BAE Systems announces in FT a cut of almost 1,000 jobs, just after Lockheed announces 600 execs take buy-out packages--all because of expected cuts in big platform purchases (total cuts sought are $100B over five years, or $20B a year). Boeing, also announcing cuts, even broached recently the notion of a merger with another big firm.
Meanwhile, defense companies applaud (Bloomberg Businessweek) the proposed export-control revamp offered by Obama, described as the most important change in that area in the last two decades. The change: instead of one big list of technologies that face export controls, now a three-tiered structure where government approval for export is made easier (2nd tier) or completely obviated (3rd tier). For example, in the realm of tanks and trucks, of the 12,000 items currently requiring export licenses, three-quarters would now be shifted to the lesser control categories.
Talk about just-in-time!
Good move for US exports and competitiveness and a reasonable sop to the defense industry facing a smaller US defense budget.