The INSIDER daily digest -- March 2, 2023

By John Liang / March 2, 2023 at 2:10 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's effort to reform the Planning, Programming, Budget and Execution process, the Air Force's B-21 bomber program, a missile defense contract that only got one bidder and more.

The Planning, Programming, Budget and Execution Reform Commission is on track to release an interim report with initial findings and recommendations this August, followed by a final report in March 2024:

Pentagon reform commission highlights challenges facing decades-old budget system

A key congressional commission tasked with reforming the Pentagon's much-criticized budget planning and programming process today released a "status update" on its ongoing work to understand the challenges facing the 1960s-era system currently in place.

Document: PPBE reform commission's 'status update'

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-CA), a longtime critic of the F-35 program -- going so far as to call it a "rat hole" -- has praised the B-21 effort:

Collaborative B-21 acquisition effort earns glowing reviews from officials

In the nearly eight years since Northrop Grumman inked a contract to design the Air Force's new nuclear bomber, lawmakers and Defense Department officials have touted it as an example of acquisition done right amid years of cost overruns and schedule delays in other programs.

On Feb. 27, the Missile Defense Agency published a public notice formally asking industry for feedback on why they didn't respond to the Ground-based Midcourse Defense Weapon System (GWS) solicitation, one of the two competitive contracts created as part of the GMD Futures program:

MDA wants to know why a $3.2 billion project failed to draw more than single industry bid

The Missile Defense Agency wants to know why a solicitation for a big-ticket contract -- one that eventually tallied $3.2 billion -- failed to entice more than a single industry bid after the government spent many years designing an acquisition strategy that aimed to revive competition in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program.

With all the billions of dollars' worth of weapons the U.S. is sending Ukraine, it might be worth setting up a watchdog agency similar to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction:

Afghanistan watchdog favors new special inspector general for Ukraine

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko, who recently released a report on the collapse of the Afghan military, said a special agency similar to SIGAR should be established to oversee the nearly $100 billion in U.S. security and humanitarian support flowing to Ukraine.

The E-7A Wedgetail aircraft will provide airborne moving target indication and battle management, command and control capabilities and multirole electronically scanned array radar:

Air Force awards contract to Boeing for E-7A Wedgetail

The Air Force awarded Boeing a $1.2 billion initial contract for the E-7A Wedgetail, which will replace the aging E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, the service announced Tuesday evening.