The INSIDER daily digest -- April 29, 2019

By Thomas Duffy / April 29, 2019 at 2:37 PM

Today's INSIDER Daily Digest includes a new GAO report on the Joint Strike Fighter, news on the Navy's MQ-25 unmanned air vehicle, the latest on the Wideband Global Satellite Communications space vehicle as well as news on the Pentagon's effort to reduce Fourth Estate spending.

First up, the GAO takes a look at more issues surrounding the F-35 program:

GAO: F-35 JPO should close Block 4 business case before awarding contracts

The Government Accountability Office is recommending the Defense Department hold off on awarding additional F-35 Block 4 development contracts until an independent cost estimate is completed and the program office conducts a partial technology readiness assessment and has an approved test and evaluation master plan.

Boeing and the Navy think they can accelerate a key UAV effort:

Boeing: Pre-award test asset, embedded program office will help quicken MQ-25 IOC

Boeing believes 18 months of early testing and embedding Navy officials into its program office will play a big part in accelerating the MQ-25's initial operational capability ahead of the 2024 goal, according to a company official.

The Air Force has awarded Boeing an undefinitized contract action worth up to $605 million to deliver the 11th WGS satellite:

SMC: WGS-11 contract doubles capability, includes option for a second satellite

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is working with Boeing to double the capability of the next Wideband Global Satellite Communications space vehicle -- a strategy that could give the service the option to buy one satellite instead of two.

Inside Defense traveled to the National Defense Industrial Association's Robotic Capabilities Conference in Columbus, GA:

Army preparing for Phase 2 of RCV experimentation

COLUMBUS, GA -- As the Army fine tunes its requirements for the Robotic Combat Vehicle, officials in charge of the technology demonstration project are relying on industry to help determine the final specifications.

The Pentagon is looking to cut spending:

Pentagon moving to reduce 'Fourth Estate' agencies, review contracts

The Pentagon has sent a strategy to Congress laying out an approach to reduce spending at civilian management agencies, also known as the Fourth Estate, by 25% over the coming years, acting Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman told Inside Defense in an interview.