The INSIDER daily digest -- August 8, 2023

By John Liang / August 8, 2023 at 2:07 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet's next-generation infrared sensor, the Space Development Agency's Tranche 1 Transport Layer program and more.

While the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system has faced a series of delays that pushed operational testing from early FY-21 to the middle of FY-24, the program is now progressing through production readiness assessments and holding to its first quarter FY-25 target for full-rate production:

Navy predicts new Super Hornet sensor will begin full-rate production in early FY-25 despite IOC delay

The Navy expects its next-generation F/A-18E/F Super Hornet infrared sensor to enter full-rate production in early fiscal year 2025 even though the system's anticipated initial operational capability date has slipped from the third to the fourth quarter of FY-24.

We have an update on the Space Development Agency's Tranche 1 Transport Layer program:

Lockheed completes CDR for SDA's military satellite constellation

Lockheed Martin announced today it has completed the critical design review for the Space Development Agency's Tranche 1 Transport Layer program, a part of the SDA's contract awarded to build 42 satellites.

Defense Department leaders are working to finalize a memorandum of agreement that codifies roles and responsibilities for the missile defense of Guam:

DOD still working to sort out defense of Guam organizational roles and responsibilities

Pentagon leaders are working to clarify lanes of responsibility for the defense of Guam, an unusually complex project -- even for the Defense Department -- that involves many intertwined organizational, functional and technological dimensions in a high-stakes, quick-moving project deemed crucial to defending, if necessary, Taiwan from China beginning in 2024.

While the Navy initially planned to buy 13 of the flight II Landing Platform Dock amphibious warfare ships, its fiscal year 2023 budget proposed truncating production after just three vessels:

Navy signals intent to procure at least three more LPDs

The Navy is planning to issue a solicitation to shipbuilder HII for long-lead-time materials and detail, design and construction of three amphibious warships -- LPD-33, LPD-34 and LPD-35, according to a presolicitation notice published Friday.

The Marine Corps is strengthening its defenses against small drones:

Small drone defense at Marine Corps sites to grow

The Marine Corps is enhancing five small unmanned aerial system defense platforms fielded at undisclosed U.S. military sites, with plans to add the high-tech equipment at other installations.