26 May 2023
by Marc Selinger
The US Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Janes/Marc Selinger)
The US Professional Services Council (PSC) is urging its member companies to prepare for the possibility that the US government could delay payments to contractors if it fails to resolve its debt limit crisis.
Contractors should stockpile cash and consult with their credit providers to ensure they can continue operations if the government suspends payments, David Berteau, PSC president and CEO, told reporters on 25 May.
The government is expected to run out of money in early June unless its borrowing authority is increased. While President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress support raising the USD31.4 trillion debt ceiling without conditions, congressional Republicans insist that a ceiling increase be coupled with cuts in non-defence spending. The Biden administration and congressional leaders have been trying to negotiate a compromise but have yet to reach a deal.
“We want this to be done as soon as possible,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, told reporters on 25 May. “That's why the negotiators have been working around the clock – 24 hours, practically – to get this done.”
12 May 2023
by Kate Tringham
HMS Vanguard is expected to return to operations later in 2023 following the completion of its post-refit trial period. (Crown Copyright)
The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), HMS Vanguard (S28), has finally departed Babcock International's Devonport Royal Dockyard facility in Plymouth following the completion of a much-delayed deep maintenance and refuelling programme.
An RN spokesperson confirmed to Janes that Vanguard set sail from Devonport Dockyard on 9 May bound for HM Naval Base, Clyde, at Faslane, Scotland, where it will start its post-refit trial period. This will include crew training and will culminate in a demonstration and shakedown operation. The demonstration firing of the Trident weapon system typically takes place off the Eastern Seaboard of the US.
Vanguard started what was originally intended to be a three-year Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) – (LOP[R]) – at Babcock Internationals Devonport facility in Plymouth in December 2015. However, the programme ended up taking more than seven years at significantly increased cost because of technical issues as well as further setbacks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
08 May 2023
by Marc Selinger
Lockheed Martin builds GPS III satellites for the US Space Force. (Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin's Space business area plans to consolidate its five lines of business into three as part of a reorganisation, according to a 4 May announcement.
The new National Security Space business line will bring together the classified and defence programmes of the Military Space, Mission Solutions, and Special Programs units. No changes will occur in the Strategic and Missile Defense Systems business line, which works on strategic deterrence, missile defence, and hypersonics, or in the Commercial Civil Space business line, which focuses on exploration and scientific research.
Lockheed Martin Space is also creating a Product Center to drive “affordability and marketability” of its offering. Lockheed Martin vice-presidents Maria Demaree and Mike Patton will lead the National Security Space business line and the Product Center, respectively.
The Space business area, which is based in the US state of Colorado, said the changes will enhance its “speed and effectiveness” and that it intends to “transition into this new organisational alignment over the coming months”. The restructuring announcement follows the recent formation of Lockheed Martin Space's Ignite organisation, which focuses on “rapid capability development”.
06 April 2023
by Jon Grevatt
Japan's new OSA scheme will provide funding for allied countries to procure defence equipment such as radars, transport aircraft, and surveillance ships. Pictured above is Japan's third Hibiki-class ocean surveillance ship on its commissioning in March 2021. (Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force)
Japan has said it will launch a new credit facility to support defence exports. The Official Security Assistance (OSA) scheme – the first of its kind in Japan – will be aligned with the country's national security interests, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Tokyo said on 5 April.
The MOFA described the OSA as a “co-operation framework” to provide developing countries with defence equipment and supplies “for the benefit of armed forces and related organisations”.
“By enhancing [countries'] security and deterrence capabilities, the OSA aims to deepen our security co-operation with countries to create a desirable security environment for Japan, and to contribute to maintaining and strengthening international peace and security,” it added.
The US Professional Services Council (PSC) is urging its member companies to prepare for the possibi...
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