The Insider

By Briana Reilly
December 9, 2021 at 5:00 AM

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems unveiled today a new unmanned aerial system based on the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle and capable of carrying up to 16 Hellfire missiles.

Called the “Mojave,” the aircraft is designed to focus on short-takeoff-and-landing capabilities and bolstered firepower, according to a company news release. Breaking Defense first reported news of the drone last month.

A prototype of the UAS first flew over the summer, the release noted. Thus far, General Atomics has invested “more than $20 million in company research dollars on building out this prototype,” company spokesman C. Mark Brinkley told Inside Defense in an email.

Though it didn’t name potential military or international customers, the release said the aircraft’s capabilities make it suitable for performing “armed overwatch, attack and armed reconnaissance missions.”

“STOL capability increases the number of employment options available to Mojave, potentially including aircraft carrier-based options, unlocking naval missions or sea-based support for special operations forces,” the release states.

Brinkley said officials have shown the UAS “to various customers privately” while “discussing the potential it offers in expeditionary environments.” Though he cautioned discussing particulars of those conversations would be premature, he touted Mojave’s flexibility and capability as key assets that have “drawn a lot of interest.”

The new UAS sports a 3,600-pound payload capacity, the release notes, and can carry up to 16 AGM-114 Hellfire or equivalent missiles. The MQ-9 Reaper traditionally can only fly with four Hellfire weapons across two stations, though the Air Force last September conducted its first flight test of the aircraft carrying eight. 

By John Liang
December 8, 2021 at 4:55 PM

Here is the second portion of our coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, CA, now available to all.

Marine Corps open to hypersonic strike weapon if the size is right

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Marine Corps is open to one day adopting a hypersonic strike weapon if its size is not too cumbersome for new front-line units being designed to operate in contested areas, said the service's top general, who allowed the service "could be" interested in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort called OpFires.

Lawmakers look to workforce development to strengthen defense industrial base

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- A lawmaker on the House Armed Services Committee is urging the development of a collaborative initiative focused on workforce development to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

Continuing resolution may delay DOD's rapid technology experimentation plans

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Pentagon's chief technology officer is aiming to address four critical capability gaps through a planned set of joint technology experiments starting in fiscal year 2023, but an appropriations delay on Capitol Hill could hold up the department's schedule.

Poland seeking 250 Abrams tanks, DOD viewing request favorably

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department is considering a request from Poland to buy as many as 250 Abrams tanks, a deal likely worth more than $3 billion that would provide stability for the heavy armor production line and deliver an important capability to a European ally near Russia -- a package a senior DOD official involved in the process views very favorably.

By Evan Ochsner
December 8, 2021 at 4:45 PM

The Army plans to host a virtual industry day in February to discuss potential future contract opportunities related to its modernization efforts, according to a Dec. 8 notice to industry.

The event will be hosted by the Army’s Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, Research and Technology Integration Directorate. C5ISR RTI focuses on the research and development of many of the Army’s modernization priorities, including cyber, infrared, radio frequency and network technologies.

Officials at the Feb. 23-24 event will provide details on contract opportunities anticipated for the next one to two years, the notice states.

Officials are also interested in learning about current state-of-the-art technologies that are being developed within industry related to C5ISR, according to the notice, and will provide opportunities for one-on-one sessions with interested industry partners.

By John Liang
December 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has lots of coverage from the House and Senate's compromise defense policy bill and more.

Let's start off with the news from the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill:

Defense bill sets DOD on path to reform key budget and planning processes

House and Senate lawmakers have unveiled a final fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would establish a new commission tasked with reforming the Pentagon's decades-old "planning, programming budgeting and execution" process.

Controversial 'Buy American' provision removed from final defense policy bill

Lawmakers have agreed to drop a provision from the final fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that would have steadily increased the Pentagon's domestic sourcing requirements for materials used in its major defense acquisition programs.

Defense bill targets DOD acquisition accountability

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill that restores the requirement for the Pentagon to submit annual selected acquisition reports detailing the cost, schedule and performance of its key weapons programs.

Compromise policy bill supports SWAC objectives, but appropriators have the final word

The Space Force's new force design center cleared a legislative hurdle Tuesday in the compromise fiscal year 2022 defense policy bill, with House and Senate lawmakers expressing symbolic support for the office -- however, the fate of the office ultimately lies with congressional appropriators.

Defense bill allocates $200 million to expand Virginia-class submarine industrial base

Lawmakers are pushing to expand the Virginia-class attack submarine industrial base, allocating $200 million in the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill to allow three Virginia-class submarines to be built each year.

Congress wants Army notification on force structure changes

The Army would be required to notify Congress of any "significant" force structure changes, including changes to echelon-above-brigade headquarters or long-range fires units, under the final version of the fiscal year 2022 defense policy bill.

Compromise defense bill keeps LRSO stipulations, host of GBSD provisions

Lawmakers' compromise defense policy bill retains efforts from the House and Senate to set requirements tied to the future of the Air Force's Long-Range Standoff Weapon.

Defense authorization agreement retains certain USAF retirement limits

House and Senate authorizers have proposed lifting legislative constraints on retiring one legacy tanker, retaining a one-year A-10 divestment prohibition and tweaking proposed reduction limitations for the B-1 bomber fleet in the compromise version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill.

Lawmakers propose 2029 deadline to transition F-35 program management from JPO to services

Lawmakers want the Pentagon to draft a plan to fully transition F-35 program management from the joint program office to the Air Force and Navy by 2029.

Congress bolsters shipbuilding in defense policy bill, procuring three destroyers

Congress has procured a total of 13 ships, including three destroyers, in its final version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill, five more ships than the Navy requested in its initial budget.

House-Senate compromise version of defense policy bill excludes major cyber provisions, Solarium Commission proposals

The House and Senate Armed Services committees today unveiled a compromise fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill to be voted on in each chamber, without including a number of high-profile cybersecurity amendments such as a cyber incident reporting mandate and assorted recommendations of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

More cyber news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Pentagon plans to add certification controls from old CMMC model through work with NIST

The Pentagon will make changes to its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program by working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to revise Special Publication 800-171, according to Defense Department assessment leader John Ellis, who says DOD has plans to propose additional controls from the old CMMC model for inclusion in the next update to the key NIST publication.

Plus additional coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Security Forum:

Marine Corps open to hypersonic strike weapon if the size is right

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Marine Corps is open to one day adopting a hypersonic strike weapon if its size is not too cumbersome for new front-line units being designed to operate in contested areas, said the service's top general, who allowed the service "could be" interested in a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort called OpFires.

Lawmakers look to workforce development to strengthen defense industrial base

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- A lawmaker on the House Armed Services Committee is urging the development of a collaborative initiative focused on workforce development to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

New amphibs face budget shortfall; big decks now eyed as unmanned 'motherships'

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Marine Corps needs more money in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to buy Light Amphibious Warships, critical to service plans to establish new littoral units that can nimbly move shore-to-shore inside China's striking range, while contemplating a radical new use for its big-deck combatants: "Motherships" to unleash unmanned air and undersea systems.

Last but by no means least, some news on a proposed proliferated low-Earth-orbit communications architecture:

SCO pulls 'premature' pLEO communications architecture RFI; plans to reissue next year

The Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office has withdrawn a request for information for a proliferated low-Earth-orbit communications architecture, but a spokesman confirmed the office plans to reissue the notice "sometime next year."

By Tony Bertuca
December 8, 2021 at 11:08 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted today to advance the nominations for three key civilian posts at the Defense Department, including chief information officer.

The panel voted to advance the nomination of John Sherman to DOD chief information officer. Sherman most recently served as the acting DOD chief information officer and CIO for the intelligence community. 

The committee also voted to advance the nominations of Ashish Vazirani for deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Carrie Ricci for Army general counsel.

