* ATK announced they would split into two companies, followed by a merger of the resulting aerospace and defense arm with Orbital. The resulting company, to be named Orbital ATK, will have 13,000 employees for $4.5B in yearly revenue. ATK’s sporting good business has been booming of late while defense sales were struggling. ATK statement | Orbital statement.
Reforming Defense Acquisition, Beyond Incrementalism
* The US Senate’s Armed Services Committee is hosting a hearing today on the perennial headache: how to effectively reform the way the defense department buys products and services. The testimony [PDF] from GAO’s Michael J. Sullivan notes that there have been recent improvements but they remain modest relative to the humongous scale of DoD’s program portfolio.
Please Produce Good Data, But Not Just Yet
* Like the Senate, the US House of Representatives passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) compelling the federal government to produce standardized spending data in a more consistent and reliable fashion. Given how the bill is phrased, this obligation might not actually be enforced upon the Pentagon for several years.
Product Support Managers: How Do They Fit?
* The GAO notes that as of February 2014, 325 of 332 Product Support Managers (PSM) positions had been filled by the Department of Defense for its major weapon systems, but they worry that their career path is unclear, and guidance from the services might not be clear enough to delineate their responsibilities vs. those of the Program Managers they report to and advise.
Worried Europeans – Well, Some Are
* Ukraine’s ambassador to Pakistan tried to reassure the Pakistani (perhaps rattled by Vladimir Putin’s recent statement on Ukraine’s defense industry) that their orders for military equipment (reportedly tank engines) would be honored.
* Today’s taunt, from Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti: French Warship Deliveries to Russia Not Affected by Sanctions (i.e. Mistral). You can almost hear the na na na na tune, or whatever it is in Russian (Nyener Nyener?).
LEMV To Be Recycled as Heavy Lift Solution for Energy Companies
* Today’s video shows what Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) intends to do with the Airlander lighter-than-air aircraft, after the company bought back LEMV from the US Army last year for about $300K: