The INSIDER daily digest -- May 2, 2019

By Thomas Duffy / May 2, 2019 at 2:55 PM

This Thursday INSIDER begins with a look at a new technology development effort tied to multi-domain operations, a Navy laser program, a new federal group tasked with protecting the government's supply chain, a missile defense laser program, and we finish up with F-35 news.

The Pentagon's advanced technology group is making news:

DARPA advancing 'Assault Breaker II' to test technologies underpinning multi-domain operations

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is moving forward with the “Assault Breaker II” program to provide the “technical underpinning” for multi-domain operations and counter anti-access, area-denial strategies employed by Russia and China.

A Navy laser effort has a big review coming up:

HELIOS set for critical design review this year, delivery in May 2021

A high-energy laser destined for an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is set to undergo a critical design review later this year, and is on track to be delivered to the Navy in May 2021, according to the weapon's prime contractor.

A new government group is trying to protect the supply chain:

Federal Acquisition Security Council, created under 2018 tech law, holds first meeting

The Federal Acquisition Security Council held its first meeting this week to begin developing a national strategy for securing the government's supply chain from cyber and other threats, with the Defense Department's strict cybersecurity rules likely to serve as a model.

The Missile Defense Agency is working with lasers:

Following 'successful' laser lethality demo, MDA advances LPLD program

The Missile Defense Agency is hailing a “very successful” March ground test of laser technology that a senior official said penetrated a threat-representative ballistic missile component, buoying support within the agency for a new speed-of-light weapon and hopes for a future capability to destroy an enemy target immediately after launch.

Finally, Lockheed is pitching improvements to the F-35 Strike Fighter:

Lockheed Martin developing new internal weapons rack for Air Force, Navy F-35s

Lockheed Martin today revealed an independent research and development effort to increase the ammunition capacity of the Air Force and Navy variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.