The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 14, 2022

By John Liang / January 14, 2022 at 2:21 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, hypersonic testing and more.

Heidi Shyu, the under secretary of defense for research and engineering, spoke with reporters this week about the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve:

Shyu reveals new details about upcoming rapid prototyping fund

The Pentagon's technology chief today said she intends to request less than $1 billion for 32 projects in a new rapid prototyping and experimentation fund for fiscal year 2023, though she expects Congress will also appropriate some money for her to jump-start the effort when it ultimately passes an FY-22 budget.

The Navy this week made public a solicitation issued by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane -- on behalf of the Defense Department and Navy Hypersonics Advanced Capability program -- that was initially available only to cleared contractors for "Affordable Full-Scale Hypersonic Test Series":

DOD aims to accelerate hypersonic testing with monthly flight tests, drive costs down

The Defense Department is looking to dramatically increase the pace and reduce the cost of hypersonic technology testing, eyeing a new advanced capability project that would execute monthly launches for about $15 million per event -- less than one-tenth the cost of past major events -- to “fail fast and learn” and accelerate fielding of improved weapons.

News on the effect of the ongoing continuing resolution on the Marine Corps:

CR slowing Navy maintenance, hurting Marine Corps communication with industry

Congress' inability to reach a budget agreement is hurting the Marine Corps' communication with industry and slowing Navy maintenance, service officials said Thursday.

Inside Defense this week interviewed Larry Ryder, Austal’s vice president of business development and external affairs, at the Surface Navy Association’s National Symposium:

Austal staffing up new San Diego maintenance facility as company grows services business

Austal is adding staff to its recently acquired San Diego maintenance facility as part of the company's increased focus on its services business, a top executive told Inside Defense this week.

More coverage from the SNA symposium:

Navy to pilot AI/ML on a destroyer this year

The Navy will pilot a program to harness artificial intelligence and machine learning on the service's "biggest lever" -- the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Capt. Scott Larson, program manager of surface ship readiness and sustainment, said Wednesday.

Heckl: Marine Corps could further cut end strength to fund modernization

The Marine Corps may further cut its end strength to fund its Force Design 2030 effort, a top Marine Corps official said Thursday.

(Read our full coverage of the SNA conference.)