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[*] posted on 10-3-2020 at 07:03 PM
Coronavirus and national / industry impacts


Coronavirus shaking up America’s defense industry

By: Joe Gould and Valerie Insinna   2 hours ago

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. aerospace and defense sector is feeling the impact of the coronavirus, with companies limiting travel, defense trade events scuttled and contingency planning underway.

As stocks fell sharply Monday on a combination of coronavirus fears and plunging oil prices, defense firms were girding for the worst and looking to the White House for guidance. The comments came days after spread of the coronavirus forced the weeklong closure of two F-35 related facilities in Italy and Japan―a sign the outbreak had begun to impact operations within the American defense industrial base.

“The normal ways of doing business are definitely going to change,” said Aerospace Industries Association CEO Eric Fanning. “We’re trying to get to the place where we’re not reacting on a day-to-day basis to what’s happening and getting in front of some of these things and maybe making some proactive decisions. But everyone is kind of looking to everyone else to take the lead on how to address this.”

Lockheed, Raytheon and Honeywell were among dozens of companies that pulled out of last month’s Singapore Air Show, which is typically the largest defense trade show in Asia―and SXSW, a show AIA participates in, was cancelled. The two offer a glimpse into how fears of corona virus could impact other defense trade shows and conferences.

“It felt like a ghost town. It definitely was a strange experience,” Fanning said about the Singapore conference.

While it’s easy to overstate the importance of trade shows in cementing major deals, the deals announced at the shows are often worked out in advance, Fanning said. Still, the shows are still valuable for face-to-face networking between international defense officials and industry.

As of Monday, the National Defense Industrial Association still planned to hold its Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla., this May. Its 2020 Pacific Operational Science and Technology Conference in Honolulu was ongoing this week, with more than 700 attendees, a spokeswoman said.

At least one major defense firm, Boeing, has limited its employees to “business-essential” travel, and it has been rescheduling some events, reducing face-to-face meetings in favor of virtual meetings, enabling telecommuting when possible.

“These measures are temporary and aimed to prevent the spread of the virus, shorten its impact and ensure the health and safety of our employees as well as the general public," a Boeing spokesman said.


Vice President Mike Pence, right, along with Florida Sen. Rick Scott, left, and Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, speaks to the media after a meeting with cruise line company leaders to discuss the efforts to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Port Everglades, Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Gaston De Cardenas/AP)

The virus has infected more than 110,000 people worldwide, and Italy on Sunday followed China’s lead in quarantining a big swath of its country in hopes of corralling the spread. That sparked more fears in the financial markets that quarantines would snarl supply chains for companies even more than they already have.

While COVID-19’s long term impacts on the defense aerospace industry may take time to manifest, they could be complicated by the uncertainty of the financial market and ongoing trade wars with China, according to Fanning and others.

“Supply chains are global, they’re inter-related, they’re incredibly complex. Having real good situational awareness into them is difficult to begin with, then you add any instability on top of it, it gets harder. And this definitely is added to that,” Fanning said.

The new coronavirus is now spreading on every continent except Antarctica and hurting consumer spending, industrial production, and travel.

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, many investors feel helpless in trying to estimate how much it will hurt the economy and corporate profits, and the easiest response to such uncertainty may be to get out. After initially taking an optimistic view on the virus — hoping that it would remain mostly in China and cause just a short-term disruption — investors are realizing they likely woefully underestimated it.

On Monday, the Dow Jones U.S. Aerospace & Defense Index was down 26 percent over the last month, lagging the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was down 18 percent.

“Defense should do relatively better [than consumer sectors], but it’s not gonna be immune,” said Byron Callan, a policy research expert at Capital Alpha Partners. “It’s gonna catch a mild fever where, you know, there are gonna be other parts of the U.S. economy that are gonna be in a critical situation."

“Buy-America” regulations and other controls mean the U.S. defense industry’s supply chains may be less susceptible to disruption than some consumer sectors, where reliance on China-made components is more widespread―and few, if any supply chains are as globally linked as the F-35’s, said U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Defense and Aerospace Export Council’s president, Keith Webster.

“I would say in the U.S. defense sector’s supply chain is less vulnerable than maybe a product in the commercial sector, but we’ll have to see,” Webster said. “If this continues across the F-35 partner nations, with their industrial sharing, one could see an impact.”

