The INSIDER daily digest -- April 19, 2024

By John Liang / April 19, 2024 at 2:46 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Defense Department's support of congressional efforts to repeal the law that requires unfunded priorities lists, plus a proposed multibillion-dollar funding cut to an Army high-energy laser program and more.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood said this week that DOD "continues to support the ending of statutory requirements for annual unfunded priorities lists":

OSD still wants Congress to repeal law requiring unfunded priorities lists, despite $30B military request

U.S. military officials have sent Congress more than $30 billion in “unfunded priorities lists” separate from their regular budget request, but civilian leaders at the Pentagon support repealing the law requiring that the annual lists be sent to lawmakers, who often use them as a blueprint for increasing the defense budget.

Billions of dollars have been cut from the five-year plan for an Army high-energy laser system:

Army guts $4.8 billion from IFPC-HEL in new five-year plan, focuses on 'try' before 'buy'

The Army has cut $4.8 billion from planned future spending on the Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High Energy Laser in the service's new five-year spending plan, a dramatic reduction that removes future funding stability for a cruise-missile-killer-and-more project that a key service official says remains a priority.

After hearing from several guest speakers during a Defense Innovation Board meeting this week, DIB Chair Mike Bloomberg announced that the board's next meeting will showcase final recommendations:

DIB discusses studies on partnerships and technology adoption at meeting

The Defense Innovation Board held a meeting yesterday in which guest speakers presented their opinions on two ongoing studies surrounding innovation with allies and accelerating technology adoption, with final recommendations on the studies set to be provided at the board’s July meeting.

Jinyoung Englund, chief strategy officer for algorithmic warfare in the chief digital artificial intelligence office, said this week that if DOD wants to win the AI battle, working with partners to advance AI capabilities through data is crucial:

CDAO official says secure data sharing is key to winning AI battle

A Defense Department senior artificial intelligence officer emphasized the vital role that sharing quality and secure data amongst DOD, allies and partners plays in order to combat adversaries in the AI battle.

The Missile Defense Agency, in concert with the Space Development Agency, plans to observe two sounding rockets in flight as part of the effort to bring online the pair of Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) prototype satellites lofted into orbit:

Pair of sounding rocket tests planned this summer to calibrate HBTSS prototypes

The Pentagon this summer plans to launch a pair of ultra-fast, maneuvering targets in separate tests to calibrate space-based sensors recently placed in orbit as part of the U.S. military’s latest efforts to assemble a suite of new technologies to counter long-range hypersonic glide vehicles.