Defense Business Briefing -- Dec. 15, 2020

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

This week's top story

Austin's connection to Raytheon will likely be scrutinized during confirmation

President-elect Biden has said he intends to nominate retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin for defense secretary, putting a spotlight on the former four-star's time as a member of Raytheon Technologies' board of directors.

News & notes

Contractors, industry associations urge Congress to extend Section 3610

Contracting executives and industry associations have sent letters to Capitol Hill calling on Congress to extend a legislative provision that reimburses contractors for employees who are unable to work during the pandemic but are kept in a "ready state."

Lockheed says it will have flowed $1 billion in accelerated payments to suppliers by end of year

Lockheed Martin said its accelerated payments to suppliers should total more than $1 billion by the end of 2020.

ManTech acquires Tapestry

ManTech International said it has acquired cybersecurity company Tapestry.

Leidos to acquire 1901 Group

Leidos said it has agreed to acquire 1901 Group, which specializes in managed IT services and cloud solutions, for $215 million.

Leidos executive says 1901 Group will be 'aligned with' defense group – but work with all groups

Following its completed acquisition, 1901 Group, which specializes in managed IT services and cloud solutions, will likely begin as a wholly owned subsidiary aligned with Leidos' defense group, according to the head of the defense business.

Congressional commission keeps pressure on DOD over trucking company loan

The bipartisan Congressional Oversight Commission charged with reviewing pandemic stimulus spending is pressing Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord to provide more public information about the Defense Department's support for a controversial $700 million loan to a financially troubled trucking company.

AeroVironment to acquire Telerob to bolster ground robotics expertise

AeroVironment said it has agreed to acquire German company Telerob Gesellschaft für Fernhantierungstechnik, which specializes in ground robotics, for $45.4 million in cash and will pay off $9.4 million of Telerob's debt.

Anduril protests exclusive terms of ABMS tactical edge task order

Anduril Industries filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office Nov. 16 challenging the Air Force's narrow selection of companies eligible to bid on a task order supporting the Advanced Battle Management System program, according to a source familiar with the procurement.

BAE divests SilverSky commercial cybersecurity business

BAE Systems last month sold off its commercial cybersecurity business to a private investor group.

Appointments & promotions

Bluestone taps Kelly to serve as chairman of Intrepid Solutions

Private-equity firm Bluestone Investment Partners has named contracting veteran Dennis Kelly to serve on its board of advisers and as executive chairman of its portfolio company Intrepid Solutions and Services.

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior defense officials are scheduled to participate in several events this week. Meanwhile, Congress is working to pass a final spending deal before Friday's government shutdown deadline.

For Inside Defense subscribers

Pentagon to roll out 'rebranded' Trusted Capital program featuring digital marketplace

The Pentagon will soon roll out a revised version of its Trusted Capital program featuring a digital marketplace aimed at connecting dual-use technology companies with vetted venture capital, according to a Defense Department acquisition official.

Pentagon's Joint AI Center set to get acquisition authority under compromise defense bill

The Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center would get its own acquisition authority as part of the fiscal year 2021 defense policy bill.