The INSIDER Daily digest -- May 24, 2024

By John Liang / May 24, 2024 at 1:53 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage of a new cost estimate the Pentagon is doing on the multibillion-dollar Next Generation Interceptor, plus the fielding of the secretive Replicator drones and more.

The Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation office earlier this year initiated a new independent cost estimate to more accurately tally financials associated with the NGI program following the decision to curtail planned competitive development -- which knocked Northrop Grumman from the contest and selected Lockheed Martin:

DOD spikes $17 billion NGI tab, working up new cost estimate to reflect single contractor

The Defense Department is conducting a new cost estimate for the Next Generation Interceptor, spiking the $17 billion price tag calculated more than three years ago to reflect the accelerated source selection last month and deliver findings to support a major acquisition milestone for the homeland missile defense program later this year.

The Pentagon's secretive Replicator drones have been deployed:

DOD says Replicator drones have been fielded

The Defense Department began delivering autonomous, attritable Replicator drones to U.S. troops earlier this month, according to a statement released today from Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks.

An amendment included in the House Armed Services Committee's defense policy bill would codify and update sealift capacity-focused National Security Directive 28:

Lawmakers aim focus on sealift readiness in new amendment

An amendment included in yesterday’s House defense policy bill urges prioritization of sealift readiness and would require updates from top defense and transportation officials on vessel capacity and transportation infrastructure.

Production delays and design maturity issues within the frigate program prompted authorizers to temporarily pump the brakes on procurement, according to the top Democrat on the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee:

Courtney: House's frigate cut was prompted by program issues, not spending limits

The House proposal to zero out fiscal year 2025 procurement funding for the Constellation-class frigate program would have occurred even if lawmakers were not looking to free up funds for a second Virginia-class submarine, according to a senior Armed Services Committee member.

Last but by no means least, some cyber defense news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

NSA provides steps to secure applications, workloads under DOD zero-trust model

The National Security Agency has published guidance on how to protect applications and workloads from unauthorized access, as part of a series focused on supporting adoption of the Pentagon's zero-trust model across national security systems, the Defense Department and the defense industrial base.

House defense policy bill advances with measures addressing vulnerability disclosure, critical infrastructure

The House Armed Services Committee added amendments to the fiscal year 2025 defense authorization bill in a mark-up session requiring federal contractors to have a vulnerability disclosure policy and ordering studies from the Pentagon on critical infrastructure threats.