On the flip side, China’s weeks-long factory closures could eventually see parallels in the U.S., if the virus is not quickly contained. White collar employees may be able to telecommute, but if skilled laborers are forced to stay home, that could mean problems for the primes and their lower-tier suppliers.

“Are there parallels to China in the U.S.? We don't know,” Webster said. “The first step is containment, and the next step is mitigation. China went into mitigation very quickly, which is keeping everybody home. We’re just beginning to see that thought process here.”

Short of factory closings, factory workers staying home for school closures or to care for sick relatives could trigger work slow downs, particularly at the lower tiers of the supply chain, especially the ones that rely on smaller pools of workers. Those companies could suffer too if they rely on the commercial side of the aerospace sector, which is expected to be harder hit, Callan said.

“You can see the ramifications on the pace of work, but it’s not like the airline industry or the cruise ship industry where all of a sudden none of your customers show up,” Callan said, adding: “There could be a cascading effect from some commercial aerospace. Again, it’s at very, very small level, but it’s still a factor.”

The Associated Press and Aaron Mehta contributed to this report.
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[*] posted on 17-3-2020 at 04:27 PM


DoD networks face severe strains from telework

By: Mark Pomerleau   7 hours ago


With an increased number of DoD employees teleworking, the network is being strained, a top cybersecurity official said. (Staff Sgt. Tracy J. Smith/Georgia Army National Guard)

Increased teleworking by Department of Defense employees as a response to the coronavirus has put the department’s network under previously unknown levels of pressure, its principal deputy chief information officer said in a virtual town hall March 16.

“Given the increased telework demand, we’ve seen a tremendous increase on the network. Unprecedented demand just over the last weekend or so,” Essye Miller, said.

She explained that, as a result of the increased demand on the network, they are asking that streaming services such as Pandora be limited if they are not mission essential. She also noted that access to YouTube will be blocked, effective tonight.

Lisa Hershman, the Pentagon’s chief management officer, said that the department is stress-testing telework opportunities. Given that, Miller noted a 240 percent increase in the help-desk requests.

Officials also explained that increased telework provides a larger cyberattack surface for adversaries to exploit, though, officials noted, Secret and Top Secret information is not available in a telework environment.

“They’re already taking advantage of the situation and the environment that we have on hand. With that, we’re developing best practices for you to use as you move from working in the office into a telework environment,” Miller said, without offering any additional information. “If you walk away from nothing else, it’s please, please, please, the same practices that you use in an office environment need to convey to wherever you’re teleworking from … We are creating a do’s and don’ts for healthy, clean hygiene on the network that we will make sure we give to WHS to distribute.”

The Washington Headquarters Service issued guidance for employees on cyber hygiene and best practices.

“[S]ome of the inherent security measures that we take for granted while working directly within a DoD network may not be fully articulated while working remotely at home. For this reason, DoD personnel need to be especially alert and attentive to cyberattacks, malware, phishing expeditions, network security protocols, encryptions requirements, et al, which may threaten government information stored on telework devices and transmitted across external networks,” the website states.

“Employees who telework from home need to keep government property and information safe, secure, and separated from their personal property and information. Some helpful tips to keeping your home WI-FI, computers and mobile devices protected can be found in a ‘Protect Yourself’ booklet published by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.”
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[*] posted on 20-3-2020 at 09:47 AM


I expect that one of the long term ramifications will be the western Government's encouraging a move to pull manufacturing, if not back to inside the home country, then into countries that aren't China.

I can see a re-elected Trump government (if that happens) putting the screws on US companies to either pull manufacturing back to the US, or maybe into friendly countries, for example Thailand or India, instead of leaving their production lines in China, at the mercy of Chinese manipulation.

I don't think this is the last pandemic that's going to emerge from China, given they didn't change their food market practices after SARS, I can't see them doing so after this.




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[*] posted on 20-3-2020 at 12:38 PM


Agree totally.....
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[*] posted on 20-3-2020 at 07:01 PM


Just to clarify, I've stopped posting Corona Virus news, even military ones, as there is such a barrage of data/news/whatever being published, it'll swamp our little forum.

I also don't really see any benefit from posting such, it just increases people's angst to the ridiculous proportions we see in Supermarkets! :no: :no: :no:
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[*] posted on 23-3-2020 at 09:08 AM


Will Coronavirus Slow the World's Conflicts -- or Intensify Them?


