The INSIDER daily digest -- April 17, 2024

By John Liang / April 17, 2024 at 3:03 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on delays to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and E-7A Wedgetail programs plus Navy counter-drone efforts and more.

Certain upgrades to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have been delayed:

Initial F-35 TR-3 deliveries slip even further to the right, may still require tweaks

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt is “as frustrated” as lawmakers over the various schedule slips temporarily halting deliveries of the Lockheed Martin-made jets enabled with Technology Refresh 3 upgrades, he told a House defense panel this week.

The Air Force's E-7A early warning aircraft has suffered yet another delay:

Wedgetail delayed a year as negotiations continue with Boeing

At least one of the E-7A Wedgetail prototypes will be a year late due to ongoing price negotiations with prime contractor Boeing, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall disclosed this week.

The Navy needs supplemental funding to pay for the missiles it has fired in the Red Sea:

SECNAV: Navy needs supplemental to replace nearly $1 billion in expended munitions

The Navy has used nearly $1 billion in munitions to intercept missiles and drones in the Red Sea, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said today, telling Senate appropriators it is critical that Congress pass a pending supplemental spending package to begin replacing these interceptors.

Navy officials detailed a counter-drone effort earlier this month during an industry day hosted by the program executive office for integrated warfare systems, indicating the service launched the initiative with a February request for information in response to "fleet demand":

Navy to test new shipboard C-UAS capability aiming to 'bend the cost curve' of drone defense

The Navy is preparing to test two counter-drone weapon systems during a June demonstration in a rapid capability effort that aims to equip destroyers with a kinetic, counter-UAS capability at a fraction of the cost of Standard Missiles.

Leslie Beavers, the principal deputy chief information officer, said at the 5th Annual CIO Summit in Alexandria, VA that her office created the Customer Experience Officer Portfolio Management Office (CXO) to address user experience as technology accelerates:

CIO launches team of experts to ease defense personnel technology challenges

A Defense Department senior information officer said she is working with the head of another office to create a team of experts to help manage and ease defense personnel technology interactions and integration.

During a hearing this week, Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) was sympathetic to Army officials' previously stated desire for more flexible funding when it comes to procurement of capabilities such as unmanned systems:

House authorizers urge Army to pick up the pace on modernization

House Armed Services Committee members questioned top Army officials during a hearing today about the speed of the service's key modernization initiatives.

Last but by no means least, the latest CMMC news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

MITRE raises concerns over CMMC program costs to address assessment gaps, accommodate maturity model changes

MITRE has raised issues with potential costs for contractors who want to do business with the Defense Department in addressing assessment gaps and accommodating for potential future changes in the maturity model for the upcoming Pentagon cyber certification program, in response to a proposed rule to implement the program.