US Sh-tdown Watch
* No deal, some talk between House Republicans and the Administration. Since defunding Obamacare was an obvious nonstarter, and even delaying part of its implementation didn’t pan out, Republicans are changing their angle. Talks, to the extent President Obama will admit to negotiating, are shifting to a broader discussion over government spending and the debt ceiling. Which is not necessarily good news per se for the defense sector, though in the end, “stop digging” might count as such.
* The U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) is putting on hold its intent to recompete the Instrumentable-Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System Tactical Vehicle System (I-MILES TVS, i.e. a training device used on a variety of vehicles). Cubic delivered the first such systems about a year ago. An industry day was supposed to happen about now, with an eventual $192M RFP for 16,000 kits. This is part of a broader effort [PDF] by Project Manager Training Devices to provide more realistic training conditions.
* The Association of the United States Army’s annual event intends to proceed, shutdown or not.
Pentagon Exit Costs
* US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will step down on December 4. It is fair to speculate that given Carter’s extensive institutional knowledge at the Pentagon, he’d rather have succeeded Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense than remain in the #2 chair.
* Holding shipments of weapon systems to Egypt will cost the US government millions of dollars, though the State department recognizes they don’t have more specific numbers at the moment.
CACI buys cyber/SIGINT company
* CACI is buying Six3 Systems for $820M (a little less than 2 years worth of their revenue), pending regulatory approval. It’s a sizable acquisition since Six3 will add 1,600 people to CACI’s 15,000 employees. Nonetheless Loren Thompson advises private equity firms to be cautious.
* Dmitry Gorenburg from the CNA research organization expects the US to disengage from Central Asia, as the odds of a security agreement with Afghanistan don’t look so good, but he argues it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
* As NATO forces in Afghanistan are transitioning to a support role, their missions increasingly look like the overwatch of an Afghan supply convoy in the video below: