The INSIDER daily digest -- April 10, 2023

By John Liang / April 10, 2023 at 1:47 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy's Standard Missile-6 system, the Army's MQ-1 Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft program and more.

The Navy is seeking to increase production of the Standard Missile-6 system:

DOD dials up SM-6 max annual production capacity target to 300 guided missiles by 2028

The Navy's fiscal year 2024 budget seeks funding to raise annual production capacity of the Standard Missile-6 to 300 by 2028, a 50% increase above the goal to reach 200 per year by 2026 as demand for the weapon -- which packs both offensive and defensive punch -- grows.

For each budget request starting in fiscal year 2021, the Army stopped including any funding for procurement of MQ-1 Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft, only to have Congress later add funding:

Army not requesting additional MQ-1 Gray Eagles for FY-24

The Army has once again refrained from requesting funding for additional procurement of MQ-1 Grey Eagle unmanned aircraft systems in its budget submission to Congress.

We also have news on funding for Coast Guard polar icebreakers:

Polar security fleet funding request underscores U.S. Arctic interests

With concern growing about upholding U.S. interests in Arctic waters, the Coast Guard is seeking $170 million in fiscal year 2024 to continue developing its tiny polar security cutter fleet. The cutters monitor sea traffic in a thawing Arctic, among other duties.

Navy officials talked about directed-energy weapon systems last week:

Navy laser weapon development intensifies

The Navy will field shipboard laser weapons "as rapidly as fiscal and industrial resources will allow," with the transition of critical research and development programs to operations prioritized, the service said.

A new combatant command could be in the offing:

DOD debates possibilities for new Joint Futures Command; Milley lends horsepower

Inside the Pentagon, a small team of experts is preparing to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on options for addressing the future of warfare amid rapid technological change, which could lead to the creation of a new “Joint Futures Command.”