The Insider

By John Liang
March 20, 2024 at 1:29 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Marine Corps' fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list, Navy shipbuilding plans, Army research and development spending and more.

We start off with the Marine Corps' FY-25 unfunded priorities list:

Marine Corps submits $2.4 billion unfunded priority list

The Marine Corps has sent Congress nearly $2.4 billion in "unfunded priorities" in a list topped by several quality-of-life investments that also includes over $1.2 billion for force design efforts and $492 million for military construction projects.

Document: Marine Corps' FY-25 unfunded priorities list

More Marine Corps news:

Third Marine Littoral Regiment to be stood up in Guam in 2025

A third Marine Littoral Regiment -- an important component of the Marine Corps' Force Design 2030 plan -- will be stood up in 2025 in Guam, according to Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, commanding general of Combat Development Command and deputy commandant for Combat Development and Integration.

The Navy has turned in its long-awaited 30-year shipbuilding plan to Congress:

Navy submits shipbuilding plan proposing fleet and spending growth, while including budget-constrained alternative

The Navy has submitted a new 30-year shipbuilding plan to Congress, presenting a roadmap to grow the fleet through increased spending, while also providing an alternative, budget-constrained path that would maintain a more modest force size for the coming three decades.

Document: Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan

More Navy shipbuilding news:

Carrier delays concern industry members, Congress

With the newly released fiscal year 2025 budget pushing procurement of the fifth Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier (CVN-82) back by two years from FY-28 to FY-30, members of the shipbuilding industrial base are sounding the alarm about the potential ramifications.

The Army's acquisition chief spoke this morning at an event in Washington hosted by the Ronald Reagan Institute:

Bush says Army wants more flexibility for R&D budget activity

Research and development is the "most restricted area of funding" in the budget and Army acquisition chief Doug Bush said today the service plans to ask for more flexibility to improve the acquisition process going forward.

Canada wants reciprocity with the Defense Department's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program:

Canadian government urges DOD to establish reciprocity between CMMC and Canadian cyber certification program

The Canadian government is asking the Defense Department to facilitate establishing reciprocity between the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program and Canada's new cybersecurity framework, in response to a DOD proposed rule to implement the U.S. initiative.

By Tony Bertuca
March 19, 2024 at 4:47 PM

Inside Defense is obtaining the fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities lists that the U.S. military is required by law to send Congress. Subscribers can access them below.

Watch Inside Defense for further reporting as additional UPLs are obtained.

U.S. Africa Command

U.S. European Command

National Guard Bureau

U.S. Central Command

U.S. Strategic Command

Air Force


Under secretary of defense for research and engineering

Space Force


Marine Corps

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

U.S. Northern Command

U.S. Southern Command

U.S. Space Command

U.S. Cyber Command

U.S. Transportation Command

By John Liang
March 19, 2024 at 1:45 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on INDOPACOM and NORTHCOM submitting their latest unfunded priorities lists, the Missile Defense Agency's Long Range Discrimination Radar and more.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list is broken down into about $3 billion for MILCON, $2.7 billion for procurement, $2 billion for research, development, test and evaluation, $1.2 billion for operations and maintenance and $1.6 billion for classified programs:

INDOPACOM sends Congress $11B unfunded priorities list

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has sent Congress a list that identifies $11 billion in "unfunded priorities," including a range of weapon systems, munitions, sensors and military construction projects, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: INDOPACOM's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command also submitted an unfunded priorities list:

NORTHCOM/NORAD sends Congress $35M UPL

U.S. Northern Command and U.S. North American Aerospace and Defense Command have sent Congress an unfunded priorities list for fiscal year 2025 totaling less than $35 million for "foundational IT," according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: NORTHCOM/NORAD FY-25 unfunded priorities list

The Missile Defense Agency is seeking $100.8 million for the Long Range Discrimination Radar program in fiscal year 2025:

LRDR plans operational test do-over in FY-25 while readying early space detection role

The Defense Department, which last summer was unable to determine the efficacy of the Long Range Discrimination Radar's ability to detect ballistic missile targets, is pressing ahead with plans to begin early fielding of space domain awareness capabilities as soon as this year.

