FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It Ain’t Easy Being an American Defense Contractor

by

“Boeing is a leader in creating the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation program, an initiative of U.S. government and American aviation companies, working with CAAC and airlines to help advance China’s commercial aviation. Good corporate citizenship has always been an essential part of The Boeing Company. In China, the company’s vision for corporate social responsibility program is to stretch Boeing expertise and commitment to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education of Chinese youth from elementary school to college.“

– Boeing in China, Backgrounder, April 14, 2014

It is a fine thing that Boeing is supporting STEM education in China. But as part of the American Defense Industrial Base Critical Infrastructure, Boeing regularly moans about the dearth of America’s own STEM/ aerospace engineering capability.  For example, in a glossy publication from 2007 comes the article Engineering Brain Drain? by Louise Wilkerson, in which the reader learns that “According to a recent study by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the United States is turning out only about 110,000 engineers a year compared with China’s 600,000 a year and India’s 350,000 a year.”

Even though there is no conclusive evidence to claim there is a shortage of aerospace engineers in the USA (immigrants or not), the Pentagon and its defense contractors continue to moan and groan about a mythic shortage that does not actually exist. Perhaps Boeing is hedging its bets by financially supporting STEM in China and advanced materials and computing research there.

“Boeing has also established Boeing Research & Technology-China, a part of Boeing’s advanced central research and development organization. The center is involved in collaborative research with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese universities. Three joint research laboratories and a joint research center have been formed with the research partners. Activities are focused on the environment, advanced materials, and advanced computing technologies for aviation and industry design.”

One of the most sophisticated missile defense early warning platforms was constructed by Boeing. The company’s Sea Based X Band radar system currently floating in the Pacific was built by Russia’s Vyborg Shipyard.

According to navaltechnology.com “The Sea-Based X-Band Radar-1 (SBX-1) constitutes a mid-course fire control radar based on a seagoing semi-submersible vessel. The platform was developed by Boeing, as part of the ground-based midcourse defence (GMD) component of the US Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMDS). The GMD intercepts incoming warheads. The SBX vessel was transferred to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) in December 2011.” The X Band Radar System on board was built by another Defense Industrial Base heavyweight Raytheon Corporation.

Yak, Yak

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, is in the news as being a victim of Chinese PLA military personnel who apparently surreptitiously entered Lockheed computer networks and engaged in industrial espionage. Yet Lockheed has been doing business with China in the area of nuclear reactor safety and construction.  The F-35B has its genesis in Russia.

According to a corporate press release on Lockheed Martin’s website, “Lockheed Martin and [China’s} State Nuclear Power Automation System Engineering Company (SNPAS) have signed an agreement to prototype, manufacture and qualify nuclear power plant reactor protection systems for China’s Generation III reactors. SNPAS is a subsidiary of China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). Lockheed Martin and SNPAS will develop a nuclear safety instrumentation and control platform, based on field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology, for a new generation of Reactor Protection Systems in China. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.”

It turns out that the vaunted F-35 has its origins in Russian aviation. According Aviation Intel  “People look at the F-35B and see an ultra- modern transformer of sorts, with massive doors that open up and an articulated exhaust tube that seems to warp downward unnaturally on command. The next thing you know the 5th generation stealth fighter is HOVERING IN MID AIR. Lay on decent range (for a V/STOL fighter), higher than Mach speeds, and the most cutting edge radar and avionics package ever and you have a truly groundbreaking design……But is the F-35B’s unique design really that ground breaking at all? The F-35B’s novel lift fan and vectoring tailpipe design was conceived not in Fort Worth, Texas but in Moscow, Russia, about 35+ years ago! The Yak-41 that utilized this exact same concept, now known as the Yak-141, NATO codename “Freestyle,” was designed to be what it’s much lacking Yak-38 predecessor should have been.”

And maybe it is coincidence but Lockheed stands to gain big-dollar cyber security contracts from the US government.

There is something shady about spending billions on cyber offense and defense when no one seems to have a formula or can quantify how much proprietary/national security data has really been covertly compromised by the Chinese, Russians or a middle-school student located in Houston, Texas. The US government-Lockheed officials are not to be trusted. They offer dubious information that lacks specifics or legitimately quantifiable formula/data with which to assign dollar losses. It’s a sham not unlike the trumped up aerospace engineering gap.

Cyber Threats are Real?

According to Tereza Pultarova, writing in Engineering and Technology Magazine (May 2014) “Speaking at the Reuters Cyber-security Summit in Washington, the company’s vice president Chandra McMahon said that only since January 2014, the firm had to ward off attacks by 43 distinct hacking groups.  The number of cyber-attacks on Lockheed’s systems has been growing steadily – in 2007, ten attacks were detected while three years later it was already 28. In addition to being Pentagon’s number one weapons supplier, Lockheed Martin is also the most important provider of information technology to the US government. The company’s systems are widely used by the US military, energy companies, utilities and other critical infrastructure firms.

The latter have seen, according to Lockheed Martin, a substantial increase in the number of cyber-attacks in the past years.  “While we haven’t seen specific action on objectives in terms of damage, what we have seen over the last several years (is) malware created and deployed to damage critical infrastructure,” McMahon said… Lockheed expects double-digit growth in its cyber business, which now accounts for 10 per cent of revenues in the $8bn (£4.77bn) information systems sector. Lockheed and other US weapons makers are frequent targets of criminal groups, nation states and other hackers seeking to extract valuable information about high-end weapons systems. US intelligence reports have cited attacks launched by groups in Iran, China, Russia and North Korea. Lockheed declined comment on any specifics about the campaigns it had identified.”

John Stanton is a Virginia based writer. Reach him at captainkong22@gmail.com

 

John Stanton is a Virginia based writer. Reach him at captainkong22@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail