Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Navy:
1. The Defense Department has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $5.5 billion to deliver 141 F-35 aircraft as part of the 11th low-rate initial production lot. The F-35 joint program office confirmed it is an undefinitized contract action.
2. With the stroke of a pen, the Navy's acquisition executive has increased the size of the Virginia class submarine program, expanding the official acquisition target from 30 to 48 boats, adding a $68 billion obligation to future Pentagon budgets and making the total cost of the nuclear-powered attack submarine project second only to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
3. Raytheon is facing competition from a joint BAE Systems and Leonardo Defence Systems offering for the Advanced Gun System projectile used on the Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyer.
4. The chief of naval operations recently directed the Naval Inspector General to assess the service's progress in reaching goals outlined in strategic guidance released in January 2016.