Defense Business Brief: Trade fair whirlwind; LaPlante approved; Bath Iron Works boss resigns; and much more

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What a week! Three major trade fairs, Pentagon officials on the Hill, and a war in Ukraine. We will try to keep you informed of everything that is going on in the coming weeks and what you need to watch out for.

First, the Naval Corps’ Naval Airspace conference. The main showroom seemed to contain more startups and non-traditional companies than in previous years. Among them was Anduril, a California-based artificial intelligence firm that recently acquired underwater drone manufacturer Dive Technologies and signed a $1 billion SOCOM counter-drone contract. The company showcased one of its 3D-printed unmanned underwater vehicles. Shield AI and Saildrone also had booths.

“We’ve been attending defense trade shows for years, and one observation is the growing footprint in these shows of new entrants,” Capital Alpha Partners Byron Callan said in a note to investors on April 6.

A key focus was attaching weapons, a top priority for the Navy and the rest of the military. The contractors demonstrated many technologies focused on all-domain joint command and control or JADC2 and 5G communications.

Traditional contractors also took part in the fair held for Chris Kastner, the new CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries. Kaster, who was previously the finance director of the firm, launched the company’s $40 billion savings and investments “into the technologies we are developing both in the commercial world and in the commercial world”. [are] very interested by our customer.” Kastner described the HII as “a remodeled house with solid bones, with some additions.”

HII, which UUV manufacturer acquires Hydroid In 2020, it is also looking for AI and other new types of technology. Last year, Acquired Alion Science and Technology has deepened its research-development and intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance portfolios to target what Kastner calls growth markets.

“The technologies they have invested in and developed for their customers, especially the Navy, were very interesting to us,” he said.

Now let’s go west to Colorado Springs and the Space Symposium, where my colleague Jacqueline Feldscher posted this post:

The Space Symposium’s showroom featured several dazzling displays, including a walk-in model from Northrop Grumman’s commercial. space station and a giant inflatable planet It was spinning above the NASA stand – but it lacked many of the interactive exhibits from past shows. One notable exception was the Lockheed Martin booth, which featured a video game where attendees could try driving a car with their hands. mobile on the surface of the moon.

What the fuck? Northrop’s ersatz space station had two stuffed chickens — heralding the need for future astronauts to grow their own food during long-distance missions to Mars, a company spokesperson told me. Sending chickens into low Earth orbit will help scientists study how farm animals respond to space travel and see if chickens can lay eggs at zero-G.

Freeze-dried fun: A space gift stand was selling astronaut ice cream and freeze-dried dog food so even Fido could join in the fun.

Finally, to Nashville and The annual aircraft-focused symposium organized by the Army Aviation Association of America, better known as Quad A. Bell, and a Sikorsky-Boeing team competing in the Army’s future attack reconnaissance aircraft efforts, plan to fly their new aircraft by the end of next year. Writer Jen Judson Defense News. Jen is also the Army’s shoot Three long-range missiles are being considered for the Apache attack helicopter.

Bonus: Here is one video Demonstration of Teledyne FLIR’s Black Hornet nano-drone.

Only: The head of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works abruptly resigned on Friday. Portland Press Reporter reports. “Dirk Lesko retired immediately as head of Bath Iron Works. Robert E. Smith, Vice President of Marine Systems, General Dynamics, assumed direct responsibility for Bath Iron Works until a permanent replacement is appointed.” Defense One.

It’s been a tough few years in Bath. The majority of workers building Arleigh Burke-class destroyers went on strike for 63 days in 2020. Last year, the company warned of layoffs if the Navy didn’t buy more destroyers. The shipyard also fell behind from its work.

Inside, part 2: Senate approved Bill LaPlante will be undersecretary of defense for acquisition and maintenance. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an urgent reminder that national security must remain a priority, and the Bill’s swift bipartisan approval reflects this reality,” said Eric Fanning, CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, in an emailed statement. I’ve worked for many years at the Pentagon and I know he will be a tremendous leader in this important role.”

Pentagon officials on Capitol Hill Budget request for fiscal year 2023. As my colleague Elizabeth Howe reports, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said that vaccination requirements do not preclude enlistment. Here are some other highlights from Austin and Milley’s time on the Hill this week: The Department of Defense has given several conflicting responses in recent days about whether US personnel are training Ukrainians and what Ukraine’s “Victory” will look like?

Boeing’s new Air Force One has more problems, undergoing extensive modifications in San Antonio, Texas. Wall Street Magazine reports. The paper’s Andrew Tangel writes: “During the production of the new Air Force One jets earlier this year, Boeing crews were trying to shift the weight of one of the planes from a scaffold-like structure at the factory to the jacks. said matter. However, they said the weight of some jacks significantly exceeded what they were designed to carry, raising concerns about damaging the aircraft.

Successful HAWC flight. Lockheed Martin version of the Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon Concept “After being released from an aircraft carrier, the Aerojet Rocketdyne scramjet engine was upgraded to the ignition envelope. From there it accelerated rapidly and for a long time continued to cruise faster than Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound). The vehicle reached altitudes of more than 65,000 feet and flew more than 300 nautical miles,” DARPA I said in a statement that skipped the test date. Last year, a Raytheon Technologies/Northrop Grumman-made HAWC hypersonic weapon launched a successful flight test.

Northrop Grumman collaborates with telecom giant AT&T “Research and develop a digital warfare network powered by AT&T 5G and Northrop Grumman’s advanced mission systems to support the US Department of Defense” I said. Last year, Lockheed Martin teamed up with Verizon to continue similar military work.

I asked in February Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown told our friends at The War Zone about what looks like a mysterious plane being hijacked by a Planet satellite on a taxiway at Area 51, the secret test base at Groom Lake, north of Las Vegas. first reported same month. Here’s our exchange as part of a longer interview for our State of Defense series:

Defense One: “Some attention has been paid to the satellite imagery of one of your bases that you’re not talking about, and it looks like there’s a plane sitting there in a naive view on the runway. Was that intentional? And can you tell us what that is?”

General Brown: “No, I can’t. What I’m going to tell you is that months ago… when talent was less proliferating in space, there were times when we could really do something and not be seen. It’s harder to do things and not be seen.”

Finally, a 1918 Nieuport 28 recently took off, According to the American Heritage Museum and Collings Foundation, that makes it “America’s oldest, original and airworthy fighter jet has returned to the skies.” The plane was flying over southern Sweden after a perennial restoration, the groups said in an emailed statement. Organizations said there are only five Nieuport 28s in existence. Here is one video from flight. The aircraft will be on display at the American Heritage Museum when it returns to the United States later this year.


from Defense One

The USS Gerald R. Ford reached its first operational capacity in December, service leaders said on Tuesday.

The latest reorganization by CEO Chris Kubasik to help win the Pentagon business.

Admiral Mike Gilday touts shipbuilding apprenticeships as excellent landing spots.

CNO Gilday says the United States should not be like the Russians with a large but incapacitated power.

The “minute” updated Slingshot Aerospace tool is expected to improve training and real-world planning.

The improvements spurred by the invasion of Russia will help the industry long after the war is over.

Will the Pentagon protect these companies from enemy attack? The US Space Command says it’s a “pretty sensitive conversation”.

Del Toro said, “I am deeply committed to the law. I just want to make sure it has the right balance.” said.

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