The INSIDER daily digest -- May 20, 2024

By John Liang / May 20, 2024 at 12:53 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on missile defense, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and more.

We start off with some missile defense news:

MDA cancels source selection for C2BMC collaborative planning upgrade for combatant commanders

The Missile Defense Agency has pulled the plug on a planned upgrade of a key part of the Command and Control, Battle Management and Communications system, advising companies that prepared and submitted bids for a project called CODDS -- C2BMC Operational Defense Design System -- that funds previously slated for the effort have been shifted to higher-priority needs and the source selection is cancelled.

DOD would be required to update notional plan to acquire 64 NGIs under draft legislation

The Defense Department would be required to revise a draft plan to triple the size of the Next Generation Interceptor inventory -- from 20 to 64 guided missiles – under a move proposed in draft legislation in the wake of last month's earlier-than-planned decision to select a prime contractor.

The Government Accountability Office recently released a report on the Pentagon's most expensive acquisition program:

New F-35 baseline expected in July

The Joint Program Office for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will release a new Acquisition Program Baseline and Selected Acquisition Report for the fifth-generation fighter in July, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday, suggesting the Pentagon’s largest acquisition program yet is getting even costlier.

Document: GAO report on the F-35 program

The chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee recently spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations:

Wittman: Lawmakers may approve aircraft divestment but still want Air Force to show game plan

Congress is slowly becoming comfortable with retirements of legacy aircraft, especially the A-10 Warthog, but first it wants the Air Force to consider ways it can use "existing aircraft to a greater advantage," Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) told Inside Defense Thursday evening.

The U.S. needs to make sure allies and not "potential enemies" supply the components used in ammunition production, according to a senior Army official:

Bush says 'potential enemies' can be out of the U.S. ammunition supply chain by 2028 if Congress invests

The Army can remove "unfriendly" countries from its ammunition supply chain by 2028 but getting there will require investment from Congress, service acquisition chief Doug Bush told lawmakers Wednesday.

The Army's No. 2 civilian official spoke recently at an event in Washington Friday hosted by the Center for a New American Security:

Army under secretary says drone corps would run counter to UAS experimentation goals

Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo said today that a recent proposal from congressional authorizers to establish a drone corps within the service could run counter to the service's goals when it comes to experimenting with unmanned systems.

Eric Fanning, the president and CEO of AIA who served as Army secretary and in other senior Pentagon civilian roles during the Obama administration, told a gathering of reporters that the military and Congress should view the defense industrial base as a strategic national security asset whose health should be fostered by policy and oversight:

Top defense industry group unveils legislative priorities, warns of possible inflation 'bow wave'

The Aerospace Industries Association has put forth a list of legislative priorities as congressional committees begin crafting their versions of the annual defense authorization and appropriations bills, with the group's leader emphasizing the need to lift international trade barriers and prepare for what could be a "bow wave" of inflation consequences.

A new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance digital architecture will be designed to share data across the joint force that comes from the services, intelligence community or even commercial sources:

Air Force looking to fund ISR digital infrastructure

The fiscal year 2025 budget request includes for the first time funding for an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance digital architecture for data sharing, according to a top Air Force official.

The FY-24 National Defense Authorization Act directed the establishment of an official SLCM-N program of record and congressional appropriators provided $90 million for the effort despite opposition from the White House and many congressional Democrats:

SLCM-N is in the works, though lawmakers and Navy officials remain split on use case

The Navy is standing up a nuclear sea-launched cruise missile program office, though the service requested no funding for the initiative in fiscal year 2025, and some lawmakers and naval officials remain skeptical of its use case.

House appropriators won't go above a congressionally mandated defense spending cap:

House appropriators sticking to defense cap

The House Appropriations Committee intends to honor the $895 billion defense spending cap mandated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, according to an announcement by the panel's chairman.