The INSIDER daily digest -- Nov. 7, 2019

By John Liang  
November 7, 2019 at 2:19 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's satellite communications efforts, the Army's take on extending the continuing resolution, Navy unmanned undersea vehicles and more.

DARPA is looking to demonstrate that a LEO constellation of many small satellites could offer a more resilient and affordable alternative -- or supplement -- to the Pentagon's current practice of buying expensive, monolithic and often vulnerable satellites:

DARPA's Blackjack program preparing for end-to-end testing next spring

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is preparing to kick off a key end-to-end simulation phase for its Blackjack program next spring, aiming to retire risk on the path to demonstrating the utility of a proliferated low-earth orbit satellite constellation equipped with an autonomous data processing capability.

The Air Force has been impressed with the download speeds of satellite communications with certain aircraft:

AFRL positioning Pentagon to tap into commercial space internet constellations

The Air Force Research Lab has seen early success testing the operational utility of the growing market for commercial space internet services and is planning to expand its test slate next week to the AC-130.

We have the Army's take on the effects of continuing the stopgap spending legislation:

Army says yearlong CR would block OMFV award, delay all modernization priorities

A yearlong stopgap continuing resolution would prevent the Army from using $3.5 billion in procurement and research, development, test and evaluation funding and block it from awarding contracts for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, according to a fact sheet provided to Inside Defense.

Document: Army fact sheet on effects of six-month, yearlong CR

Navy Adm. Chas Richard, commander of submarine forces, spoke this week at the 2019 Naval Submarine League Symposium:

Richard: Navy establishing second unmanned undersea vehicle development squadron

The Navy plans to stand up a second developmental squadron for unmanned underwater vehicles and turn its current squadron into a major command, according to the service's admiral overseeing submarine forces.

Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, DOE's Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, spoke at a Defense Writers Group breakfast this morning:

NNSA rebalancing modernization, workforce efforts as result of continuing resolution

The National Nuclear Security Administration has already begun rebalancing its internal projects in response to the ongoing continuing resolution that keeps federal funding at fiscal year 2019 levels, according to a senior Energy Department official.

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence's interim report released this week contains numerous criticisms of the defense acquisition system in describing how DOD struggles to scale AI projects and work with the best commercial AI companies:

AI commission flags DOD's acquisition processes as major barrier to tech adoption

The Pentagon's policies and processes serve as major impediments in the U.S. military's adoption of artificial intelligence technologies, according to a new report, as another panel takes aim at the Defense Department's acquisition system.

Document: NSCAI interim report on artificial intelligence

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

DOD to hold closed-door meeting on accreditation for upcoming cyber certification program

The Pentagon's acquisition office is seeking industry input on establishing an accreditation body for third-party auditors as part of a cybersecurity certification program for contractors, expected to be rolled out in some form next year.

Huawei counters U.S. arguments, urges court to reject purchasing ban as violation of due process

Tech giant Huawei is rejecting the U.S. government's claim that the Constitution's Bill of Attainder Clause -- which prohibits legislative action declaring guilt -- does not apply to companies, in urging a federal court to strike down a ban on federal purchases of its products and components as part of the build-out of next-generation 5G networks.