Document: MDA's FY-25 budget overview, justification books

The Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request includes a new-start project to buy the lead vessel of the Medium Landing Ship class with an estimated average unit cost of $214 million, a mere five years after the then-Marine Corps commandant first publicly broached the idea for a "light amphibious warship":

Navy estimates $3.8 billion for new ship class to create anti-access problems for China

The Navy has unveiled a $3.8 billion blueprint to begin buying a new fleet of 18 relatively low-cost warships to ferry Marines -- particularly units armed with ship-killing guided missiles -- from shore to shore in a highly contested environment during a fight against China.

Although the Marine Corps' Amphibious Combat Vehicle program was fully funded to buy the "approved acquisition objective" of 104 vehicles in FY-25 and 105 in FY-26, procurement has now been reduced "due to 1) the loss of $102 million from the [Fiscal Responsibility Act] across FY-25 and FY-26, 2) the effects of inflationary increases, and 3) a much higher than anticipated vendor proposal," budget documents indicate:

Marine Corps prunes ACV procurement quantities, citing loss of buying power

The Marine Corps is trimming its Amphibious Combat Vehicle procurement plans for fiscal years 2025 and 2026, reducing acquisition quantities by 48 vehicles across the two years due to spending caps under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, inflation and a higher-than-expected vendor proposal.

A new Space Futures Command, which is part of the Air Force's "Reoptimization for Great Power Competition" plan, will be stood up to handle requirements generation and wargaming for the Space Force:

Official: Space Futures Command should assess use case for refueling, cislunar operations

Space Futures Command's first order of business should be determining the military worth of on-orbit refueling capabilities and cislunar operations, according to Lt. Gen. Shawn Bratton, deputy chief of space operations for strategy, plans, programs and requirements.

The M10 Booker combat vehicle will be fielded with the 10th Mountain Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division, starting in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2025:

Booker combat vehicle to be fielded with Army airborne and mountain units starting in 2025

The Army's newest combat vehicle will be fielded with two airborne units and a mountain unit beginning in 2025, according to a service official.

Last but by no means least, our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program:

Electric sector group seeks clarity on addressing CUI in DOD contracts with CMMC requirements

The Edison Electric Institute is making recommendations for how controlled unclassified information should be addressed in Defense Department contracts with Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification requirements in a manner that aligns with current practices for sharing sensitive data in the electric sector.

By Tony Bertuca
March 19, 2024 at 7:56 AM

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute has released a "National Security Innovation Base Report Card” that, citing ongoing congressional dysfunction, has given the U.S. government the grade of an “F-” for failing to provide the Defense Department and private sector with the predictability of timely and stable funding.

The report card, crafted in partnership with McKinsey & Co., defines an “F” grade as signifying a “catastrophic area of weakness that will have major implications for American technical, military, and/or economic leadership, if unaddressed.”

Congress is finalizing negotiations to vote this week on a final fiscal year 2024 appropriations package, but defense officials have said the delay in funding has hurt the department’s efforts to outpace China.

The report card also notes several “green shoots” of progress in defense modernization, like the Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, “have largely been negated by Congressional failure to pass a budget, which is limiting progress and the strength of demand signal to industry and investors.”

The Pentagon has also been unable to scale innovation at levels necessary to send clear demand signals to industry.

“While America still leads in innovation, disconnect persists between progress in digital technologies and scaled implementation,” the report card states.

The Reagan Institute has released the report card ahead of a Washington conference scheduled for Wednesday focused on defense innovation and competition with China.

The rest of this year, the report card states, will be “a litmus test for novel pathways (e.g., Replicator) to match rhetoric and action.”

The Pentagon has declined to provide details about the Replicator program, which aims to field thousands of “attritable,” autonomous drones, but Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks recently said the program seeks to spend $1 billion between FY-24 and FY-25.

