The INSIDER daily digest -- April 17, 2019

By John Liang  
April 17, 2019 at 2:59 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has the latest on a new Pentagon directed-energy plan, Air Force Global Strike Command, a defense contractor's military helicopter pursuit and more.

The Pentagon has released a new plan aimed at focusing its directed-energy efforts:

New Laser Scaling Plan sets directed-energy efforts, FY-19 contracts

The Defense Department has set a new plan to achieve a ten-fold increase in directed-energy technology over the next decade with potential to power lasers for combat on land, at sea and in air and space and identified existing contract vehicles to begin executing this new Laser Scaling Plan with fiscal year 2019 funds.

The head of Air Force Global Strike Command spoke at a breakfast with reporters this morning:

AFGSC commander: B-1 return to flight 'a slow and steady process'

The Air Force's chief of Global Strike Command yesterday approved a plan to inspect the B-1B Lancer aircraft, following a stand down last month.

MD Helicopters recently filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for Arizona following a Government Accountability Office denial of the company's protest of the Army's decision to remove MD Helicopters from the FARA competition:

MD Helicopters takes FARA protest to court

MD Helicopters, denied by the Government Accountability Office, is taking the Army to federal court over the service's rejection of the company's proposal for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competitive prototype.

Here is more of our coverage of the Army Aviation Association of America's annual summit:

Army aiming for autonomy in the cockpit

NASHVILLE, TN -- The Army needs to move away from ground control stations and put more autonomy in aircraft to fight in megacities, according to the service's project manager for unmanned aircraft systems.

Boeing makes case for Chinook Block II as Army proposes cancellation

NASHVILLE, TN -- Boeing is trying to convince lawmakers to preserve the Chinook Block II upgrade as the Army prepares to make a final decision on the program’s fate in two to three years, according to the service's vice chief of staff.

The Defense Department is seeking someone to lead the Defense Security Service:

Pentagon eyes candidates for next director of DOD's growing counterintelligence arm

The Pentagon has launched a search for the next director of the Defense Security Service, as the agency is set to significantly expand with the Defense Department's takeover of the federal background investigations mission and an increased focus on protecting technologies critical to U.S. national security.

Two California congressmen are worried the proposed Space Development Agency would cause job losses in their state:

California lawmakers concerned SDA puts SMC 'brain trust' at risk

Two California lawmakers said this week they're concerned the Pentagon's plan to create a new Space Development Agency duplicates the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center and could "undermine" the organization's "proven track record."

The Defense Department is developing contingency plans for the Joint Strike Fighter program if Turkey decides to go ahead with installing a Russian missile defense system:

Pentagon preparing for alternatives should Turkey be ousted from F-35 program

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan has directed Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord to begin planning for alternative supply options for Turkish-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter parts in the event Turkey remains suspended from the program or is expelled for its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, according to a defense official.

More JSF news:

F-35 PEO: FY-20 budget informed by $10.5B C2D2 cost estimate

The F-35 joint program office estimates its Block 4 plan will cost $10.5 billion over eight years, plus an additional $2.8 billion to modify 441 jets to the new configuration.