The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 9, 2024

By John Liang / January 9, 2024 at 1:42 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news from the annual Surface Navy Association symposium, the Army's recently released "Space Vision" and more.

We start off with coverage of this week's Surface Navy Association symposium:

Navy looks to field directed-energy weapons to counter increasingly cheap and prevalent drones

The Navy aims to accelerate the fielding of counter-drone capabilities -- including directed-energy weapons -- while increasing its total munition stocks after a series of recent attacks on Navy vessels in the Red Sea, according to senior surface warfare officers.

On Jan. 5, Naval Sea Systems Command announced plans for a new five-year procurement beginning in fiscal year 2026 of 31 radar sets for a range of surface warfare ships that aims to entice competitors -- such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman -- who in 2022 conceded the initial production contract to Raytheon, that developed the SPY-6 sensor:

After fumbling first SPY-6 production competition, Navy readies new FY-26 contest

The Navy -- which failed to draw more than a single bid during its inaugural $3.2 billion air-and-missile-defense radar production competition -- is readying a follow-on contest for the SPY-6 family of radars likely worth billions of dollars that appears to reflect a lesson learned from the initial acquisition stumble.

The Army's recently released Army "Space Vision Supporting Multidomain Operations" discusses the need to "integrate friendly joint and coalition space capabilities and interdict adversary space capabilities in support of ground force commanders":

Army's new space vision emphasizes role of 'space professionals' in multidomain operations

The Army today released a new "Space Vision Supporting Multidomain Operations" that emphasizes the need to "invest more in space capabilities and formations," and outlines a role for "Army space professionals."

Document: Army's space vision for MDO

The Army is retrofitting humvees with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control systems made by Ricardo Defense that are designed to prevent rollovers, thus protecting the occupants from injury or death:

Army needs more funds to speed up humvee safety retrofits, says acquisition chief

More cash from Congress would allow the Army to accelerate by six years an effort to retrofit humvees with safety kits that prevent rollovers, the service's acquisition chief told Inside Defense.

The Army is seeking to modernize its remaining Black Hawk fleet:

Modernization the goal as Army aims to downsize Black Hawk fleet

As the Army lays out a plan to downsize its Black Hawk helicopter fleet by 157 of the oldest aircraft, the service says it is with the end goal of balancing modernization and readiness.