Houthi rebel fighters display their weapons during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters for the Iranian-backed Houthi movement, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 20, 2020. The Houthi rebels are at war with a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition fighting on behalf of the internationally recognized government. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

22 Mar 2020

Agence France Presse | By Philippe Rater

Syria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, the Sahel... with the great powers focused intently on the COVID-19 virus, will armed conflicts across the world decrease in severity or intensify?

Experts as well as diplomats at the United Nations say there is a serious risk of the latter.

For guerrilla fighters and extremist groups, "it's a clear godsend," said Bertrand Badie, a specialist in international relations at France's Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).

When the "powerful become powerless," he told AFP, one can see "the revenge of the weak over the strong."

In recent days, some 30 Malian soldiers were killed in an attack in northern Mali blamed on jihadists, without drawing any sharp reaction from the Security Council.

In Libya, and Syria's Idlib region -- the object of intense diplomatic attention before the coronavirus stole the spotlight -- fighting continues.

Evoking the "potentially devastating impact of #Covid-19 in #Idlib and elsewhere in Syria," the UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, called on Twitter for all parties to show restraint.

"If anyone -- incredibly -- still needed a reason to stop the fighting there," she added, "this is it."

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen, issued a similar plea: "At a time when the world is struggling to fight a pandemic, the focus of the parties must shift away from fighting one another to ensuring that the population will not face even graver risks."

Up to now, these countries have not been afflicted by COVID-19 on the scale seen in China, South Korea or Europe. But the virus carries the potential, once it reaches into poor and conflict-ridden countries, of having a devastating impact.

In the absence of concerted assistance from abroad, the UN fears "millions" could die.

The pandemic will not necessarily favor any particular group of belligerents, one diplomat noted, because the ravaging disease has been "uncontrollable."

"The pandemic could lead to a worsening of conflicts, with the risk of exacerbating the humanitarian situation and population movements," he said.

But the pandemic might also sap the will of the belligerents and their ability to fight in coming months, some experts said.

"Throwing their troops into battle will expose both states and violent non-state groups to contamination, and thus to potentially catastrophic losses of human life," said Robert Malley, president of the Washington-based International Crisis Group.

He believes that the virus "will very certainly diminish the capacity and will of states and of the international system -- the UN, regional organizations, refugees, peace-keeping forces -- to dedicate themselves to the resolution or prevention of conflicts."

It will also throw up a whole set of new obstacles, he told AFP, complicating access to conflict zones, making it harder to organize negotiations in neutral countries, and diverting financial investments to the fight against the coronavirus.

"What government would want to invest in the pursuit of peace in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, the Sahel or elsewhere when it is facing an economic, social and political crisis almost without precedent?" he asked.

With the news media obsessively focused on COVID-19, Malley said, "these conflicts, however brutal and violent they may be, will for many people become unseen and unheard."

At the UN, which has been struggling to respond as best it can, diplomats insist that their efforts to monitor regional crises and conflicts will continue, even if the international organization has sharply curbed its schedule of meetings.

"We intend to ensure that #UNSC plays its vital role in maintaining global peace and security," Britain's interim ambassador to the UN, Jonathan Allen, wrote on Twitter. "Covid-19 is the major global focus, but we have not forgotten about Syria, Libya, Yemen."

But Richard Gowan, a New York-based specialist in UN matters, expressed some doubt.

"Security Council diplomats say that it is hard to get their capitals to focus on UN issues," he said.

Among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dealing with human rights issues, like Human Rights Watch, concern is growing that whole areas of action are falling by the wayside.

One example: diplomats say the much-awaited and repeatedly delayed publication of a UN summary report on the bombing of hospitals in Syria -- originally due at the beginning of the year -- is now not expected before April, at the earliest.

This article was written by Philippe Rater from Agence France Presse and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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[*] posted on 23-3-2020 at 02:06 PM


I'm thinking of adding a dedicated forum for the Coronas. There's mostly rubbish coming out of the news sites at the moment, but there's going to be a host of implications in the weeks / months ahead that will be worth keeping track of.



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[*] posted on 23-3-2020 at 06:47 PM


Set up a sub-section for Conspiracy Theories, there are some super ones out there, and a few that may be plausible?
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[*] posted on 23-3-2020 at 08:28 PM


Corona specific conspiracy theories or just in general?



