The INSIDER daily digest -- April 12, 2024

By John Liang / April 12, 2024 at 1:21 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on lawmakers inching toward raising the congressionally mandated defense spending budget cap, the Army seeking to reduce the price of commercial drones and more.

There are increasing signs on Capitol Hill that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are thinking about raising the congressionally mandated budget cap on defense spending:

Appropriators send bipartisan signals for possible move against defense budget cap

Senior House and Senate appropriators this week said they believe the congressionally mandated cap on fiscal year 2025 defense spending is too low to address the Pentagon's requirements and signaled that they intend to do something about it.

The Army's acquisition office has been putting out multiple requests for information to industry as a way to drive "market entry" and bring down the cost of commercial drones:

As it seeks to field commercial drones, Army wants to bring down the cost

As the Army seeks to invest more in commercial technology to bolster its arsenal of small UAS and counter UAS capabilities, the service is focused on finding ways to reduce the price tag.

A new Congressional Budget Office report "examines the potential acquisition costs" of the Navy's Landing Ship Medium program:

CBO projects LSMs will cost over $340 million per hull, more than double Navy estimates

Procuring a fleet of 18 Landing Ship Mediums will cost $340 to $430 million per ship in fiscal year 2024 dollars, according to a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate, which indicates acquisition costs will be two to three times greater than the Navy’s own estimates.

Document: CBO report on LSM acquisition costs

U.S. Strategic Command submitted its fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list to Congress:

STRATCOM sends empty UPL to Congress

U.S. Strategic Command has sent Congress an unfunded priority list without identifying any unmet needs that could use additional funding, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: STRATCOM's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

When releasing its multiyear procurement bid last September for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles, the Army estimated the savings would be 2.5% or $67.6 million "when compared to four annual awards," according to budget documents from the Defense Department comptroller:

Army to award multiyear contract for GMLRS in Q4 of FY-24 estimated to save $68M

The Army plans to award a four-year multiyear procurement contract in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year to buy 18,000 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles estimated to save $67.6 million, according to a service spokesperson.