How COVID-19 Is Affecting The Defense Industrial Base | 新冠病毒疫情如何影响国防工业的基础?

a fitting for Sikorsky H-53 heavy-lift helicopters
This 522 fitting is a critical safety item that supports the load for the Sikorsky H-53 heavy-lift helicopter’s tail and tail pylon in flight.
Credit: U.S. Navy


The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated some of the risks that have always existed in the defense industrial base. Although government assistance and a robust Pentagon budget have helped offset initial trials, more challenges are looming.

金融分析师在《Aviation Week Network - 航空周刊》的防务供应链(Defence Chain)大会上表示,国防工业基础的最大风险之一,是一些本是为军方服务的公司目前过于偏向商业领域,或者其供应链过于依赖国际企业。

One of the biggest risks to the defense industrial base is that some companies serving the military are too heavily leveraged toward the commercial sector or too reliant on international companies, financial analysts told Aviation Week’s DefenseChain Conference.

“其中一些企业距离破产大约还有两个星期,”Destiny Equity Partners的执行总裁Chris Celtruda说到。由于多种因素的影响,很多供应商开始步履蹒跚,其中的挑战包括必须遵守(新形势下的)网络安全标准、波音和洛克希德·马丁公司等总承包商对供应商施加的压力,以及供应商企业对商业业务的依赖。一个典型的例子是位于威奇托的Impresa航空航天公司最近破产,该公司为波音和洛克希德的军用飞机生产并装配机身结构零件,但公司业务高度依赖于波音737MAX的零件生产。

“Some of these places are two weeks from bankruptcy,” says Chris Celtruda, managing principal at Destiny Equity Partners, says. Suppliers are beginning to falter because of a combination of factors, including the need to comply with cybersecurity standards, the pressure that prime contractors such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin have applied to them and their reliance on commercial business. A prime example is the recent bankruptcy of Impresa Aerospace, a Wichita-based company that made parts using computer numerical control machines as well as sheet metal parts and assemblies for Boeing and Lockheed military aircraft but was highly dependent on its work for the commercial Boeing 737 MAX.

Acorn Growth的执行合伙人Rick Nagel说,美国政府的援助计划延迟了一些业务的失败,但其他的困境是不可避免的。他补充说:“ Impresa破产只是一个案例,我们未来将会看到更多企业的破产。”

The U.S. federal Paycheck Protection Program helped delay some business failures, but others are inevitable, says Rick Nagel, managing partner of Acorn Growth. “The Impresa bankruptcy is an example of a lot more insolvencies we may see,” he adds.


Weakness among niche companies could pose a problem for the Defense Department in the future. “I’m always amazed at how many critical systems have multiple single points of failure on major programs,” he says.


At the Pentagon, officials have been working to keep essential suppliers afloat and to keep production moving through its sprawling international industrial base.


Boeing Apache helicopter
Supply chain issues early in the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to slow production of the Boeing Apache helicopter. Credit: U.S. Army


For the U.S. Army, that has meant initial disruptions to Apache fuselage production in India and to the flow of generators from Mexico. The Pentagon and the State Department helped ease the stoppage, but the incident has caused them to review the full range of risks to its international supply chain.

美国陆军航空兵项目副主管Patrick Mason表示:“我认为我们可以解决这个问题,尽管在当今的全球经济中,解决这些问题肯定很复杂。”他补充说,他们将对供应商施加压力以降低成本,尤其是要降低飞机多年合同的费用。

“I think that we can navigate through this, though it’s certainly always going to be complex in today’s global economy,” says Patrick Mason, deputy program executive officer for U.S. Army Aviation, adding that he is in the position of putting pressure on vendors to reduce cost, particularly to provide savings on multiyear aircraft contracts.


One trend emerging along with the pandemic is a movement toward onshoring or reshoring overseas business for reasons of cybersecurity and the protection of the U.S. industrial base.

随着这种趋势的发生,以及民用航空市场的下滑, Elbit Systems美国公司总裁兼首席执行官Raanan Horowitz看到了机遇。Horowitz说:“我们试图将自己定位在某些不连续的领域,”他补充说,该公司喜欢追求那些曝光率较低但拥有较大价值的机会。“我们正在加大努力,争取许可并接管孤立的产品线,并且使企业未来可提供长期解决方案。”

As that happens, and as the commercial aviation market sags, Raanan Horowitz, president and CEO of Elbit Systems of America sees opportunity. “We are trying to position ourselves around some of those discontinuities,” Horowitz says, adding that the company likes going after opportunities that are not necessarily glitzy but hold value. “We are intensifying efforts toward looking at licensing, taking over orphan product lines and positioning ourselves to be part of the long-term solution.”

Horowitz说, Elbit正在投资美国的基础设施以吸引新业务。有行业官员认为,将更多的国防供应商企业带回美国受到了广泛的支持。

Horowitz says Elbit is investing in U.S. infrastructure to capture new business. Industry officials see broad support for bringing more of the defense supply chain back to the U.S.

“从企业生产、运营和加强盟友关系的角度来看,对供应链进行重新分配有助于更好地联系盟友和伙伴,我认为这种价值正在出现。”航空航天工业协会国家安全政策副总裁John Luddy说。 “国会也有很强的动力去审视我们的国防供应链到底有多脆弱。在接下来的一年中,对供应链改变的讨论将变得更加激烈。”

“The concept of reshoring of supplies to better connect our allies and friends, both from a production standpoint and from an operational functionality and alliance standpoint, I think the volume is getting turned up on that a little bit,” John Luddy, vice president for national security policy at the Aerospace Industries Association, says. “There’s also a strong impetus in Congress to look at exactly how vulnerable we are. That’s going to be a more intense discussion in the year to come than it has been.”

Grundman Advisory咨询公司的创始人兼负责人Steve Grundman警告说,供应链重新调配的趋势可能会带来意想不到的后果。

And that trend toward reshoring could have unintended consequences, warns Steve Grundman, founder and principal of Grundman Advisory.

“我真心地担心,我们采取的确保我们供应链安全的行动,诸如防止恶意供应商和恶性代码进入国防或商业航空供应链等行为,很容易就陷入贸易保护主义之中,” Grundman说。“如果真的想对国防预算施加压力,那么就请求国防工业回迁供应链。”

“I’m genuinely concerned that benign moves to secure our supply chain to prevent nefarious supplies and code [coming] into particularly our defense supply chain or commercial aerospace supply chain could slip very easily into protectionism,” Grundman says. “If you want to really put pressure on the defense budget, ask the defense industry to reshore the supply chain.

这条消息是Jen DiMascio在 Aviation Week & Space Technology 发表的文章。加入航空周刊情报网(AWIN)会员,访问公司、项目、机队和联系人数据库,获取权威解析与市场情报并找到新的业务机会。点击击此预约您的产品演示。