The Insider

By Dan Schere
April 30, 2024 at 4:41 PM

The Army has canceled the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool (EWPMT) task order due to "evolving requirements and a strategic realignment within the program," the service announced today. The task order was under the RS3 Enterprise contract.

EWPMT is a tool for commanders to plan, control and manage the electromagnetic spectrum, and was identified by the Army as one of 28 key modernization efforts in 2021, Inside Defense reported at the time.

The realignment, according to the Army, will involve the fielding of current EWPMT capability as well as software architecture modernization. The Army and Marine Corps are collaborating on a pilot to shift EWPMT’s “electromagnetic warfare and spectrum management capabilities” to the Tactical Assault Kit framework, used for “presenting situational awareness data” and creating visualizations. Using this framework will help deliver capability to the joint force, the Army stated today.

The use of the Tactical Assault Kit framework will ensure “microservice-based, modular software architecture,” which will satisfy Army and joint force requirements, as well as ensure agile development and integration, according to the service.

For fiscal year 2025, the Army has requested about $2 million for the EWPMT program, which would be used for the “transition and integration” of Navigation Warfare Situational Awareness software, according to service budget documents.

By Nick Wilson
April 30, 2024 at 2:35 PM

The Marine Corps is prioritizing the rapid development of counter-drone technologies with a new "fusion center" established within the past few months at Quantico, VA, service officials said today during the Modern Day Marine conference in Washington.

The new center will absorb the existing Rapid Capabilities Office and will look to aid promising technologies in bridging the “valley of death,” or transition from early research and development efforts into production and fielding.

“The fusion center and the fusion framework is larger than just the RCO. So, you bring in elements of the programs of record and the acquisition systems and sustainment elements,” said Brig. Gen. David Walsh, commanding general of Marine Corps Systems Command. “It's the RCO plus a lot of additional stakeholders around that, that'll enable that full, enduring capability.”

The new center’s initial focus will be developing air defense systems that can protect Marine forces from increasingly prevalent unmanned aircraft systems, Walsh said.

While the Marine Corps is rapidly advancing land-based air defense systems like its Medium Range Intercept Capability to defend ground forces from UAS, the Navy’s ongoing engagement in the Red Sea has demonstrated the need to protect surface ships from drones.

Today, Steve Bowdren, the Marine Corps’ program executive officer for land systems, said the two service branches are considering the application of Marine Corps ground-based platforms for use in shipboard defense, though he provided few details on the specific systems that might be used.

“There is collaboration between our program offices, specifically between [Ground Based Air Defense] and with the appropriate portions of PEO [Integrated Warfare Systems]. We are looking at what they're looking at from a shipboard perspective, and then seeing how that can be applied,” he told Inside Defense on the sidelines of the event.

While Bowdren declined to name specific systems, Kevin Murray, the chief technology officer for Headquarters Marine Corps, said the service is already using the Marine Air Defense Integrated System, or MADIS, for ship defense within its Marine Expeditionary Units.

“We’re already putting MADIS systems on the MEU because they’re organic to the battalions. We’re using that for our own self-preservation in partnership with the Navy,” he said.

Earlier this month, Navy officials revealed a rapid capability effort to mount two adjunct, kinetic, counter-UAS weapon systems on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer The Sullivans (DDG-68) for testing in an upcoming June demonstration. While the officials did not name the weapon systems, they indicated they are commercially available capabilities designed for land-based operations.

By John Liang
April 30, 2024 at 1:40 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a delay to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle replacement program, the Defense Innovation Unit seeking a novel cyber defense kit, the Marine Corps developing a smaller littoral connector ship and more.

Intended to replace the current Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the XM30 will feature an unmanned turret with an interchangeable gun along with drive-by-wire and fire-by-wire capabilities:

XM30 transition to major capability pathway delayed to 2025

Due to a three-month delay in contracting, the Army will now make a similar three-month delay in moving the Bradley replacement program to its next acquisition phase, according to a service spokeswoman.

The Defense Innovation Unit describes a new requested solution as a "mobile 'security operations center (SOC) in a box' that can be transported by a nine-person team anywhere in the world":

DIU searching for cyber hunt kit to spot vulnerabilities

The Defense Innovation United posted a new solicitation today seeking a "Joint Cyber Hunt Kit" (JCHK), which would be a secure, portable box that could find and analyze advanced persistent cyber threats.

