The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 30, 2024

By John Liang / January 30, 2024 at 1:53 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on foreign military sales, a pair of new Defense Innovation Board studies and more.

The State Department this week released its annual fact sheet on foreign military sales:

U.S. weapon sales surge by 56% as Washington looks to build up NATO

U.S. foreign military sales increased by 56% in fiscal year 2023 for a record-breaking total of $81 billion, a significant boost above the $52 billion reported in FY-22 and coming at a time when NATO is bolstering its defenses against Russia, according to new data from the State Department.

Speaking of FMS, an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sale announced this week to the Czech Republic is the country's single largest military purchase ever:

U.S. advances F-35 deal with Czech Republic

The Czech Republic today penned a final deal with the Biden administration to buy 24 F-35 fighter aircraft, worth about 150 billion Czech koruna or $6.5 billion.

The Defense Innovation Board is conducting two new studies -- "Optimizing How We Innovate with Our Allies and Partners" and "Aligning Incentives to Drive Faster Tech Adoption":

Defense Innovation Board to study foreign partnerships and tech adoption incentives

Following memos from a senior Pentagon official, the Defense Innovation Board today announced two new studies to optimize innovation with U.S. allies and align incentives for faster acquisition and technology adoption.

With the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor fleet grounded, the Amphibious Combat Vehicle yet to be deployed and the landing ship medium not yet on contract, the Marine Corps is operating without critical platforms that, among other things, serve as logistics connectors for stand-in forces in the Indo-Pacific:

Marine Corps working to fix Osprey and ACV issues, stands by platforms

The Marine Corps remains confident in two key connector capabilities -- the V-22 Osprey and Amphibious Combat Vehicle -- despite recent training accidents in which service members lost their lives, according to Assistant Commandant Gen. Christopher Mahoney, who said the service is working to remedy the issues that caused these incidents.

The Thunderstorm series of events are collaboration efforts between DOD and interagency partners to unearth new technologies and supply feedback quickly to developers for faster technology maturation:

DOD looking for industry collaboration on persistent sensing tech

The Defense Department put out a notice today requesting private industry, government research and development organizations and academia to identify innovative technologies that could be included in Thunderstorm 24-2.