The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 13, 2021

By John Liang / January 13, 2021 at 1:29 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy's future frigate program, Air Force simulators, the Pentagon's latest industrial capabilities report and more.

The head of the Navy's future frigate program spoke this week at the Surface Navy Association’s National Symposium:

Navy: Lead Constellation-class frigate ship construction set to start this fall

Lead ship construction of the Constellation-class frigate is set to start in fall 2021, following the completion of detail design later this year, Capt. Kevin Smith, the frigate program manager, said Tuesday.

The Air Force Test Center broke ground in November on the service's first Joint Simulation Environment facility at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, and is on track to begin work on a second JSE at Edwards AFB, FL, in February:

AFTC making progress on JSE simulator connectivity with IOC planned for 2023

The Air Force is beginning to see its vision for a government-owned, synthetic modeling and simulation environment take shape and, while challenges remain, the head of the service's test center said he's encouraged by the development progress he's seen on the technical backbone that will connect fourth- and fifth-generation simulators for high-fidelity testing and training.

A new Government Accountability Office report discusses protecting critical Defense Department technologies:

GAO finds Pentagon neglects to share information on critical technologies

The Pentagon has fallen short in sharing a list of critical military capabilities with key Defense Department stakeholders and outside government agencies, potentially putting at risk federal efforts to protect those technologies, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Document: GAO report on DOD critical technologies

The Pentagon this week released its latest industrial capabilities report:

Pentagon report highlights risks in ground vehicle industrial base

Budget fluctuations, program uncertainty and manufacturer capacity constraints have created a "fragile market" for military ground vehicles, according to the Defense Department's latest industrial capabilities report.

Document: DOD's FY-20 industrial capabilities report

Lindsay Cohn from the Naval War College and Kathleen McInnis from the Congressional Research Service testified this week before the Senate Armed Services Committee on civilian control of the Armed Forces:

Senators wrestling with implications of Austin's nomination

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in advance of a scheduled Jan. 19 nomination hearing for retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as defense secretary, today questioned experts about the perceived erosion of civil-military relations at the Pentagon.