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[*] posted on 23-3-2020 at 08:40 PM


Corona ones only
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 04:28 PM


Aerospace defence firms try stopping coronavirus from spreading in their factories

By Garrett Reim27 March 2020

While the rest of the world shuts down, aerospace defence manufacturers are expected by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to keep turning out aircraft.

That’s requiring companies across the USA to comply with overlapping and daily changing regulations from federal, state, county and municipal governments.


Source: Boeing
RAAF P-8 being manufactured in Renton, Washington in 2016


To keep factories humming the Pentagon issued a memo on 20 March that declared the Defense Industrial Base a “Critical Infrastructure Sector”, making the industry exempt from quarantine enforcement.

To avoid spreading coronavirus while maintaining operations, aerospace manufactures say they are trying a myriad of methods, including hyper-vigilant cleaning, forgoing group meetings, and distributing face masks. Most aerospace manufacturers say they are closely following the recommendations of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Pentagon says all manufacturers should follow the CDC guidelines while staying open.

For its part, Boeing is “increasing and enhancing cleaning of high-touch areas such as cafeterias, shuttle vehicles, restrooms, light switches, door handles, railings and elevators,” the company says. It is also “minimizing the number and frequency of face-to-face meetings with larger groups in areas with active coronavirus transmission.”

On 23 March, the company suspended production of aircraft at its Puget Sound Washington facilities after an employee died of the coronavirus. In addition to commercial airliner production, those facilities make the KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tanker and P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Some non-factory work is continuing, however, says Boeing on 23 March.

“Certain non-production work for all commercial derivative aircraft programmes, including for the KC-46 remote vision system enhancements, will continue being done by employees working remotely,” it says.

Other manufacturing facilities are unaffected, the company says. Those include the company’s CH-47 heavy lift helicopter and Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; its AH-64 attack helicopter and AH-6 light attack helicopter facility in Mesa Arizona; and its F/A-18E/F and F-15 production facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bell says its output has not been impacted either. The company makes the UH-1 utility helicopter, the AH-1 attack helicopter and Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor in Fort Worth, Texas.

The company is trying to use social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus at manufacturing sites where in-person work is required.

“Bell has offered flexible working arrangements including working remote and staggered work schedules to employees who are able to do so,” says the firm. “These measures limit exposure to those performing essential manufacturing, design and support work onsite.”

For AeroVironment of Simi Valley, California, a small unmanned air vehicle manufacturer, the company’s production is continuing, while it leans on prior investments in remote working technology.

“We are fortunate to have implemented telepresence capabilities and equipped the majority of our workforce with laptops or tablets to enable remote operation, well before this pandemic struck,” says Steve Gitlin, AeroVironment’s vice-president of investor relations. “In fact, last week we held our first virtual all-hands town hall meeting, with more than 700 of our 800-plus employees participating from Southern California, Huntsville, Alabama, Lawrence, Kansas, New England and the Washington, DC area.”

Other manufacturers, such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky say they have similarly increased cleaning, implemented social distancing and encouraged working from home when possible. Raytheon declined to comment.

Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, says that she is coordinating with state governors to make sure defence manufactures aren’t caught up in quarantine enforcement efforts.

“I put out my memos so that we didn’t have local law enforcement stopping people on the way to work,” she says on 25 March. “We have had incredible collaboration from governors. I spoke with Governor Tom Wolf from Pennsylvania last Friday to ensure that some Boeing and BAE facilities could keep up and running in the state of Pennsylvania.”

A similar conversation was held with California governor Gavin Newsom’s chief of staff, she adds.

Lord says the DoD is also tracking outbreaks of coronavirus near defence companies.

“We are generating what we call a heat map. We show the number of coronavirus positive tests, as well as state and local shelter-in-place rules and guidelines,” she says. “All of this information can help us with predictive solutions and planning when overlaid with the location of our industry partners.”
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 04:37 PM


Airbus Adapts Wing Production Activity In COVID-19 Environment

(Source: Airbus; issued March 26, 2020)

TOULOUSE --- Airbus SE is supporting efforts globally to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The Company has carried out extensive work in coordination with its social partners to ensure the health and safety of its employees by implementing stringent health and safety measures, while securing business continuity.

Airbus partially resumed production and assembly work in France and Spain on Monday, 23 March following a four-day pause. At the same time, operations in the UK, Germany and the US continued at normal rates. Based on the adapted ways of working which reflect the new health and safety measures, Airbus is continuing to evaluate its production flow.

