The INSIDER daily digest -- Dec. 5, 2018

By John Liang  
December 5, 2018 at 2:27 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the defense budget, hypersonic booster technology, artificial intelligence, the INF Treaty and more.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told Inside Defense he recently had a "frank and productive conversation" with President Trump about the defense budget:

Mattis and GOP defense chairmen go to Trump for budget boost

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis accompanied Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and House counterpart Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) to the White House today to convince President Trump the new defense budget must be at least $733 billion, rather than the $700 billion being floated by the Office of Management and Budget, according to officials with knowledge of the meeting.

The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs office recently advanced the Hypersonic Booster Technology Development project:

Navy advances work on new booster for potential submarine-launched hypersonic weapon

The Navy last week plunked down an additional $28.5 million to expand development of a new hypersonic booster for a submarine-launched, Intermediate-Range Conventional Prompt Strike prototype weapon -- exercising an option with prime contractor Lockheed Martin that allocates the largest portion of spending to date to a subcontractor.

The Air Force's cross-functional team for artificial intelligence has three co-chairs -- Michael Kanaan, the service's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance enterprise lead for AI and machine learning, Deputy Chief Technology Officer Leslie Perkins and a third that oversees multidomain command and control:

Air Force's new AI cross-functional team to hold first meeting Friday

The Air Force is launching a cross-functional team for artificial intelligence to write a service-wide strategy and mull plans to bake the technology into all of the service's systems and processes.

Army Maj. Gen Garrett Yee spoke to attendees of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Air Force IT day this morning:

Information technology to be specialized between services

The military's information technology world is being divided up into specialties to synchronize capabilities and improve interoperability among the services, according to the Army's deputy chief information officer, G6.

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to award two prototype other transaction agreements for a "cloud based Internet isolation capability":

DOD to award two prototyping agreements for cloud-based internet isolation capability

The Defense Information Systems Agency will work with two companies to prototype a product for isolating potential cybersecurity risks from the internet in cloud environment, with one vendor possibly moving on to provide the technology across the Defense Department.

If Russia doesn't start complying with the INF Treaty, the United States will leave the pact in two months:

Pompeo: U.S. to withdraw from INF Treaty in 60 days unless Russia complies

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week formally announced that if Russia does not come back into compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the United States would withdraw from the pact in 60 days.

Lockheed Martin and Airbus have signed a memorandum of agreement to "jointly explore opportunities to meet the growing demand for aerial refueling by U.S. defense customers":

Airbus teams with Lockheed for another crack at Air Force tanker business

Airbus, eyeing a growing need for aerial refueling service by the U.S. military, is teaming up with Lockheed Martin to offer the Pentagon the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport as a fee-for-service aircraft and potential purchase -- a third attempt by the European company over the last decade to win a piece of the Air Force tanker business in a move that could squeeze Boeing.