General Dynamics conducts independent R&D activities as part of its normal business operations.
In the commercial sector, most of the Aerospace group's R&D activities support Gulfstream's product enhancement and development programs.
The Aerospace group has cost-sharing arrangements with some of its suppliers that enhance the group's internal development capabilities
and offset a portion of the financial cost associated with the group's product development efforts.
These arrangements explicitly state that supplier contributions are for reimbursements of costs General Dynamics incurs in the development
of new aircraft models and technologies, and the company retains substantial rights in the products developed under these arrangements.
General Dynamics records amounts received from these cost-sharing arrangements as a reduction of R&D expenses.
General Dynamics has no obligation to refund any amounts received under the agreement regardless of the outcome of the development effort.
Under the terms of each agreement, payments received from suppliers for their share of the costs are based typically on milestones
and are recognized as earned when General Dynamics achieves a milestone.
Gulfstream continuously invests in R&D to introduce new products and first-to-market enhancements that broaden customer choice, improve aircraft performance and set new standards for customer safety, comfort and in-flight productivity. Gulfstream's aircraft are designed to minimize lifecycle costs while maximizing the commonality of parts among the various models. Current product-enhancement and development efforts include initiatives in advanced avionics, composites, flight-control systems, acoustics, cabin technologies and enhanced vision systems. Recent innovations include the second-generation Enhanced Vision System (EVS II) and the Synthetic Vision-Primary Flight Display (SV-PFD), both of which assist the pilot during low-visibility conditions. EVS II is a specially designed, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera that projects a real-world infrared image on the pilot's head-up display (HUD), while Synthetic Vision provides three-dimensional images of the terrain, runway environment and obstacles on the pilot's primary head-down display. These products work in tandem to provide pilots with unparalleled situational awareness regardless of weather, terrain or landing-field conditions. The latest innovations also include a state-of-the-art cabin management system for the G650 (and now available on several other Gulfstream aircraft), giving passengers control of the aircraft cabin systems through a handheld device that is synched to a particular seat on the aircraft. Each passenger can easily control their own environment, including lighting, temperature and entertainment equipment. The company also recently launched a PlaneBook application, an electronic document management system that provides pilots easy and immediate access to critical flight information and aircraft-specific documents.
In the company's U.S. defense businesses, General Dynamics conducts customer-sponsored R&D activities under government contracts and company-sponsored R&D. In accordance with government regulations, the company recovers a significant portion of company-sponsored R&D expenditures through overhead charges to U.S. government contracts. General Dynamics also conducts customer-sponsored R&D activities under U.S. government contracts.
Company-funded R&D expenditures were $545 million, $545 million, $508 million, $520 million, and $474 million in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008, respectively.
Customer-sponsored R&D expenditures were $1,063 million, $994 million, and $696 million in 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively.
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