How The Midterms Will Shape Defense Spending; Lockheed Gets F-35 Upgrade Deal; AIA Kills Media Luncheon; And More. (Defense One) On the issue of cutting defense spending, Marcus Weisgerber for Defense One quotes Loren Thompson. “Modernization and expansion of the U.S. military is not going to progress at the pace that defense hawks had hoped,” Thompson wrote in a November Forbes article.
Almost Two Years Into Trump Presidency, Pentagon’s Revolving Door Still Spins (The Washington Post) Lexington’s Loren Thompson is quoted in Aaron Gregg’s article for The Washington Post on U.S. defense contractors hiring former government officials. He noted that “obviously senior military officers have very specialized skills, and they have many years ahead of them when they retire from military service,” he explained. “Where are you supposed to put those skills to work once you retire?”
Belgium Agrees To Buy 34 US F-35 Fighter Jets (The Washington Examiner) In speculating why Belgium purchased close to three dozen F-35 fighter jets over those from Eurofighter Typhoon, Joel Gehrke for The Washington Examiner refers to Loren Thompson’s September article for Forbes. “Most importantly, F-35 is the only aircraft currently being produced anywhere that is invisible to Russian radars,” Thompson wrote, also calling the F-35 “more survivable.”
Why Trump Wants To Keep Lockheed, Boeing And Others In Business With Saudi Arabia (The Washington Post) Lexington’s Loren Thompson predicted that major defense contractors would still attend a business conference in Saudi Arabia despite a recent uproar over the country’s human rights record. “The Saudi weapons market is too big for any defense contractor to ignore, and the Saudi leadership is too sensitive to take chances with.” he told The Washington Post.
L3 And Harris Agree To Merge, Creating $33.5 Billion Military Technology Giant (The Washington Post) Lexington Institute’s Chief Operating Officer, Loren Thompson, told The Washington Post that the merger of L3 and Harris signals a return to the defense industry for former high-ranking Lockheed Martin official Chris Kubasik. “This clearly demonstrates he is not done being a major player in the defense sector,” Thompson said.
Concerns Over Saudi Role In Dissident’s Disappearance Could Affect Boeing Sales (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Lexington’s Loren Thompson doubted that recent controversy over Saudi Arabia would affect Boeing’s defense sales in the region. Thompson predicted that the absence of “concrete evidence” would indicate the continuation of sales in the region.
After $30 Billion Aviation Deal, UTC May Be Headed For A Break Up (Hartford Courant) Speaking about a possible United Technologies Corp break up, Lexington’s Loren Thompson highlighted the company’s strength. “It will be so big in so many markets, even as a standalone it will be a powerhouse,” he told the Hartford Current. The company is preparing to acquire Iowa-based airplane manufacturer Rockwell Collins.
Report: Trump Considers Firing Air Force Secretary Over Space Force Disagreements (Dayton Daily News) Lexington Institute’s Chief Operating Officer Loren Thompson speculated that the ongoing debate over the Space Force could impact the workforce at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Recent reports of disagreement between President Trump and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson have clouded the base’s future role, but Thompson said that Wright-Patterson shouldn’t expect any major changes in the near future.
Boeing’s St. Louis Plant Wins Major $9.2 Billion Contract For New Air Force Training Jet (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) A new Boeing contract will guarantee the 14,000 jobs the company brings to the St. Louis area. Lexington’s Loren Thompson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he expected Boeing to win the manufacturing bid “because it had the only plane that was designed specifically for the T-X competition.” Boeing will produce the next Air Force training aircraft.
Passing Opioid Bill Will Take Too Long (Toledo Blade) In a Letter to the Editor, Lexington’s Paul Steidler calls for Congress to have a greater sense of urgency and quickly finalize opioid legislation. It is especially important to have advanced electronic data on all incoming mail from China so that law enforcement can seize more fentanyl.
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