Most recently, Vazirani was executive director and CEO of the National Military Family Association. He served as a Navy submarine officer from 1986 to 1993. Ricci currently serves as associate general counsel for the Agriculture Department. Prior to joining the civil service, Ricci served in the Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2010.

All three nominations will now proceed to the full Senate for confirmation.

By Briana Reilly
December 8, 2021 at 8:38 AM

Senators Tuesday night signaled their support for the Biden administration’s plan to sell up to 280 AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles to Saudi Arabia, as lawmakers declined to consider a resolution aiming to block the transaction.

The motion to discharge the joint resolution from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee failed on a 30-67 vote, an attempt that came in the month after the State Department approved the potential sale.

The sale, which would also include 596 LAU-128 Missile Rail Launchers and other equipment, is valued at $650 million. In announcing the deal last month, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s release said the transaction would bolster Saudi Arabia’s stock of medium-range missiles for its fighter aircraft fleet and “will further strengthen the interoperability between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

In the days after Congress was officially notified of the potential sale, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) to introduce the measure, which now includes six additional Democratic sponsors. In the House, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is the lead on the companion bill, which has garnered 11 Democratic cosponsors. 

Supporting consideration of the measure in the Senate were some two dozen Democrats, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a cosponsor of the effort, and others. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Jack Reed (D-RI), the Senate Armed Services Committee chair, were among the Democrats who opposed it. The vast majority of Republicans also voted against it.

Ahead of the vote, Menendez and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were among those who spoke against the measure.

“A vote to block the sale of defensive military systems to Saudi Arabia would undermine one of our most important regional partners,” McConnell said, warning the country is “surrounded by violent threats conceived, funded and orchestrated by Iran.”

Sanders, meanwhile, joined Paul in decrying Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war, saying further arms deals do “nothing but further this conflict and pour more gasoline on [an] already raging fire.”

“Let me be very clear: As the Saudi government continues to wage its devastating war and repress its own people, we should not be rewarding them with more arms sales,” he said.

Congress has never successfully blocked a potential arms sale through a joint resolution of disapproval, according to the Congressional Research Service. In order to do so, lawmakers must first pass legislation expressing their disapproval of the sale and simultaneously be capable of overriding an assumed presidential veto.

Still, the report notes that Congress is able to block or modify a potential arms transaction “at any time up to the point of delivery of the items involved.” 

By Tony Bertuca
December 7, 2021 at 10:39 PM

The House voted 363-70 to pass a compromise version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill, clearing the way for the legislation to pass in the Senate and be signed into law for the 61st consecutive year.

House and Senate negotiators carved out the current bill outside the regular legislative process after it became mired in partisan debate last week in the Senate.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) said the bill represents a compromise between both parties and chambers of Congress.

“As a result, every single member involved has something in it they like and something that didn’t get into the bill that they wish had,” he said in a statement. “This year’s procedural realities made the entire process exponentially more difficult. When we get to the end of this arduous process, we often forget the hundreds of provisions we came to agreement on and focus solely on where we could not come to agreement. Ultimately, our responsibility as a Congress to provide for the common defense supersedes these areas of disagreement, making the substance of this bill and its signature into law critical.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the committee’s ranking member, praised the bipartisan bill in a statement.

“I am grateful for the work by my colleagues in the House and the Senate to craft a bipartisan and bicameral [defense authorization bill] that bolsters our national security and supports our troops,” he said. “This bill will prepare our military to face the ever-growing threat of China by banning them from our American supply chain and modernizing our weapon systems.”

“As this crucial legislation now moves to the Senate, I thank my colleagues across the House and Senate Armed Services Committees for their work on this agreement and its two underlying bills. Expeditious passage of S. 1605 by the Senate and signature by President Biden will strengthen our national security by giving these critical reforms the force of law.”

The Senate plans to vote on the bill this week in the hopes of sending it to President Biden for his signature.

