The INSIDER daily digest -- May 26, 2023

By John Liang / May 26, 2023 at 3:18 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a Defense Department inspector general report looking into the quality of Army prepositioned stocks, a nascent Air Force homeland defense radar project, future U.S. military talks with China and a lot more.

A Defense Department inspector general's report issued this week "identified issues that resulted in unanticipated maintenance, repairs, and extended lead times to ensure the readiness of the military equipment selected to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces":

DOD IG warns of readiness deficiencies for equipment being sent to Ukraine

The Pentagon's inspector general, in a "management advisory" released earlier this week, found multiple deficiencies related to the quality of Army prepositioned stock equipment that is being sent to Ukrainian armed forces.

Document: DOD IG report on Army prepositioned stock-5 equipment designated for Ukraine

The Air Force is seeking $516 million in fiscal year 2024 for a new homeland defense sensor project:

DOD plans south-facing Over-the-Horizon radar, seeks to begin prototyping in FY-24

The Pentagon is seeking authorization in fiscal year 2024 to begin prototyping a new homeland defense Over-the-Horizon Radar -- with one each planned in the Northeast, Northwest, Alaska and a Southern-facing array -- for improved long-range sensor coverage of aircraft, cruise missiles, maneuvering hypersonic missiles and maritime surface vehicle threats.

Ely Ratner, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, spoke this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on U.S. hopes for talks with China in the near future:

Defense leaders await China's response to Singapore meeting

Ahead of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's scheduled trip next week to Singapore, U.S. leaders continue to have hope they will hear from Chinese leaders about a proposed meeting on the sidelines of Asia's premier security summit -- the International Institute of Strategic Studies' Shangri-La Dialogue.

The Army this week hosted its Technical Exchange Meeting (TEM X) in Philadelphia:

Army officials say network modernization must reduce logistics footprint

As the Army modernizes its network in preparing for future fights, it must incorporate simplicity and a reduced logistics footprint, top officials said Thursday during the annual Technical Exchange Meeting in Philadelphia.

Document: Army's TEM-X meeting agenda, briefing slides

The Pentagon's top civilian spoke at a press conference following the 12th international meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group this week:

SECDEF predicts international fund to sustain aid to Ukraine, including F-16s

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said today he anticipates the United States and its allies will eventually establish an international fund for countries to contribute to the long-term defense of Ukraine against Russia, including the sustainment of soon-to-be provided F-16 aircraft that could cost around $1 billion.

Although the Navy has yet to publish formal requirements for its future destroyer, Lockheed Martin Vice President of Naval Combat and Missile Defense Systems Joe DePietro said the company is investing in a new vertical launch system capability because initial DDG(X) requirements include a Conventional Prompt Strike capability:

Lockheed designing new VLS to equip next-generation destroyers with hypersonic missiles

MOORESTOWN, NJ -- With its sights set on the Navy's next-generation large surface combatant, contractor Lockheed Martin is developing a new vertical launch system, resembling its existing Mk 41 launcher, that can fire hypersonic Conventional Prompt Strike missiles from a surface ship.

Northrop Grumman will be providing orbital launch services to the Space Force:

SSC awards $45.5M task order to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.

Space Systems Command awarded Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. a $45.5 million contract to provide orbital launch services, the command announced today in a press release.

In a legislative proposal released last week, DOD pushed for the modification of federal laws it says limit its ability to defend against drones outside of the U.S.:

DOD requests loosening of drone-defense restrictions on foreign bases

Congress should give the Pentagon more authority to defend against unmanned aircraft abroad, the Defense Department says.

A new Navy contract enables General Dynamics Electric Boat, which collaboratively builds Virginia-class submarines with HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding, to purchase long-lead materials and begin assembling components of the two Block V boats, hulls 812 and 813, before the official start of construction:

Navy awards Virginia contract modification, signaling resolution to year-long liability dispute

The Navy has awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a contract modification worth over $1 billion to begin procuring materials for two future Virginia-class submarines, according to a Tuesday Defense Department announcement, signaling an end to a year-long liability dispute that had put the contract award on hold.