The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 11, 2019

By John Liang  
January 11, 2019 at 3:34 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has a free story on the Pentagon's response to allegations about former longtime Boeing executive and current acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, plus articles on the cost of the Navy's MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aircraft system, performance payments to the defense industry and more.

We start off with a story available to all:

Pentagon fires back on allegations Shanahan is favoring Boeing

The Pentagon says allegations that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, a 31-year executive at Boeing, has acted improperly to benefit his former employer or is biased in favor of the company are unfounded and untrue.

The Navy's MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aircraft system will cost $2 billion more than previously projected:

Navy sets MQ-25 price tag at $15.2 billion, nearly $2 billion higher than service cost position

The Navy estimates the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aircraft system -- the service's first operational unmanned aircraft for the aircraft carrier fleet -- will cost $15.2 billion to acquire, up nearly $2 billion from a $13.3 billion price tag the service tallied last year.

Performance payments are back on the table for the Pentagon and defense industry:

Pentagon re-opens debate with defense industry over performance payments, contract financing

The Pentagon is seeking ideas for how it can incentivize better performance from defense contractors after a controversial proposal to reduce customary progress payments was quashed last year.

It looks like Eglin Air Force Base will be the temporary home of the Air Force's F-22 Formal Training Unit:

Air Force to house displaced F-22 training unit at Eglin prior to formal beddown approval

The Council on Environmental Quality has approved an Air Force request for an interim beddown of its F-22 Formal Training Unit at Eglin Air Force Base, FL -- a move the service said was necessary after damage from Hurricane Michael displaced the unit.

The Army last October sent Congress a report on IFPC Inc. 2, the mobile, ground-based air and missile defense system designed to provide protection in all directions against cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft, rockets, artillery and mortar threats that would replace the venerable Avenger system:

Army eyes laser weapon for short-range air and missile defense by 2027

The Army has set plans to integrate a high-energy laser weapon into its short-range air and missile defense arsenal by 2027, making room for a directed-energy capability alongside guided-missile interceptors in the Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 system.

The Navy's expeditionary warfare requirements office (N95) plans to conduct a "beta test" on a big-deck ship in fiscal year 2023 during an already-scheduled maintenance availability:

New LHA, LHD overhaul model may see funding in FY-23 for 'beta test'

Expeditionary warfare officials aim to identify funding in a future budget to start proving out concepts necessary to design a new maintenance and modernization model for big-deck amphibious ships, according to a Navy official.