In recent years, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) has released larger and broader awards to leverage contract bundling as a cost cutting measure. The effort to avoid duplicative or redundant contracts and programs within the Federal Government has shifted focus on the GSA as a primary procurement avenue.
Colt Defense, a West Hartford, Connecticut based firearm manufacturer, appears to be headed into a showdown with its bondholders after missing a $10.9 million payment last month. Colt’s modern sports rifles and handguns sales fell 30.0% in 2014 and its cash on hand diminished to a balance of $11.9 million as of May 22nd.
As a continuation of the red-hot M&A activity that’s been occurring in the defense microwave / radio frequency (“RF”) sector, Ultra Electronics announced the acquisition of the Electronics Products Division (“EPD”) of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions for $265 million.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Air Force announced that SpaceX received certification for military space launch, making it only the second provider approved to launch military payloads into orbit. The Air Force’s certification of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket effectively ends the service’s decade long sole reliance on United Launch Alliance (“ULA”) for military launch services.
The annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (“SOFIC”) kicked off this past week in Tampa, FL bringing together military, government, and industry stakeholders alike. This year, defense giants such as Boeing, General Dynamics, and Polaris showed off a range of new ultralight vehicle offerings in response to the U.S. Army’s pre-solicitation for new ultralight combat vehicles (“ULCV”) that can take advantage of tactical lift.
A strong driver of “middle market” M&A over the past five years has been (and we expect to continue to be) sellers’ presence within priority, well-funded customer and capability markets. Between 2001 and 2009, Federal spending on contractor services grew at an unprecedented rate, primarily driven by ongoing military action overseas, the growth of the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and the maturation of the Federal IT environment.
The U.S. Air Force released a Justification and Approval notice this past week on FedBizOpps, which indicates its plans to award Northrop Grumman $4 billion in contracts between 2016 and 2020 to sustain and develop the RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. This step solidifies support for the program and ends its tumultuous acquisition history.
Commercial applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs” or “drones”) were among the highlights at this past week’s annual AUVSI conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Venture investors continue to plow money into commercial UAVs businesses (noted by Accel Ventures’ investment this week of $75 million into Chinese drone firm DJI, valuing DJI at ~$8 billion).