The INSIDER daily digest -- Feb. 23, 2024

By John Liang / February 23, 2024 at 1:42 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on autonomous aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region, the Army's cancellation of a multibillion-dollar helicopter program, the Navy's MQ-95 Stingray effort and more.

Autonomous aircraft operator Xwing wants to be included in the Air Force's first large-scale multicombatant command exercise scheduled to take place in the Indo-Pacific in 2025:

Xwing eyes exercises in Indo-Pacific to demonstrate autonomous capability

After receiving approval to perform critical cargo missions for the Air Force, autonomous aircraft operator Xwing said their "phones started ringing" from other "partners in the military" interested in working with the company, including Pacific Air Forces.

Inside Defense recently interviewed the top Republican on the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee about the Army's termination of a multibillion-dollar helicopter program:

Wittman believes hearing on Army aviation restructure will help bring clarity

House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman (R-VA) still has unanswered questions about the Army's announcement earlier this month that it would be canceling the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program, as part of a reorganization of the service's aviation portfolio.

Due to contractor design, production and testing delays, the MQ-25 Stingray program in June 2023 extended its engineering and manufacturing development phase by 24 months "to ensure system currency":

MQ-25 reprogramming hung up by continuing resolution

The Navy's MQ-25 Stingray uncrewed aircraft system program has been slowed awaiting congressional approval of a reprogramming request, from which money will go toward remedying obsolescence issues tied to the MQ-25's design.

The Pentagon's No. 2 civilian spoke this week at the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office's three-day symposium on defense data and AI:

Hicks stresses 'speed and safety' to integrate AI into military operations

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks stressed "speed and safety" to an audience of tech and defense industry officials as core elements of the Pentagon's strategy for integrating artificial intelligence into its operations, with the goal of upgrading the military's threat assessments and outmaneuvering adversaries.

Yet another military organization is sounding the alarm over the potential damage a full-year continuing resolution would have on defense programs:

AFRL warns of 'broad departmental effects' without FY-24 appropriations bill

DENVER -- The Air Force Research Laboratory is poised to play a major role in the Air Force's massive reorganization plan to outpace China, but a full-year continuing resolution for fiscal year 2024 may derail such efforts, according to service leaders at the Air and Space Forces Association's Warfare Symposium.