The INSIDER daily digest -- June 21, 2022

By John Liang / June 21, 2022 at 1:51 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on missile defense, the Joint Strike Fighter program and more.

We start off with coverage of a recent Government Accountability Office report on missile defense:

Original GPI fielding target of 2028 in flux; USD(R&E) not convinced of MDA's approach

The Pentagon is backpedaling on plans to accelerate Glide Phase Interceptor development, congressional auditors reveal in a new report, an inauspicious beginning for the high-stakes hypersonic defense project that the independent review calls "highly ambitious" and "technically challenging" as well as saddled with cost and schedule risk.

GAO: HBTSS won't be able to communicate with SDA satellites, SECDEF intervention needed

A critical element of the Defense Department's plan to counter Chinese and Russian hypersonic weapons is being hobbled by bureaucratic infighting between the Space Development Agency and the Missile Defense Agency which have jettisoned a 2021 roadmap agreement for key technology development and deployment.

Previously slated for March 2021, the new timeline for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter full-rate production comes after the Defense Department's procurement chief signed off on a new acquisition program baseline last month:

F-35 full-rate production decision expected by March 2024 under updated APB

The F-35 program is poised to reach its long-delayed, full-rate production decision by March 2024 under an updated acquisition program baseline that recently won approval, a Pentagon spokeswoman told Inside Defense.

The House and Senate Armed Services committees are seeking in the annual defense policy bill to authorize the Army to continue to procure the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular after the Army’s fiscal year 2023 budget request did not include any procurement funds for the system:

Lawmakers boost legacy night-vision systems, IVAS in policy bill

Lawmakers are seeking to boost development funding for the Integrated Visual Augmentation System while enabling the Army to continue to procure its existing night-vision systems, according to congressional documents.

A recent test of a new communication system for Tranche 1 satellites used encrypted, data-encoded laser beams that can transmit high volumes of information over large distances:

Northrop Grumman successfully tests laser communication system for Tranche 1 satellites

Northrop Grumman held a successful ground demonstration of a laser communication system for Tranche 1 satellites, according to a company press release.