Mil-aero side effects
Some friends, colleagues, and I took in Iron Man on DVD the other night. It is not uncommon that a group of friends, having just watched a flick together, would deconstruct it, explore its nuances, ponder its lessons and potential applications to real life, and so on. When those people work in or have experience with the military and aerospace industry, however, it can be an entirely different ballgame.
Iron Man in this environment was followed by intellectual and impassioned discussions on International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), electro-optics, electronic warfare (EW), radar, high-performance computing, intellectual property, and more.
Like most journalists my age, I have covered several industries; but, I must admit, none have lent to so much heated and thought-provoking debates as the mil-aero market. I love it!
In fact, tell me what you think about Iron Man: Would today’s ITAR prevent our best weapons technologies from reaching the hands of terrorists/those who would turn them against us? Are the primes’ engineers and scientists at risk of abduction? If so, should they, and the intellectual property they possess in their mental Rolodex (the comprehensive knowledge and proverbial filing cabinet in one's brain), never leave the country? What do you think of how vendors and contractors serving the military market were portrayed in the film?