By John Liang
December 7, 2021 at 1:45 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on deterring China, the Air Force's Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon program and more.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke this morning at a DefenseOne conference:

Austin pushes 'integrated deterrence' in face of Chinese hypersonic advancements

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin today, referencing what the Pentagon has characterized as a destabilizing Chinese hypersonic missile test, said the U.S. National Defense Strategy will be built upon networked dominance across all military domains, not just one "very fascinating" weapon.

The flight test timeline for the Air Force's Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon could have implications for the program's production schedule:

ARRW failure review board wraps up work; flight testing to resume in coming months

Flight testing for the Air Force's Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon is poised to resume in the coming months, the program's director said this week, following the conclusion of a failure review board's analysis of the hypersonic missile's latest testing mishap.

More coverage of this past weekend's Reagan National Security Forum:

Continuing resolution may delay DOD's rapid technology experimentation plans

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Pentagon's chief technology officer is aiming to address four critical capability gaps through a planned set of joint technology experiments starting in fiscal year 2023, but an appropriations delay on Capitol Hill could hold up the department's schedule.

The Missile Defense Agency this week announced the completion of the construction and installation of the radar arrays for the Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Space Force Station, AK:

DOD declares LRDR fielded and ready for testing, major step toward bringing new radar online

The U.S. military today took a key step toward operationalizing a major new component of its national missile defense system, declaring the Long Range Discrimination Radar -- a hulking pair of sensors in the heart of Alaska, each six stories tall and equally wide -- fielded and ready for testing to improve defense against North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Last but by no means least, some F-35 Joint Strike Fighter news:

New F-35 baseline, IOT&E schedule expected in early January, according to PEO

The head of the F-35 joint program office said today he expects an updated acquisition program baseline to be ready for release in January, setting a new schedule for completing a series of Joint Simulation Environment "runs for score."

By John Liang
December 7, 2021 at 1:31 PM

Here is the first portion of our coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, CA, now available to all:

DOD officials bracing for inflation squeeze with final FY-23 topline guidance

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department is awaiting "passback" guidance from the White House, a topline allocation that will allow Pentagon leaders to lock in the fiscal year 2023 budget proposal and account for inflation forecasts that could significantly diminish weapon system buying power.

Austin issues call to U.S. industry to help in contest against China

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued "a call" to U.S. industry -- particularly information and technology innovation firms -- to help "bring the American way of war to the 21st century," directly appealing to national interest in the contest against China, previewing what he said is a pillar of the forthcoming National Defense Strategy.

2026 target for INDOPACOM's No. 1 priority, Guam Defense System, appears to be slipping

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The gambit to deliver Guam a new air and missile defense system by 2026 -- U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's No. 1 unfunded priority which the Pentagon is still working to define and Congress has not fully funded -- appears no longer achievable, with a new target date set to be identified in the fiscal year 2023 budget request.

Iron Dome 'not the answer' to Guam's air- and missile-defense requirement

SIMI VALLEY, CO -- The Army's maiden deployment of its Israeli-built Iron Dome air and missile defense system is wrapping up, capping a deployment to Guam -- billed as an experiment -- that began in early October to exercise transporting the system and setting up for operation but not conducting any live firings.

By Tony Bertuca
December 7, 2021 at 12:42 PM

House lawmakers, in cooperation with their Senate counterparts, have released a compromise version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill.

"Because enacting the [bill] in a timely manner is critical, the two bills were combined through a series of negotiations led by the leadership of the" House and Senate Armed Services committees, the lawmakers said.

The traditional legislative process broke down last week in the Senate when lawmakers were unable to agree on amendments.

"Negotiators considered proposals offered by members of both parties that were filed in the Senate," the lawmakers said. "The final text of the bill promotes resilience, innovation, and the right tools for U.S. success in strategic competition and provides vital quality of life improvements for the backbone of America's fighting force: Our service members and their families."