In this context the wing plants in the UK and in Bremen, Germany, have reviewed the additional completed stock levels developed in the recent period and the immediate demand from the Final Assembly Lines as they resume partial operations. As a result of that review, Airbus has decided to adapt the production activity in the wing plants for the next three weeks.

This means that the production and corresponding activities for support to production of the wing plants in Bremen, Filton and Broughton will be reduced, with an extended Easter holiday implemented at Broughton and Filton and a reduced working week at Bremen.

The sites will remain open during this period and will continue to ensure wing deliveries to the final assembly lines, the receipt and control of materials and components from the supply chain, building and installation maintenance, critical administrative support and preparation for activity restart. Employees will continue to perform activities remotely via home-working where their activities are not directly related to the production activity being adapted.

Airbus is maintaining business continuity across its global industrial stream. As a leading industrial company, Airbus needs to continue its activities to support the global crisis efforts, support customers, suppliers and the global economy.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 06:09 PM


Pentagon Bracing for Weapon-Delivery Delays Due to Coronavirus

By Marcus Weisgerber
Global Business Editor

March 25, 2020


AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Navy says it will “work out” the virus’ impact on projects with companies.

Pentagon officials are bracing for companies being unable to deliver weapons on time as the coronavirus makes its way through company assembly lines and supply chains.

In separate briefings with reporters on Wednesday, the top weapons buyers for the Department of Defense and the Navy said that they are working with industry to assess the impact of the virus on their workforces, but that already some aircraft production has been halted.

“I do expect there will be some delay and disruption,” said James “Hondo” Geurts, the Navy’s top weapons buyer. on a Wednesday conference call. Navy officials have “real-time systems” to track disruptions when they arise, and already they have spotted changes.

“We’re seeing a tightening on the supply base as smaller shops deal with their local situations,” Guerts said.

As for larger sites run by major defense contractors, it depends on where they’re located.

Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, did not know how many defense contractors were unable to show up for work — either because they were sick, quarantined, or their job sites were closed.

“I will say that the bulk of the defense industry is working today,” she said during a briefing at the Pentagon. “We’ve had a few specific issues, such as Boeing, where they had to shut down an operation.”

Boeing on Wednesday began a 14-day shutdown of its airliner manufacturing plants in the Seattle area — a region heavily hit by the coronavirus. Assembly lines that build Air Force KC-46 tankers and Navy P-8 submarine hunting planes are among those closed.

Lord’s office has created a “heatmap” that overlays coronavirus positive tests, state and local shelter-in-place rules and guidelines and defense manufacturing locations.

“We are understanding the supply chain vulnerabilities associated with the virus,” Jennifer Santos, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, said Wednesday. “We created … the supply chain heatmap for our leadership to understand the impacts of the supply chain overlaid with the CDC [coronavirus] data.

Lord, in a memo last week, said contractors building military weapons could show up for work even in cases where the state and local government told citizens to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus. Lord said she had conversations with local officials in Pennsylvania and California to make sure defense contractors were issued summons for defying stay-at-home orders.

Guerts said that last week his staff checked the status of each Navy weapons project to know if project delays are due to coronavirus or other issues.

“So [then] we can clearly understand what’s a delaying disruption due to the unique challenges of this situation versus a delay that had already incurred and making sure we can clearly understand which is which,” he said.

Pentagon officials will figure out who’s culpable for the delays down the road.

“We will work out the [program] impacts based on the virus,” Guerts said. “One thing I do want to ensure though, as we come out of it, [that] we are well positioned to then recover as quickly as possible, because all these efforts are critical to our national security.”

Guerts said he wants to speed up contract awards to boost companies’ cash flows during the crisis.

“We are not delaying anything,” he said. “In fact, I am driving the team to accelerate.”
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 07:15 PM


A different slant, the desire to turn Industry into a medical equipment supplier...………..

CORONAVIRUS NEWS: Pentagon Wants Defense Factories to Make Medical Supplies

3/26/2020

By Jon Harper


U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office photo by Glenn Fawcett

The Pentagon could use economic stimulus funding to boost production of critical medical gear for health-care workers battling the novel coronavirus pandemic, a defense official said March 26.

The Senate recently passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to try to shore up the economy, which included more than $10 billion for the Defense Department. As of press time, the legislation was still awaiting passage in the House. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law once it is passed by Congress.

