Ball Corporation has announced a landmark agreement to sell its aerospace business to BAE Systems for a cash sum of $5.6 billion. This transaction, expected to finalize in the first half of 2024, is contingent upon regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. With this strategic move, Ball Corporation aims to focus its resources on its core packaging operations while also leveraging the aerospace division’s potential through BAE Systems. The aerospace business, known for its cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions, will find new avenues for growth under BAE Systems’ stewardship.

Chief Executive of BAE Systems Charles Woodburn said, “The proposed acquisition of Ball Aerospace is a unique opportunity to add a high quality, fast growing technology focused business with significant capabilities to our core business that is performing strongly and well positioned for sustained growth. It’s rare that a business of this quality, scale and complementary capabilities, with strong growth prospects and a close fit to our strategy, becomes available.

The collaboration is set to capitalize on the complementary strengths of both companies, potentially unlocking new advancements in vital areas like national defense, intelligence, science hardware, software, and space-based assets.

Contract Opportunities to Watch: Darkhive

San Antonio-based autonomous uncrewed systems developer, Darkhive Inc., has secured a significant contract valued at $1 million from the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD R&E). The contract is aimed at enhancing the capabilities of the company’s small autonomous drones in alignment with Department of Defense strategic initiatives. Darkhive’s focus on creating affordable, U.S.-manufactured uncrewed systems with open hardware and software interfaces has garnered attention, and this recent partnership with OUSD’s Innovation and Modernization team is expected to provide crucial opportunities for the company’s products to be tested and evaluated in relevant field operations environments. Darkhive’s CEO, John Goodson, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration and praised OUSD for its support of small businesses in developing innovative defense and public safety solutions. Founded in 2021, Darkhive has previously received awards from AFWERX Autonomy Prime and the Defense Innovation Unit National Security Innovation Capital.

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Cleared Opportunities

True Anomaly, a technology company dedicated to ensuring global space access and sustainability, celebrated the inauguration of its cutting-edge spacecraft manufacturing facility, GravityWorks, in Centennial, CO. This event coincided with the company’s announcement of receiving authorizations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These green lights grant True Anomaly the ability to perform non-Earth imaging (NEI) and demonstrate rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO) with its autonomous orbital vehicles (AOVs) named Jackal.

The opening of the GravityWorks facility marks a significant stride in satellite manufacturing with its innovative assembly line approach, enabling the production of a fully-tested, mission-ready satellite every five days. The ceremony was attended by distinguished government officials, industry collaborators, and media representatives. This move to Colorado aligns with the state’s robust aerospace ecosystem, positioning True Anomaly to contribute effectively to the realm of space security and sustainability.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.