Defense Business Briefing -- July 18, 2023

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

This week's top story

DOD looks to improve cash flow to suppliers and subcontractors

The Pentagon is seeking public input for how it could potentially accelerate payments to defense suppliers and subcontractors following the release of a comprehensive contract finance study.

News & notes

DOD digs into U.S. minerals for future graphite supply chain

Graphite mining in the United States may resume after a 30-year lapse under a Defense Department plan to establish a domestic supply chain to produce the critical mineral for large-capacity batteries that power unmanned systems and other military equipment.

George signals electronic warfare training, industry partnerships as top priorities

Gen. Randy George told lawmakers Wednesday that continuing to integrate electronic warfare into training exercises, along with bolstering partnerships with industry, will be among his goals if confirmed as the Army's next chief of staff.

Space Force releases second draft RFP for NSSL Phase 3

Space Systems Command yesterday posted a second draft request for proposals for Phase III of the space launch acquisitions program, a dual-lane approach with two separate contract types.

DARPA advances X-plane concept with contract awards

Nine defense companies have each won a $750,000 contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to design an autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft dubbed the "X-plane."

What's happening

The week ahead

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak around the Washington area this week.

For Inside Defense subscribers

DOD seeks to shift $4B between accounts, prop up hypersonic program after 'failure' and more

The Pentagon is seeking congressional permission to shift $4 billion between budget accounts as part of an annual reallocation of funds the U.S. military has in hand, revealing a launch failure in the Defense Department's marquee hypersonic weapons project and proposals for eight new-start projects -- including a loitering missile system for the Army.

CBO: Nuclear forces to cost $122B more than previously projected

The Pentagon plans to spend upwards of $756 billion on its nuclear enterprise over the next 10 years, according to a new Congressional Budget Office projection, which is 19% higher than the 10-year projection CBO made in 2021.