Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
As President Barack Obama sends more troops to Afghanistan, and the Pentagon is expected to increase orders of armored trucks, helicopters, ammunition and other weaponry, Reuters specialist journalists are talking to some of the biggest names in the aerospace and defense industries.
Among those who will be speaking to us this coming week: Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens, US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, and L-3 Communications Holdings CEO Michael Strianese.
And for Boeing Co’s customers, saving cash is becoming increasingly important.
It’s long been one of the great mysteries of the defense game about whether companies that make a lot of the stuff used for defense and security, might be able to ratchet down their pricing when, economically at least, it was a rainy day.
There might not be the enthusiasm of a couple of years ago, but some deals in the defense sector might actually get done, according to Thomas Captain, head of Deloitte‘s aerospace and defense group.
Speaking at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington, Captain said there were three possibbilities for deals that he sees in the near future.
Instead, for the U.S. government and the many companies that provide its weapons and defense systems, the time is coming to start deciding on priorities and coming to grips with how to finance all of the things that need to be done.
Robert Stevens, CEO of Lockheed Martin, said at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit on Tuesday that he expects a vigorous review of everything the government buys, flies or uses to defend its shores.
In a time of shrinking budgets and fears for the future, one of the biggest questions of this year’s Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit was what will happen with the F-22 fighter jet that is made by Lockheed Grumman.
Lockheed Chief Executive Robert Stevens is really the guy we wanted to ask that question and he didn’t shrink from giving a pretty full defense of the jet.
Executives at this year’s Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit almost uniformely said that finding critical, and rather immediate, value in mergers and acquisitions was especially important now in a climate of less money available for financing.
But opportunities do exist and can be found after careful hunting, said Alex Dorrian (heard first in this clip), CEO of Thales UK and executive vice president of International Operations for Thales Group worldwide, and Allan Cameron, chairman and CEO of Thales North America.
But, aside from the tragic cost of death or injury, wars also cost a lot of money to finance and President-elect Barack Obama will be facing some of those costs (as well as a whole mess of other stuff) when he takes office in January.
The world is a more dangerous place because of the global economic meltdown, according to Northrop Grumman Chief Executive Ronald Sugar, whose company provides specialized aircraft, radar and other electronics to meet that threat.
Sugar was the kick-off speaker at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit on Monday in Washington, D.C.