November 13 Weekly Defense Industry Roundup

Posted by Fred Wellman

ATK Beats BAE for U.S. Military’s Biggest Contract in October

Brendan McGarry, Bloomberg/Washington Post. The world’s largest ammunition manufacturer beat out BAE Systems for the military’s biggest contract award in all of the month of October with a $8.48 billion deal to upgrade an ammunition facility in Missouri. The contract allows ATK to run the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Independence, Mo. for at least a decade and was a must win for ATK after losing a similar Virginia competition to BAE recently.

Defense Industry Needs to Get Serious About Diversifying

Loren Thompson, Forbes. The election is in the books now and Democrats retain control of the White House and Senate which is widely regarded to mean the downward pressure on defense spending is going to continue regardless of resolution of the sequestration cliff or not. Thompson goes through the grim news and concludes that major manufacturers will have to diversify further to survive but this is of little solace to middle and small businesses that support the military with little hopes of alternative business models. The next few years will be ones of shifting in the market space.

Iraq to Renegotiate Russia Arms Deal: Spokesman

Agence France-Presse. In a surprising twist today the Iraqi government announced they are canceling and renegotiating a massive $4.2 billion deal with Russia that was announced just weeks ago for a host of weapons systems over accusations of corruption in the deal. The deal was a surprise to many when it came out and has been under intensifying scrutiny in Iraq as the secretive nature of its development was gradually released. No word from the Russian government on the changes at this time.

Lockheed’s Hewson to Focus Company on Cybersecurity

Marcus Weisgerber, Defense News. Lost in all of the noise of CIA Director Petraeus’ resignation over an affair, Lockheed Martin also fired their incoming CEO Christopher Kubasik over an “inappropriate relationship” with a subordinate. This cleared the way for Marilyn Hewson to become the CEO and she is known as a strong supporter of the company’s cybersecurity division and programs. Hewson has been the executive vice president of the Electronic Systems division and will take over as CEO on January 1.

VetAdvisor Seeking Commercial Business

Marjorie Censer, Washington Post Capital Business. As more companies are stepping up to hire veterans one business in Washington, D.C. is stepping up to help them keep those employees on board. Three Wire Systems CEO and veteran Dan Frank sat down with Marjorie Censer last week to discuss his company’s VetAdvisor product. VetAdvisor provides a holistic coaching model for veterans that guides them in critical areas such as career advice, health and well-being. The coaching model has been developed over years of experience supporting the Department of Veterans Affairs and relies on some 70 specially trained coaches and mentors that are mostly veterans or have special training in veteran issues. Learn more at

Firms Help Vets Move Into Manufacturing Careers

George Altman, USA Today. Military Times education and transition reporter George Altman takes a look at the remarkable new program from GE and a coalition of partners called Get Skills to Work that is designed to get thousands of veterans to work in the advanced manufacturing industry. The program is launching pilot training sites around the country starting in January. Veterans can currently sign up for digital badges to help potential employers understand their qualifications online, and other services to assist in their transition from the military.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences:  No major shows scheduled that we are aware of this week.

Congress:   The full Congress is in session this week. Expect changes to the schedules for these hearings as news events are driving the schedule right now. There are several closed hearings on the Benghazi affair in both houses as well as talk of hearings on the Petraeus investigation.


Senate Armed Services Committee – Hearing (9:30 AM, Thurs, 15 Nov) Full committee hearing on the nominations of Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., for reappointment to the grade of general and to be commander, International Security Assistance Force, and to be commander, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan; and Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, for reappointment to the grade of general and to be commander, U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander, Europe. Witnesses:  The nominees testify Location:  G-50 Dirksen Senate Office Building

House of Representatives: 

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 15 Nov)

Economic Opportunity Subcommittee hearing on “Review of Veterans Employment Challenges and Initiatives of the 112th Congress.” Witnesses: 334 Cannon House Office Building Location: TBD

House Homeland Security Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 15 Nov)

Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee hearing on “WMD Terrorism: Assessing the Continued Homeland Threat.” Witnesses:  TBD Location:  210 Cannon House Office Building

House Foreign Affairs Committee – Hearing (10:00 AM, Thurs, 15 Nov) Full committee hearing on “Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012 and How to Prevent it from Happening at other Frontline Posts.” Witnesses:  Michael Courts, acting director of international affairs and trade at the Government Accountability Office; William Young, senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation; and others testify Location:   2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Think tanks and other news events: 

American Enterprise Institute and Center for American Progress: National Security in Obama’s Second Term, Washington, DC (3:00 PM, Weds 14 Nov) Description: Americans voted to keep their commander in chief, but the country is still in for real national security change in the coming months. There will be a new secretary of state, potential new secretary of defense, more transitions in Washington, and continued challenges abroad. Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war, and the Afghanistan war are just a few of the issues that will be high on the agenda. And then there is the issue of the fiscal cliff and the possible sequestration of $500 billion in defense funds if Congress does not act to stop it. What will change and what will remain the same between now and January 21, 2013? Join AEI and the Center for American Progress for the first in a series of joint conversations examining major national security challenges in the months and years ahead. Participants: Rudy deLeon, Center for American Progress, Brian Katulis, Center for American Progress, Danielle Pletka, AEI, Paul Wolfowitz, AEI Location: AEI, Twelfth Floor, 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036

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.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 9:20 am

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