The INSIDER daily digest -- March 24, 2023

By John Liang / March 24, 2023 at 3:16 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's latest fiscal year 2024 unfunded priorities lists, a Navy-Boeing dispute over Super Hornet intellectual property, the Air Force's Next Generation Air Dominance effort and a lot more.

Let's start off with coverage of the latest unfunded priorities lists:

AFRICOM submits $397M UPL for Somalia; TRANSCOM's list empty

U.S. Africa Command has sent Congress a list of $397 million in unfunded priorities, citing the need to establish a "persistent presence" in Somalia to counter violent extremist organizations, "assure freedom of navigation through the Bab al Mandab sea-lane and monitor the expanding Chinese presence in Djibouti," according to documents obtained by Inside Defense.

CENTCOM highlights counter-drone tech in unfunded priorities list

U.S. Central Command has sent Congress a list of $280 million in unfunded priorities, highlighting the need for nearly $30 million to counter unmanned aerial systems, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

INDOPACOM sends Congress $3.4B unfunded priorities list

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has sent Congress a list of $3.4 billion in unfunded priorities, with more than $2 billion identified for research and development programs not included in the regular fiscal year 2024 budget request, according to documents obtained by Inside Defense.

Looks like Boeing and the Navy are arguing about intellectual property regarding Super Hornet fighter aircraft:

Lawmaker spotlights Super Hornet IP dispute

The Navy and Boeing are tangled in a legal dispute over intellectual property related to 20 F/A-18 Super Hornets in a yet-to-be-awarded contract on a production line that is set to be shut down, according to Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA), who sits on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

More than a decade after the Pentagon brass approved Air Force plans to begin work on an F-22 follow-on capability, the FY-24 budget includes substantial sums that indicate the service has now crafted a clear path forward for Next Generation Air Dominance -- a project largely shrouded in secrecy:

Air Force eyes $22 billion for NGAD in future years plan to keep ahead of China

The Air Force is backing plans that aim to "sustain" air supremacy over China with $22 billion in the fiscal year 2024 five-year spending plan, a 70% hike compared with the $13 billion FY-23 future-years forecast for the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) capability by significantly increasing research and development funding in FY-27 and FY-28.

The top House defense appropriator wants to plus up the Pentagon's budget:

Senior GOP appropriator pledges to work for higher defense budget

House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) said today he intends to work to increase the fiscal year 2024 defense budget, demonstrating the challenges many Republicans will have as some in their party look to slash federal spending.

The Navy wants to spend billions on four big missile programs:

Key Navy missile programs target bulk buys

The Navy plans to pilot a "large-lot" purchase program for four critical missile systems -- the Standard Missile-6, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile and Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

John Daniels, speaking at an event hosted by the Association of the United States Army in Arlington, VA, said DE M-SHORAD was an area of the budget "they went after hard" because "technology was not quite ready yet for fielding":

Army official: Some DE M-SHORAD money in FY-24 request was reapplied for other modernization priorities because technology was 'not quite ready'

Some money for the Directed Energy Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system in the Army's fiscal year 2024 budget request was reapplied toward other modernization priorities due to the technology not being ready, the service's deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and resources said Thursday.