The INSIDER daily digest -- April 4, 2024

By John Liang / April 4, 2024 at 3:25 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy testing high-power microwave technology, the Air Force looking to use "drone swarms" to disarm enemy defenses and more.

In this summer's Advanced Naval Technology Exercise Coastal Trident Program (ANTX-CT24) exercise, Epirus -- a Los Angeles-based technology company focusing on directed energy -- will participate in field experiments using its Leonidas HPM technology to "temporarily disable small vessels powered by outboard motors," like the uncrewed vessels seen in the Red Sea:

High-Power Microwave tech to be tested in Navy exercise

A defense start-up wants to successfully display High-Power Microwave technology that can potentially disrupt drones, similar to those launched recently by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central, spoke with reporters this week during a breakfast hosted by the Defense Writers Group:

AFCENT commander wants to use 'drone swarms' to disarm enemy defenses

As the Pentagon moves to rapidly deploy an affordable mass of uncrewed aircraft to get intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities up to speed for potential future challenges in the Indo-Pacific, Defense Department forces are already facing some drone-related issues amid conflict in the Middle East, according to a top U.S. Central Command official.

Navy Comptroller Russell Rumbaugh said at an American Enterprise Institute event this week, in remarks that followed the service's release of a shipbuilding review identifying rampant delays across key programs:

Navy can't 'buy its way out' of programmatic challenges, comptroller says

The Navy can't "buy its way out" of the problems facing key acquisitions programs, a senior official said today, though the service is still determining exactly what it can do to alleviate widespread delays across high-priority submarine and ship acquisition programs.

DARPA wants to slash $900 million in sensor funding:

DARPA's sensor portfolio slashed by half in new five-year plan

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's sensor technology portfolio that aims to improve the accuracy and timeliness of surveillance and targeting systems is being offered up as a bill payer in the Pentagon's new five-year spending plan, with proposed reductions of more than $900 million when compared to the current blueprint.

Document: DARPA's FY-25 budget justification book

The Air Force's top uniformed officer spoke about the Collaborative Combat Aircraft program this week:

Air Force to write affordability into CCA requirements

The Air Force will write affordability into the requirements for its Collaborative Combat Aircraft, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin said last week.