Meanwhile, the report card gives the government high marks on “innovation leadership,” however, noting bright spots like the elevation of importance of the Defense Innovation Unit.

Still, the report notes that there have been “no new programs of record that address National Defense Strategy/NSIB priority areas” in the past year.

“Use of commercial tech is trending upwards for select portfolios (e.g., space), but the lack of new programs of record addressing NSIB priorities underscores the lack of scaled progress,” the report card states. “Failure to act on innovation priorities and pull through technologies at scale is materially affecting overall readiness levels and the ability to fight and win against a pacing competitor.”

The report card makes several recommendations, including that DOD and Congress fully fund Replicator in FY-25 and provide “sustained and predictable funding” across the future years defense program.

By John Liang
March 18, 2024 at 2:18 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the possibility of lawmakers breaking the budget caps set by a two-year spending deal, plus coverage from the SATELLITE 2024 Conference and more.

The Senate Armed Services Committee's top Democrat is open to breaking a GOP-championed spending cap if it means getting more money for Ukraine and other needs:

Reed says he's open to revisiting budget caps if Ukraine supp fails in House

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) said today that he would be open to possibly breaking the budget caps set by a two-year spending deal if House Republicans fail to pass a supplemental spending package to aid Ukraine and replenish U.S. weapons that have been transferred there.

The head of the Space Development Agency spoke this morning at the annual SATELLITE Conference:

Tournear: Planning for failure to deorbit could save SDA money

The Space Development Agency isn't interested in on-orbit refueling for its satellites, but it could drive down costs if it plans to contract with deorbiting services to mitigate risks on satellites at the end of their service lives, according to SDA Director Derek Tournear.

Army Maj. Gen. Mark Bennett, the service's budget director, spoke this morning during an Associated of the United States Army breakfast:

Army official: In the absence of supplemental, reprogramming 'an option' for ammo buys

The Army would be willing to consider a reprogramming request to help replenish its critical munitions stockpile in the event Congress doesn't pass the $95 billion supplemental spending package that's currently stalled, according to a service official.

Maj. Gen. Michael Greiner, deputy assistant secretary for the Air Force's budget, spoke last week about munitions spending:

Air Force official: Planned munitions spending in FY-25 will 'probably change'

Lawmakers have yet to agree on a fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill, threatening to undo a significant amount of the Air Force's planned multiyear missile procurement for FY-25, according to a top service official.

The Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year 2025 budget request seeks $218 million and proposes a $694 million reduction between FY-25 and FY-28 for the Glide Phase Interceptor project compared to the same period in the Pentagon’s FY-24 budget proposal:

MDA to pick GPI winner soon; leverage investment from Japan in planned co-development

The Pentagon is sharpening its plan for a clean-sheet hypersonic defense weapon system, revealing decisions to soon pick a winner in a Raytheon-versus-Northrop Grumman contest, trimming near-term funding by nearly $700 million that is expected to be offset by co-development investments from Japan and delaying fielding by a year to 2035.

By Tony Bertuca
March 18, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak at several congressional committee hearings this week. Meanwhile, Congress has until midnight Friday to avert a partial government shutdown.


Senior officials from the Space Force and National Reconnaissance Office speak at the Satellite 2024 Conference & Exhibition, which runs through Thursday.

The Association of the United States Army hosts senior service officials for a discussion on the budget.


The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with Gen. Laura Richardson, chief of U.S. Southern Command.

DefenseOne hosts a discussion on the state of the Marine Corps.


The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The House Armed Services intelligence and special operations subcommittee holds a hearing on U.S. Special Operations Command.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing with the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform Commission.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institutes hosts its National Security Innovation Base Summit.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on U.S. defense industrial cooperation with Japan.

AFCEA Northern Virginia hosts its Space Force IT Day conference.


The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Middle East and Africa.

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on U.S. strategic force posture.

DefenseOne hosts a discussion on the state of the Army.


