Snapping a selfie at Aero India 2021.

Snapping a selfie at Aero India 2021. Marina Lystseva\TASS via Getty Images

Defense Business Brief: Big arms shows are back; A Boeing CEO’s second act; Hicks on industry consolidation; and more...

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COVID didn’t slow down Aero India, the biennial air show in Bangalore, which attracted a reported 16,000 attendees plus a delegation of Air Force leaders, a B-1B bomber, and a C-5M Super Galaxy. It’s the first time in 75 years that a U.S. bomber landed on Indian soil, according to the U.S. Air Force.

Why it matters: The U.S. showing up amid the pandemic is the latest example of how Washington has prioritized deepening its defense ties with India as it looks for new ways to counter China. Lockheed Martin and Boeing are among the competing to sell fighter jets to India.

Later this month: UAE’s IDEX arms show is set to be the second major international show to resume operations amid the pandemic. It’s unclear whether the U.S. government will send anyone to the biennial event, but some within the defense industry will be attending. The UAE government has set up COVID-19 testing for attendees.

Former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has launched a special purpose acquisition company that is trying to raise $200 million, according to a regulatory filing. “New Vista Acquisition Corp is a newly incorporated blank check company, incorporated as a Cayman Islands exempted company for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, share purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses, which we refer to throughout this prospectus as our initial business combination,” the filing states. The company, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, intends “to focus our search for a target business operating in the aviation, aerospace and defense industries.”


From Defense One

Air Force Hunts for Ways to Use Not-Quite-Ready Tankers // Marcus Weisgerber

We're "making lemonade out of lemons," Air Mobility Command says.

Hicks Warns Against 'Extreme Consolidation' in Defense Industry // Marcus Weisgerber

Kathleen Hicks, President Biden's pick to be deputy defense secretary, cruised through her confirmation confirmation hearing.

Defense Sector's Health Gets a 'C' From Industry Group // Mila Jasper

An NDIA-Govini report says increases in cyber vulnerabilities hurt the industry in 2020.

That Settles That: White House Is Keeping Space Force // Marcus Weisgerber

A flip remark drew some criticism, and a clarification.

Intel Agency Worker Pushed His Own Drone Company, Report Details // Patrick Tucker

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency inspector general found one of its employees 

Defense Department 4th Estate Gets Amazon Web-Services Boost // Patrick Tucker

New cloud capabilities are coming to agencies like DARPA.

New AI Can Detect Emotion With Radio Waves // Patrick Tucker

There are national security and privacy implications to an experimental UK neural network that deciphers how people respond to emotional stimuli.

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