June 16, 2019

Morning Coffee: Drone Production to Fall After 2017

Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River economic community. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Leader’s owners or staff.Morning Coffee logo

Drone production will increase over the next three years the decline for the next seven as demand falls, reports C4ISR & Networks. The Forecast International market research report also provides some good news for UAV manufacturers, stating “the value of production will steadily climb, from about $942 million in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2023.” Total land- and sea-based unmanned systems output between 2014 and 2023 is expected to hit 41,800 and be worth about $10.5 billion.

The Pentagon approved the first trans-Atlantic flight of the F-35 in July to participate in two international air shows near London, according to Reuters. F-35 backers say the decision reflects growing confidence in the program. Britain, which contributed $2 billion to the stealthy fighter’s development, requested the appearances to demonstrate the aircraft’s increasing capability. The jet’s appearance will be closely monitored by potential buyers, including Canada and Denmark, which also helped fund the plane’s development but are rethinking their procurement plans.

The Navy released a draft request for proposal Thursday for its unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) program, reports Flightglobal. The RFP was released to four prime contractors and requires development of a drone capable of operating from aircraft carriers. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Atomics and Northrop Grumman are currently contracted to provide preliminary design reviews for the project.

The military’s projected five year spending plan for procurement and R&D delineated in its 2015 budget proposal would be cut by $66 billion if US federal spending caps remain in place, a new DoD report reveals, according to Defense News. The cuts would impact dozens of Pentagon programs including the F-35, Boeing’s KC-46 tanker and the Airbus Light Utility Helicopter. The Pentagon’s long term spending plan is $115 billion above defense spending caps.

DefSec Chuck Hagel is initiating a review of the military justice system that will examine how commanders conduct courts-martial and impose punishments, reports the Military Times. The 18-month review of the Uniform Code of Military Justice “will help ensure the continued effectiveness of our armed forces and the fair administration of justice for our service members,” Mr. Hagel stated. The review will address increasing concerns of Pentagon management regarding sexual assault and other misconduct across the services after years of war.

The number of defense industry contractors will decline as a result of defense budget cuts that began in 2010 and will continue through the decade. It is unclear how the supplier contraction will affect the military as it does not know precisely which suppliers are essential. When vendors go out of business the Pentagon does not notice until a requirement arises that can’t be met. National Defense reviews the issues involved with the Pentagon identifying and protecting critical at-risk defense contractors.

Real Clear Defense provides a commentary titled, “The Navy is About to Transform Everything.”  The author states, “almost stealthily, the Navy has been investing in an array of new capabilities that when deployed will transform operations on and from the sea. The Navy’s investments in new ships, aircraft, sensors, weapons and networks promise a geometric, even logarithmic, improvement in capabilities.”

The Transportation Security Administration website states that it will temporarily stop some services for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program during a system upgrade, reports PilotOnline.com. The TSA issues TWIC cards to workers such as truck drivers who must regularly access secure military installations. Card transfers, replacements and renewals will stop Tuesday and pickups and activations will halt on April 26. The services will resume May 5 and enrollment sites will remain open.





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