This first full week back to work for us after the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season also happens to represent the last one before President-elect Donald Trump takes office next Friday.
In the meantime, we also continue the “Appointment Watch” over who will be charged to lead our country’s largest departments and agencies over the next four years.
We learned of current Veterans Affairs health leader David Shulkin’s nomination to lead the VA this week and also followed James Mattis’ testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his potential new role as defense secretary.
As observers widely expected, Mattis fielded some questions about Trump’s public criticisms of the F-35 fighter jet and other statements — much of it via Twitter of course — about the costs of major defense programs.
Even with that cost focus, all signals from the Trump transition team point to a military buildup and brought analysts to a near-consensus that the defense industrial base has newfound opportunity.
In particular, Deloitte’s latest “Global Aerospace and Defense Sector Outlook” issued this weeksays defense companies worldwide appear poised to see a return to revenue growth this year after multiple years of declines.
Deloitte expects defense sub-sector sales to expand 3.2 percent in 2017 on increases in U.S. military spending with expectations of a Trump administration’s heightened focus on strengthening the military and rising global tensions.
Those geopolitical hot spots also could help spur a “record year” for U.S. foreign military sales agreements with the Middle East a primary driver of this growth, Deloitte said.
On a final note, this weekend also features the scheduled launch of Iridium’s much-anticipated satellite batch barring any technical issues at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
SpaceX will first try to send the first 10 “NEXT” satellites into space Saturday and again Sunday to start a seven-launch program toward an eventual 81-strong, second-generation constellation for public and private sector customers around the globe.
We spoke with Iridium Matt Desch in the buildup to the launch for his perspective on what NEXT has to offer for users both in the government arena and commercial worlds.
Please read our conversation with Desch here before or even while you follow the launch.
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