C3BM, resilient GPS and PNT subjects of Air Force 'quick-start initiative'

By Shelley K. Mesch / April 16, 2024 at 9:35 AM

The Air Force will begin early research and development on resilient GPS, positioning, navigation and timing capabilities as well as a command, control, communications and battle management program for moving target indication using a new authority to bypass congressional approval.

Service Secretary Frank Kendall told the Senate Armed Services Committee today the names of the two programs that he announced last week had been approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“The [Air Force Department] also appreciates the committee’s support for the DOD quick-start initiative that was enacted last year,” Kendall said.

Congress passed what Kendall calls the “quick-start initiative” in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act in December, but funding for the program wasn’t appropriated until March with the passage of the FY-24 budget.

Following the early research and engineering work, the two efforts are expected to transition to programs of record in the FY-26 budget, according to a news release from the service.

“This initiative will leverage the success of rapid acquisition authority, marking a pivotal moment in advancing national security objectives with unprecedented speed and efficiency,” Kendall said in the statement. “Quick start will kickstart efforts intended to develop solutions to emerging problems, ensuring rapid progress from concept to implementation.”

Without this approval, similar work would need to wait for the passage of new-start authority in the next budget cycle -- a year and a half from now at best.