The House Armed Services cyber, information technology and innovation subcommittee holds a hearing on artificial intelligence.

Part of the federal government, including the Defense Department, will experience a lapse in appropriations if Congress does not send a funding bill to be signed into law by President Biden before midnight.

By John Liang
March 15, 2024 at 1:25 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on funding for the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter program, the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office's large language model maturity model effort and more.

The Navy's FY-25 budget request aims to purchase up to 321 engines from FY-25 to FY-29 for the King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter program:

Navy looks to enter five-year block buy for CH-53K engines

The Navy's fiscal year 2025 budget request looks to enter into a multiyear procurement contract for CH-53K helicopter engines in a five-year deal expected to save approximately $125 million, according to budget documents.

Large language model maturity models, which are trained artificial intelligence systems that use algorithms to analyze data sets and create responses based on their intended design, can transform industries:

CDAO's LLM maturity model will be ready for evaluation next month

The Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office intends to release its large language model maturity model, which aims to help industry and the Defense Department determine what LLMs are truly capable of and if they can achieve their intended purposes, for evaluation within the next month.

Just over $910 million is being requested for fiscal year 2025 to fund Strategic Capabilities Office programs specifically aimed at the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a $9.9 billion pot of regionally focused money that covers everything from missile defense to installation construction to rapid prototyping:

DOD's classified tech office eyes Pacific theater weapons gaps

The Pentagon's secretive Strategic Capabilities Office wants to spend about $1 billion managing 20 classified prototyping programs focused on developing new weapons technology to aid U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in its mission to counter China's increasingly modernized military, according to recently released budget documents.

Document: DOD's FY-25 Pacific Deterrence Initiative budget justification book

The Space Warfighting Analysis Center determined there are gaps in protected SATCOM capabilities, leading to more funding in the Space Force's FY-25 budget request:

Space Force seeking $248 million for assured SATCOM new start

The Space Force is requesting $248 million for an assured satellite communications new start Protected Tactical SATCOM-Global, which the service calls a "key and enabling capability" of its force design, according to fiscal year 2025 budget request documents released this week.

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on industry's responses to the Pentagon's new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program rule:

Wireless group seeks clarity on CMMC exemption for telecom providers, role of harmonization to address other agency requirements

Wireless group CTIA supports the Defense Department's decision to create an exemption for telecommunications providers under the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program, while asking for more guidance on the trigger for applicability in the response to a proposed rule on implementation.

By John Liang
March 14, 2024 at 2:04 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Air Force's KC-46A aerial refueling tanker program, plus cruise missile defense and more.

The KC-46A Pegasus' Remote Vision System 2.0 is experiencing some "schedule pressure":

KC-46A RVS 2.0 awaits FAA certification, 'likely' delayed until 2026

The KC-46A Pegasus' Remote Vision System 2.0 will "likely" arrive in 2026, slipping past its proposed arrival date of October 2025, Air Force acquisition head Andrew Hunter told lawmakers Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a new homeland cruise missile defense policy on Sept. 14, a previously unreported development, completing a tasking set by the 2022 National Defense Strategy to update the policy:

DOD sets new domestic air defense policy as NORAD braces for Chinese military patrols

The U.S. military has adopted new policy guidance for air and cruise missile defense of the homeland just as North American Aerospace and Defense Command top brass are bracing for Chinese military aircraft this year for the first time to penetrate NORAD's air defense identification zone.

The Army also has cruise missile defense plans:

Army launching new effort to develop defensive system for cruise missiles, UAVs

The Army plans to fund a new effort to develop a cannon using a hypervelocity projectile designed to counter, in part, cruise missiles and drones, according to fiscal year 2025 budget documents released Monday.

In June 2023, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro approved a new acquisition plan for MQ-25, one that delayed milestone C production certification to the third quarter of 2025 and included reprogramming money from aircraft procurement to research, development, test and evaluation in fiscal years 2023 and 2024:

With MQ-25 reprogramming approved, Navy awaits Congress' budget maneuvers

Funding to resolve the Navy's MQ-25 Stingray uncrewed aircraft system's obsolescence issues may be available soon now that Congress has approved a service reprogramming request, the Navy announced Monday.

