The Insider

By Jaspreet Gill
January 21, 2020 at 1:54 PM

The third "soldier touchpoint," or user evaluation, of the Integrated Visual Augmentation system has been set for late July, according to an Army official.

The upcoming touchpoint will allow soldiers to test the most up-to-date capabilities of the service's augmented reality battlefield heads-up display and provide feedback to service leaders. The touchpoint is tentatively scheduled for July 20 to Aug. 14 at Ft. Pickett, VA and will be the first "government-hardened" evaluation for soldiers.

"Up to this point [the Army] has been using a mix of commercial and government sensors, based off of more the commercial design and kind of attaching things to it," Col. Kurt Thompson, deputy director of the soldier lethality cross functional team, told Inside Defense in an interview today. "The [touchpoint] in July will look much closer to what the final design will look like."

Thompson added the IVAS prototype in the third touchpoint will be "more in line with a military hardened capability" with various sensors that have been developed throughout the prototyping phase. Microsoft was awarded a $479 million contract in 2018 to produce prototypes for IVAS.

The second soldier touchpoint was completed last November at Ft. Pickett and included more advanced tactical sockets, rapid target acquisition, low light thermal cameras and more capabilities.

The IVAS effort consists of four soldier touchpoints and production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020.

By Marjorie Censer
January 21, 2020 at 1:49 PM

CAE said this week it has named former Raytheon executive Todd Probert group president for defense and security, effective Jan. 27.

Probert succeeds Gene Colabatistto, who retired last month.

Probert most recently led the command, control, space and intelligence business within Raytheon's intelligence, information and services segment. He spent a decade with Raytheon.

Probert has also worked for Honeywell Technology Solutions and ANSER, CAE said.

By John Liang
January 21, 2020 at 1:43 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on JSTARS, the Space Development Agency, the canceled OMFV program and more.

Earlier this month, the Air Force authorized the use and installation of the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System capability onto the JSTARS aircraft:

Air Force authorizes top-secret communications system for JSTARS fleet

The air control wing that flies the E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System fleet will now be able to use a top-secret communications network to exchange intelligence information at higher classification levels.

The Space Development Agency today issued a broad agency announcement:

SDA seeks 'good enough' technologies with 'leap-ahead' potential for new National Defense Space Architecture

Nearly a year after it was created, the Space Development Agency is today beginning its work in earnest by asking industry to propose a wide range of "good enough" systems, technologies and capabilities that "enable leap-ahead improvements" that can be rapidly put on orbit in two-year tranches beginning in fiscal year 2022 in order to begin fleshing out a new National Defense Space Architecture.

Document: Space Development Agency BAA

The Army's top uniformed officer spoke at an AUSA breakfast this morning:

McConville: Army will negotiate more on OMFV requirements

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville today said the Army will do more in the future to negotiate with industry on requirements for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program, which the service canceled last week in its prototype phase.

The Army and Navy last week verbally sparred over which service deserves a larger slice of the defense spending pie:

Military battles for budget share, while Esper turns up heat with new reform agenda

Army and Navy leaders took the Pentagon's internal spending debate public last week as they discussed a variety of stresses on their respective budgets, following new orders from Defense Secretary Mark Esper mandating aggressive "clean sheet" reviews for next year.

Navy grapples with flattening topline as it aims to grow the fleet

Navy officials are wrestling with increased pressure to achieve a 355-ship fleet while facing a flattening defense topline.

Inside Defense recently interviewed Kevin Fahey, the Pentagon's assistant secretary for acquisition:

Fahey: Pushback from industry over cost of CMMC 'upsets me a little bit'

One of the Pentagon's top acquisition officials told Inside Defense this month he sees the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program as critical -- despite industry's complaints.

The Pentagon's No. 2 military official spoke late last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

New vice chairman wants to bring Pentagon's requirements process into 'information age'

The Pentagon's second highest ranking military officer said today one of his top priorities is updating the Defense Department's requirements process in line with "information age" technology, as he called DOD's current methods for building software "horrible."

Hyten: Pentagon needs to move before Congress to integrate Army, Navy into Space Force

The Defense Department owes lawmakers a report next year on how to integrate Navy and Army space capabilities into the new Space Force, but the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the department needs to move faster.

Hyten calls DOD deliberations over Space Sensor Layer excessive, urges rapid fielding of experimental satellites

The Pentagon's No. 2 military official today issued a stinging rebuke of Defense Department deliberations over developing a new satellite urgently needed to track -- among other things -- adversary hypersonic weapons.

More news from last week's Surface Navy Association symposium:

Brown: Hypersonic-armed Zumwalt will 'put the fear of God in our adversaries'

The Navy's top advocate for surface forces said the DDG-1000 -- a low signature destroyer capable of independent, open-ocean patrols whose role in the fleet the service is still defining -- should be armed with long-range hypersonic weapons to "put the fear of God in our adversaries."

Navy nearing decision on CVN-79 single-phased delivery approach

The Navy is close to reaching a decision on whether or not it will alter course and employ a single-phased delivery approach for the second Ford-class aircraft carrier.

(For full coverage of SNA 2020, click here.)

By Justin Katz
January 21, 2020 at 12:40 PM

The Navy is planning an exercise this year with the full suite of its new mine countermeasures capabilities to continue testing how effectively the mission package can be used on vessels other than the Littoral Combat Ship.

The service conducted a similar exercise in September, but did not include aviation assets during that test, Capt. Gus Weekes, the program manager for LCS mission modules, said last week at the Surface Navy Association's annual conference.

Weekes said the test this spring will include the entire MCM mission package, which is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in fiscal year 2022.

Expeditionary sea bases, expeditionary fast transports, amphibious warships, commercial vessels and foreign platforms have all been considered as "vessels of opportunity," Inside Defense previously reported.

The MCM mission package is comprised of a dozen different technologies that work together to identify and neutralize buried and bottom mines.

By Marjorie Censer
January 21, 2020 at 9:40 AM

Boeing said it has hired retired Air Force Lt. Gens. Samuel Cox, Samuel Greaves and Steven Shepro.

Boeing said Cox will serve as vice president of Air Force systems within Boeing Government Operations, succeeding Chuck Johnson, who is retiring.

"Cox will lead Boeing's team responsible for understanding Air Force mission requirements, programs and priorities," the company said.

Cox previously commanded 18th Air Force.

Greaves, the former director of the Missile Defense Agency, has been named vice president and chief architect for space and launch.

Boeing said he will lead "engineering quality initiatives for both current and development programs in Boeing’s space portfolio."

Shepro has been named vice president for strike, surveillance and mobility within Boeing Global Sales and Marketing.

"He will lead a sales team representing portfolios including fighters, surveillance aircraft, mobility aircraft, commercial derivative aircraft, special air mission platforms and the new T-7A Red Hawk trainer," Boeing said.

Shepro previously served as deputy chairman of NATO.

By John Liang
January 21, 2020 at 5:05 AM

While Congress this week is in the thrall of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is slated to speak at a Washington think tank and senior service officials are scheduled to attend various industry association events.


Martin Luther King holiday.


Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville speaks at an Association of the U.S. Army breakfast.

Army Chief Information Officer Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford speaks at an event hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.


Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, deputy commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, speaks at an Air Force Association Mitchell Institute event.


Jim Scanlon of Science Applications International Corp. is set to speak at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event.


Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks at CSIS.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly and other senior service officials speak at a National Defense Industrial Association breakfast panel.

By Marjorie Censer
January 20, 2020 at 9:58 AM

BAE Systems said today it has reached agreements to acquire Collins Aerospace's military GPS business and Raytheon's airborne tactical radio business, both of which it said are being sold in connection with the planned merger between Raytheon and United Technologies.

BAE said the proposed deals are structured as asset transactions with associated tax benefits. The GPS business agreement, the company said, calls for $1.9 billion in cash with an expected tax benefit of about $365 million, while the radio business agreement calls for $275 million in cash with an expected tax benefit of about $50 million.

“These proposed acquisitions are subject to the successful closure of the Raytheon-UTC transaction, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, including receipt of the required U.S. regulatory approvals,” BAE said. “Upon closure, both business lines would be integrated into the company’s Electronic Systems sector.”

The GPS business is based in Cedar Rapids, IA, and designs and produces GPS products, including anti-jamming and anti-spoofing technologies.

The radio business is based in Fort Wayne, IN, and Largo, FL, and counts the Pentagon, allied governments and large defense aircraft manufacturers as its customers.

By John Liang
January 17, 2020 at 2:06 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Army budget, combat vehicles, the Surface Navy Association's annual symposium and more.

The Army's top civilian is fighting for his slice of the defense budget pie:

McCarthy: Army's share of DOD budget 'not even close' to one-third

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said this week the Army gets a smaller slice of the spending pie than the other services, contributing to a public discussion by service leaders about who deserves more funding.

We also have a slew of combat vehicle news:

Senior acquisition official urges Army to be more 'flexible' following OMFV false start

A top Pentagon acquisition official says he is "proud" of the Army for heading back to the drawing board after canceling its initial plans to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, but urged the service to be more flexible with the requirements it sets for defense contractors.

Army scraps OMFV program to start competition over

The Army today canceled the current Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program and plans to restart the competition later, at a time yet to be determined, following an analysis and revision of the requirements.

Sources bracing for Army to 'blow up' OMFV program

Multiple sources are readying for a major Army decision as soon as today on the Optionally Manned Fight Vehicle program of record -- with some expecting the service to jettison the current program of record in the wake of congressional concerns about the lack of competition.

Our coverage of this week's Surface Navy Association symposium continues:

Navy to work with Army, Air Force on unmanned vehicle control system

The Navy plans to work with the Army and Air Force to expand the use of its developmental common system for controlling various unmanned vehicles, according to an officer overseeing the effort.

Navy confident CVN-78 will have all weapons elevators by May 2021

The Navy says it's confident the service can finish all 11 of the troubled weapons elevators for the lead ship in the Ford aircraft carrier class by the time the vessel completes its current testing phase.

Galinis: Excess requirements drove $1B price tag estimate for new auxiliary vessel

The differences in cost estimates between the Navy and government analysts for a new multimission auxiliary vessel were caused by excessive requirements, according to a Navy officer overseeing the ship's development.

Last but certainly not least, some news on the Air Force's AFWERX, Advanced Battle Management System and 3DELRR efforts:

Air Force gives contracting authority to AFWERX innovation hub

AFWERX -- an organization striving to create a "culture of innovation" in the Air Force -- now has the authority to award contracts, setting up the young team for closer partnerships with industry and academia.

Air Force to finish Advanced Battle Management System AOA early this year

The analysis of alternatives for the Air Force's Advanced Battle Management System is still underway and expected to be completed early this year, Capt. Cara Bousie, a service spokeswoman, told Inside Defense in an email Thursday.

'SpeedDealer' gives Lockheed, Northrop another chance at TPS-75 replacement

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are eyeing a second chance to compete for new Air Force radar business after the service pulled the plug on Raytheon's contract to develop a new long-range radar, with all three companies saying they plan to explore the follow-on "SpeedDealer" requirement and solicitation.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 17, 2020 at 12:32 PM

The Army is asking industry to provide a two-channel radio solution that meets the requirements for the service's Leader Radio.

The Leader Radio, under the product manager for Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit, provides team, squad and platoon leaders with interoperable voice communications. The radio uses the Tactical Scalable Mobile, or TSM, waveform and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne System, or SINCGARS.

A Jan. 10 Army notice states the service is looking for a single radio solution that offers two operational channels in one handheld unit; one that provides a SINCGARS waveform service at a Secret level and another that provides "TrellisWare Technologies, Inc. networking TSM-6 TM Waveform services at the Sensitive but Unclassified level."

The notice states the Leader Radio will be fielded in both handheld and mounted configurations, which will use a common receiver transmitter.

Army spokesman Paul Mehney told Inside Defense in an email the notice was released "as part of standard annual business to conduct market research to support a potential third Low-Rate Initial Production delivery order" for the radios. If a third LRIP is approved, the service plans to execute a delivery order in fiscal year 2020, he added. 

Last September, Harris and Thales Defense both received awards to start low-rate initial production on the Leader Radio with a 10-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.

Responses are due Jan. 30.

By Marjorie Censer
January 17, 2020 at 12:07 PM

Booz Allen Hamilton said today Judi Dotson will lead the company's national security business, effective April 1.

Dotson has spent 31 years at Booz Allen and currently heads its joint combatant command account.

She will succeed Christopher Ling, who is retiring at the end of the year after 29 years with the company.

"Dotson will join a diverse leadership team that already consists of a majority of women," Booz Allen said. "She has extensive experience serving clients at the intersection of national security and technology, including cybersecurity, analytics, digital services, and workforce management."

By John Liang
January 16, 2020 at 1:45 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a possible new Joint Strike Fighter contract, the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification effort, plus coverage from the Surface Navy Association's annual symposium and more.

Lockheed Martin later this week will brief Defense Department officials on a new contract for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter:

Pentagon working through details of F-35 PBL proposal

The Pentagon will hear a briefing Friday on Lockheed Martin's proposal for a five-year, fixed-price performance-based logistics sustainment contract for the F-35 -- a deal that could set the stage for a future multiyear sustainment deal.

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification effort:

DOD-backed cyber certification accreditation body readies for February launch

An accreditation body that will certify third parties to audit the cybersecurity practices of Defense Department contractors is expected to form its complete board of directors by the end of next week, clearing the way for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with DOD acquisition officials by the beginning of February, according to officials involved in the effort.

