Defense Business Briefing -- March 23, 2021

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

This week's top story

Non-traditional contractor Torch.AI seeks increased defense work

Artificial intelligence firm Torch.AI, buoyed by a new $30 million investment, is pursuing additional defense work, particularly in what the company's chief executive describes as areas where it can "showcase" its capabilities.

News & notes

ST Engineering counters in bid to acquire Cubic

ST Engineering said it has submitted a proposal to acquire Cubic for $76 per share in cash, countering a previous offer from private-equity firms.

Leidos CEO says company is not pursuing large acquisitions

The chief executive of Leidos said the company is busy integrating multiple acquisitions and not pursuing additional large deals.

Lockheed forms partnership with Omnispace to pursue space-based 5G

Lockheed Martin said it has entered into a strategic interest agreement with Washington, DC-based communications company Omnispace to "explore jointly developing 5G capability from space."

Appointments & promotions

Draper hires Santos

Draper said it has named former Pentagon official Jennifer Santos as its "new principal director for strategic initiatives in its National Security and Space (NS&S) business."

Heller to depart PAE

The longtime chief executive of PAE will step down, according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak on Capitol Hill this week and executives from several defense companies are slated to make virtual presentations.

For Inside Defense subscribers

Defense innovation leaders push for new technology transfer fund

Influential defense innovation leaders, asserting the Defense Department's slow budget process is hindering the adoption of new technology, are recommending Congress establish a technology transfer fund to serve as a "bridge fund" between promising prototypes and large programs of record.

CMMC-AB chair says assessment capacity for FY-21 pilot contracts will meet Pentagon expectations

CMMC Accreditation Body chair Karlton Johnson says his organization is prepared to meet the demand for assessments from contractors once the first certified, third-party assessment organizations are approved by the Defense Contract Management Agency.

Hicks previews 'difficult decisions' on legacy systems, pledges to bridge 'valley of death'

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said the Pentagon would work with Congress to make "difficult decisions" to "phase out" legacy weapon systems unsuitable for competition with China, but also committed to help developing technologies bridge "the valley of death."