Defense Business Briefing -- Sept. 19, 2023

Welcome to today's Defense Business Briefing, your weekly roundup of the latest defense industry news.

This week's top story

DOD sets up deals to increase domestic nickel, lithium production

The Defense Department announced it has set up separate commercial agreements to increase domestic nickel and lithium production.

News & notes

AeroVironment completes $120M Tomahawk Robotics purchase

AeroVironment announced it has completed its acquisition of Tomahawk Robotics, a maker of artificial intelligence-enabled robotic control systems, for $120 million in a mix of cash and stock.

House GOP chairs seeking stronger export regulations for China

House Republican committee chairmen are requesting the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security and other government agencies brief them by Sept. 28 on the national security implications of granting licenses to companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Air Force releases tanker recapitalization program request

The Air Force is seeking solutions from industry to "deliver commercial-derivate air refueling systems," according to a notice.

DOD's prized mid-band spectrum to be protected from 'carte blanche' auction, lawmaker says

The telecommunications industry will not receive "carte blanche" to auction off lower portions of the mid-band electromagnetic spectrum that are critical to U.S. military air and missile defense capabilities, the Defense and Commerce departments have determined in a long-anticipated report, according to a lawmaker briefed on not-yet-public findings.

DOD and industry officials stress need for more information sharing in cyber defense

A top Pentagon official has provided more details about the Defense Department's intent to share more information with the private sector about cyberattacks, as outlined in the recently released 2023 Cyber Strategy.

RTX, Lockheed receive contracts for Stinger missiles

The Army awarded RTX and Lockheed Martin contracts for Stinger surface-to-air missile upgrades and replacements for a combined $729 million, the Defense Department announced.

South Korea cleared to buy 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

The State Department has approved a possible $5 billion foreign military sale to South Korea for 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency notice.

Poland approved for F-16 sustainment deal

The State Department has approved a possible $389 million foreign military sale to Poland that would cover sustainment of its F-16 fleet, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency notice.

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak around the Washington area this week.

For Inside Defense subscribers

Congress poised for funding fight this week following GOP's opening bid to avert shutdown

The House Rules Committee has voted to advance a stopgap continuing resolution backed by some GOP conservatives that stands little likelihood of passing the Democrat-led Senate as it contains politically controversial and divisive provisions and doesn't include funding for disaster relief or Ukraine.

DOD completes 'successful' demo of data exchange key for domestic cruise missile

The Defense Department earlier this month completed a joint tactical integrated fire control demonstration that culminated with simulated missile attack and response in skies over the Washington, DC area that will now inform an ongoing Air Force effort to design a program of record for a domestic cruise missile defense capability.