Defense Business Briefing -- Oct. 10, 2023

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

This week's top story

Lockheed CEO: 'Antifragility' key to industrial base strength

The U.S. defense industry needs to invest in antifragility measures to improve resilience during this time of rising geopolitical tension, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet said, which will require government buy-in.

News & notes

DOD qualifies new solid-rocket motor supplier, breaks Northrop-Aerojet domestic duopoly

The Defense Department has qualified a new large solid-rocket motor domestic supplier -- breaking up an effective duopoly between Northrop Grumman and Aerojet Rocketdyne -- and expanded the industrial base to support the U.S. military's high-priority project to develop and field a long-range hypersonic strike missile.

VideoRay buys Blue Ring Imaging

VideoRay announced it has acquired Blue Ring Imaging, a St. Petersburg, FL-based company that works on 3D visualization, multiview perception and simulation for unmanned systems.

Proposed rule would update SBA protest classifications

The Defense Department and other government agencies are proposing an amendment to federal acquisition regulations that would implement regulatory changes made by the Small Business Administration to "update and clarify" requirements related to size and socioeconomic protests, according to a Federal Register notice.

Lockheed investment arm backs AI autonomy start-up Vayu Robotics

Lockheed Martin's venture capital arm has teamed with other investors to provide $12.7 million to Vayu Robotics -- a "non-traditional robotics company" that is making its public debut with this development -- to scale development of artificial intelligence-backed autonomy technologies for potential use across a wide range of markets.

What's happening

The week ahead

The Association of the United States Army holds its annual conference in Washington this week, while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is traveling to Brussels to meet with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

For Inside Defense subscribers

DOD orders prototype 300-Kw lasers to test new cruise missile killing capability for Army

The Defense Department is advancing plans for a 300-kilowatt combat laser -- sufficient energy to knock down enemy cruise missiles -- and has commissioned the manufacture of a pair of truck-mounted prototype systems for testing in fiscal year 2025 of a fundamentally new capability that holds the potential to change the way armed forces fight.

Air Force kicks off project to demonstrate major new first: a digitally certified airplane

The Air Force hopes to demonstrate a radical new industrial feat that could signal a major leap forward for the aerospace industry by designing an aircraft and certifying its airworthiness before ever building a physical component as part of a new project launched last month to prototype a fixed-wing drone from concept through Military Flight Release inside a computer.