The INSIDER daily digest -- Nov. 19, 2020

By John Liang / November 19, 2020 at 2:07 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on space launch capabilities, the Army's proposed electric-powered reconnaissance vehicle and more.

We start off with some space news:

Space experts call for greater advocacy, prioritization of responsive launch capabilities

Although key Defense Department strategy documents make a strong case for a more rapid, responsive launch capability, some launch officials and experts say the Pentagon needs more advocacy -- at all levels -- to move technology forward.

DOD, Commerce Department crafting MOU on space traffic management transition

The Defense Department and the Commerce Department are drafting a memorandum of understanding to detail their plans to transition space traffic management to the Commerce Department over the next few years.

Mk21A reentry vehicle design review on track for March

The Air Force is on schedule to conduct a preliminary design review in the coming months of Lockheed Martin's solution for the future Ground Based Strategic Deterrent's Mk21A reentry vehicle.

The Army is looking into the prospect of developing an electric-powered reconnaissance vehicle:

Army eyes new off-the-shelf electric squad reconnaissance vehicle

The Army has released an industry survey for a new electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, with the aim of selecting a vehicle for production by fiscal year 2025.

More Army news:

Senate panel moves to fund additional THAAD battery, satisfy Army's revised requirement

Lawmakers have proposed buying the Army an additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery, a move that if adopted would tack on $319 million to the Missile Defense Agency's budget, providing a denouement to a debate that flared two years ago when the Army secretary demanded $10 billion to take the program off MDA's books.

Army informing UAS strategy through force-on-force experiments

The Army is conducting live-fire and force-on-force experiments until next March with more than 50 of the service's latest technologies focused on informing the service's unmanned aircraft systems strategy, autonomous resupply and shortening the sensor-to-shooter chain.

Army issues RFP to support next-gen key cryptographic device

The Army yesterday issued a request for proposals for its Next Generation Load Device-Medium, an effort to modernize cryptographic key load devices for Joint Service network security.

Followed by some Navy news:

Kilby: Navy needs capability-centric, not platform-centric, approach

The Navy should focus on developing technology systems that can be used across platforms instead of developing technology for individual platforms, a senior Navy official said Thursday.

Navy keeping options open to 'tack on' additional submarines to 12-boat Columbia buy

The Navy is entertaining future scenarios where the size of the Columbia-class submarine fleet grows beyond current plans for 12 boats, a potential option that would involve extending the production line beyond 2035 and require adjusting procurement plans for a follow-on Trident missile and associated weapon system the service is in the early stages of defining.

U.S. needs strong undersea fleet to counter China, Russia threat, Houston says

The United States needs to maintain its advantage in submarines and other undersea vehicles over China and Russia, Rear Adm. William Houston said Wednesday.

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee spoke about nuclear deterrence this week:

Smith urges anti-nuke advocates to focus on deterrence

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) today said Democrats currently lack a winning national message and urged nuclear arms control advocates to focus more on the deterrence of war and less on eliminating the ultra-destructive U.S. arsenal.

Last but certainly not least, some news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

NIST-funded small business centers push back against Pentagon messaging on CMMC preparedness

Two leaders from National Institute of Standards and Technology-funded centers focused on the manufacturing sector are expressing concerns on whether small businesses will be prepared for implementation of the Pentagon's cyber certification program on Dec. 1.