The bill authorizes $768 billion in national defense spending. It does not include an additional $10 billion outside of the legislation’s jurisdiction that is set to be appropriated elsewhere, which would bring total defense spending to about $778 billion for fiscal year 2023.

The bill includes $740 billion specifically for the Pentagon, which is $25 billion more than the President Biden requested earlier this year. The bill also authorizes about $28 billion for the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons programs.

Additionally, the bill directs more than $7 billion be spent on the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, about $2 billion more than what the White House initially sought. The funds are intended to deter Chinese military activity in the region.

The bill also includes no sanctions related to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Russian-backed natural gas pipeline Republicans says is harmful to U.S. allies in Europe. The pipeline is supported by Germany and has the backing of the White House. The House version of the bill had included sanctions on Nord Stream 2. The Senate, however, did not include any sanctions because of partisan disagreements.

The bill also does not include any repeal of the authorization for the use of military force related to the U.S. war in Iraq.

Watch Inside Defense for further reporting.

By Tony Bertuca
December 6, 2021 at 6:45 PM

House and Senate lawmakers are set to soon release a compromise version of the annual defense authorization bill in the hopes it can pass both chambers this week, according to multiple congressional aides.

Presently, the legislation is being worked through the House Rules Committee, which is expected to release text of the bill Tuesday, aides said.

The legislation process typically used to pass the bill stalled last week when senators became mired in partisan arguing over amendments. Now, leaders from the House and Senate Armed Services committees intend to release their own compromise version of the bill for final votes in both chambers.

While the House hopes to schedule the first votes on the bill as soon as Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told Democrats in a “dear colleague” letter to expect final consideration of the bill this week, along with possible weekend votes.

The compromise version of the bill is expected to authorize around $778 billion in defense spending, $25 billion more than the White House requested.

By John Liang
December 6, 2021 at 4:44 PM

The Pentagon's Defense Policy Board will hold a classified meeting next week, according to a notice in today's Federal Register.

During the Dec. 15-16 meeting, the board "will receive classified briefings and hold classified discussions on the development of the Department of Defense National Defense Strategy (NDS) analysis and methodology," the notice continues. The defense secretary and under secretary of defense for policy are slated speak.

The board will also get "classified briefings on (1) a current intelligence baseline briefing on China military modernization; (2) a briefing on the NDS overall approach and security environment assessment; (3) a briefing on the NDS defense priorities, the strategic approach and integrated defense; (4) key considerations for nesting the NDS, the Nuclear Posture Review and Missile Defense Review; and (5) conduct classified member "red team" discussions and deliberation. Following discussions and deliberation, the DPB will provide their advice and recommendations to the secretary of defense for consideration."

By John Liang
December 6, 2021 at 4:13 PM

The Aerospace Industries Association announced today it has elected Huntington Ingalls Industries President and CEO Mike Petters to be AIA's chairman of the board of governors for 2022.

Spirit AeroSystems President and CEO Tom Gentile will serve as Vice Chairman.

Additionally, Eric Fanning has been re-elected as AIA president and CEO.

By Courtney Albon
December 6, 2021 at 2:32 PM

A continuing resolution that extends beyond the current Feb. 18 deadline would likely impact the Space Development Agency's plans to launch the first two tranches of its National Defense Space Architecture, according to the agency's leader.

“A CR through the month of January, we can weather that,” SDA Director Derek Tournear said during a Space Newsevent today. “A CR beyond that will start to have significant impacts unless we can get some kind of anomaly, because that is a major deal when your budget is changing as dramatically as ours.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin released a statement today expressing concern about the possibility of a full-year CR, saying the “unprecedented move” would “cause enormous, if not irreparable damage for a wide range of bipartisan priorities.”

For the SDA, a new agency that requested its first-ever procurement funding in FY-22, frozen funding levels mean schedule delays and a loss of early momentum and growth. The agency requested $808 million for research and development in FY-22 and $74 million in procurement to fund launch services and integration for Tranche 0 satellites, which are slated to launch by next October, and initial support for Tranche 1 satellites, which are scheduled for a 2024 launch.