The money could facilitate the implementation of the Defense Production Act authorities, which give the executive branch power to direct industry during times of war or national crisis.

Title III authority provides the Pentagon a means to partner with industry to strengthen commercial domestic industrial base capabilities essential to national security.

“DoD is actively seeking economic stimulus injection opportunities from the defense industry for future Title III actions,” Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in a statement. “Tangible examples include … looking for defense contractors who can convert their lines to producing medical equipment and supplies” including masks, gloves, robes and respirators.

Health experts are facing a potentially disastrous shortage of such items as the number of COVID-19 cases ramps up across the country. The disease has already spread to all 50 states.

“We continue to work closely with the defense industry to understand their ability to meet large-scale demands, and how [Defense Production Act] money can help,” Andrews said.

The Pentagon wants to increase production rates for lines that are already manufacturing needed equipment, he noted.

“DoD is looking at all contracts and contractors where capacity is available, and we are below our acquisition objective and the money could be obligated and spent quickly to support the national emergency,” he said.

Many businesses deemed non-essential have been shut down in an effort to keep workers home and contain the spread of the COVID-19 pathogen. The Defense Department is looking for opportunities to intervene in situations where a contractor has a common line between military and commercial products and the commercial products production was stopped due to COVID-19 protocols by state or local governments. Using stimulus money and Title III authorities, the Pentagon could potentially “fill” the line with military orders, Andrews noted.

“We will bolster U.S. suppliers who may have had commercial content which has not vanished,” he added.

The Trump administration can also use Defense Production Act’s Title I authorities to rate contracts and orders so government orders will have priority over commercial orders. The Department of Health and Human Services is in charge of leveraging that authority for health resources, according to Andrews.
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 09:28 PM


27 March 2020 News

Australia to support defence companies during Covid-19 pandemic


The Australian Government supports the defence industry by fast-tracking payments to help the companies through Covid-19. Credit: Shane Avery on Unsplash.

The Australian Government is set to offer support to defence companies in the country during the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic by providing funding.

It is also providing fast-tracked payments to help Australian companies through the coronavirus pandemic.

This step has been taken to help mitigate the effects and unprecedented challenges caused by the outbreak.

Under the initial assistance, some suppliers will receive payment up to two weeks earlier than usual.

Approval of an invoice by the defence department will follow immediate payment to Australian suppliers. Payments will be processed irrespective of the contracted payment terms.

Additional measures in place include reinforcing the key role played by the prime contractors’ sub-contractors to ensure prompt payment across the supply chain.

Relief will be provided to contractors in adverse circumstances due to Covid-19. This will include the supply of labour, equipment, materials or services required to continue operation.

Australia Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “Defence industry makes an important contribution to our economy, our security posture and our safety.

“That is why we brought forward the payment of more than $500m to businesses in Australia, which ensures money is flowing into the Australian economy at a time of acute pressure.”

With 35,000 Australians employed in the defence industry, the government ensures industry personnel in the country are supported. This would also equip and sustain the Australian Defence Forces (ADF).

Capital facilities and infrastructure works will be delivered across the country to support existing and new capabilities.

Under the construction contracts, clauses have been amended and implemented to provide time and cost relief due to the impacts of the virus.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “Australian small businesses are the backbone of our defence industry and we will continue to do everything we can to relieve the current pressures they’re under.

“Minister Reynolds and I are speaking today with major defence companies and industry groups to hear how we can further assist and provide support to Aussie workers and small businesses in our defence industry.”
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 10:36 PM


27 March 2020 News

Eurosatory called off due to Covid-19

By Harry Lye


Image: Eurosatory.

The defence event, hosted by French Land and Airland Defence and Security Association (GICAT) and defence exhibition organiser COGES, was due to take place from 8 to 12 June in Paris. Its cancellation follows the calling off of the Farnborough International Airshow and Royal International Air Tattoo, also due to take place this year.

In a statement, the organisers said that the health situation in France was ‘deteriorating’ day by day and that the global spread meant that the safety of visitors could not be assured.

Eurosatory’s statement read: “The sanitary situation due to Covid-19 is deteriorating daily in France and has spread throughout the world.

“The conditions for preparing and running the exhibition, which would protect the health and safety of the 100,000 expected participants, visitors, exhibitors and organisers, cannot be met.”

