The Headwaters’ Aerospace, Defense and Government  team recently attended the Annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, held August 11-13, 2015.

Key Takeaways

  • Sponsored by industry associations and companies providing space and missile defense solutions to the U.S. government, this year’s symposium focused on the need for interoperability and open architecture. This was especially necessary as the Pentagon continues to broaden coalition partners’ participation. 
  • One solution discussed by Northrop Grumman is the integrated air and missile defense battle command system, an enterprise-focused platform designeheadshots_LFTSd to coordinate U.S. air missile defenses around the world.
  • Adm. Bill Gortney, Commander of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), noted that the model of resourcing high cost intercepting ballistic missiles against  a proliferation of low cost missiles is unsustainable.
  • For industry’s part, the Missile Defense Agency is reviewing cutting edge technologies to enhance current capabilities or as replacements to costly solutions, to include nanosatellites that provide off-the-grid communications, lasers and non-kinetic options.


Industry Observations

  • The Pentagon is beginning to focus on defining architectures to identify overlaps and gaps.  This priority focus will naturally drive investments, emphasize integration and collaboration, all within the confines of a shrinking defense budget.
  • For mid-size companies we spoke to at the conference, long lead times before contract awards and increasing costs for bid/proposals are stretching their internal budgets. Many are seeking commercial customers (e.g. intermodal logistics companies) to diversify revenues.