Embedded computing experts guardedly optimistic on prospects for defense spending

COCOA BEACH, Fla.-Embedded computing industry experts admit they are concerned about threatened U.S. defense budget cuts, yet they are generally optimistic that Pentagon budget cuts-if they actually happen-will not be crippling, and may leave the aerospace and defense embedded computing business relatively unscathed.

"It's a crapshoot" was the general consensus last month among embedded computing business leaders who gathered to discuss industry advancements and challenges at the Embedded Tech Trends 2012 conference and trade show in Cocoa Beach, Fla.

"I could offer a prediction, but it would be just that, a shot in the dark," admits Rodger Hosking, vice president at Pentek Inc. of Upper Saddle River, N.J. "What scares me is that market forecast experts are calling me to find out what's going on," he laughs.

Clayton Tucker, who is in charge of North American aerospace and defense embedded computing at Emerson Network Power in Tempe, Ariz., sees a "ramping down of the operational side," or expenses relating to troops, and increased investment in infrastructure. He predicts "more expenditures to drive efficiencies into the mechanized force." The focus will be on revamping and rebuilding infrastructure, he adds.

"I hear a lot of talk about a defense budget slash, but I don't think it will be executed," Tucker continues. Rather, he sees investment in a technology refresh cycle and infrastructure.

"The main thing is to acknowledge that expeditionary warfare is the biggest black hole for monies," acknowledges Bill Kehret, president and chief executive officer of Themis Computer in Fremont, Calif. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) can vastly reduce budget for the whole logistics chain that supports the expeditionary forces, he explains.

In contrast, Kehret and his team are investing in surveillance and reconnaissance for homeland security-type applications. "When we thought we stopped the war, they started thinking about how to bring the war to us," Kehret says. "The only way we can guarantee our freedoms is to be intensely vigilant in surveillance and reconnaissance."

Large programs that are unaffordable, unsustainable, and can't be produced present more prospects for budget cuts, Kehret says.

Should members of the embedded computing industry feel bad about declining military spending, Kehret ponders. "No, because underneath is a military organization hell-bent on modernization," he says.

Other industry pundits at Embedded Tech Trends 2012 tended to agree, that cyclical budget cuts (defense or not) often bring about a needed separation of wheat from chaff, and an improved focus on what is needed in the field now.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Leon Woo, VP of Engineering at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TWO MOST RECENT WINNERS. "Nick from SPARWAR" and "Bridget from AOC."


Featured Slideshow

Evolution of the American soldier

The American soldier has come a long way since the beginning of the Republic 237 years ago. While uniforms for early soldiers were based on cost and utility, soldiers' clothing eventually considered ballistic protection, increasing storage space, protection from poison gas and other contaminants.

Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

On Demand Webcasts

Engineering the VPX high-speed data path for physical and signal integrity

Join Arrow Electronics and TE Connectivity, for an overview webinar of the standards, technologies and trends involving VITA and TE.

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE