The INSIDER daily digest -- April 2, 2020

By John Liang / April 2, 2020 at 1:48 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a multibillion-dollar Standard Missile-3 contract, Marine Corps Joint Strike Fighter numbers and more.

The Missile Defense Agency last week revealed a new, multibillion-dollar, five-year contract covers 230 Standard Missile-3 Block IB interceptors for the United States and an unnamed foreign customer -- which appears to be Japan:

Multiyear deal pushes price tag for SM-3 Block IB interceptor to lowest amount to date

Raytheon says a new $2.1 billion Standard Missile-3 Block IB production contract drove the cost for each ballistic missile guided interceptor to its lowest level yet.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger told reporters this week that his plans to slash the number of aircraft per F-35 squadron down to 10 from 16 is his way of "signaling to industry" that it could alter the buy depending on the operating environment:

Berger says Marine Corps won't yet cut F-35 program of record, but might down the road

The Marine Corps' top officer said it's not yet cutting the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program of record numbers, but could trim the buy in the future.

In a letter sent this week to leadership of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, as well as other congressional panels, the National Defense Industrial Association and the Professional Services Council ask lawmakers to delay implementation of Part B of Section 889 of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act:

Industry groups seek six-month extension in federal ban on contractors using Huawei, ZTE

Two defense industry groups, citing the coronavirus outbreak, are pressing lawmakers to provide a six-month extension to the deadline for when federal contractors are banned from using Chinese telecommunications products like Huwaei and ZTE.

Document: Industry groups' letter on federal ban on contractors using Huawei, ZTE

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a big impact on Navy acquisition programs:

Geurts projects 'major effort' this summer to correct for program, contract issues caused by COVID-19

Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts says he anticipates a "major effort" this summer to correct for programmatic and contractual issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

House authorizers plan to announce a time to mark up the FY-21 defense policy bill once the congressional schedule for the next few months becomes clear:

House lawmakers lay out defense bill plans in face of COVID-19 limitations

House Armed Services Committee leaders say they hope to have the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill ready by May 1, though the COVID-19 outbreak means the legislation will be crafted in a much different and more "informal" way than in the past.

(For full coverage of Congress and the Defense Department's response to COVID-19, click here.)