On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012, which fully funds the Pentagon’s request of a $553 billion base defense budget and $118 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House bill allows for the continued development of a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and restricts the president’s ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay and reduce the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile as part of the new START treaty with Russia.
Several public companies in the aerospace, defense, and government services universe have been the targets of acquisitions recently. In April 2011, for example, Providence Equity Partners announced the acquisition of SRA International in a $1.9 billion deal and Ares completed its acquisition of Global Defense Technology & Systems (“GTEC”) in a $313 million transaction. Many of the recent transactions involved targets that were publicly-traded entities for just a few years.
Secretary Gates revealed details earlier in the week about the DoD review of missions and capabilities ordered last month by President Barack Obama to shape a $400 billion, 12-year cut to security spending. The review will focus on generating additional efficiencies, examining programs that dramatically increase operating costs, reducing / eliminating “marginal missions and marginal capabilities,” and specifying modifications to the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) strategy.
Growth remains elusive for many private and public sector IT companies given the slow economic recovery and the stressed Federal budget environment. However, there are dramatic growth opportunities for companies with capabilities and domain expertise in Health IT.
On Thursday, Secretary Gates stated that the air war in Libya has cost the U.S. approximately $750 million to date, more than the $604 million the Pentagon had initially anticipated. Earlier in the week, the House Appropriations Committee announced plans for $121 billion in additional cuts in federal programs for 2012, including an $8.9 billion reduction in defense funding.
As part of our work with MissionLink, the technology company CEO forum that we co-founded in 2010, last week we were fortunate to host the CEOs of Cloudera and Digital Reasoning for an engaging discussion on the opportunities offered by today’s cloud technology solutions.
As the Defense Intelligence Agency prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in October, the agency hosted its annual DoDIIS conference in Detroit, Michigan last week. Below is a summary of the prevailing trends we observed while attending last week’s event:
The big news this week was that U.S. Navy Seals entered Pakistan by a radar-evading variant of the special operations MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and killed Osama bin Laden, who then received a burial at sea after U.S. diplomats could not find a nearby country willing to accept the body.