The Insider

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.

By Georgina DiNardo
April 25, 2024 at 12:00 PM

Responses are due today for a request for information, posted by the office of the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, seeking outside help to bolster domestic rare earth element (REE) supply chains and decrease dependency on China.

Currently, REEs are mined in the U.S. or allied nations, but are shipped to foreign countries like China, Estonia, Japan and Malaysia for “separation, processing and conversion into metals and alloys,” states the RFI, first posted April 11.

Manufacturers in the Defense Department and commercial supply chains then must buy the finished rare earth metals and compounds from those countries where they are processed.

“Rare earth metals and alloys are essential to the production of industrial permanent magnets, including neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) and samarium cobalt (SmCo) magnets,” the RFI said. “As the DOD and domestic commercial demand for these magnets increases, the need to secure the supply of rare earth metals and alloys within the US and reduce the US dependence on non-allied sources is a matter of national security.”

To address this concern, DOD has launched an REE Metallization Project that focuses on expanding the U.S.’s ability to convert heavy and light REE oxides and chemicals into metals and then convert those metals into alloys. The project also looks at bridging the two steps and finding ways to directly convert heavy and light rare earth oxides and compounds into alloys.

“The overall objective is to create a domestic source capable of producing sufficient capacity that supports the NdFeB & SmCo permanent magnet supply chain and have the capability to become a merchant supplier of metals and alloys for NdFeB & SmCo magnet manufacturers serving both the commercial and DOD industrial base,” the RFI said.

In response to the information gathered through this RFI, DOD said they may issue a solicitation that could have one or multiple awards.

By Shelley K. Mesch
April 25, 2024 at 11:49 AM

Northrop Grumman isn't looking to compete for non-survivable drone programs and will focus on drones for high-end threats, CEO Kathy Warden told investors today during the company's first-quarter earnings call.

“We are not looking to compete in a more commoditized part of the market at very low cost and not survivable systems,” Warden said. “That’s just not our business model, and we know that.”

The call comes the day after the Air Force passed up Northrop for the first increment of the Collaborative Combat Aircraft, instead choosing Anduril and General Atomics to make prototypes of the autonomous teaming drones. Boeing and Lockheed Martin were also cut.

The comments also come as the Defense Department moves forward with its Replicator program to field thousands of attritable, autonomous drones in the next year and a half.

Northrop continues to see opportunities to expand its autonomous business globally, Warden said, particularly with the MQ-4C Triton.

“We will remain disciplined in where we invest and what pieces of that market that we pursue,” she said, “but we think that what we provide is still highly relevant.”

During the call, Chief Financial Officer Dave Keffer also noted a slower-than-anticipated growth in the company’s space business with the cancellation of one contract and the loss of another.

The Air Force canceled a classified space program due to budget “concerns and prioritization,” Warden said. The requirement for the capability in the program still exists, she said, and the company will “see how that plays out over time.”

The Missile Defense Agency also picked Lockheed Martin over Northrop Grumman to build the Next Generation Interceptor -- a decision that was made a year early due to budget constraints imposed by Congress as well.

Northrop will offset some of the changes in the financial outlook with LGM-35A Sentinel and growth in the Space Development Agency portfolio, Keffer said.

By Dan Schere
April 25, 2024 at 9:25 AM

DENVER -- The Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program is anticipated to undergo a critical design review in the first quarter of fiscal year 2025, Army Under Secretary Gabe Camarillo said in a recorded address April 24 at the Army Aviation Association of America conference here.

Bell Textron was awarded the contract for FLRAA, the eventual replacement for the Black Hawk, in December 2022.

The program is scheduled to enter milestone B, engineering and manufacturing development, later in FY-24, Camarillo said. The critical design review occurs during this stage in order to determine a system’s ability to “meet stated performance requirements within cost, schedule and risk.”

The Army announced in February that it would be terminating the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program as part of an aviation rebalance. However, Army officials have said multiple times since then that they remain committed to FLRAA -- another major effort within the service’s Future Vertical Lift portfolio.

In his address to conference attendees, Camarillo said “critical innovation” from work that has been done on FARA “will benefit our entire aviation portfolio.”

“Particularly this will show up in the areas of model-based systems engineering, and modular open systems architectures. Additionally, a successful ground run of one of the prototype aircraft for FARA will reduce risks on future Improved Turbine Engine integration efforts on the other platforms,” he said.

By Nick Wilson
April 24, 2024 at 3:19 PM

The Navy views live, virtual and constructive training as an increasingly valuable capability because it allows the fleet to experiment and practice with new weapon systems and tactics without exposing them to adversaries, according to Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. James Kilby.

“We want to be able to train our strike groups and our amphibious ready groups at sea, not attached to a range on the United States, where we can maintain currency and proficiency, where we don’t have to divulge our tactics, where we don’t have to divulge our systems,” Kilby said today during an event held by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Up until recently, we’ve had to kind of retract back and reset our force because we didn’t want people to watch our tactics,” Kilby continued during the panel discussion with other service branch vice chiefs.

