The INSIDER daily digest -- Dec. 13, 2023

By John Liang / December 13, 2023 at 1:20 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a Defense Innovation Unit project to develop prototype batteries, the Army's Unified Network Operations (UNO) plan, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and more.

A new Defense Innovation Unit project attempts to strengthen DOD's energy supply chains, solve source dependency challenges and improve lithium battery life cycle through partnerships across the DOD and service branches that will implement commercial technology into DOD soldier-portable systems, ground vehicles and aviation:

DIU awards companies to prototype 'standard aviation batteries' in line with DOD's lithium battery strengthening initiative

The Defense Innovation Unit awarded contracts to five companies to prototype standard aviation batteries to combat energy source needs through the Defense Department's Family of Advanced Standard Batteries (FAStBat) project, which integrates commercially available lithium battery technologies across the Pentagon.

Inside Defense is covering the Army's Technical Exchange Meeting 11 in Savannah, GA that focuses on the service's network design efforts:

Army gears up for competitive prototyping in Unified Network Operations

SAVANNAH, GA -- Fiscal year 2024 figures to be an eventful year for the Army's Unified Network Operations (UNO) plan, as it moves into the competitive prototyping phase and eventually toward a downselect.

Senior DOD officials testified on Capitol Hill this week on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program:

F-35 engine upgrade program would run out of funds in February under CR

Funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Engine Core Upgrade program will run out after February 2024 if Congress doesn't pass a budget with the funding requested to ramp up the program, Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt told lawmakers Tuesday.

Document: House hearing on the F-35 program

The Missile Defense Agency plans a preliminary design review of Northrop Grumman's Next Generation Interceptor proposal -- the company is partnered with Raytheon for the estimated $17 billion contest -- in January:

Major MDA technical review of Northrop-Raytheon NGI design set for January

The Defense Department plans next month to conduct the second of two major technical reviews for the Next Generation Interceptor competition, assessing Northrop Grumman's design and select components for a homeland defense guided-missile prototype after completing a similar review in October of the same for Lockheed Martin.

Space Systems Command this week issued a request for information on refueling and mobility for dynamic space operations:

SSC seeks industry inputs to advance Combat Space Mobility concepts

Space Systems Command is seeking industry assistance to identify potential capabilities and technologies to advance Combat Space Mobility, according to a notice posted yesterday that aligns with operational imperatives introduced by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.