The INSIDER daily digest -- March 31, 2020

By John Liang / March 31, 2020 at 2:00 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has a lot of Air Force news, including a deep dive into the service's foreign military sales efforts, the KC-46 tanker and more.

We start off with a deep dive into the Air Force's foreign military sales efforts:

Air Force speeds up foreign military sales, but DOD says the service isn't moving fast enough

After a major uptick in foreign military sales last year, the Air Force expects to make even more deals moving forward, in large part driven by increased demand for fourth-generation aircraft.

The Air Force's KC-46 airborne refueling tanker program has a new problem:

Air Force reveals new KC-46 Category 1 deficiency involving 'excessive fuel leaks'

The Boeing-built KC-46 has a new Category 1 deficiency involving excessive fuel leaks, which was first identified during an air refueling test last July.

Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper told reporters during a recent briefing that he has directed the Skyborg vanguard program to accelerate a rapid solicitation, though he didn't indicate when it will be released:

USAF to accelerate Skyborg solicitation, delay some AFRL testing amid COVID-19

The Skyborg vanguard program is ready to move beyond experimentation and release a solicitation to industry, according to the Air Force's acquisition executive.

The Pentagon wants to make sure the defense industrial base stays healthy while the COVID-19 pandemic rages on:

Pentagon memo advises acquisition officials to use 'regulatory tools' to keep industrial base strong

A memo signed yesterday by a top Defense Department acquisition official says DOD agencies and the services should act to ensure the defense industrial base remains healthy despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Document: DOD memo on defense industrial base and COVID-19

More COVID-19 coverage:

Pentagon takes key role on medical supply shortfalls, but timing remains in question

The Pentagon has taken on a key role aiding civilian agencies working to shore up key medical supply shortfalls amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, but it's unclear whether the timing of those actions will move fast enough to help mitigate the rapidly spreading virus in the coming weeks.

(For full coverage of the Defense Department's response to COVID-19, click here.)