Rapid Fire May 16, 2012: SASC Greenlights Kendall
Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the US Senate Armed Services Committee as the Pentagon acquisition chief, alongside 6 other nominees including Heidi Shyu at Army acquisition. Back in March SASC Ranking Member Senator McCain had held up their confirmation. A full Senate vote is still needed to finalize the process [May 24 update: done]. The chief and principal deputy acquisition jobs in the Air Force are vacant since David Van Buren’s departure for L-3 Communications.
In other news:
- The GAO’s assessment of the US Army’s Reset process follows the usual pattern: “[subject of report] has taken steps towards [elusive long term goal that will never be met] but more [mind-numbing bureaucratic reporting] is needed.” Someone must write a GAO Headline Generator. They note that the Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation (CAPE) OSD office estimated the Army’s multiyear reset liability at $24B two years ago (an updated number is due soon) but that the Army itself doesn’t give such projections to Congress in its ongoing reporting.
- Italy is struggling to maintain defense investment at sufficient levels. Like Spain, its personnel spending accounts for 70+% of the budget. The Navy and Air Force may have to pool resources such as JSFs. AviationWeek | DefenseNews.
- Russia is to buy licensed Camcopter S-100 unmanned reconnaissance helos according to Interfax via Rusnavy.
- Dennis Muilenburg, the head of Boeing’s defense business, told investors that:
“A $1 trillion defense-budget reduction in the U.S. over the next 10 years is a distinct possibility, and we are sizing our cost structure actively to prepare ourselves for such a scenario.”
- EADS Q1 2012: 11.4 billion euros in revenue (about $14.5B, +16%). Defense sales grew by 18% and saw 5 orders for C295s. Airbus Military’s order book is stable at 21.3 billion euros.
- Elbit’s sales grew by 11% in Q1 to $691M. Its backlog decreased slightly though, to %5.4B.
- The US Central Contractor Registration (CCR) is about to be closed with the migration to the System for Award Management (SAM) federal procurement consolidation effort. SAM Phase 1 is scheduled to be available at the end of the month but this is just the start of a long and arduous process.
- The US Air Force Network Integration Center is divesting cyberspace command functions to Air Force Space Command.