The Army intends to buy 230 Precision Strike Missiles in FY-25, 296 in FY-26, 268 in FY-28 and 234 in FY-29, according to budget justification documents that were released Monday:

Army increasing PrSM purchase in FY-25

The Army plans to accelerate its purchase of the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) for fiscal year 2025 as well as in future years -- a move service officials say reflects an urgent need for the weapon.

The Air Force is now targeting the second quarter of 2028 for initial operational capability, instead of 2027:

T-7 milestone C projection slips another four months; now fielded by 2028

The Air Force is pushing the milestone C decision for the T-7 Red Hawk training jet back by four months, from February to May 2025, according to justification documents attached to the fiscal year 2025 budget request.

Last but by no means least, our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have the latest on the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program:

Small business advocacy office identifies areas for more guidance in CMMC proposed rulemaking

The Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration has outlined four areas of concern in the Pentagon's proposed rule to implement the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program.

By Georgina DiNardo
March 14, 2024 at 11:54 AM

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced today that Radha Plumb will take up the role of chief digital and artificial intelligence officer, assuming duties on April 8.

Plumb, currently the defense deputy under secretary for acquisition and sustainment, has previously worked on Defense Department acquisition projects, like strengthening a national security industrial base and bolstering supply chains.

“There is no doubt that Dr. Plumb's technical expertise and strategic acumen will enhance the CDAO's innovative efforts, and help accelerate the DOD's adoption of data, analytics, and AI to generate decision advantage from the boardroom to the battlefield,” Austin said in a statement about the appointment.

Craig Martell, the current chief digital and AI officer, will be stepping down from the position. Martell was the inaugural CDAO, holding the position since April 2022 when CDAO first appointed someone to lead their mission in modernizing DOD to innovative changes amid an evolving technology environment.

“Craig and the entire CDAO team had a monumental task of bringing together the diverse talents and cultures of four organizations to advance data, AI and analytics for our national security, and deliver tangible results in a short time,” Austin wrote. “Dr. Martell and the CDAO team have delivered on those goals and his work will have a lasting impact on how the Department approaches every data and AI driven task.”

Austin did not provide a reason for Martell’s leaving.

By Shelley K. Mesch
March 13, 2024 at 3:49 PM

The Air Force awarded BlackSky Geospatial Solutions up to $23.7 million for work on Global Moving Target Engagement -- one of service Secretary Frank Kendall's seven Operational Imperatives -- according to a Defense Department notice.

BlackSky, a space-based intelligence firm that provides on-demand imagery, analytics and monitoring, will perform research and development around Ground Moving Target Engagement, with work expected to be complete by June 15, 2028. The service awarded BlackSky $3.5 million at the time the contract was signed.

“BlackSky’s software-first, AI approach will add depth and scale to commercial space-based moving target detection, tracking and identification at machine speed,” said Brian E. O’Toole, BlackSky CEO, in a news release today.

“Achieving moving target engagement at scale in a challenging operational environment” is the fourth imperative on Kendall’s list of priorities to maintain advantage over the pacing challenge, which is China.

Under the contract, BlackSky will use its Spectra tasking and analytics platform to apply machine learning techniques to tasking, multi-intelligence collection, direct downlink and tipping and cueing.

The system “has been optimized to perform in resource-limited environments and will demonstrate the ability to fuse information in a hybrid setting from multiple government ISR and commercial data sources,” O’Toole said.

By Shelley K. Mesch
March 13, 2024 at 1:51 PM

The Air Force plans to cut in half its purchase of MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters as a way to meet budget caps for its fiscal year 2025 request.

In previous budget requests, the service specified it would procure 74 Grey Wolves to replace the UH-1N Huey helos that have “significant capability gaps.” That buy would now be reduced to 36, according to justification documents released with the budget request Monday.

