Ongoing activity in March and April included mergers and acquisitions, product launches and milestones, as well as seemingly healthy contract activity, but financials continue to emphasize the difficulties faced by the defense industry. Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service reports, "Defense Electronics Industry Review: March 2013," and "Defense Electronics Industry Review: April 2013," detail significant defense industry news, including product announcements, milestones, contract activity and defense industry financial performance as the first quarter of 2013 came to a close.
The beginning of 2013 started to see revenue results for companies. Most companies reported results that were essentially stable with minor increases or declines year-on-year. Boeing was the exception with revenues growing 19% year-on-year on the back of the company's commercial business. Company results reflected a slowing defense market, but contract activity was surprisingly good in January with new contracts across all sectors including radar, communications and EW. There were a number of international shows in February providing the stage for companies to establish strategic relationships, form joint ventures and highlight their capabilities as well as signing major contracts. Asif reviews these early year trends along with some briefings with various defense companies.
Strategy Analytics has released a series of reports, that bring together strategic analysis and commentary on twenty of the world’s major defense industry focused companies. The reports outline financial performance covering 2007-2012 and discuss activities within the defense sector, highlighting core strengths, perceived weaknesses and overall competitive positioning in the market.
Strategy Analytics presented at the 2012 Defence, Security and Space Forum during European Microwave Week on military satellite trends and future outlook. The use of space is increasing and becoming an essential component for infrastructure in communications, navigation and timing, agriculture and weather monitoring and disaster relief efforts. From a military perspective, space assets provide necessary resources to support troops including the provision of imagery, supporting communications, improving targeting and conversely reducing collateral damage. As a force multiplier, space assets can provide advanced capabilities and compensate for reductions in other conventional assets.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty with defense expenditure facing challenges and the threat of sequestration hanging over US companies there was positive news on the financial front as companies finished releasing results for the second quarter of the calendar year. Taking a snapshot of financial results and looking at quarterly revenue growth over the second and first quarters shows a turnaround with companies growing revenue as opposed to the quarter-to-quarter revenue declines observed after the first quarter of 2012.
Even though the JSF has yet to make its operational debut, the US Navy is already looking ahead, issuing a Request for Information (RfI) for a new fighter, which could be manned or unmanned, to replace the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler in the 2030s.
Strategy Analytics’ lead defense analyst, Asif Anwar, caught up with 3eTI’s president, BengaErinle, to discuss a range of issues including how the move towards net-centricity in military operations needs to be balanced with the threats from cyber-security, the impact of budgetary constraints on developing a coherent cyber strategy and linking future cyber requirements with electronic warfare.
Strategy Analytics attended the IQPC Airborne ISR 2012 conference over February 28th and 29th, 2012. Key trends and issues explored include the use of non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, battlespace collaboration and budget constraints.