Defense Contractors

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It’s costly sending troops all over the world. Especially when a lot of them aren’t riding around in tanks or armored personnel carriers. In years past, the U.S. military has shipped about 75,000 cars to and from the U.S. every year for its troops’ personal use when they, and often their families, are deployed to non-war zones. …

Conning The Currency

The Pentagon’s habit of concurrency – building a weapon before you’ve finished the blueprints for it – is rearing its ugly head once again. Frankly, having witnessed it for decades, the logic behind it is less than compelling. It’s often cited as necessary to keep up with the Russians or the Chinese or the Somebody Else, …

Take This (Defense) Job and…Love It

Paper cuts are becoming an occupational hazard of covering the debate over how to trim Pentagon spending. If you feel like getting slashed with competing reports, a pair of studies released Tuesday should send you running for bandages.

Bottom line: we can cut spending if we defend less. But if we defend less, we’re going to lose a …

Pentagon Fraud: Business As Usual

You have to feel sorry for Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont lawmaker who keeps attacking the Pentagon for contracting with companies that have engaged in fraud. His latest salvo: the Pentagon has awarded more than $1 trillion in contracts over the past decade to such entities. “The ugly truth,” the Independent …

All Politics Is Local…

Little tales illuminate big issues. Take defense spending and jobs, for example. It always drives me crazy when government bodies do something completely unrelated to their prescribed role. It happened just last week in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of D.C. where I happen to live. Yet unrelated doesn’t mean there aren’t …

Winds of War

Apparently the Navy isn’t the only service that has trouble building projects with money from 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Air Force planned on spending $15 million for three wind turbines to generate electric power for remote Alaskan radar sites. Sure, there have been the typical problems: each turbine’s cost …

Combat Contracting 101



War-zone contracting is a complicated business, because the pressures of combat drive people – not to mention governments – to do things they might not otherwise do. Besides which, it’s boring to wade through all the fine print.

Case in point: a contract to train 80 Afghan wanna-be pilots in both flying and English. Raytheon …

Special Forces Navy

You won’t learn much from the most interesting contract announcement the Pentagon made Thursday (click on it to enlarge). It’s for as much as $400 million to “develop, test, produce, field, and sustain a modern, clandestine, agile, adaptive, technically relevant, reliable, and operationally capable combatant craft system in support …

Pilots’ Days Are Numbered

On a day when a U.S. drone apparently sent Anwar al-Awlaki to his eternal reward, check out this Northrop Grumman video of the Navy’s X-47B UCAS — Unmanned Combat Air System. Sometime in the next year or two, these things are slated to start test flights off aircraft carriers. Somehow, a 21st Century Top Gun — with Tom Cruise …

Follow the Money 2.0

It was less than a week ago that we noted General Dynamics had landed a Pentagon contract to help tend to the bruised brains of troops suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury. We took note of it because we’ve seen big defense contractors increasingly move into the medical field in recent years. The latest evidence surfaced Tuesday, …

The Defense Dinosaurs

One of the reasons competition in the defense industry is so rare is that there are so few potential competitors left. Here’s a nifty chart (click to enlarge), from that Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments report on the defense industrial base, showing how dozens of companies have been gobbled up over the past couple of …

$24,966,507

That’s how much the Air Force agreed to pay Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. of Herndon, Va., Tuesday, according to the Pentagon’s daily contract-awards list. The money will fund studies, including Emerging Leading-Edge Technological Advancement of Intelligence Surveillance Recon Capabilities Report, as well as Tactics, Techniques, and

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