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General Dynamics

In the Trump Era, “Big Defense” CEOs must either market themselves as visionary, “national” assets or wait to die under withering attack from the White House. Look, for any defense company has a big marquee program like the F-35, the Ford Class Carrier or the SSBN(X), being a colorless, faceless and largely anonymous means of […]

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Fred Harris Hangs Up His Hard Hat

by admin on December 1, 2016

Fred Harris, great shipbuilder that he is, is out. His “retirement” was expected–the General Dynamics Corporate Office tends to be intolerant of failure, and Fred had staked his future on the OPC bid that Bath lost. It’s something of a sad tale. Three years ago, Fred Harris was on top of the world. NASSCO was […]

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The Fight For DDG-1004 Has Begun

by admin on March 9, 2015

Love the DDG-1000 or hate it, supporters of America’s multi-billion dollar “battleship-as-destroyer” program have largely been–up to now–quiet on the sidelines of Washington’s unseemly post-Sequestration budget scrum. In the vast array of American defense programs desperate to avoid closure, an old survivor like DDG-1000 (previously known as the arsenal ship, the DD(X), etc., etc.) has […]

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End The “Five Naval Shipyards” Meme

by admin on November 12, 2014

A few decades and a couple defense cuts ago, some wise ‘ole marketer floated the concept that America’s national security depended upon the guaranteed health of the (then) six “large” U.S. naval shipyards: Northrop Grumman’s Avondale, Ingalls and Newport News yards and General Dynamics’ Bath Ironworks, NASSCO and Electric Boat acquisitions. This idea of a […]

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U.S. naval ship vendors could learn a thing or two from the French, as they’ve thusfar fought off extensive American efforts to intrude on France’s niche market in small surface combatants. It’s almost embarrassing.  Despite American efforts to sell the Littoral Combat Ship, the French Gowind-Class corvette “family of ships” has quietly taken big bites […]

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In naval shipbuilding, General Dynamics is crushing the competition. They are simply outthinking and out-maneuvering everyone. It’s not a twist of fate, either–they’re reaping the rewards of a lot of solid strategic thinking and years of strategic positioning. They’re hitting at all cylinders. Over at today’s Defense News, Chris Cavas gives us all a lesson on […]

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It has been great to see Virginia Class sub builders race each other to drive down cost and schedule. But when these competitive pressures start to impact crew safety, we all need to step back, take a few deep breaths, and re-evaluate. For the PCU North Dakota, the pressure to make schedule–and improve upon the […]

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It is time to face the facts: A steadily gentrifying West Coast could sink the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet far faster than any hostile Asian Navy. It’s a maritime fact of life: To function, all navies need waterfront property and a strong, somewhat heavy industrial base to support it. For the U.S. Navy, basing choices […]

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Can Huntington Ingalls Industries Survive?

by admin on February 25, 2014

Despite some recent balance sheet successes from Navy Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and a one-year reprieve on downsizing the nuclear carrier fleet, the company’s mid-term prospects are very worrisome. This opinion stands as something of a contrarian view. And it certainly disagrees with Wall Street–after HII peeled away from Northrop Grumman in early 2011, […]

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Big Defense CEOs: Follow Elon Musk’s Lead

by admin on January 2, 2014

Over at TESLA/SpaceX, the power of dynamic, aggressively public leadership is on full display. Elon Musk gets in front of the cameras, engages blogs and even plays in the twittersphere—relishing his role as publicist-in-chief. His name and his hip image are irrevocably melded to his businesses—which are now recognized across the globe. In comparison, CEOs in the “Big […]

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