LVC technology is used to simulate battle scenarios and virtually connect forces located in separate geographic areas, allowing ships on opposite sides of the globe to train together.

The technology is being used in various training events, including large-scale exercise 2023, which brought together six carrier strike groups, three amphibious ready groups and over 25 live and 50 virtual ships for joint exercises last July.

By allowing the Navy to covertly establish proficiency with new capabilities and then choose when and where to reveal them to adversaries, LVC enhances strategic deterrence, Kilby said today.

By John Liang
April 24, 2024 at 2:13 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news from Lockheed Martin's, Boeing's and General Dynamics' quarterly earnings calls and more.

We start off with defense contractor executives talking about their quarterly earnings:

After long wait, Lockheed to resume F-35 deliveries between July and September

Deliveries of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft are on track to resume this summer, albeit with a truncated version of Technology Refresh-3 software upgrades, top Lockheed Martin executives told shareholders during a call to discuss the company's first-quarter earnings.

Boeing's fixed-price contracts with the Air Force are still burning cash

Boeing's defense unit has logged $222 million in losses since January on two major firm fixed-price contracts with the Air Force, the KC-46A and T-7A, Chief Financial Officer Brian West told investors during a first-quarter earnings call.

GD execs: Submarine supply chain needs funding for second Virginia shipset in FY-25

With the Navy requesting only one Virginia-class submarine in fiscal year 2025, it is important that the sea service also fund a second, full shipset of Virginia materials to sustain the submarine supply chain, according to General Dynamics executives.

. . . Followed by some Navy ship news:

Navy to advance amphibious warship block buy in the coming weeks

The Navy is planning to use multiship procurement to buy four amphibious warships and aims to put the vessels on contracts within a matter of weeks, according to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro.

Navy wants to delay ADG system installation on DDG-51s until next generation

The Navy wants to delay the addition of an advanced degaussing system on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and install it on the next generation of destroyers -- a move it says would provide the service flexibility to balance warfighting capabilities with the expense and schedule constraints of future destroyer procurement.

The Senate voted 79-18 late last night to pass the supplemental spending package:

Senate set to approve $95B security supplemental as defense industrial base awaits boost

Senate leaders, following the House's weekend passage of a massive national security supplemental poised to inject $50 billion into the U.S. defense sector, is taking up the spending package and hopes to pass it late tonight amid the objections of some lawmakers.

By Tony Bertuca
April 24, 2024 at 11:38 AM

The Defense Department has announced $1 billion in military aid for Ukraine following the passage of a $95 billion security supplemental spending package that President Biden signed into law today.

“This package will surge munitions, weapons and equipment forward to support Ukraine’s ability to defend its frontlines, protect its cities and counter Russia’s continued attacks,” DOD said. “With the bipartisan support of Congress, Ukraine can count on strong and resolute U.S. leadership to provide consistent security assistance support -- together with some 50 Allies and partners -- to ensure its brave defenders receive the critical capabilities needed to fight Russian aggression.”

The new military aid package, funded via Presidential Drawdown Authority, includes:

  • RIM-7 and AIM-9M missiles for air defense;
  • Stinger anti-aircraft missiles;
  • Small arms and additional rounds of small arms ammunition, including .50 caliber rounds to counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS);
  • Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
  • 155mm artillery rounds, including High Explosive and Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions rounds;
  • 105mm artillery rounds;
  • 60mm mortar rounds;
  • Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles;
  • Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles;
  • Humvees
  • Logistics support vehicles;
  • Tactical vehicles to tow and haul equipment;
  • Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided missiles;
  • Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems;
  • Precision aerial munitions;
  • Airfield support equipment;
  • Anti-armor mines;
  • Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
  • Demolitions munitions for obstacle clearing; and
  • Night vision devices; and
  • Spare parts, field equipment, training munitions, maintenance, and other ancillary equipment.

In a speech at the White House, Biden said the weapons will begin being transferred from U.S. stocks to Ukraine immediately.

"I'm making sure the shipments start right away,” he said. “In the next few hours -- literally in a few hours -- we are going to begin sending equipment to Ukraine for air defense munitions, artillery for rocket systems, and armored vehicles.”

A PDA action of this kind for Ukraine has not occurred since December 2023 and follows months of partisan gridlock in Congress. The Pentagon did announce a $300 million weapons transfer to Ukraine in March but it was tapping unexpected savings from various Army contracts to do so.

The United States, according to a new DOD fact sheet, has committed more than $44.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration.

By Tony Bertuca
April 24, 2024 at 10:57 AM

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James Slife said today that the service intends to award Collaborative Combat Aircraft contracts to two vendors.

“This afternoon the Air Force will be announcing two option awards to vendors that have been part of our CCA increment 1 acquisition program that has been underway now for some time,” he said at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The five companies vying for the contract are: Anduril, Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.

Watch Inside Defense for further reporting on this developing story.