Rapid Fire August 5, 2013: TCI Wants EADS Out of Dassault

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* The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), an hedge fund known for its “shareholder activism”, wants EADS to sell its 46% stake of Dassault Aviation. They’ll need the French government to agree. * The US Navy’s information-centric SPAWAR acquisition command presented their budget outlook [PDF] at an industry day last week. Their R&D spending has lost more than 50% in 2 years, as their focus is shifting towards modernizing and sustaining existing platforms. * Kelly Ortberg, Rockwell Collins’ new CEO, thinks sequestration is here to stay and is “almost to the point where I’d rather get to the bottom quickly.” * ITT Exelis’ Q2 2013 sales were down by 7% to $1.3B. However their orders bounced back from a year ago. By the end of the year they’ll be known simply as “Exelis.” * The US Army Research Laboratory is testing a device that tries to offload the weight of a helmet – and whatever might be affixed to it – onto the shoulders. They’re not showing them with anyone wearing a backpack though. * The US military is still flush with enough money to have not just one but two teams paid to worry about the Army’s marketing and branding. […]

* The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), an hedge fund known for its “shareholder activism”, wants EADS to sell its 46% stake of Dassault Aviation. They’ll need the French government to agree.

* The US Navy’s information-centric SPAWAR acquisition command presented their budget outlook [PDF] at an industry day last week. Their R&D spending has lost more than 50% in 2 years, as their focus is shifting towards modernizing and sustaining existing platforms.

* Kelly Ortberg, Rockwell Collins’ new CEO, thinks sequestration is here to stay and is “almost to the point where I’d rather get to the bottom quickly.”

* ITT Exelis’ Q2 2013 sales were down by 7% to $1.3B. However their orders bounced back from a year ago. By the end of the year they’ll be known simply as “Exelis.”

* The US Army Research Laboratory is testing a device that tries to offload the weight of a helmet – and whatever might be affixed to it – onto the shoulders. They’re not showing them with anyone wearing a backpack though.

* The US military is still flush with enough money to have not just one but two teams paid to worry about the Army’s marketing and branding. Their latest output: Army Regulation 601–208 [PDF], which we hereby rename as “The Army Furlough-Begging Program.” Self-assessed as “cost effective” of course.

* Helicopters in Israel’s Air Force will soon have electronic manuals onboard instead of printed material. The US Air Force is testing similar changes in some of its aircraft.

* Indian manufacturing and infrastructure giants such as L&T, Tata, or Mahindra, are looking at the defense home market with interest. SKIL Group subsidiary Pipavav Defence is aiming to raise at least $150M in the London Stock Exchange.

* Chinese troops seem to continue their shenanigans along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) separating them from India.

* Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shook up the top ranks of Turkey’s military over the weekend, while today Ilker Basbug, a former Chief of the General Staff, was sentenced to life in prison for plotting to stage a coup – alongside many other suspects – against Erdogan 11 years ago.

* The death of an army conscript a month ago led to massive protests in Taiwan and the replacement of its defense minister.

* Cyprus’ former defense minister was sentenced to 5 years in prison for negligent manslaughter as a gunpowder explosion killed 13 people in 2011.

* Germany’s Bundeswehr calls its withdrawal from Afghanistan a Mammutprojekt (video in German). The video below released last month by Mabe gives a much longer overview of the logistics involved (it’s also in German but Youtube provides automatic translated subtitles in the language of your choice):

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