most innovative companies. Israel’s Watergen extracts drinking water from air humidity, and can be integrated into vehicles as well as ground sites. Video below: