The INSIDER daily digest -- Feb. 21, 2024

By John Liang / February 21, 2024 at 2:08 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the precarious state of U.S. weapons funding for Ukraine, an undisclosed Patriot intercept test and more.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh this week said DOD is not considering providing additional weapons to Ukraine via presidential drawdown authority until Congress authorizes a supplemental security spending package:

DOD won't risk supplying Ukraine without replenishment funds from Congress

The Defense Department has $4 billion in remaining spending authority it could tap to send additional weapons to Ukraine but assesses that the risk of doing so to be too great as Congress has thus far failed to appropriate money that would be needed to replenish U.S. stocks.

The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, in an annual report to Congress and the defense secretary last month, revealed the results of a developmental test of a major Patriot software upgrade called Post Development Build 8.1:

Patriot shoots down electronic-jamming aircraft target in test of major software upgrade

The Defense Department has improved the Patriot lower-tier air and missile shield, boosting the system's ability to search, discriminate and destroy tactical ballistic missiles as well as demonstrating a new capability to fend off electronic attack while hunting down enemy threats.

Keep an eye out for a Defense Business Board meeting taking place later this month:

Upcoming DBB meeting to provide updates on digital ecosystem study

The Defense Business Board will hold a meeting Feb. 29 to hear updates from its business transformation advisory subcommittee on a study pertaining to leveraging digital ecosystems, according to a notice published in the Federal Register.

Navy officials are sounding the alarm over the negative effects a full-year continuing resolution could have on the service's budget and programs:

Extended CR could affect contracting for several Navy missiles

Congress' inability to pass a fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill may have a major effect on the Navy’s plans to contract for the production of several missile programs, with current funding set to expire March 8.

In a recent terms of reference memo, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu calls on the Defense Science Board to "conduct a study to consider the topic of commercial provision of navigation signals for operational use":

DSB study sought on military use for commercial navigation signals

Pentagon technology chief Heidi Shyu has tasked the Defense Science Board's Permanent Subcommittee on Strategic Options with running a study that would evaluate the use of commercial navigation signals for potential military operations.

Document: DSB memo on using commercial navigation systems for military use