The INSIDER daily digest -- Sept. 21, 2023

By John Liang / September 21, 2023 at 2:58 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on artificial intelligence, the AUKUS agreement, the Missile Defense Agency's Next-Generation Interceptor program and more.

Mara Karlin, assistant defense secretary for strategy, plans and capabilities, who is also performing the duties of the deputy defense under secretary for policy, reiterated at the Ronald Reagan Institute in Washington this week that the Pentagon seeks to counter China by investing in cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence:

Pentagon official speaks about DOD's artificial intelligence goals

A senior Pentagon official spoke Wednesday about steps the Defense Department is taking to advance artificial intelligence.

The latest AUKUS news:

Australian official calls for easing of U.S. export controls on AUKUS Pillar II

The United States must loosen its export control system to enable closer collaboration under the AUKUS security partnership, an Australian defense official said today, underscoring "congressional changes" within all three nations as a key step to implementing the agreement's technology-focused second pillar.

The Missile Defense Agency is scheduled this month to conduct a preliminary design review of Lockheed Martin's NGI proposal and a corollary review of the Northrop Grumman-Raytheon NGI design is slated to begin as soon as January, according to the agency’s most recent published schedule:

DOD gears up for major review of Next Generation Interceptor designs; Lockheed up first

The Defense Department is set to begin reviewing Next Generation Interceptor designs, a major mid-point assessment in the $17 billion contest between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman that will determine whether the respective proposals are sufficiently mature to proceed with developing prototype intercontinental ballistic missile killers.

The House Armed Services cyber, information technologies and innovation subcommittee held a hearing this week on industry perspectives on defense innovation and deterrence:

Defense industry execs outline innovation concerns for House lawmakers

Top defense industry executives appeared before House lawmakers today to list steps they believe the Pentagon should take to streamline weapons system development and acquisition.

Document: House hearing on defense innovation and deterrence

The Pentagon this week set up a "Microelectronics Commons":

CHIPS Act DOD 'Microelectronics Commons' awardees announced

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks today unveiled the Pentagon's plans to create a stronger U.S. microchip industrial base by awarding several contracts to fund the establishment of eight "Microelectronics Commons" regional innovation hubs for prototyping, manufacturing and producing at scale.