The INSIDER daily digest -- Sept. 23, 2021

By John Liang / September 23, 2021 at 1:43 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the defense policy bill released this week by Senate authorizers and much more.

We start off with coverage of Air Force segments from the Senate Armed Services Committee’s fiscal year 2022 defense policy bill:

Senate panel aims to set timeline for integrating LRSO with B-21

Lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee want to require the Air Force to integrate its new nuclear cruise missile with the B-21 bomber within two years of the weapon achieving initial operational capability.

Senate panel wants new bomber study, options for 'low-cost' B-52 replacement and 225 B-21s

A Senate panel wants the Air Force to draft a new bomber study with options for a “low-cost,” non-stealthy B-52 replacement and an overall long-range strike inventory nearly 30% larger than currently planned that would more than double purchases of next-generation B-21s -- raising the acquisition objective from 100 to 225.

Senate panel proposes $1.7B boost to F-35A Block 4 mod plan

Senate authorizers want to add $1.7 billion to the Air Force’s fiscal year 2022 budget request for F-35A retrofit modifications, calling on the service to move “expeditiously” to upgrade older jets to the Block 4 configuration.

. . . Followed by the Army:

Senate panel approves Army legislative proposals on helicopter contracts, IFPC

Senate authorizers included legislative proposals from the Army to use multiyear helicopter procurement contracts and delay a new cruise missile defense system in their version of the fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill.

Senate bill would authorize extra $1.4 billion for Army procurement

The Senate Armed Services Committee's proposed fiscal year 2022 defense authorization bill would authorize $22.7 billion in Army procurement funding, a $1.4 billion increase over the service's budget request.

. . . Navy:

Senate lawmakers worried about Navy shipyard improvement plan delays, cost overruns

The Senate Armed Services Committee is concerned about schedule delays and cost overruns associated with the Navy’s 20-year, $21 billion Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program.

Senate lawmakers request analysis of Navy radar options

Senate lawmakers want the Pentagon’s cost assessment and program evaluation office to review the Navy’s three radar systems supporting the Aegis combat system.

. . . Missile defense:

Senate panel directs MDA to draft plans to triple size of NGI fleet

A Senate panel wants the Missile Defense Agency to draft plans to expand production of a Next Generation Interceptor to replace the entire Ground-based Interceptor fleet, potentially raising the stakes by about $4.8 billion in the competition between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to design and manufacture a new homeland defense against North Korean nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

. . . and Cybersecurity:

Senate lawmakers seek new cybersecurity pilot programs and reviews at DOD

Senate lawmakers want Pentagon officials to develop pilot programs to disrupt adversary cyber operations, while assessing critical supply chain risks and reviewing acquisition of new cyber capabilities.

We also have news on the Army's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program:

Army seeks to protect JLTV data rights in follow-on competition

The Army has updated the requirements for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle follow-on competition to ensure it will own the technical data for upgrades made to the vehicle, according to new changes to the contract listing.

Plus, more coverage from this week's AFA conference:

Air Force eyes eventual space-based AMTI

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown wants the service to move toward conducting airborne moving target indications from space, as officials seek to replace the aging fleet of E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.

Air Force favors F-35 engine replacement option, despite affordability concerns

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said this week he supports an F-35 engine replacement program that capitalizes on the billions of dollars the service has invested in adaptive propulsion technology, but said questions remain about affordability.

(For complete coverage of the AFA conference, click here.)

Last but certainly not least, a new Government Accountability Office report on the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program is out:

GAO recommends more transparency on Next-Gen OPIR schedule risks

A new report from the Government Accountability Office once again sheds doubt on the Space Force’s schedule for the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program -- despite insistence from the service that its schedule remains on track to begin launching the satellites in fiscal year 2025.