Defense Business Briefing -- Dec. 4, 2018

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

This week's top story

Mercury Systems looks to acquisitions and R&D for growth

Mercury Systems, a supplier to dozens of prime contractors, has been rapidly making acquisitions and is investing heavily in research and development as it seeks growth.

News & notes

Lockheed and Airbus sign aerial refueling agreement

Lockheed Martin and Airbus said today they have signed an agreement "to jointly explore opportunities to meet the growing demand for aerial refueling for U.S. defense customers."

Pentagon moves to implement LPTA limitations

The Defense Department today issued a proposed rule that would implement sections of 2017 and 2018 legislation limiting the use of lowest-price, technically acceptable source selection.

Cerberus to take stake in Navistar Defense

Cerberus Capital Management said this week it has signed an agreement with Navistar International, under which Cerberus affiliates will acquire a 70 percent interest in Navistar's defense business.

Huntington Ingalls acquires G2

Huntington Ingalls Industries said it has acquired cybersecurity firm G2, which will join the company's technical solutions division.

AeroVironment reports sales boost, profit decline

AeroVironment reported sales in its most recent quarter hit $73 million, up 11 percent from the same three-month period a year earlier.

General Dynamics European Land Systems buys FWW Fahrzeugwerk

General Dynamics European Land Systems said it has acquired FWW Fahrzeugwerk, which provides maintenance for the German Army and other international customers.

GAO sustained 15 percent of bid protests in FY-18

The Government Accountability Office sustained 15 percent of all contract bid protests in fiscal year 2018, down from 17 percent in FY-17 and 23 percent in FY-16, according to an annual report from the watchdog agency.

PSC calls on Pentagon to issue LPTA rule

In a new letter to a top acquisition official, the Professional Services Council is calling on the Pentagon to take steps to clarify how to use lowest price, technically acceptable contracting, a controversial strategy that has attracted significant attention in recent years.

Maxar CEO seeks growth in space systems

The chief executive of Maxar Technologies said the company is pursuing growth in its space systems business and will be more able to do so once it divests its geostationary communications satellite business.

Moody's: UTC split would allow 'enhanced strategic focus' but may require changes to business

United Technologies' plan to spin off Otis and Carrier into separate entities following its acquisition of Rockwell Collins means the company will need an adapted capital structure as well as new capital allocation policies, according to a new Moody's Investors Service report.

General Atomics opens New Delhi office

General Atomics said it has opened a new office in New Delhi, India, and named Pratesh Gandhi to serve as director of India strategic development.

Appointments & promotions

ManTech hires McNiff

ManTech International said it has named John McNiff senior vice president for business development in the company's mission, cyber and intelligence solutions group.

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior Pentagon officials are scheduled to speak at a variety of congressional hearings and think tanks around Washington this week, while federal agencies are closed Wednesday to mark the state funeral of former President George H. W. Bush.

For Inside Defense subscribers

DIU now able to issue its own OTAs as it looks to tackle broader projects

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- Three years after it launched as the Defense Department's conduit to Silicon Valley, the Defense Innovation Unit can now award contracts using its own other transaction authorities, rather than rely solely on service-led acquisition groups.

Industry feedback leads Navy to change course on CHAMP

Following industry feedback, the Navy is moving away from its initial vision of a program that would produce one ship hull for five mission sets and is instead weighing using two or more designs.