The Marine Corps is developing a new vessel custom-designed for littoral maneuver, distribution and sustainment, according to service officials, who labeled the new platform the "Ancillary Surface Connector":

Marine Corps procuring new littoral connector ahead of LSM fielding

The Marine Corps is buying a new connector vessel designed for littoral maneuver and sustainment that could help deliver a "bridging solution" for forward-deployed forces ahead of Landing Ship Medium fielding.

An Army aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system was discussed at last week's AAAA Conference in Denver:

Army anticipates deployment of first HADES system around late 2026

DENVER -- Army officials anticipate that the first High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System will be deployed sometime in late 2026 or early 2027.

The Survivable Airborne Operations Center design is based around a commercial aircraft that will be modified to meet military requirements and will include secure communications and planning capabilities:

Sierra Nevada wins $13B contract for SAOC

The Air Force awarded Sierra Nevada a $13 billion contract to design and develop the Survivable Airborne Operations Center, a key component of Nuclear Command, Control and Communication modernization, the service announced late last week.

By Georgina DiNardo
April 30, 2024 at 10:41 AM

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) will serve as the new chairman of the House Armed Services cyber, information technologies and innovation subcommittee, according to an announcement yesterday from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL).

The subcommittee chairmanship has been left open since Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) resigned from the House effective April 19, a move Gallagher announced in March.

Before this appointment, Bacon served on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Agricultural Committee.

“As chairman of the Quality of Life Panel, Rep. Bacon has been a tireless advocate for our servicemembers and military families. Rep. Bacon is a proven leader for national defense, and I am proud to announce that he will serve as chairman of the subcommittee on cyber, information technologies and innovation,” Rogers said in a statement.

“Staying ahead of our adversaries in the digital space is vital. I know Rep. Bacon will bring valuable knowledge and expertise to the subcommittee and I look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen our military,” he added.

Bacon, who previously served in the Air Force where he specialized in electronic warfare, intelligence and reconnaissance, thanked Rogers for the appointment, noting future priorities for the subcommittee.

“In order to maintain the world’s most capable and lethal military, we must make modernization and innovation a priority,” Bacon said. “As chairman, I will continue to support enhancing our cybersecurity and will work to advance artificial intelligence and emerging technologies that will be vital for our success on the battlefields of the future.”

Gallagher’s departure also left open the chairmanship position on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, although quickly after Gallagher announced his resignation, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) named Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI) to fill the position.

Gallagher’s resignation also left Johnson with a one-seat GOP majority in the House.

By Georgina DiNardo
April 29, 2024 at 2:39 PM

The Defense Innovation Unit announced today that Liz McNally has been named as the organization's first deputy director of commercial operations.

DIU said the creation of the position is a “key milestone in executing DIU’s 3.0 strategy of scaling commercial technology innovation across the U.S. Department and delivering maximum strategic impact to the warfighter.”

DIU said that this position will also amplify the Defense Department’s demand signal while making the acquisition process of technology from the commercial sector easier by providing “procedural on-ramps to the DOD.”

“In this role she will bring her diverse experiences from the private sector, the military, and the not-for-profit sector to lead DIU’s collaboration with the commercial tech sector and investment community,” DIU said. “This includes enhanced portfolio company scaling support and related Department partnerships, as well as the defense innovation on-ramp, talent, and investment capabilities resident in National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) and National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC).”

DIU Director Doug Beck said it is “is critically important to the Department of Defense” that partnerships with the commercial sector be taken “to the next level.”

“Liz’s expertise and dual fluency across the commercial and military sectors, combining deep experience with both operating businesses and investors as well as downrange in uniform, and on top of her hands-on experience with inspiring service-and purpose-oriented talent, represent an incredible asset to our mission of delivering real change to the DOD at speed and scale,” he said.

Prior to her job at DIU, McNally was a military police officer in the Army before working a variety of private sector and not-for-profit positions, most recently serving as the co-CEO of Schmidt Futures, which is a philanthropic initiative funding technology and innovation research.

