WASHINGTON: While anxiety over sequestration dominated yesterday’s annual meeting dominated of the Aerospace Industries Association, its member companies actually did pretty well in 2012.

Civil aircraft sales, up 14 percent since 2011, and arms exports, up 12 percent, grew faster than Pentagon spending declined, which was just 3.4 percent. Overall, aerospace and defense profits are up slightly even though manufacturing sector profits in general are down. Keep reading →

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The ambitious arms export reforms proposed and largely prepared by the Obama administration may founder if the White House changes hands.

The State, Commerce and Defense departments have completed “for all intents and purposes” the drafts of the major reforms after a week of all-day meetings. Keep reading →

LAS VEGAS: As US defense spending ramps down, both the military and the aerospace industry want to sell more drones to friends and allies overseas. Right now, however, export controls and arms control treaties make that awfully hard.

“The foreign sales aspect of these RPAs [remotely piloted aircraft] is potentially huge,” Maj. Gen. James Poss, who heads policy making on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for the Air Force staff, said Wednesday at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) conference (click here for full coverage). A less restrictive export policy for unmanned aircraft is “in the national interest of the United States,” Poss continued. “It’s something we’re aggressively working with both the OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] policy folks and the State Department.” Keep reading →