The INSIDER daily digest -- Sept. 16, 2021

By John Liang / September 16, 2021 at 1:44 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, unfunded priorities lists and more.

We start off with news on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program:

Fick: F-35 propulsion modernization plan expected in six to 12 months

The F-35 joint program office is working closely with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the services to develop options for future propulsion system modernization efforts and expects to mature an "end-state solution" within the next six to 12 months.

F-35 interim program review pushed to October, JPO still refining Joint Simulation Environment schedule

The head of the F-35 joint program office said today that a Defense Acquisition Board meeting slated for August to review the schedule to complete the Joint Simulation Environment and initial operational test and evaluation has been moved to October due to personnel issues within the Pentagon's acquisition and sustainment office as well as ongoing refinement of the program's schedule.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, each have offered competing amendments to the defense policy bill related to unfunded priorities:

House Dems target unfunded priorities lists

Two House Democrats have offered amendments to the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill related to the U.S. military's submission of unfunded priorities lists to Congress, with one provision aiming to eliminate them and the other proposing to restrict them.

The House Armed Services Committee is calling for a report with a sweeping scope on efforts by China to expand its presence and influence in the Western Hemisphere:

House wants comprehensive report from DOD on China's efforts to expand influence in Latin America

House lawmakers want a comprehensive assessment from the Pentagon of China's military, economic and diplomatic activities in Latin America and the Caribbean after the head of U.S. Southern Command earlier this year publicly warned of Beijing's stepped-up efforts to gain influence across the region.

Speaking at a George Mason University Center for Government Contracting event, Jesse Salazar, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, said he's "evaluating all possible options" to improve Defense Production Act Title III:

Salazar: Improving DPA Title III will strengthen industrial collaboration

The Pentagon's industrial policy chief said today he is looking at accelerating and improving the effectiveness of Defense Production Act Title III to strengthen industrial collaboration.