The Insider

The INSIDER daily digest -- May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017 |
John Liang

Next year's budget, commercial buying and a slew of Air Force news highlight this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Some big budget news:

Budget plan shows Trump aims to push modernization spending above $200 billion in FY-18

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:

Bialos recommends steps to make Pentagon buying less cumbersome

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:

AFSOC to add Laser SDB to MQ-9 in FY-20, with SDB II to follow

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.

Air Force begins search for new Compass Call platform, led by L3

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.

Air Force charts first step of JASSM-ER development effort

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multiple follow-on efforts for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile's extended-range variant, in order to address outdated parts of Lockheed Martin's JASSM-ER and add new capabilities for future production lots.

Air Force 'actively working' with Aerojet to determine AR1 investment

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.

Air Force plans to fly open-architecture pod carrying ISR sensors on MQ-9

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.

Navy news:

New report finds Navy low-balls number of sailors needed to man ships

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

Navy, Raytheon beat the clock by months with AMDR development

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:

Bingen: Defense officials need to learn from Russia on integration to maintain superiority

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.

Document: Senate hearing on Bingen, Karem, Rapuano nominations