The INSIDER daily digest -- Nov. 27, 2019

By John Liang / November 27, 2019 at 1:13 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on several Air Force programs plus a leadership shake-up at the Missile Defense Agency.

Inside Defense recently spoke with Air Force Col. Christopher Athearn, the service's acting deputy program executive officer for weapons:

Air Force holds more tests, gears up for hypersonic weapon design reviews

The Air Force's armament directorate is planning more tests of the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon and expects to conduct system-level critical design reviews of the two Lockheed Martin platforms during the first half of calendar year 2020.

The Air Force earlier this month completed interoperability testing between Space Fence and the legacy command-and-control systems that will be ingesting data from the radar:

Air Force on track for Space Fence RAA next month

The Air Force expects its new Space Fence radar will meet the required assets available milestone next month, after completing operational tests Nov. 7.

The Air Force hosted an industry day for the Combat Rescue Helicopter program Nov. 20-21 and expects to hold another in March, followed by the release of a draft request for proposals in April:

Air Force to release final RFP for Combat Rescue Helicopter upgrades in May

The Air Force intends to begin soliciting proposals to upgrade its new personnel recovery aircraft next May and plans to award a contract in September 2021, according to a recent presentation to industry.

The Air Force approved its acquisition strategy for the F-15EX program earlier this autumn:

F-15EX acquisition strategy approved, Air Force eyes RFP in December

The Air Force confirmed this week it has an approved acquisition strategy for the F-15EX program and is on track to release a request for proposals in December.

The top leadership of the Missile Defense Agency is going through a shake-up:

Key MDA leaders step down in shake-up of agency ranks

Two long-time Missile Defense Agency civilian leaders -- the No. 2 and No. 3 officials with more than three decades of MDA leadership roles between them -- stepped down suddenly from their posts last week against a backdrop of tension between the agency and the Pentagon's weapon technology boss over a wide array of issues over how to proceed with new missile defense capabilities.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The next INSIDER Daily Digest will be posted on Monday, Dec. 2.