The INSIDER daily digest -- March 25, 2024

By John Liang / March 25, 2024 at 1:13 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Space Force's fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list, the Pentagon's Replicator initiative and more.

We start off with coverage of the Space Force's unfunded priorities list:

Space Force submits $1.15B list of mostly classified unfunded priorities

The Space Force has sent Congress a $1.15 billion unfunded priorities list for fiscal year 2025 highlighting unmet needs for mostly classified programs, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: Space Force's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

(Read our coverage of all the UPLs we've obtained so far.)

. . . Moving on to the Pentagon's Replicator initiative:

DOD corrects Replicator inaccuracy, providing rare glimpse into budget decision process

Amid news of Congress allotting $200 million to the secretive Replicator program in a new spending deal, senior defense officials told Inside Defense in an exclusive interview that an inaccuracy was made in Replicator's published -- and later corrected -- fiscal year 2025 budget request, leading to an inside look at the Pentagon's internal decision-making process.

DOD AI chief announces Replicator 'sandbox' to test industry software

The Pentagon's chief digital and artificial intelligence officer said today that CDAO has created a "Replicator sandbox" to test industry drone software.

"AI Superteams" is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and the Test and Evaluation Threat Resources Activity, better known as TETRA, which together have researched how "human autonomous teaming" can support "DOD performance improvement initiatives," according to a Pentagon spokesman:

New AI 'Superteams' in the works for DOD testing community

The Defense Department is working on developing the first "AI Superteams" for the testing and evaluation community over the next two years, the first of which Inside Defense has learned will be based at Redstone Arsenal, AL.

The Defense Department has submitted its first package of fiscal year 2025 legislative proposals:

Air Force eyes 107-plane reduction in combat-ready aircraft

The Air Force is again asking Congress to retire legacy aircraft the service deems no longer fit for combat with a near-peer adversary, including China, according to an initial package of legislative proposals sent to Congress last week.

DOD asks Congress to loosen spending restrictions on Ukraine aid

The Defense Department is asking Congress to modify the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to allow for an additional two years of funding flexibility, according to a new legislative proposal.

Document: DOD's first package of FY-25 legislative proposals

Coverage of the FY-24 defense appropriations bill, which was finally signed into law late last week:

Appropriators allocate $3.72 billion for ground vehicles in 2024 Army budget

The Army would receive approximately $3.72 billion to fund ground vehicle programs in fiscal year 2024, $431 million more than what the service originally requested, according to congressional appropriation documents released Thursday.

Appropriations bill directs submarine program reviews, indicates cost and schedule concerns

Congress' final fiscal year 2024 appropriations package directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a comprehensive review of the Virginia-class submarine program, citing concern over cost and schedule performance for both Virginia- and Columbia-class submarine production.

Last but by no means least, some counter unmanned aerial vehicles news:

JCO plans to spend $120 million on RDT&E in FY-25

The Pentagon's Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO), of which the Army is the executive agent, plans to spend $120 million on research, development, test and evaluation in fiscal year 2025 along with another $12 million on operations and maintenance.