The INSIDER daily digest -- Oct. 3, 2022

By John Liang / October 3, 2022 at 1:53 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on an Army directed-energy air defense system, international defense industrial base collaboration, the Marine Corps' Amphibious Combat Vehicle program and more.

Lockheed will conduct "first light" of the Directed Energy Interceptor for Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense in the fourth quarter of this year:

Lockheed prepares for first light of new laser later this year

Lockheed Martin will begin laboratory testing later this year of a new directed-energy air defense system to be mounted on Strykers in anticipation of an upcoming Army competition.

Recent conversations among the international industrial base specialists, many of whom represented NATO member nations, was focused not only on aiding Ukraine, but strengthening and expanding the global response to other possible contingencies:

DOD weapons chief sees potential for greater industrial cooperation with foreign allies

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante, fresh from a meeting in Brussels this week with national armaments directors from dozens of foreign nations, said today the United States, seeking to bolster long-term support for Ukraine, wants to partner more closely with allies to develop, produce and procure critical weapon systems.

The Marine Corps last week sent Congress a selected acquisition report indicating that Amphibious Combat Vehicle fielding could be impacted if contractor BAE Systems is unable to increase production numbers from five to nine vehicles per month by fiscal year 2025:

Marine Corps monitoring ACV schedule risks, says production is on track

The Marine Corps says it is keeping a close eye on the production of its Amphibious Combat Vehicle, acknowledging the potential for schedule risks as it increases production numbers.

Inside Defense recently interviewed Larry Ryder, Austal's vice president of business development and external affairs:

Austal building two dry docks for West Coast availabilities

As the Navy attempts to work through its backlog of surface ship repairs, Austal USA is building two dry docks to increase its volume for maintenance availabilities.

Work has long been underway behind the scenes to prepare for the Space Development Agency's next step, with officials such as outgoing Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond recently suggesting much of what remains is paperwork and bureaucratic shuffling:

Space Force continues to evolve with transition of SDA

The Space Development Agency formally joined the Space Force last week due to a congressional mandate, a move that will add a new acquisition arm to the service, expand its satellite portfolio and potentially transform its procurement strategy.

Acting Defense Innovation Unit Director Mike Madsen called the work to hire a candidate to replace Mike Brown, the most recent and longest serving official to helm DIU, "a very deliberate process":

DIU director search to span another four to six months, acting head says

The closely watched search for the next head of the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit is expected to take another four to six months, the outfit's acting leader says -- a timeline, slammed by one key lawmaker, that would leave the small-budget unit without a director well into fiscal year 2023.

The Navy is looking to Boeing’s MQ-25 unmanned aircraft to play a major role in the future carrier air wing, providing aerial refueling for the fleet and alleviating some of the pressure on F/A-18 Super Hornets:

Navy's MQ-25 unmanned tanker drone has 'emerged' from program delays

After supplier issues and schedule delays, the Navy says the MQ-25 Stingray program has moved beyond its setbacks -- but remains on a tight schedule to achieve operational capability by 2025.