The S1000D documentation specification is making inroads into military manuals, according to reports. The electronic standard from the Technical Publications Specification Maintenance Group is already widespread in Europe, but is now popping up in some U.S. defense projects, including the Global Hawk UAV and the F-117A stealth fighter.
Defense firms spent $277 million lobbying the federal government over the past five and a half years, according to Washington Technology. In 2003, the most recent year with complete figures, firms spent $44 million on lobbying. Northrop Grumman led the pack, spending $93 million. Lockheed Martin came in a close second with about $89 million, and Raytheon came in a distant third, spending about $31 million. The population of defense lobbyists grew to 1,615 in 2003, equal to the population of Howard City, MI, Bridgeport, NE or Rome City IN.
The DoD’s watchdog office will examine additional contracts handled by the Air Force procurement official Darleen Druyun – who was convicted of violating conflict-of-interest laws – in addition to the controversial Boeing contract that spawned the original investigation that led to her nine-month jail sentence, according to Reuters. Projects coming under scrutiny include the JSTARS surveillance system led by Northrop Grumman and the JPATS air training system led by Raytheon. All told, 10 contracts are under review, with three more that may be added later. The Pentagon originally forwarded eight contracts for review when the scandal first broke. The reviews are scheduled to be completed before May.
The Washington Post notes that the current military spending bill is – by far – the most attractive hidey hole for congressmen seeking to conceal various pork projects. Notwithstanding the arguments about whether or not certain actual defense projects fit the definition of “pork,” the story points out some of the more irrelevant measures addended to the bill, including aid to Palestinians, tsunami relief, southern Utah watershed protection and judicial security details.
An audit of Halliburton’s charges to the U.S. government in relation to its work in Iraq revealed many more disputed charges than were first suspected, according to portions of a DoD report released on Monday. The Financial Times reports that the suspected overcharges may have jumped from $62 million to $212 million.
Dow Jones reports that Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications are now in a dust-up about whether or not L-3 inappropriately passed on proprietary data to a South Korean company as part of its efforts to help upgrade P-3 Orion aircraft. Lockheed sued L-3 in an Atlanta federal court, and L-3 countersued.
St. Louis’s hometown paper covers the stepping down of Engineered Support Systems’ CEO. Michael Shanahan, chairman and co-founder, stepped aside to become the non-executive chairman. He founded the company based on a $10 million leveraged buyout in 1982 that spun off American Air Filter, a division of Allis-Chalmers. The firm’s market capitalization today stands at about $1.5 billion. USA Today noted recently that Shanahan’s compensation ranked eighth among CEOs of publicly traded firms. He took in $40 million in 2004, more than the CEOs of Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics or Northrop Grumman (and GE and Wal-Mart, for that matter).
South Korea will make a showing for the first time at the Airport Expo Dubai, flying its T-50 “Golden Eagle” jet trainer/ light fighter. The Korean Aerospace Industries T-50 is designed specifically to train pilots for the F-16 and other fourth and fifth generation jets. KIA says it has about 100 orders booked from Korea’s own air force.
The T-50 shares a number of design elements with the F-16, and is capable of both supersonic speeds and use as a light fighter and attack aircraft. Lockheed Martin is a joint marketing partner with KAI via T-50 International.