The INSIDER daily digest -- Sep. 7, 2023

By John Liang / September 7, 2023 at 2:19 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Navy amphibious ships, the U.S.-U.K.-Australia submarine pact, autonomous drones and more.

We start off with Navy amphibious ship coverage:

Smith: Lethal and ready amphib fleet is 'vital'

Combatant commanders need mobile, lethal and low-signature credible deterrent forces to meet new and evolving challenges globally, according to acting Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith.

Medium landing ships advance as prototypes

Five competitive prototypes for the Landing Ship Medium (LSM) are under development with the focus on getting requirements "right," said Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, chief of Marine Corps Combat Development Command and deputy commandant for combat development and integration.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing this week on AUKUS:

Lawmakers press Defense Department for AUKUS implementation plans

Senate lawmakers today pressed Defense and State department officials for a plan to boost domestic submarine production and requested an estimate of how much additional funding the U.S. government will need to invest in order to deliver on its commitments under the AUKUS security partnership.

Document: Senate hearing on AUKUS

The Defense Department's No. 2 civilian official spoke this week about a new autonomous drone program:

Hicks sketches ambitious vision for new autonomous drone program without 'new money'

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said today that the Pentagon's new program to buy thousands of small autonomous drones, recently dubbed "Replicator," will be implemented in the next 18 to 24 months without asking Congress for additional funding in the coming fiscal year.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is seeing delays in getting software upgrades:

F-35 TR-3 deliveries slip later into 2024

The delivery of Technology Refresh 3-equipped F-35 Joint Strike Fighters may not begin until June, accounting for an even further slip in the hardware and software upgrade's schedule.

Keep an eye out this month for a meeting with DOD's new Office of Strategic Capital:

Pentagon's OSC team to meet this month on investment strategy

The head of the Pentagon's new Office of Strategic Capital is scheduled to meet with senior defense officials this month to finalize an investment strategy intended to bolster innovative companies offering emerging technologies to the U.S. military.