The cut is primarily a result of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, that limits overall defense spending to $895 billion for FY-25, Air Force acquisition chief Andrew Hunter told reporters yesterday.

“It’s about the overall budget of the Air Force,” he said, “and what we’re able to afford and what we’re not able to afford.”

The service will place all the helicopters it’s buying at U.S. Global Strike Command nuclear sites, Hunter said. Other locations that would have received the new helicopters will now do without.

The Grey Wolves, made by Boeing and Leonardo, will primarily patrol nuclear silos. The program entered low-rate initial production a year ago after the companies and Air Force came to an agreement on the technical data package to support long-term organic sustainment.

By John Liang
March 13, 2024 at 1:34 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, plus missile defense funding and more.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has, at long last, reached an important milestone:

F-35 reaches full-rate production benchmark

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter today received approval to enter milestone C, or full-rate production, marking a final step for what has become one of the Defense Department's most cost-intensive and delayed programs.

Missile defense funding news:

NGI funding slashed in FY-25; announcement on early downselect appears imminent

The Defense Department is poised for a major announcement on the Next Generation Interceptor competition -- likely picking a winner in the two-way race between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman much earlier than planned -- in the wake of a steep funding cut to the project in the Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request.

MDA seeks $465M for new Guam command center, initial radar and launcher site

The Missile Defense Agency wants to build on Guam a new facility to house a state-of-the-art command center the size of New York's Guggenheim Museum to control a new 360-degree enhanced integrated air and missile defense to shield the U.S. territory from Chinese cruise, ballistic and hypersonic missile threats.

Document: MDA's FY-25 budget overview, justification books

The Space Force's top uniformed officer made some news this week:

Space Force seeks to fund on-orbit refueling, servicing research

The Space Force is planning to begin funding on-orbit servicing to increase the potential life and maneuverability of military satellites, according to Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman.

Delivery of the Navy's next-generation frigate has been delayed:

Navy budget reflects delays in Constellation-class frigate program

The lead ship in the Constellation-class frigate program, FFG-62, is now expected to deliver in December 2027, according to the Navy's fiscal year 2025 budget documents, a 15-month delay compared to the September 2026 date listed in the prior year's budget.

Ukraine will be getting more U.S. military aid soon:

DOD preps $300M aid package for Ukraine; warns of $10B deficit in replenishment funds

The Defense Department, tapping savings from several Army contracts covering ammunition and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, is preparing to make a $300 million weapons transfer to Ukraine even as Congress remains stalled over a proposed supplemental appropriation needed to replenish U.S. stocks.

The Air Force's fiscal year 2026 budget -- which the service is working on now -- is expected to include any costs associated with the new Reoptimization for Great Power Competition strategy:

Air Force predicts 'continued decline' in future year budget requests

While the fiscal year 2025 budget request includes what Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall called "tough decisions" to balance procurement and research, development, test and evaluation funds, the service's real budgetary challenges will come in future years.

Cybersecurity news:

Pentagon issues final rule to expand defense industrial base cyber program eligibility

The Defense Department has finalized a rulemaking to expand eligibility requirements for its defense industrial base information sharing program.

American Gas Association urges DOD to consider potential regulatory overlap with CMMC program and other cyber policies

The American Gas Association is asking the Defense Department to consider potential avenues where contractors and subcontractors can use cyber policies at other agencies to fulfill requirements under the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program.

By Georgina DiNardo
March 13, 2024 at 12:49 PM

The Defense Innovation Unit, in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory and NavalX, opened a new Joint Defense Innovation workspace in Austin, TX last week intended to further relationships with technology companies and lower barriers between government and industry collaboration.

“Catalyzing the [Defense Department's] innovation entities into a community of impact provides an opportunity for greater synergy and impact, from the local to a national level,” DIU Director Doug Beck said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled by the teamwork and partnership represented by this step in building our presence together here in Austin,” he said.

The workspace, launched March 8, aims to act as the “front door to DOD” for the innovation community, allowing fresh talent and ideas to integrate into national security objectives, according to DIU.

