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Weekly Defense Industry Roundup, Halloween Edition

Posted by Fred Wellman

Special Report: Worldwide Spending and Priorities

Staff, Defense News. Defense News is out with their big annual special look at worldwide defense spending and unsurprisingly…its mostly going down. The big four in Europe; Britain, France, Germany and Italy all have cut spending steadily and the next few years won’t be any different. Norway has bucked the trend with an increase in its budget, but other nations are approaching things with focuses on specific sectors like Naval operations or specific aircraft programs while overall spending trends downward.  Check out the full report package.

Pentagon Inspector Starts Criminal Probe of Contractor

Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today. Leonie Industries is being formally investigated for a host of criminal allegations based on the actions of one of its founders against journalists reporting negatively on the company. In a letter last week, the DoD Inspector General stated that the involvement of minority owner Camille Chidiac in a smear campaign against USA Today is the focus of an investigation to ensure no company resources or personnel were used in the illegal effort. This investigation comes on top of at least two others involving DoD information operations efforts in Afghanistan and has focused a harsh spotlight on efforts to influence the Afghan populace that has relied heavily on outside contractors.

Vendors Face New Realities Selling Products to the Army

Stew Magnuson, National Defense. One of the most notable things out of last week’s big AUSA Annual Meeting was what was not there…specifically actual Army soldiers.  The service drastically cut its participation in the show this year by prohibiting all but one organizational booth down from 75 and capping total service members to travel to the show at 400 compared to upwards of 4,000 in previous years. All of this meant that vendors who traditionally get the opportunity to show off their latest products to a large customer audience found themselves talking to each other instead. All of this is more fallout from the exposure of wasteful spending at GSA and VA conferences in the last year. The future doesn’t look like the situation will get any better.

At DoD, a Big Step Toward Apple and Android

Nicole Blake Johnson, Federal Times. The Department of Defense issued an RFP on Monday detailing the department’s need for software that can monitor, manage and enforce security requirements for Apple and Android devices or mobile device management solution.  It will not be required to support BlackBerry or Windows devices and signals a major step in allowing the newer devices onto the networks that have been exclusively the domain of the iconic RIM product for years.  Eventually DoD expects the MDM solution to support 8 million devices.

Army Loves AH-64D Block III Enough to Call it Echo; Will Taliban Call it Echo Monster?

Richard Whittle, AOL Defense. The Army has decided to make things simpler and in recognition of the significant upgrades that the Block III package for the AH-64D makes to the aircraft it will now be called the AH-64E. Full rate production of the aircraft was approved in August and the service expects to buy some 690 of the Echo. The upgrades include a better drive train and composite rotors that add some 25 knots of top speed. It will have boosted avionics and added tricks like control of UAV’s in the future. It will be a formidable aircraft for years to come.

The week ahead:

Tradeshows and Conferences: The MILCOM 2012 conference in Orlando was canceled due to over 40% of attendees traveling from the region affected by Hurricane Sandy. No other major shows scheduled.

Congress:  The full Congress is not session this week except for pro forma sessions. There are no defense or veteran’s related hearings or events.

Think tanks and other news events: 

(Check with the hosts to ensure these events will still go on. We have confirmed both events and they are currently scheduled to continue)

Washington Post Live: Cybersecurity: Protecting Our Nation’s Assets, Washington, DC (8:00 AM, Wed 31 Oct) Description: This Washington Post Live forum on cybersecurity will bring together leading experts to discuss the increasingly sophisticated attacks against business and government data and how to better protect it. RSVP online. Participants: Janet Napolitano, Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Gen. James Cartwright, former Vice Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Harold Brown, Chair in Defense Policy Studies, CSIS, William Lynn, former US Deputy Secretary of Defense; CEO, DRS Technologies, Linda Cureton, Chief Information Officer, NASA, Steven Bucci, Senior Research Fellow for Defense and Homeland Security, The Heritage Foundation, Albert Kinney, Director, Cybersecurity Capabilities Enterprise Services, U.S. Public Sector Hewlett-Packard Company, Jim Lewis, Senior Fellow and Program Director, CSIS, Lena Smart, Chief Security Officer, New York Power Authority, Raphael Mudge, Founder, Strategic Cyber LLC

Location: The Washington Post, 1150 15th St NW Washington, DC

Center for Strategic and International Studies: The Future of the United States Army: Critical Questions for a Period of Transition, Washington, DC (10:30 AM, Thu 1 Nov) Description: A discussion with Army chief of staff Odierno about the future of the U.S. Army during a period of transition and budget cuts. RSVP online. Participants: General Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army Location: B1 Conference Room, CSIS, 1800 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

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.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:54 am

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