The Navy thinks not having a vertical launching system on an unmanned surface vessel is doable:

Navy says it will adjust to LUSV restrictions; new plan will be part of next budget

Navy officers this week expressed confidence the service can adapt to new legislation that prevents it from including a vertical launching system on a major unmanned surface vessel concept design.

The Marine Corps' top uniformed officer spoke this week at the Surface Navy Association's annual symposium:

Berger: MEFs will not mirror each other in future force design outcome

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger today forecasted changes to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force as a result of the service’s ongoing force design effort.

(Follow our ongoing coverage of SNA 2020 here.)

The Pentagon's inspector general is looking into Defense Department cyber vulnerabilities:

Watchdog to audit whether DOD is addressing cyber gaps in weapon systems

The Defense Department inspector general will audit whether the Defense Department is addressing cyber vulnerabilities discovered during the test and evaluation of its weapon systems and other acquisition programs.

Document: DOD IG memo on cyber gap audit

By Sara Sirota
January 16, 2020 at 12:14 PM

The head of Air Force Materiel Command relieved Air Force Research Laboratory Commander Maj. Gen. William Cooley from his position on Wednesday amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.

According to a statement the Air Force released today, Gen. Arnold Bunch made his decision due to "a loss of confidence in [Cooley's] ability to lead."

"The Air Force takes any misconduct allegation seriously," Bunch said in the notice. "I expect our leadership to uphold the highest standards and live up to the Air Force's core values."

The service's statement did not provide any details about Cooley's alleged misconduct.

Derek Kaufman, an Air Force spokesman, said in an email the Air Force Office of Special Investigations is leading the inquiry. He also said Cooley has been reassigned as special assistant to the AFMC commander.

Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, former director of air, space and cyberspace operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, has been appointed as the new AFRL commander.

"I have great confidence in Brigadier General Dertien and in the professionalism of the entire AFRL workforce," Bunch said.

By Tony Bertuca
January 16, 2020 at 10:37 AM

The Government Accountability Office has found the White House Office of Management and Budget violated the law when it withheld $214 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine over the summer.

The watchdog agency says it found that OMB withheld the funds for a "policy reason," which is a violation of the Impoundment Control Act.

"Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law," GAO wrote in a decision it released today.

The matter is at the heart of impeachment proceedings against President Trump, who claims he did nothing wrong, while Democrats and other current and former government officials allege he ordered the aid funds be withheld until Ukraine publicly launched a politically damaging investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Biden is a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

OMB spokeswoman Rachel Semmel told Inside Defense the White House does not accept GAO's finding.

"We disagree with GAO's opinion,” she said. "OMB uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the president's priorities and with the law."

By Courtney Albon
January 16, 2020 at 10:33 AM

The Defense Innovation Unit is seeking commercial remote sensing technology to perform peacetime indications and warning.

In a Jan. 13 notice, DIU states that it plans to initiate an 18-month competition, and will award other transaction agreements to prototype capabilities in five areas: small-satellite collection capabilities, advanced analytics software that uses cloud-based machine learning algorithms, edge compute capabilities, reduced latency direct downlink, and in-theater data processing.

"Remote sensing technology utilizing (but not limited to) synthetic aperture radar (SAR), hyperspectral imaging, electro-optical imaging, infrared imaging or radio frequency sensing satellite technology will be considered," the notice states. "The size of individual satellite technology should provide the greatest flexibility for launch and replacement."

Imagery provided by the remote-sensing system should be compatible with a cloud-based computing architecture, the notice states. DIU notes that it may award follow-on development contracts following the completion of the prototype competition.

Submissions are due Jan. 26.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 16, 2020 at 10:01 AM

The Army has released a call for industry to engage in one-on-one meetings with the service regarding the Combat Net Radio, a Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System for fire and air defense control.

The Jan. 10 notice states the service is "conducting ongoing market research for a CNR solution to meet the [SINCGARS] assured voice requirement for Command and Control limited data" that must utilize existing radio ancillaries for the platforms being upgraded.

The notice follows an Aug. 23, 2019 request for information in which the service asked for Combat Net Radio white papers for "single-purpose/single-band or single-purpose/multiband (software defined) radio technologies."

The meetings will be held Feb. 11 or Feb. 12 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. The notice states industry and the service will discuss several items, including development and delivery timeline, price points and ability to utilize existing mounting, power distribution, power amplification hardware and unique adapters.

Industry interested in the one-on-one meetings should respond by Jan. 23.