The event was due to welcome visitors and exhibitors from 63 countries and around 100,000 visitors from across the world.

The statement added: “Many international and French exhibitors registered for the Eurosatory trade fair scheduled from 8 to 12 June 2020 are no longer able to prepare their participation and configure or transport the necessary equipment. It also appears that the very large number of foreign visitors expected to participate in the fair can no longer plan their trip to France.”

Eurosatory said that it had considered postponing the event, however, it said that the conditions to do so could not be met. The show will next return in June 2022.
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[*] posted on 27-3-2020 at 10:38 PM


No surprise at all. I don't think any of the shows due this year will make it into an appearance, not least because many of the companies that might show, are not going to be in a financial position to do so...………..
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[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 08:17 PM


Morrison Government Support Australia's Defence Industry

(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued March 27, 2020)

The Morrison Government is providing certainty and funding to help Australian companies through the COVID-19 pandemic, with fast-tracked payments to defence industry a key feature of initial assistance to help mitigate the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

This will mean some suppliers will receive payment up to two weeks earlier than usual.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said COVID-19 posed an unprecedented challenge to Australia’s defence industry.

“Defence industry makes an important contribution to our economy, our security posture and our safety,” Minister Reynolds said.

“That is why we brought forward the payment of more than $500 million to businesses in Australia, which ensures money is flowing into the Australian economy at a time of acute pressure.”

About 35,000 Australians are employed in the defence industry.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP said the Morrison Government was committed to ensuring Australian industry personnel were supported, so they could keep equipping and sustaining Australian troops.

“Australian small businesses are the backbone of our defence industry and we will continue to do everything we can to relieve the current pressures they’re under,” Minister Price said.

“Minister Reynolds and I are speaking today with major defence companies and industry groups to hear how we can further assist and provide support to Aussie workers and small businesses in our defence industry.”

Additional measures in place include:
-- Accelerating payments to Australian suppliers by making payment as soon as possible after their invoice has been approved for payment by Defence, irrespective of the contracted payment terms;
-- Reinforcing to strategic prime contractors the important role their Australian sub-contractors play in ensuring prompt payment across the supply chain; and
-- Providing appropriate relief to contractors in circumstances of demonstrated adverse effects as a result of the COVID-19 crisis on the supply of labour, equipment, materials or services required to meet current contractual obligations.

Defence assistance also extends to the sizeable Defence estate with a continued focused on delivering capital facilities and infrastructure works across Australia to support existing and new capabilities.

These works will help keep Australians in work across the construction industry, from large-scale firms to small, locally-owned businesses.

Defence has proactively amended and implemented all current and future contractual clauses to provide time and cost relief for COVID-19 impacts under its construction contracts.

This Government is committed to finding ways to bring forward Defence activities or additional works, to provide economic stimulus to the country, and support Australian industry during this difficult time.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 28-3-2020 at 09:14 PM


Small defense businesses seeing cash issues during coronavirus outbreak

By: Aaron Mehta   12 hours ago


A temperature check on the defense industry shows some early warning signs. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

WASHINGTON — Over 60 percent of small companies in the defense supply chain are seeing disrupted cash flow, according to a new survey put forth from the National Defense Industrial Association.

“This survey shows how the defense lifeline runs through small business,” Hawk Carlisle, NDIA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “These companies must survive if the defense industrial base is to remain the best in the world on other side of COVID-19.”

As of Friday, 458 small businesses had responded to the survey, which will remain open through April 10. Fifty-five percent of respondents have less than $5 million in annual revenue, and 70 percent have less than 50 employees.

Sixty-two percent of the respondents have seen disrupted cash flow as a result of the economic downturn. Primarily, those have come as cuts to billable hours or delayed payments from prime contractors because of shutdowns or telework. A lack of telework options is also an issue for the contractors.

Notably, 54 percent of respondents say they cannot work on a contract because they are currently under a shelter-in-place order.

And optimistically, 69 percent do not expect cost overruns on fixed-price contracts as a result of the Coronavirus disruptions. Those that do expect such overruns predict them to be in the 10-20 percent range.

The results of the survey were delivered Friday to Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lord said she was watching the lower-tier of the supply chain closely for weak spots that may appear.

Last week, the department announced new measures to increase progress payments out to both small and large companies, in order to ensure companies are able to keep work moving on schedule.
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