The INSIDER daily digest -- May 15, 2024

By John Liang / May 15, 2024 at 1:24 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy seeking a cheap solution to defend against Houthi missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles, plus more coverage of the House Armed Services Committee's draft fiscal year 2025 defense policy bill and more.

The primary threats facing the collective of naval forces currently gathered in the Red Sea -- also known as Operation Prosperity Guardian -- are unmanned drones, anti-ship cruise missiles and anti-ship ballistic missiles:

Cost-effective method of battling Houthis poses challenge, Pyle says

The Navy needs to find a more cost-effective method of retaliating against Houthi drones and missiles in the Red Sea -- an ongoing threat posed toward merchant and military vessels since last October, Surface Warfare Division Director Rear Adm. Fred Pyle said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies panel Tuesday.

To that end, lawmakers are calling for a "re-arm-at-sea" capability:

House authorizers want a strategy to enable re-arming at sea within three years

House authorizers want an operational 're-arm-at-sea' capability within three years of the fiscal year 2025 defense policy bill's enactment, and are calling on the Navy to deliver a concrete strategy for developing and fielding the system on this timeline.

House authorizers also want a congressional mandate for stationing missile defense interceptors on the U.S. East Coast:

Draft legislation seeks statutory mandate for East Coast counter-ICBM location

House lawmakers are advancing a statutory mandate for an East Coast national missile defense location by the end of 2030, the latest development in a 12-year campaign to create a third Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptor field which the Pentagon doesn't want.

The Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act designated the U.K. and Australia as “domestic sources” for DPA funds, while Canada has been a domestic source since 1992:

DOD seeks critical tech prototypes from U.K., Australia and Canada for DPA funding

The Defense Department has released an "open announcement" seeking proposals for critical technology prototypes from companies in the U.K., Australia and Canada that will be funded under the Defense Production Act.

Document: DOD critical technology prototypes 'open announcement'

More news on Canada:

Canada will bolster its northern defenses for changing threat environment, starting with OTHR

At least one of the four Over-The-Horizon Radar systems planned for Canadian soil will be in the country's southern region, Canada's Defence Minister Bill Blair said Monday.

The draft FY-25 defense authorization bill would integrate some Air National Guard units into the Space Force:

House authorizers would allow National Guard transfers to Space Force with limitations

The House Armed Services Committee may allow the Space Force to integrate some units of the Air National Guard, but would limit the authorities the service sought in a proposal sent to Congress earlier this year.

The draft policy bill also has shipbuilding provisions:

More LSM design requirements need to be met, defense subcommittee says

Funding for the procurement of the Medium Landing Ship should be prohibited until the Navy secretary ensures the ship's design meets several requirements, according to the recently released House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee’s mark-up of the fiscal year 2025 defense policy bill.

Senate authorizers join push to fund two Virginia subs in new letter to appropriators

A bipartisan group of 15 senators sent a letter to appropriations committee leadership calling for the full restoration of funding for two Virginia-class submarines in fiscal year 2025.

Document: Senators' letter on Virginia-class sub funding

The Army's Program Executive Office for Aviation, in a May 10 statement to Inside Defense, said the the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft's program schedule "will be determined as part of the pending milestone B decision,” but that the goal is still to “get the initial aircraft delivered in 2030":

Army plans to determine program schedule for FLRAA as part of milestone B decision

The Army will have a more firm cost and schedule baseline for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft once it reaches a milestone B decision later this year, according to service officials.