August 13 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

Analysts See Unmanned Aircraft Market Growing

Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News. Last week we attended the annual Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International North America conference in Las Vegas that brought together well over 500 exhibitors and several thousand attendees. There was a spectrum of representatives focusing on all types of systems for ground, sea and air missions both military and domestic. Analysts are predicting a growing market for the aerial systems in spite of a slowing in the U.S. military’s large system purchases. Over the next ten years it’s likely over $81.3 billion will be spent on research, development and fielding of UAS programs around the globe, with the many systems being homegrown in areas as diverse as Brazil to the Middle East.

U.S. Spending Bills Suddenly Irrelevant

Kate Brannen, Defense News. Kate Brannen offers an outstanding assessment of the budget mess that just keeps getting worse and worse. Just before leaving town the leaders of the House and Senate agreed on a six month continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown fight in October like last year. Unfortunately a CR just postpones the pain for the defense industry and in many ways makes it much worse. Most importantly programs are funded at last year’s levels and no new starts on programs are allowed so it places in limbo many contracts that would be launched and programs moving through the system. While the politicians try to spin it as a victory it is really just another political game that abdicates duty to lead for short-term political point scoring once again.

Intelligent, Autonomous Robots Set to Change Combat Landscape

Chris Carroll, Stars and Stripes. Unmanned systems aren’t just for aerial surveillance and strike these days and in the future they may not have someone directing them from afar. Before the AUVSI show the military conducted a number of tests at Ft. Pickett in Virginia on the capabilities of autonomous robotic vehicles for missions ranging from supporting squads of troops in combat to convoys of trucks delivering supplies in hostile territory. While still a long way from production, systems like the Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate, or GUSS, for the Marines and Oshkosh Defense’s cargo Unmanned Ground Vehicle convoys could significantly change the battlefield dynamics in future battlefields where there will be fewer troops and uncertain conditions.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: 

NDIA Space and Missile Defense Conference, Huntsville, AL (Mon-Thurs, 13-16 Aug) NDIA’s annual SMD conference is a major opportunity for companies and others working in the SMD sector including small businesses. Held right at the home of the Missile Defense Agency and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center the conference offers a range of discussions on current issues and business opportunities with the various agencies. Congress:   The full Congress is not in session this week with the August recess and will not return until September 10th.

Think tanks and other news events: 

Heritage Foundation: When the Next Catastrophe Strikes: Disaster Response and Defense Support to Civil Authorities, Washington, DC (10:00 AM, Tues 14 Aug) Description: For many years, the Department of Defense has provided support to civil authorities in times of crisis and emergency. During disasters, our nation’s forces come to the aid of civilian authorities, providing the Department of Homeland Security and local leaders with assistance in terms of transportation and communication, medical personnel, search and rescue capabilities and so much more. This program will examine both the historical role of the Department of Defense in providing support to civil authorities as well as the specific role DOD may play during domestic disaster response. RSVP online. Participants: The Honorable Paul N. Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, Vice Admiral Harvey E. Johnson , Jr. (USCG, Ret.), Vice President, BAE Systems; Former Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency Location: Lehrman Auditorium, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Heritage Foundation: The Price Every State Must Pay: The National Guard and Sequestration, Washington, DC (11:00 AM, Wed 15 Aug) Description: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned that it would be “disastrous” for Congress to allow sequestration to go forward come January. It is certainly clear that the $500 billion or more cuts made due to sequestration would hollow out the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, but what about the National Guard? Cuts to the Army and Air National Guard will hurt every state in the union. Every governor will have fewer assets to call on in a disaster. This program will examine the effects of sequestration on the National Guard and its ability to protect the United States. RSVP online. Participants: The Honorable Paul F. McHale, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum (USA, Ret.), Former Deputy Commander, United States Northern Command Location: Lehrman Auditorium, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Fred Wellman with General Petraeus in Iraq

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.

+Fred Wellman

This entry was posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 8:36 am

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