Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg. The State Department has approved a record number of export licenses in the last year for U.S. military parts and services. The licenses are valued at $44.3 billion representing an increase of more than $10 billion from last year and were led by some $219.9 million to Brazil and another $217.3 million to India. Both countries are mostly getting military aircraft and associated equipment. Overseas sales are a major part of the hopes for survival among aerospace and defense manufacturers as continuing belt tightening in the U.S. for the foreseeable future puts their profit prospects at greater risk.
Paul McLeary, Defense News. The market for so-called ‘throwable robots’ is a growing one for military forces looking to find out what lies in closed compounds and rooms. The makers of one of the most promising models, the Throwbot XT, have now added a microphone to their small system to allow users to hear what’s going on around the robot. Recon Robotics claims to have some 3,700 systems in use with 30 countries. The system is in a competition with three other small robots in operational tests under the auspices of the Joint IED Defeat Organization in Afghanistan including models from MacroUSA, QinetiQ, and iRobot. This niche of the robot market promises to be one of continued growth as the future of warfare is envisioned to include more urban warfare with fewer troops.
Sandra Erwin, The National Defense. Although many believe that Congress will find away to avert the $500 billion sequestration train wreck before it kicks in this January, the threat alone is serving to suppress stock prices, delay mergers and acquisitions and likely lead to job cuts in anticipation of tighter times for the defense industry. While there are still acquisitions proceeding for commercial purchases as a means to diversify away from military pure strategies it remains to be seen how bad things might just get for the U.S. defense makers. More cuts are widely expected no matter what happens with the sequestration debacle.
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Wired.com Danger Room. It looks like Congress is making moves to ensure that two companies remain to provide satellite imagery to the U.S. intelligence community. There has been months of talks and back and forth between DigitalGlobe and GeoEye on mergers including a hostile take-over attempt by GeoEye that have all failed to materialize. Even though the White House has announced it’s reviewing its policy of relying on commercial capabilities, the Senate Armed Services Committee is making it clear its stance by reinstating some $125 million into the EnhancedView program cut by the administration. The idea of competition remains strong in Congress for now.
The week ahead:
Tradeshows and Conferences:
Eurosatory 2012 (Mon-Fri, 11-15 June) Paris, France. Taking place every two years in Paris, Eurosatory has a reputation as one of the biggest defense tradeshows in the world. They expect over 1,400 exhibitors and 55,000 visitors to this year’s show. In 2010 54 countries were represented and visitors from a total of 130 countries attended. This is the big one for land- based technology in the defense industry.
Congress: The Senate is in session this week while the House of Representatives has a constituent work week scheduled.
Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (2:30 PM, Tues, 12 June) Revised Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing on proliferation prevention programs at the Energy Department and at the Defense Department in review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2013 and the Future Years Defense Program Witnesses: Assistant Defense Secretary for Global Strategic Affairs Madelyn Creedon; Kenneth Myers III, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and director of the U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction; Anne Harrington, deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, testify Location: 232-A Russell Senate Office Building
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Wed, 13 June) Full committee hearing on “Economic Opportunity and Transition Legislation.” Witnesses: TBA Location: 418 Russell Senate Office Building
Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (10:30 AM, Wed, 13 June) Defense Subcommittee hearing on the FY2013 budget request of the Defense Department. Witnesses: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify Location: 192 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thur, 14 June) Full committee hearing on “The Law of the Sea Convention (T.Doc.103-39): Perspectives From the U.S. Military.” Witnesses: Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations; Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp Jr.; Gen. William Fraser III, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.; Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.; and Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, testify Location: 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Hearing (2:30 PM, Thur, 14 June) Full committee hearing on T.Doc.103-39, “The Law of the Sea Convention.” Witnesses: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte; John Bellinger III, former legal adviser for the State Department, currently with Arnold & Porter LLP; and Steven Groves, fellow at the Heritage Foundation, testify Location: 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building
House of Representatives: Constituent work week
Think tanks and other news events:
Center for New American Security 2012 Annual Conference, (Wed, 13 Jun) Willard InterContinental, Washington, D.C. This year’s CNAS Annual Conference theme is “Rethinking U.S. Security: Navigating a World in Transition” and features panels on the so-called “Asian pivot”, getting Afghans into the lead, how to reintegrate veterans into their communities, and what U.S. defense and national security strategies will look like in the future. CNAS heavyweights like Nathaniel Fick, Andrew Exum, and John Nagl will be on hand in addition to names like Michele Flournoy, Robert Zoellick of the World Bank, Rajiv Chandresekaran of The Washington Post, and Anne-Marie Slaughter.
Government Executive: The Expanding Role of Open Source Information and Social Media for the Intelligence Community, (7:30 AM, Tue 11 Jun) Washington, D.C. Description: Open source information and social media have caused a huge growth in the amount of data available to the intelligence community. In a budget-constrained environment, this information explosion may become a major source for producing intelligence and protecting our nation. RSVP online. Participants: Dr. Patrick O’Neil, Director of Analytic Development, Open Source Center, David Abruzzino, Director, Open Source Intelligence Exchange, Fairmont State University, Craig Parisot, Chief Operating Officer, Invertix, Tim Clark, Editor at Large, Government Executive Location: Ballroom, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20045
The Heritage Foundation: Real-Time Diplomacy: Politics and Power in the Social Media Era (12:00 PM, Tue 11 Jun) Washington, D.C. Description: The 2011 uprisings in the Middle East illustrated how, in a high-speed, media-centric world, conventional diplomacy has become an anachronism. Not only do events move quickly, but so too does public reaction to those events. The cushion of time that enabled policymakers to judiciously gather information and weigh alternatives is gone. In Real-Time Diplomacy, Philip Seib analyzes the essential, but often unhappy, marriage between diplomacy and new media, evaluating media’s reach and influence, and determining how policy makers might take advantage of media’s real-time capabilities rather than being driven by them. RSVP online. Participants: Philip Seib, Author, The Honorable Mike Hammer, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State, James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation Location: Lehrman Auditorium, The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Center for Strategic and International Studies: Smarter Defense: The Future of Anglo-American Cooperation and Its Transatlantic Implications, (11:00 AM, Wed 12 Jun) Washington, D.C. Description: The Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project will release its new report on America’s image abroad, the result of a survey of more than 26,000 people in 21 countries. The report examines international perceptions of American power, confidence in President Obama, and attitudes toward key elements of U.S. foreign policy. RSVP online. Participants: Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center Location: B1 A/B Conference Room, CSIS, 1800 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006
Fred Wellman, President ScoutComms, brings us his weekly review of defense industry news via The Scout Report. Fred served over twenty years as an Army officer in both aviation and public affairs. You can follow Fred on Twitter @ScoutComms.