In today's digest, another Capitol Hill leader is expressing concern about the Trump administration's fiscal year 2018 budget, a top Pentagon official wants to further cut the cost of the F-35 and lawmakers are transferring money to a key Air Force effort.
Inside Defense spent much of Wednesday at a conference sponsored by McAleese and Associates and Credit Suisse, where officials from Capitol Hill, the services and the Pentagon gathered. House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith discussed the problems associated with cutting the non-defense discretionary budget:
House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith (D-WA) has joined the growing chorus saying the Trump administration will run into trouble with securing its proposed budget.
At the same conference, Shay Assad talked about the Pentagon's effort to lower the F-35's price tag:
The Defense Department's effort to cut the price of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is far from over, Shay Assad, the Pentagon's director of defense pricing, made clear Wednesday.
And Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch shared news about the Air Force's Compass Call program.
The Air Force's top uniformed acquisition officer said this week the service will choose L3 Technologies to lead the Compass Call cross-deck effort, after the Government Accountability Office dismissed a bid protest from Bombardier March 10.
In other Air Force news, the Pentagon is transferring money to the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System and the service is weighing its option for retiring the F-15C/D:
The Air Force is exploring its options to retire Boeing's F-15C/D in the late 2020s and recapitalize Lockheed Martin's F-16 with improved radar to serve in the Eagle's role, service officials told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday.
Lastly, an Army official is expressing concern about how the Abrams tank stacks up against the tanks of foreign nations:
The Army’s main battle tank “is still toward the top of its class” in the short term, but some foreign armies -- notably, Russia -- have caught up, according to the service’s deputy chief of staff (G-8).