Defense Business Briefing -- Oct. 3, 2023

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

This week's top story

LaPlante: 'Production diplomacy' is coming via new deals with U.S. allies

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante, fresh from a recent meeting with NATO's top armaments directors, said defense contractors should expect the United States to soon announce more multinational procurement deals -- involving co-development, co-production and co-sustainment -- with its closest allies, including Ukraine.

News & notes

DOD establishes munitions pilot program to foster domestic supply chains

The Pentagon's Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization office has launched a munitions campus pilot project intended to assist emerging U.S. businesses through a shared facility intended to decrease costs and lower entry barriers.

DOD awards contracts to improve resilience in the defense microelectronics industrial base

The Defense Department has awarded a combined $17.5 million to two initiatives that aim to strengthen the resilience of the defense microelectronics industrial base.

DOD official touts additive manufacturing for hypersonic weapons

A senior Pentagon official highlighted the promise that additive manufacturing brings to the defense industrial base, specifically when it comes to hypersonic weapons, calling it a "game changer."

What's happening

The week ahead

A senior Pentagon official is scheduled to discuss China's military power this week.

For Inside Defense subscribers

Low-cost unmanned aerial delivery vehicles proposed for mass production

Unmanned aerial delivery vehicles mass-produced cheaply, developed quickly and capable of deploying commercial payloads are in the sights of the Defense Innovation Unit, which posted a "solutions" notice seeking less-costly alternatives to current platforms.

DOD -- nearly out of Ukraine funds -- slows down replenishment of U.S. weapons

The Defense Department has exhausted all congressionally appropriated funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and is slowing down the process by which it replenishes U.S. weapons that have been transferred to Ukraine, according to a new memo from Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord.

DOD wraps up feasibility assessment on opening lower mid-band spectrum for 5G development

A Defense Department study exploring the feasibility of opening up a stretch of the electromagnetic spectrum -- currently the exclusive preserve of the U.S. military -- for use by commercial telecommunications companies for 5G technology is complete and has been forwarded to the Commerce Department.