The Army’s beleaguered Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) battle just keeps getting more interesting. Thought to be all but dead less than eight months ago, the $13 billion-plus Army and Marine troop carrier program is now being sought by no fewer than six contractors.
At last week’s AUSA Winter Symposium, the industry trotted out its latest gizmos and gadgets for the Army’s top brass. And as hard as contractors were trying to sell, the customers just weren’t buying.
Do no harm. It’s a cardinal rule for doctors – and it should be the same for advertisers because a poorly executed ad can do as much damage as a surgeon with a shaky hand.
Recently, when flipping through a defense magazine, I came across one of these misguided ads and was shocked by how badly it served the company that had purchased it.
The one-pager was for comms equipment, and it depicted your typical soldier as an operator. But on his camo cap, there was the word “infidel” written in Arabic-style script, a tweak to Islamic extremists.
Boeing is swearing up and down that it has not abandoned Kansas. Sure, just a few weeks ago, it ordered the shuttering of its Wichita plant — a move that put 2,160 people out of work and raised hackles across the state.
Well, what a year 2011 was. A new SecDef and Pentagon leadership, sequestration and budget cuts, the debt ceiling debate, bin Laden finally getting his comeuppance, U.S. forces withdrawing from Iraq, acquisition reform and all the merger/acquisition/spin-off activity that seems to have captivated the industry are all enough to make anyone’s head spin. I get tired just thinking about the past 12 months.
It’s no secret that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a troubled program. Over the past 10 years, the price of Lockheed Martin’s cutting-edge stealth aircraft has shot up 64 percent, while sales projections have continued to slide. Indeed, foreign countries that once fell over themselves to join the multinational F-35 program are now showing far less enthusiasm for the $120-150 million plane.
If you thought the conversation about solar energy in America was full of mixed messages, you'd be right. There are differences over the economic and commercial viability of solar power, and whether the government ought to play a role in encouraging renewable energy investment. These opinions (like so many others) are largely ideologically driven, but it’s starting to look like the divisiveness of the current political environment has begun plaguing the industry itself. Yes: things have gotten even more confusing.