The INSIDER daily digest -- March 28, 2024

By John Liang / March 28, 2024 at 2:58 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sustainment costs, Navy unmanned platforms, U.S. Central Command's unfunded priorities and more.

The cost to sustain the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has gone down over the past decade:

F-35 sustainment cost fell 34% between 2014 and 2022

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's sustainment price tag is slowly dropping after being one of the Defense Department's costliest combat aircraft for decades, the F-35 Joint Program Office told Inside Defense.

The Navy's top uniformed officer spoke this week at DefenseOne’s State of the Navy event:

Franchetti aims to focus on unmanned tech through remaining tenure

The Navy remains focused on developing and adopting unmanned technology as it can expand the reach and lethality of conventionally manned platforms, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti said Wednesday.

Inside Defense has obtained more details about U.S.Central Command's fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list:

CENTCOM's unfunded priorities list seeks $362M for counter-drone mission, $44M for Maven

U.S. Central Command has sent Congress an unfunded priorities list that identifies an unmet need for $362 million in spending to counter unmanned aerial systems, according to a new document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: Breakdown of CENTCOM's FY-25 UPL

The Air Force is preparing to stand up the Future Tankers Program Office, according to FY-25 budget request documents:

NGAS alternatives study to also inform tanker recapitalization program

The Air Force is planning to use a study intended to inform requirements for the Next Generation Air-refueling System to also help set guidelines for a follow-on tanker recapitalization program, Inside Defense has learned.

The Army office responsible for developing and buying service air defense artillery and field artillery sensors published a notice this week seeking feedback from companies potentially interested in competing for a new radar program:

Army seeking vendors interested in building next-gen mobile passive air defense radar

The Army is drafting a requirement for a next-generation mobile passive radar -- a version of the Army Long Range Persistent Surveillance system mounted on a tactical truck that can quickly deploy a 60-foot-tall sensor to help detect cruise missiles, aircraft and smaller uncrewed flying systems.

The head of Army Futures Command spoke this week at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, AL:

Rainey lays out roadmap for Army's 'continuous transformation' initiatives

HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Gen. James Rainey, chief of Army Futures Command, said today that the service's immediate transformation priorities over the next two years include fielding loitering munitions, developing human-machine integration and keeping up with the pace of technology.

(Full AUSA Global Force Symposium coverage.)