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The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 12, 2018

January 12, 2018 |
John Liang
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This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest features news on the size of the Navy's fleet, the Orion long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, the GPS III satellite program and much more.

As part of the 2016 Force Structure Assessment -- which called for a larger fleet, including 18 more attack submarines than previously planned as well as 12 aircraft carriers -- the Navy considered a fleet size based on a "frictionless-plane number":

Navy in 2016 considered 'frictionless' requirement for a 500-ship fleet

In 2016, the Navy considered a need for hundreds more warships than the 355 the service eventually decided represents the force-level goal needed to execute the Obama administration's defense strategy, according to a senior official involved in crafting the 2016 Force Structure Assessment.

Inside the Air Force recently chatted with the CEO of Aurora, the company that builds the Orion long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle:

Aurora envisions Orion in Africa, Pacific as UAV gains traction with Air Force

Aurora's Orion long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle will take steps toward deployment over the next two years, although the Air Force has not created a formal program of record.

The GPS III satellite program, built by Lockheed, is picking up its production cadence as the Raytheon-developed next-generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) moves through some of its most critical phases:

Air Force looks to alleviate GPS III simulator demand as production picks up

As momentum picks up on efforts to modernize the GPS enterprise, the Air Force and Lockheed Martin are working to mitigate demand for a key testing resource.

The Air Force is conducting a trade study on how best to implement open mission systems standards:

Air Force asks industry to help E-3s comply with Open Mission Standard

The Air Force, about halfway into its E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System upgrade program, wants to bring the platform up to speed with open mission systems standards.

A recent force element terminal analysis explored a variety of capability options that will be refined over the next few months "prior to beginning a FET program in earnest" for the Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight Terminals program:

Air Force completes cost-capability analysis for FAB-T force element terminals

The Air Force has completed a long-awaited cost-capability analysis of a plan to field airborne wideband force element terminals to fly on nuclear capable bomber and reconnaissance aircraft as part of its Family of Beyond-Line-of-Sight Terminals program.

Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina will host mission control systems but no actual Reaper unmanned aircraft:

Shaw AFB gets green light to host new MQ-9 operations group

Shaw Air Force Base, SC, announced this week it received service Secretary Heather Wilson's approval to stand up a new MQ-9 Reaper group over the next four years, after passing an environmental impact study last year.

Document: Air Force MQ-9 basing environmental assessment


The Air National Guard could soon have an acquisition strategy for outside training support for distributed mission operations:

ANG seeking Distributed Mission Ops support as part of LVC flight plan

The Air National Guard is crafting an acquisition strategy for outside training support for distributed mission operations starting as soon as July.

Documents: Air Force RFI for Air National Guard operational training support and Air National Guard LVC flight plan


The DOD inspector general has found that NAVSEA's program executive office for integrated warfare systems above water sensors "did not effectively develop and manage electronic warfare capabilities for blocks 1B1 and 1B2" of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement (SEWIP) program:

DOD IG: SEWIP blocks 1, 2 will require 'additional funds' to resolve deficiencies

Naval Sea Systems Command will spend additional funds to resolve deficiencies on its electronic warfare early detection program after failing to do so before or after entering full-rate production, according to a Defense Department audit.

Document: Declassified DOD IG report on SEWIP blocks 1, 2


Made by Cubic subsidiary GATR Technologies, the Transportable Tactical Command Communications system comes in two versions: T2C2 Lite and T2C2 Heavy:

Army issues full-rate production decision for T2C2

The Army has elected to enter full-rate production for the Transportable Tactical Command Communications system, an inflatable satellite apparatus designed to provide network connectivity to units in austere environments.

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