"This new space is a testament to the strong collaboration happening across the DOD's innovation organizations," said Col. Elliott Leigh, director of AFWERX and Air Force chief commercialization officer.

The space was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Austin’s South by Southwest 2024 conference and festival.

Capt. Casey Plew, director of NavalX, said Austin was picked for the new space due to its “strategically important innovation ecosystem,” that specifically allows for innovative solutions to Navy and Marine Corps issues.

The workspace is situated at the Capital Factory, which is near government innovation centers like the Army Applications Laboratory, according to DIU.

Joshua Baer, founder and CEO of Capital Factory, noted DIU launched the first Austin-based outpost in 2016.

“Since then, we’ve tracked more than $500 million in government funding to Texas startups with dual-use technology,” he said. “This expansion will undoubtedly result in new Government funding to protect our future and fuel our economy.”

By Georgina DiNardo
March 12, 2024 at 3:51 PM

The Defense Department announced today that the Military Intelligence Program's topline budget request for fiscal year 2025 is $28.2 billion.

According to the department, this total request reflects the defense secretary’s “strategic priorities.”

This amount is $1.1 billion less than the $29.3 billion MIP budget sought in FY-24.

The MIP budget includes all projects that aim to aid the defense secretary’s intelligence and counterintelligence goals but the department never provides specifics as it covers classified programs.

The Pentagon said, however, that releasing this topline figure “does not jeopardize any classified activities within the MIP.”

By John Liang
March 12, 2024 at 2:01 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has continuing coverage of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request.

The Pentagon, under the Fiscal Responsibility Act that Congress passed in June to appease GOP hardliners threatening to withhold support for raising the federal debt limit, saw a $10 billion cut to its planned FY-25 topline, the brunt of which was mostly borne by the department’s procurement accounts:

Senior DOD officials say 'out-year' growth needed to get 'back on track'

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said today that the Pentagon's plan for fiscal year 2025 has found a "smart, responsible" way to absorb billions in cuts stemming from a two-year congressional deal but stressed that growth will be needed in the coming years to counter Chinese military modernization.

The Replicator initiative, which the Pentagon announced in August, aims to field thousands of "attritable" autonomous weapon systems by February-August 2025 to counter the continued growth of the Chinese military:

Hicks says Replicator slated to be funded at $1B between FY-24 and FY-25

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks announced plans to spend around $1 billion on the Replicator initiative over fiscal years 2024 and 2025 during a budget briefing at the Pentagon.

The Army rolled out its FY-25 budget request Monday, which includes $171.7 million for 155mm ammunition and $228.6 million for research and development:

Army official says ammo production would suffer 'critical delays' without base, supplemental funding combination

The Army's goal of producing 100,000 155mm rounds per month by late fiscal year 2025 would be subject to "critical delays" without full appropriations in both FY-24 and FY-25, as well as the pending FY-24 supplemental, according to Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo.

The Navy's FY-25 request also looks to provide the submarine industrial base with a total of $11.1 billion across the future years defense program -- an increase of nearly $9 billion over the Navy’s prior-year budget proposed for the FYDP:

Raven: FY-25 budget's investment strategy will get Navy to two Virginia submarines per year by FY-28

A proposed multibillion-dollar spending plan for the submarine industrial base within the Navy’s fiscal year 2025 budget request, combined with a pending supplemental spending package, are expected to improve Virginia-class submarine production to a rate of two vessels per year by FY-28, according to senior Navy officials.

The Army plans to evaluate existing artillery systems instead of pursuing a new self-propelled howitzer and make a decision by fiscal year 2025:

Army to hold industry day for new self-propelled howitzer

The Army will hold an industry day on April 3 for a new self-propelled howitzer after ending development of the Extended Range Cannon Artillery system, Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo announced Monday afternoon as the service unveiled its fiscal year 2025 budget request.

Want to view all the budget documents DOD has released so far? Check out Defense Budget Alert.