Defense Business Briefing -- June 8, 2021

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

This week's top story

Defense contractors generally upbeat on new Pentagon budget

The chief executives of some of the largest defense contractors said they are optimistic about the Pentagon budget request issued last week -- but cautioned the numbers are likely to change.

News & notes

SAIC reports 'more normalized environment'

The chief executive of Science Applications International Corp. said the company is "optimistic" about a return to normalcy as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be subsiding.

Alion says it has tripled employees in LVC business unit in last three years

Alion's live, virtual and constructive training business, which became one of three Alion groups during a recent reorganization, now has about 900 employees, according to the group's chief.

Industry paper calls for liability protection, small business support in potential DOD threat hunting program

The Intelligence and National Security Alliance says a proposed Defense Department cyber threat hunting program should include liability protections for defense industrial base companies and support to help small businesses participate.

DOD to push domestic sourcing of critical minerals

The White House is directing the Defense Department to use more incentives to support U.S. companies accessing critical minerals in the hopes of limiting exposure to Chinese sources.

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior Pentagon officials are slated to appear at many congressional hearings on Capitol Hill this week as partisan debate over the defense budget moves into full swing.

For Inside Defense subscribers

DOD 'a work in progress' on reforming software practices as 18 programs adopt new acquisition pathway

The Defense Department's acquisition and sustainment directorate is in the early days of measuring whether new reforms are improving the department's notoriously outdated software development practices, with an initial 18 programs now using the new procedures, according to a DOD official.

Pentagon using 5G prototyping sites to test out supply chain risk management practices

The Pentagon is using its new fifth-generation wireless technology test sites at military bases across the country to implement supply chain risk management practices that could potentially guide how the Defense Department and other agencies approach the security of networking products and services.

Pentagon seeks to add Joint AI Center developments, NGEN to software 'color of money' pilot program

The Pentagon is seeking increased funding for a new software budgeting activity in fiscal year 2022, including the addition of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center's research and development budget as well as the Navy's massive Next Generation Enterprise Network program.