DIU said she will work with people across the department, including “teammates” in the Office of Strategic Capital, Office of Industrial Base Policy and its Office of Small Business Programs and partners in DOD’s Defense Innovation Community of Entities.

“I look forward to working across the commercial sector, the DOD and our allies to bring critical solutions to our warfighters on a timescale that matters,” McNally said.

By John Liang
April 29, 2024 at 1:55 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on an Army aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system, a multibillion-dollar Air Force contract for an airborne command and control center and more.

We start off with coverage of an Army aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system discussed at last week's AAAA Conference in Denver:

Army anticipates deployment of first HADES system around late 2026

DENVER -- Army officials anticipate that the first High Accuracy Detection and Exploitation System will be deployed sometime in late 2026 or early 2027.

The Survivable Airborne Operations Center design is based around a commercial aircraft that will be modified to meet military requirements and will include secure communications and planning capabilities:

Sierra Nevada wins $13B contract for SAOC

The Air Force awarded Sierra Nevada Corp. a $13 billion contract to design and develop the Survivable Airborne Operations Center, a key component of Nuclear Command, Control and Communication modernization, the service announced late last week.

The Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) framework software was delivered to the Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Battle Awareness Center at Buckley Space Force Base, CO:

FORGE framework delivered to OPIR Battlespace Awareness Center

Space Systems Command today delivered the first operational software to set up its framework for the ground systems of space-based missile warning and tracking, the command announced late last week.

The Army's fiscal year 2025 budget request dramatically slashes plans for the Stryker Upgrade program between FY-25 and FY-28 compared to plans the service forecasted in the FY-24 spending blueprint, cutting total spending by 43% and total vehicles upgraded by 62%:

Stryker Upgrade program now a billpayer in new Army POM; annual procurement slashed from 184 to 11

The Army's Stryker Upgrade program -- a project that as recently as last year enjoyed a $1.2 billion annual budget to up-gun and expand improvements across the armored wheeled vehicle -- is now a billpayer, with service leaders siphoning $1.3 billion from future plans to finance other projects.

The Marine Corps is requesting $111 million for the Medium Range Intercept Capability -- a system that combines the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, the Common Aviation Command and Control System and parts of the Israeli Iron Dome to shoot down airborne threats including cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft:

Marine Corps looks to begin rapidly fielding MRIC air defense system in FY-25

The Marine Corps plans to raise procurement spending on its portfolio of air defense systems in fiscal year 2025 as it looks to begin rapidly fielding the initial battery of a mid-range interceptor system before the end of the upcoming fiscal year.

By Vanessa Montalbano
April 29, 2024 at 1:05 PM

The Air Force has awarded Boeing a $178 million production and sustainment contract for an additional seven MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters, according to a company news release.

“Building the Grey Wolf fleet and paving the way towards full rate production is a critical step in supporting the Air Force’s modernization priorities,” Azeem Khan, MH-139 program director at Boeing, said in a statement. “Delivering on these commitments and getting more capability into the hands of our customers is important to their mission protecting vital national assets.”

The new award, which is allocated using fiscal year 2024 dollars, brings the total number of aircraft under contract to 26. It comes after the Air Force in its FY-25 budget request chopped the number of MH-139s it originally planned to buy in half due to spending limits imposed by the 2023 Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Prior budget requests specified the service would purchase 74 Grey Wolfs overall, but that buy has now been reduced to 36. The service is instead asking to buy eight helos next year, per FY-25 justification documents, and two per year after that through 2029.

The MH-139s will replace Vietnam war-era UH-1N Huey helos that are deemed to have unresolvable capability gaps, the service has said. They will be used to patrol nuclear silos and will be primarily operated by U.S. Global Strike Command.

Boeing said it expects to deliver the first low-rate initial production aircraft to the Air Force this summer. The program entered LRIP about one year ago following negotiations over a technical data package to support long-term organic sustainment.

“With the first production aircraft currently undergoing additional testing and other aircraft in various stages of production, Boeing is on track to deliver the first LRIP aircraft to the Air Force this summer,” the news release stated.

In December 2023 the first operational MH-139 began flight testing at the Leonardo Helicopters facility in Philadelphia. The company in January said it plans to deliver the first 13 helos to the Air Force this year.

By Shelley K. Mesch
April 29, 2024 at 12:03 PM

Governors from nearly every U.S. state and territory sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin today opposing the Defense Department's proposal to absorb Air National Guard space operations into the Space Force.

The letter -- signed by 53 governors, or all except Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) -- says the proposal “disregards gubernatorial authorities regarding the National Guard and undermines over 100 years of precedent as well as national security and military readiness.”

About 700 guardsmen would be transferred into the Space Force under the DOD proposal, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has said, to complete the remainder of their enlistments, should they choose to switch services. No guardsmen would be required to make the transfer.

The proposal “poses a threat to the careers of state-based service members who will be forced to choose between state service or continuing in their current field at a time when there are already significant recruitment challenges,” the governors’ letter states. “An action like this will violate the trust of the brave women and men who have volunteered to serve our states and our nation.”

Across Alaska, California, Colorado, Ohio, New York, Hawaii and Florida, 14 units would be assigned new federal missions or be deactivated.

National Guard leaders have publicly opposed the proposal, saying it guts the Guard and states of space capabilities.

Kendall and Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman have said the proposal streamlines the command of space operations.

Several lawmakers have pushed for the creation of a Space National Guard, but Saltzman said at a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing earlier this month that the Space Force cannot afford to fund another structure while keeping “administrative bureaucracy” levels down.

By Tony Bertuca
April 29, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are scheduled to appear at several congressional hearings and think tank events this week.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on the future of the Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacific region.


The Modern Day Marine conference gets underway in Washington and runs through Thursday.

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the fiscal year 2025 defense budget request with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown.

The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee holds a hearing on military readiness.

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on nuclear forces and atomic energy activities.

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Air and Space Forces' FY-25 budget requests.


The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Navy’s budget request.

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on the budget request for national security space programs.

The Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee holds a hearing on the current readiness of the joint force.

The Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee holds a hearing on Navy and Marine Corps modernization.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts its Capstone conference at the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command.

CSIS hosts a discussion on the Joint Warfighting Concept with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Christopher Grady.

Adobe holds its 2024 Government Forum.


The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a worldwide threats hearing.

Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Intelligence Maj. Gen. Gregory Gagnon speaks at a session of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies' Schriever Spacepower Series.

Defense One holds a virtual Navy service branch spotlight event.

By Tony Bertuca
April 26, 2024 at 2:58 PM

The Defense Department, tapping new funds provided by a supplemental spending bill recently signed into law by President Biden, today announced a $6 billion long-term military aid package for Ukraine, which follows closely behind a $1 billion immediate transfer of U.S. weapons.

The package, provided through the previously empty Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, includes:

  • Additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems;
  • Additional munitions for National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS);
  • New equipment to “integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars” with Ukrainian air defense systems;
  • Counter-drone systems and equipment;
  • Munitions for laser-guided rocket systems;
  • Multimission radars;
  • Counter-artillery radars;
  • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 155mm and 152mm artillery rounds;
  • Precision aerial munitions;
  • Switchblade and Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS);
  • Tactical vehicles to tow weapons and equipment;
  • Demolition munitions;
  • Components to support Ukrainian production of UAS and other capabilities;
  • Small arms and additional small arms ammunition; and
  • Other items and support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities.

“We're going to do everything we can to get that security assistance to the Ukrainians as quickly as possible,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said today during a Pentagon press conference.

Prior to today’s announcement, the last tranche of USAI funding was announced in November, at which point the fund was exhausted and in need of congressional replenishment. Additional funding was not granted until last week when Congress, after months of partisan arguing, agreed to a massive supplemental spending deal that would aid Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the U.S. defense industrial base.

The USAI package, unlike the $1 billion immediate transfer of DOD weapons to Ukraine via Presidential Drawdown Authority, is used to put specific weapons systems on contact with the U.S. defense industrial base, something Austin said will benefit national security in the long run.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown said both aid packages will help “shape the future” because the additional munitions capabilities will mean that the Ukrainians “don't necessarily have to ration they way they have because the Ukrainians know things are coming out of this package.”

The aid package released today commemorates the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a coalition of more than 50 nations that has pledged continued support for Ukraine. Austin, who hosted a virtual meeting with the group today, said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was also part of the call.

“This coalition is still standing strong,” Austin said.

By John Liang
April 26, 2024 at 2:17 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Western countries' plans to stockpile weapons in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, plus the Air Force's effort to get a certain air-to-air missile under multiyear procurement and more.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with a small group of reporters yesterday about the effect of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Western countries' weapons stockpiles:

White House natsec adviser sees the 'collective West' stockpiling weapons for years ahead

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said he believes the U.S. defense industry continues to underestimate just how much money the "collective West" is going to invest in stockpiling weapon systems needed to deter Russia and China in the coming years, regardless of what happens in the Ukraine conflict.

Without the additional dollars that are allotted via a multiyear contract, the Air Force says it is no longer economically feasible to bring its munitions inventory to scale as anticipated, particularly for the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile:

Without FY-24 funding for multiyear procurement, AMRAAM enters single-year buying strategy

The Air Force sought to pursue several simultaneous multiyear procurement strategies for its munitions sets in the fiscal year 2024 budget, but Congress has excluded the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile from the plan, Inside Defense has learned.

Planned for late July to early August at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, a sensor exercise will consist of a port or harbor security scenario that will test the ability of sensors that can "detect, track and identify Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV)," according to a notice issued this week:

Navy seeks industry help on unmanned vessel detection

The Navy's Joint Prototyping and Experimentation Maritime Program plans to test the ability of sensors to detect unmanned vessels later this year and is requesting industry input on this type of technology, according to a request for information posted Monday.

The ranking member on the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee has been a vocal critic of the Navy's move to reduce Virginia procurement to only one boat in fiscal year 2025:

HII delivers Virginia sub New Jersey in a sign of industrial base improvement, advocates say

HII's Newport News Shipbuilding today announced it has delivered the Virginia-class submarine New Jersey (SSN-796) to the Navy, a milestone that demonstrates "forward momentum" for the struggling submarine industrial base, according to advocates in Congress.

More defense contractor earnings:

Oshkosh Defense sales increase by $24M

Oshkosh Defense sales rose by $23.8 million in the first quarter of 2024, marking a 4.6% increase from the same quarter last year, company executives reported this week.

Textron helicopter revenue increases by $106M

Textron's helicopter sales increased by $106 million in the first quarter of 2024, company executives reported during a quarterly earnings call this week.

Honeywell reports $558M revenue increase in aerospace

Honeywell's aerospace segment revenues rose by $558 million, an 18% increase from the same quarter last year, company executives announced this week.

By Nickolai Sukharev
April 26, 2024 at 12:52 PM

Interested manufacturers have another week to provide feedback to the Army on their ability to build the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle in full-rate production, according to a public notice.

With an original deadline of April 26, the Army issued a request for information on April 5 to assess “industry interest and current market manufacturing capability to produce future AMPV vehicles, supplemental kits, and provide logistics support.” The deadline is now May 3.

In March, BAE won a second full-rate production contract to build the AMPV for $754 million, after winning the initial contract in August 2023.

Designed to replace the M113, the AMPV will function as a tracked support vehicle to perform various functions within an armored brigade combat team.

Variants of the AMPV include general purpose, mission command, mortar carrier, medical evacuation and medical treatment.

The AMPV shares a common powertrain and suspension with the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzer.

Earlier this month, BAE delivered an AMPV prototype armed with the Patria NEMO remote-controlled 120mm turreted mortar system.

At last month’s AUSA Global Force Symposium, BAE showcased an AMPV featuring the ExMEP, a top plate that can accommodate various payloads such as turrets.

The AMPV is part of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles program, which intends to replace legacy ground vehicles. Other projects with the NGCV program include the XM30, M10 Booker, robotic combat vehicle and a future Abrams main battle tank replacement.

For fiscal years 2025 and 2026, the Army intends to procure 81 and 126 AMPVs, respectively, according to service budget documents.

By Dan Schere
April 25, 2024 at 6:33 PM

The Army has selected Textron Systems and Griffon Aerospace for options 3 and 4 of the Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial System rapid prototyping program, the service announced today.

FTUAS provides brigades with an “organic capability to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance operations,” by reporting intelligence to soldiers to ensure “dominance during multidomain operations.” Among the capabilities are vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), as well as on-the-move command and control and soldier-led field level maintenance, according to the Army.

In September, the Army selected Textron and Griffon for the second option period, which included cost, schedule and risk assessment, as well as a critical design review to establish the prototype baseline.

The third option period will include flight demonstrations, a soldier touchpoint, and third-party verification of the modular open systems approach (MOSA), the Army stated today. In Option 4, the companies will deliver “production representative” prototypes to be used in testing and operational demonstrations. The fourth option period will conclude with a production readiness review.

The Army has included $129 million in its fiscal year 2025 budget request for the procurement of seven FTUAS systems, according to budget justification documents.

By John Liang
April 25, 2024 at 2:35 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage from this year's Army Aviation Association of America conference, plus unmanned systems news and more.

We start off with coverage from this year's Army Aviation Association of America conference:

After FARA cancellation, Sikorsky using prototype to do ground runs with engine

DENVER -- Two months after the Army announced it would be cancelling the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program as part of a larger aviation rebalance, Sikorsky is putting the engine in its prototype aircraft to use in preparation for modernizing the Black Hawk instead.

Army anticipates milestone C for Chinook Block II in fourth quarter of FY-25

DENVER -- The Chinook CH-47F Block II helicopter is expected to reach full-rate production in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2025, an Army official said here at the annual Army Aviation Association of America conference. Prime contractor Boeing anticipates the first aircraft to be delivered to the Army within a matter of weeks.

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante spoke this week at a panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

DOD testing counter-drone capabilities and next-gen fires but still searching for 'scale'

The two senior officials in charge of Pentagon acquisition and technology said today that they are working on several promising projects for countering drones and low-cost missiles, including everything from acoustic detection systems to directed-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves.

Anduril and General Atomics have been chosen to work on prototype designs for the Air Force's Collaborative Combat Aircraft program:

Air Force picks Anduril and General Atomics to build first CCA prototypes

The Air Force is moving ahead with Anduril Industries and General Atomics to advance their designs into the prototyping stage for the first Collaborative Combat Aircraft, the Air Force announced this week.

One of the recent APFIT funding awards was focused on supplying DOD with "rack-mounted optical clocks":

Vector Atomic will receive APFIT funding to supply rack-mounted optical clocks that run on domestically sourced elements

Vector Atomic, a small quantum precision company, told Inside Defense it will receive approximately $11 million in “APFIT” funding to help increase manufacturing of optical clocks that do not rely on vital materials from countries such as China and Russia, adding that the Defense Innovation Unit successfully integrated the system into an atomic gyroscope.

The Defense Department's fiscal year 2025 budget request includes a dramatic increase in planned spending for the Strategic Capabilities Office's advanced component and prototype development funding across the new five-year spending plan compared to the FY-24 budget request:

DOD eyes major upswing in prototype funding for office focused on countering China, Russia

The Pentagon plans to pump an additional $1.7 billion -- a 75% increase over last year's plan between fiscal years 2025 and 2028 -- into the secretive shop that prototypes new and surprising ways of using existing technology to bolster conventional deterrence against China and Russia.

Space Force Generation, or SPAFORGEN, cycles guardians through three phases -- prepare, ready and commit -- and is the service’s model for assigning and allocating forces to combatant commands:

Saltzman: SPAFORGEN 'drastic change' to Space Force readiness model

The Space Force is expanding across the service the readiness model it launched in 2022, which Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman called "the most drastic change accompanying the establishment of the Space Force" in a letter to guardians last week.

Document: CSO notice to guardians on SPAFORGEN

By Abby Shepherd
April 25, 2024 at 1:16 PM

The Navy plans to establish a new unmanned surface vessel squadron -- a new organization that will focus on tactics, techniques and procedures and the concept of operations for small USVs, according to a Navy official.

During a fiscal year 2025 budget hearing last week before the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee, Nickolas Guertin -- assistant Navy secretary for research, development and acquisition -- included in his written statement that the service’s Surface Development Squadron One (SURFDEVRON) plans to establish a new unmanned squadron in FY-25.

USV Squadron 3 will be established May 17, a Navy spokesperson told Inside Defense. SURFDEVRON is being renamed Surface Development Group One, the spokesperson added.