Germany’s Arms Exports Still Facing Political Pressure Under Strained Federal Coalition
- Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has been advising defense manufacturers to diversify as exports to unsavory regimes would be put under increased scrutiny. With a mid-year report he’s delivered on promises to increase transparency and timeliness in disclosing export licenses, but with sales to oppressive regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Gabriel is still facing criticism [Deutsche Welle] as the number dropped by “only” €700M to €2.2B (i.e. -24% to $2.8B, or about back to 2012 levels).
- Gabriel’s critics from left-wing parties may be in the opposition today, but Gabriel’s center-left SPD will be their natural senior partner in future coalitions. The SPD is governing at the federal level alongside Angela Merkel’s CDU, but recently there’s been talk of a Red-Red-Green coalition in the Thuringia state, all while the new Eurosceptic AfD party made big gains in local elections. European coalition politics are fun! Reuters | The Local | Die Welt [in German].
US Biz Dev
- USSOCOM is organizing an industry day [FBO] about its forthcoming RFP for Medium Endurance Unmanned Air System (MEUAS) III ISR on Dec. 3-4 in Tampa, FL, just after the release of a draft request. Back in early 2012 AAI displaced ScanEagle as the incumbent. Did we mention we’re paid by the acronym here at DID?
- The US Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) will hold an industry day [FBO] on October 21 in Orlando, FL to discuss a potential new effort in the $50M-$100M range to acquire medical training equipment.
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- Some comfort for defense contractors facing natural demographic workforce declines, and fiercer recruitment competition from firms in the technology and energy sectors: too much top talent can hurt [Scientific American] team performance in complex-cooperative endeavors.
- One area where defense firms might have an edge? Recruiting veterans trained to teamwork, with skills other firms don’t understand as well. Just remember, modern veterans know what Glassdoor.com is. Read your pages and implement fixes, or fall behind within your cohort.
US Defense Regulations
- The US Army updated its regulation 700-127 [PDF] on integrated product support, with a focus on performance-based logistics. This will be effective from November 7.
- The Pentagon issued a final rule [PDF] to amend its acquisition regulation on specialty metals, among other things to clarify – that’s their actual operative word – that the “minimal content exception does not apply to specialty metals contained in high-performance magnets.” And DARPA still won’t admit to their classified breeding program to develop lawyers who can stand that stuff. They probably call it the Lethal Extended Training to Harness Abstruse Legalese (LETHAL).
You Want Help Or Not?
- Special Forces sent by Australia to help Iraq are stuck in the UAE [News Ltd] waiting for legal clearance from Baghdad. German advisers were also recently delayed by several days before they could make it to Iraq.
Fusing Fusion Scientists
- Lockheed Martin is talking up the Skunk Works’ Compact Fusion Reactor project, because they’re hitting a point where they’ll need partners for materials science and some technologies. They see a real possibility for “T4” to become a container-sized prototype in 10 years, thanks largely to new approaches that substantially improve beta (safe pressure for the plasma per confining magnetic pressure). Beta x20 = power x10 = size 1/10, or so the theory goes. They’ll figure this out sooner than they’ll find a single kid who says he wants to be a defense acquisition lawyer when he grows up. Press Release | AvWeek.
- Today’s video, shot by Stars & Stripes at the AUSA tradeshow, shows an independent suspension developed to make FTMVs more comfortable on rough roads: