The INSIDER daily digest -- Oct. 26, 2023

By John Liang / October 26, 2023 at 2:14 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on international cooperation in expanding global weapons production, a recent Navy missile defense intercept test plus defense contractors' quarterly earnings and more.

We start off with the Defense Department's top acquisition official saying international cooperation will be key to expanding global weapons production, especially for munitions:

DOD pushing new defense industrial strategy to expand weapons stockpiles

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante, a key official behind the Biden administration's effort to again make the United States an "arsenal of democracy," said a forthcoming National Defense Industrial Base Strategy will underscore ongoing work to surge global weapons production as a means of deterring U.S. adversaries.

We also have news about a successful Navy missile defense intercept test:

In a first, Navy destroyer intercepts ballistic missile and anti-ship drone threats at the same time

For the first time, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simultaneously intercepted short-range ballistic missile threats and anti-ship drone threats during an Integrated Air and Missile Defense test, according to a Wednesday Missile Defense Agency announcement.

Followed by defense contractors' quarterly earnings calls:

VC-25B issues helped drag down Boeing defense margins in third quarter

Continuing issues with the VC-25B, the eventual replacement for presidential escort aircraft Air Force One, were contributing factors to negative margins in Boeing’s defense sector for the third quarter of 2023, company executives noted during an earnings call Wednesday.

GD execs: Submarine supply chain remains 'very fragile' while workforce picture improves

General Dynamics Electric Boat continues to receive late deliveries of submarine components from a "very fragile" supply chain, company executives said, noting enduring production challenges within the Navy's two critical submarine programs.

International demands highlight Northrop's Q3 earnings with record backlog

The continuing war in Ukraine and increasing geopolitical tensions elsewhere has led to increased sales for Northrop Grumman, which reported a record backlog of $84 billion during its third-quarter earnings call.

Lower IRAD costs with FLRAA helped Bell in third quarter

Bell, a Textron subsidiary, spent less money in the third quarter on independent research and development for programs such as the Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, the company's CEO said during a Thursday earnings call.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee held a hearing this week on "The Submarine Industrial Base and its Ability to Support the AUKUS Framework":

Houston: Maintenance backlogs pose greatest challenge to submarine readiness

Maintenance backlogs pose the greatest challenge to submarine fleet readiness, according to a senior Navy official, who today said the service is on track to reach an 80% operational availability rate for its attack submarines by late 2027 or early 2028.

Document: House hearing on AUKUS and the submarine industrial base