The INSIDER daily digest -- Feb. 6, 2023

By John Liang / February 6, 2023 at 12:58 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on domestic large solid-rocket motor production, the Navy's Integrated Combat System concept and more.

Next week, DOD plans to invite proposals -- using non-traditional acquisition rules -- for a "competitive cornerstone initiative request (CIR)" administered by an Army organization at Rock Island, IL, on behalf of the Pentagon's Innovation Capability and Modernization Program run by the Office of the Secretary of Defense's industrial base shop:

DOD charts path, competition for new, large rocket motor production for hypersonic weapons

The Defense Department is clearing a path this month to establish additional domestic large solid-rocket motor production, opening a competition to qualify a supplier to support Navy and Army plans for surging offensive hypersonic missile production in the coming years.

Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director of the office of the chief of naval operations' surface warfare division (N96), spoke last week at the American Society of Naval Engineers combat systems symposium:

Surface Navy sees Integrated Combat System concept as imperative for future fleet

The Integrated Combat System concept, an idea for using software to connect all surface ships and unmanned platforms to enable rapid and cohesive decision-making, is a priority for the future fleet according to a top surface warfare officer.

Textron's Bell, and Sikorsky, part of Lockheed Martin, are competing against each other for a big reconnaissance helicopter contract, and each company has said their prototypes are nearly complete, other than not having the engines:

Army 'continuing to assess' delivery dates of ITEP engines for FARA

As the defense industry continues to face supply chain challenges, Army officials say the service is "continuing to assess" the delivery date for the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) engines that will power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.

Aiming to scale private capital, the Pentagon stood up the Office of Strategic Capital in December to bridge the "valley of death" by connecting defense companies with private investors:

Pentagon's new private capital office will release first funds for SBIC this year

Following Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's recent establishment of the Office of Strategic Capital, the Defense Department will approve the first funds for its Small Business Investment Company initiative by the end of the summer to put money behind critical technologies.

The top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee will have a major challenge in balancing the need to fund the Defense Department adequately while at the same time finding places to cut spending:

Rogers looks to thread GOP needle between cutting DOD and investing in modernization

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, pledged today to cut Pentagon spending, yet stressed that the investments needed to compete with China will be expensive.