General Dynamics Corporation (GD), Raytheon Company (RTN), United Technologies Corporation (UTX) – Defense News Roundup: Army Gets Ray Guns, Allies Get Rockets

Page 1 of 2

The U.S. military has a reputation as a somewhat secretive organization. But in one respect at least, the Pentagon is one of the most “open” of our government agencies. Every day of the week, rain or shine, the Department of Defense tells U.S. taxpayers what contracts it’s issued, to whom, and for how much — all right out in the open on its website.

So what has the Pentagon been up to this week?

DoD is budgeted to spend about $6.2 billion a week on military hardware, infrastructure projects, and supplies in fiscal 2013. (A further $5.6 billion a week goes to pay the salaries and benefits of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen.) Now, with this past week having been a day short of the usual, you might expect the generals to spend a bit less than $6.2 billion. But you may be shocked to learn how much less the Pentagon spent last week — what with America being perhaps just days away from starting a new war: $1.89 billion.That’s the sum total of Pentagon contract awards last week. And what will we get for that money?

Ray guns from General Dynamics
Probably the most interesting contract awarded over the past week was the $49 million that General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) got to perform additional research for the U.S. Air Force into a category of non-lethal weapons known as “directed energy.” Typified by the “Active Denial Systems” that Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) began delivering to the Air Force several years ago, non-lethal directed energy weapons aim to control crowds and deter attackers — without killing anyone — by firing beams of invisible millimeter-wave radiation.

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN)’s painful, but not lethal, Active Denial System. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The sensation when struck by one of these directed energy weapons has been described as akin to having “a [lit] light bulb … pressed against the skin.” Painful. Something you’ll instinctively move away from. But not lethal.

That’s the theory, at least. For $49 million, spent over the next seven years, General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD)’ task will be to research the real-world effects that directed energy weapons have on “bio-mechanisms” (e.g., humans), to find out whether this is something the Pentagon should be buying.

Fan blades for Lockheed Martin’s wunder-plane
Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT)
‘s F-22 Raptor fighter jet may be the most expensive fighter plane ever built … but never used in combat. The Pentagon spent $80 billion building 187 F-22s for the Air Force yet never used them in combat in Iraq, in Afghanistan, or even in Libya. Still, the birds do fly in peace on occasion, and that wears on the plane parts, requiring that those parts be replaced from time to time.

Page 1 of 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

Eyes in the Sky: 10 Things You Need to Know About Drones

Rising Stars: The 6 Best Silicon Valley Startups

Military Muscle: The 5 Most Advanced Armies in South America

All that Glitters: The 7 Most Luxurious Jewelry Brands in the World

5 Things You Didn’t Know About ISIS but Should

Empowering Your Money: The 5 Best Energy Stocks to Invest In

The 11 Best Android Apps You Can’t Get on iOS

The 10 Most Important International Conflicts in 2014

Mood Enhancers: The 20 Most Uplifting Songs of all Time

Lover Beware: The 8 Countries that Cheat the Most

Breath of Fresh Air: The 25 Countries with the Best Air Quality on the Planet

Singles Beware: The 8 Worst Mistakes Made on First Dates

Healthy and Happy: The 10 Countries with Lowest Healthcare Costs

The 6 Best Company Team Building Activities to Build Workplace Camaraderie

Ships Ahoy: The 10 Busiest Shipping Ports in the World

10 Productivity Tips to Save You Time and Help You Do More With Less

Grab a Bite: The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America

Friday Night Thirst: The 10 Most Popular Cocktails in the World

The 6 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries We May Never Figure Out

7 Useless Products You Never Should’ve Bought

The 5 Reasons Why You’re Single and Miserable

The 7 Most Addictive Foods in the World We Can’t Stop Eating (Even Though We Should)

5 Amazing Places You Can Swim with Dolphins

The Top 7 Most Livable Countries In The World

The 10 Most Expensive Baseball Cards Ever Pulled From A Pack

The 5 Easiest Second Languages to Learn for English Speakers

Silver Spoon: The 6 Richest Families in the World

The 20 Countries with the Largest Prison Populations in the World

The Top 10 Richest Actors in the World

The 10 Best Airline Stocks to Invest In Before They Fly Too High

Burger Kings: The 10 Most Expensive Burgers in the World

The 10 Most Ethnically Diverse Countries in the World

The 10 Most Exclusive Credit Cards in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Cruise Ships in the World

The 10 Fastest Supercomputers in the World

The 10 Best Countries for Doing Business 2015

6 Most Expensive Fruits In The World

10 Worst Airlines in the World

The 10 Biggest Tax Havens in the World to Stash Your Money

The 15 Most Murderous Countries in the World

10 Largest Colleges in the World: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: The 6 Comedians Seinfeld Needs to Interview

Easy Money: The 10 Most Successful Investors in the World Today

The 10 Most Deadly Diseases in the World Today

The 5 Most Expensive Luxury Motorhomes in the World

20 Largest Stock Exchanges in the World

6 Richest Painters In The World 2014

The 6 Countries with the Best Hospitals In The World

10 Largest Beer Brewing Companies in the World

The 10 Richest Fitness Gurus In the World to Pump You Up

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!