“If we are stuck at the ’21 levels through ’22, that will cause significant slips in . . . clearly Tranche 1 and probably it could impact Tranche 0 as well,” he said.

SDA is working with Congress and the Pentagon comptroller’s office to approve an anomaly for those efforts, Tournear said, noting that “everyone knows this would be such a major impact to delivering these capabilities.”

By John Liang
December 6, 2021 at 2:01 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage of the past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum and much more.

We start off with coverage from this past weekend's Reagan National Defense Forum in California:

DOD officials bracing for inflation squeeze with final FY-23 topline guidance

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department is awaiting "passback" guidance from the White House, a topline allocation that will allow Pentagon leaders to lock in the fiscal year 2023 budget proposal and account for inflation forecasts that could significantly diminish weapon system buying power.

Austin issues call to U.S. industry to help in contest against China

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued "a call" to U.S. industry -- particularly information and technology innovation firms -- to help "bring the American way of war to the 21st century," directly appealing to national interest in the contest against China, previewing what he said is a pillar of the forthcoming National Defense Strategy.

Poland seeking 250 Abrams tanks, DOD viewing request favorably

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The Defense Department is considering a request from Poland to buy as many as 250 Abrams tanks, a deal likely worth more than $3 billion that would provide stability for the heavy armor production line and deliver an important capability to a European ally near Russia -- a package a senior DOD official involved in the process views very favorably.

2026 target for INDOPACOM's No. 1 priority, Guam Defense System, appears to be slipping

SIMI VALLEY, CA -- The gambit to deliver Guam a new air and missile defense system by 2026 -- U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's No. 1 unfunded priority which the Pentagon is still working to define and Congress has not fully funded -- appears no longer achievable, with a new target date set to be identified in the fiscal year 2023 budget request.

Iron Dome 'not the answer' to Guam's air- and missile-defense requirement

SIMI VALLEY, CO -- The Army's maiden deployment of its Israeli-built Iron Dome air and missile defense system is wrapping up, capping a deployment to Guam -- billed as an experiment -- that began in early October to exercise transporting the system and setting up for operation but not conducting any live firings.

(Check out our complete coverage of the Reagan Forum.)

Some F-35 Joint Strike Fighter news:

New F-35 baseline, IOT&E schedule expected in early January, according to PEO

The head of the F-35 joint program office said today he expects an updated acquisition program baseline to be ready for release in January, setting a new schedule for completing a series of Joint Simulation Environment "runs for score."

The Defense Department late Friday released new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program guidance:

Pentagon releases CMMC scoping guidance, updated maturity model

The Defense Department has released long-awaited scoping guidance for its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program that will help defense contractors determine what assets will be included under the assessment process, along with a new overview document describing key changes to the program.

Document: Pentagon's CMMC scoping guidance

We had a preview on Friday of an upcoming Space Test Program-3 launch:

STP-3 mission to fly Space Force's first LDPE ring

A Space Force mission set to launch early Sunday morning will include a new Long-Duration Propulsive ESPA ring the service is using to carry prototype payloads that, in some cases, could augment operational capabilities.

A CH-53K helicopter transported a 27,000-pound light armored vehicle (LAV-25) from an amphibious assault ship to a landing zone on shore during testing last month:

Marine Corps CH-53K transports light armored vehicle during ship-to-shore testing

The Marine Corps conducted over-the-horizon heavy lift and troop transport operations using a CH-53K for the first time, the service announced Friday.

A recent Government Accountability Office report recommends the Defense Department "take additional actions to improve how it approaches intellectual property":

GAO questions Pentagon's plans for intellectual property teams

The Defense Department has outlined its strategy for a "federated" organization of intellectual property experts to bolster the acquisition of weapon systems and services, but the Government Accountability Office says it still has questions about the plan.

Document: GAO report on DOD's approach to IP