Big merger in works; Trump’s remarkable interview; Ukraine’s big drone plans; One F-16 destroys two others; and just a bit more…

L3, Harris plan merger. D1’s Marcus Weisgerber: “What started as a social relationship between L3 Technologies CEO Chris Kubasik and Harris CEO Bill Brown led to Sunday’s announcement that the two firms intend to merge, creating a new $16 billion aerospace company that would be one of the largest defense contractors in America.”

Weisgerber talked to both CEOs on Sunday, a day after the Wall Street Journal broke news of the deal. Among other things, Kubasik said, the big deal will likely bring L3’s recent acqusition spree to a halt: “Job one is going to be the integration for the first couple years, so there will be very, very few, if any, acquisitions.”

Based on 2017 revenue, the new “L3 Harris” would be the world’s seventh-largest defense firm, and the sixth-largest U.S. defense firm. The merger still requires antitrust approval.


From Defense One

L3, Harris CEOs: Merger Will Help Compete Against Top Contractors // Marcus Weisgerber: L3 expects to depart its Manhattan headquarters and join Harris in Florida.

Ukrainian Armed-Drone Makers Sprint Ahead as Russian Effort Hits Snag // Patrick Tucker: The Ukrainians are eagerly off showing a proposed long-range UAV while uncertainty surrounds Russia’s Altius program.

The Pentagon’s Push to Program Soldiers’ Brains // Michael Joseph Gross, The Atlantic: DARPA’s developing capabilities still hover at or near a proof-of-concept stage. But that’s close enough to have drawn investment from some of the world’s richest corporations.

Is North Korea Denuclearizing? Here’s How We’ll Tell // Jung H. Pak and Eric M. Brewer, The Atlantic: Kim Jong Un may not be giving up his arsenal now. But that doesn’t mean he can’t get there eventually.

Can the Chinese Be Trusted to Lead International Institutions? // Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: The abduction of Interpol’s president shows that Beijing’s officials will be subordinate to the orders of the Communist Party.

Defense One Radio: Ep. 24 // Defense One Staff: Unmasking the GRU; The future of al-Shabaab; F-35 and the UK; and Bell Helicopter CEO Mitch Snyder.

Welcome to this Monday edition of The D Brief by Bradley Peniston. Ben Watson is away. 


How long will James Mattis stay on as SecDef? “60 Minutes” put that question to President Trump, who replied, “General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves.”

Trump also called Mattis “sort of a Democrat,” a curious thing to say about a career Marine fired by Barack Obama for declining to support his approach to Iran.

Next question: Asked to confirm Bob Woodward’s report that Mattis had to explain to the president why the U.S. has allies, Trump responded: “I think I know more about it than he does.”

Perhaps he does think that. But Trump said other things that were more demonstrably false:

  • “The day before I came in [as president], we were going to war with North Korea.”
  • “China meddled, too” in the 2016 election.
  • Climate change “could very well go back.”
  • The United States is “paying almost the entire cost of NATO to protect Europe.”

The week ending on Thursday had already been the second-most falsehood-filled of Trump’s presidency, according to the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale, who wrote, “He made 129 false claims in all, just shy of his one-week record of 133, which he set in August.”

Back to the 60 Minutes interview:

Read CBS News’ transcript of the interview, here.

Was your credit card number stolen from DoD’s travel system? On Friday, Pentagon officials said online thieves had gained access to “personal information and credit card data” of 30,000 U.S. military and civilian personnel, a number that “may grow as the investigation continues,” AP reported. “The breach could have happened some months ago but was only recently discovered.”

Mechanic accidentally fires F-16 cannon, damaging two jets. A technician working on a Belgian Air Force fighter jet at Florennes Air Base activated its six-barrel 20mm Vulcan M61A-1 cannon, which blew up another F-16 parked in front. The resulting fire damaged a third jet. The incident happened on on Oct. 12; the news broke Saturday. Read on, here.

And finally today: Several really, really expensive F-22 fighter jets were damaged when Hurricane Michael levelled Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida last week. After veteran defense journo Tyler Rogoway posted pics of the damage, he began hearing from many people incensed that the Air Force had apparently not bothered to fly them out of harm’s way — or truck them, or carry them in pieces, or something. Rogoway apparently got exasperated enough to spell it out: “A modern fighter is not a Honda Accord,” he wrote. “The F-22, in particular, is more analogous to an exotic supercar or even a high-end race car than anything else. It requires dozens of hours of maintenance for every single flight hour and deep maintenance can take days or even many weeks to accomplish, depending on what is needed to be done and availability of spare parts, which can be scarce.”

A better debate, Rogoway points out, is: should the U.S. military base its jets in locales where weather is only going to get more dangerous? Enjoy your Monday!

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.