Next year's budget, commercial buying and a slew of Air Force news highlight this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest.
Some big budget news:
The Trump administration will propose increasing the Pentagon's investment spending to more than $200 billion in fiscal year 2018 -- raising investment on weapons to levels not seen since FY-12, according to a leaked spreadsheet of the FY-18 spending proposal.
DOD should put more emphasis on commercial buying:
In a new report, a former DOD official recommends the Pentagon rely more heavily on commercial buying and improve its culture to be more welcoming to non-traditional companies.
Air Force news:
Air Force Special Operations Command is planning to integrate Boeing's Laser Small Diameter Bomb onto an MQ-9 Reaper for the first time, as the first step of a plan to field Raytheon's SDB II on the unmanned aerial aircraft in the future.
Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force's military deputy for acquisition, said this week the service began its effort to move electronic warfare equipment from 10 EC-130H Compass Call aircraft to a new platform after the fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill was signed May 5.
The Air Force plans to award a five-year contract to combine multiple follow-on efforts for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile's extended-range variant, in order to address outdated parts of Lockheed Martin's JASSM-ER and add new capabilities for future production lots.
The Space and Missile Systems Center said this week it is "actively working" with Aerojet Rocketdyne on a way forward for the Air Force's investment in the company's AR1 rocket engine development effort.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is asking for industry's input on how intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors could work with the service's open-architecture AgilePod system and plans to flight-test that configuration on a General Atomics MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle this fall.
The Navy has been underestimating the number of sailors it takes to properly man and maintain a ship, the Government Accountability Office has found, calling into question the service's strategy to expand its fleet to 355 ships and whatever cost projections might flow from it.
Document: GAO report on Navy ship maintenance
The Navy's Air and Missile Defense Radar program, being built by Raytheon, managed to pull off an atypical feat for a major Pentagon weapon system project: conclude engineering and manufacturing development many months ahead of schedule.
The nominee for a senior Pentagon intelligence post testified before Congress this week:
Defense intelligence officials need to learn from Russia's efforts in Syria and Ukraine and apply similar integration efforts in an aim to maintain superiority in the future, according to President Trump's nominee to be principal deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence.