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29 Aug 13. The Pentagon’s top manufacturing official expects a spate of merger and acquisition activity – and a doubling of efforts by foreign companies to take over U.S. arms makers – once the uncertain U.S. budget outlook becomes clearer. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Policy Brett Lambert told Reuters in an interview that prolonged uncertainty about U.S. military spending was stalling M&A deals, dampening investment and hiring by big defense companies. It takes an even heavier toll on their small-to-medium-sized suppliers. Lambert, who will retire on August 31 after four years on the job, said one of his biggest concerns was that banks were increasingly unwilling to lend to smaller defense firms because of fears that their contracts with bigger companies would materialize as quickly and fully as expected. Gridlock in Congress on deficit-reduction measures – and the prospect of $500bn in additional cuts in military spending, on top of $487bn in cuts already planned – have slowed a long-expected consolidation in the defense sector. Lambert said the uncertainty had undercut banks’ confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to follow through on weapons contracts, and smaller companies in particular were paying the price. “At the second and third-tier level, what you’re finding is that people are just running out of cash, and nobody will extend them credit because nobody has full faith and credit in the U.S. government anymore,” he said in his nearly empty Pentagon office. Lambert cited a recent call from the president of an upstate New York bank who told him his loss of faith in the government limited his ability to lend to smaller companies. Lambert, who co-founded and later sold DFI International, a national security consulting firm, said his company had routinely sought and received 90 percent, 120-day loans secured by contracts with bigger defense players. Such loans helped the company invest and hire more people to work on those contracts. (Source: Reuters)

29 Aug 13. Roke Manor Research has now joined with Chemring EOD and as from 9th September they will be branded as Chemring Technology Solutions (CTS). By grouping the businesses together they will be able to leverage on a number of fronts including market position, product portfolio and technology development. It will also significantly increase the business’s ability to access international markets since Chemring Group sells high technology electronics and energetic products to over sixty countries worldwide. Since November last year Chemring Group has gone through a period of re-structuring and re-focusing of its global business. The complex structure under which Chemring previously operated comprised of four geographic divisions, four reporting segments and fifteen subsidiary businesses. This overly complicated operating and reporting structure has been abolished. In its place is a new structure that clusters similar businesses together within four Strategic Product Segments: Countermeasures; Sensors & Electronics; Pyrotechnics & Munitions; Energetic Sub-Systems

29 Aug 13. Northrop Grumman Australia Pty Limited, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC), announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Qantas Airways Limited (QAN.AX) to acquire Australia-based Qantas Defence Services Pty Limited (QDS). QDS provides integrated logistics, sustainment and modernization support to Australian government and military customers. The acquisition is subject to various conditions and is expected to close in 2014. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. With more than 300 employees in facilities throughout Australia, QDS provides through life support for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Multi Role Tanker Transport fleet, turn-key operational logistics services for the Australian Government’s VIP aircraft, and engine overhaul services for the Orion P-3 and Hawk Lead-in Fighter. In addition, Indonesia rece

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