The Insider

By John Liang
October 12, 2023 at 2:49 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a recent Space Force electromagnetic warfare exercise, Army AH-64E attack helicopters, the Navy's Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band system and more.

The Space Force recently conducted an electromagnetic warfare exercise:

Space Force successfully completes Black Skies series

The Space Force has successfully conducted Black Skies, an exercise designed to train guardians on electromagnetic warfare, according to an announcement issued last week.

The Cyber Accreditation Body announced the launch of a white label CMMC Readiness Tool (CRT) at its town hall meeting on Sept. 26, our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity are reporting today:

CMMC AB selection of 'readiness tool' raises questions from stakeholders on competitive bidding process

The selection of a free "benefit" tool for consulting organizations who pay to be part of the accreditation body ecosystem for the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program is raising concerns from two stakeholders on the decision-making process and potential conflicts of interest.

The Pentagon recently released a pair of Selected Acquisition Reports dated December 2022 on the AH-64E "Apache New Build" and "AH-64E Apache Remanufacture":

Army working to improve manufacturing process for AH-64E generators

The Army has been identifying areas where improvement is needed for the manufacturing process and quality of the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter's generators, which have experienced failures in the past year.

Document: DOD selected acquisition reports on the AH-64E Apache

While the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band system was previously expected to complete operational testing in August 2023 with IOC following in September, Navy spokesperson Elizabeth Fahrner told Inside Defense testing and data collection are ongoing, with IOC anticipated in the near future:

NGJ-MB approaches IOC, though cost and reliability questions remain

The Navy's next-generation airborne electronic attack jamming system, which will replace the legacy ALQ-99 jamming pods carried by EA-18G Growlers, is moving through operational testing with initial operational capability expected later this autumn.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke this week from Brussels after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group:

Austin lays out new plans for international coalitions to supply Ukraine with weapons

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said today the United States and dozens of international partners have now agreed to establish several "capability coalitions" aimed at supplying Ukraine with various air, land and sea weapons in the coming years, including assistance to modernize network infrastructure.

By Nick Wilson
October 12, 2023 at 1:21 PM

As fiscal year 2023 came to a close, General Dynamics Electric Boat received a contract modification worth $967 million for Virginia-class submarine design work, according to a Navy announcement.

A separate release from Electric Boat -- which collaboratively builds the fast-attack submarines through a teaming agreement with HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding -- says the award will fund “lead yard support and development studies and design efforts,” for the vessels.

With the bulk of work to take place at Electric Boat’s Groton, CT, facility, company spokesperson Daniel McFadden told Inside Defense the funds will be used for “upkeep and maintenance” of the Virginia design.

“For example, incorporating improvements and replacing [obsolescent] parts as the design evolves,” he said. “Also, development and design work for areas such as [subsea and seabed warfare], the Virginia Payload Module and undersea dominance.”

According to a Navy spokesperson, the funding will “maintain, update and support the Virginia-class design and related drawings and data for each Virginia-class submarine, including technology insertion, throughout its construction and Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) period.”

Funding will finance development studies related to Virginia design improvement endeavors, the spokesperson told Inside Defense, saying the award will also encompass engineering efforts related to design, testing, logistics and production.

“The contractor will continue development studies and design efforts related to components and systems to accomplish Research and Development tasks and prototypes and Engineering Development Models (EDMs) required to fully evaluate new technologies to be inserted in succeeding Virginia-class submarines,” the spokesperson continued.

The contract follows a $517 million award to Electric Boat earlier in September for the procurement of spare parts for Virginia maintenance availabilities.

Both production and maintenance of the submarines are pressing issues for the Navy, with the United States preparing to begin transferring vessels to Australia in the 2030s under the AUKUS security partnership while industry struggles to meet delivery targets and maintenance delays undercut operational readiness.

During a recent confirmation hearing, acting Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti said U.S. industry is producing only 1.2 Virginia boats per year and must improve to 2.2 vessels per year to deliver on AUKUS.

The Navy is working on stabilizing Virginia construction at a rate of 1.4 per year by the end of calendar year 2023 before ramping up to 1.5 per year by the end of 2024, Franchetti said at the time.

By Georgina DiNardo
October 12, 2023 at 12:58 PM

A House Armed Services subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing next week on the Defense Department's new Replicator program, which aims to rapidly field thousands of small, autonomous drones to counter China's expanding military.

The House Armed Services cyber, information technologies and innovation subcommittee hearing is slated for Oct. 19 and will feature testimony from Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and William Greenwalt, nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The hearing is titled: “Can it work? Outside Perspectives on DOD's Replicator Program.”

Clark, who directs the Center for Defense Concepts and Technology at the Hudson Institute, specializes in military operations, autonomous systems, wargaming and electronic warfare. Previously, he led studies on emerging military technologies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Before joining CSBA in 2013, Clark worked as a special assistant to the chief of naval operations and director of the Commander’s Action Group. He served in the Navy from 2004 to 2011.

Greenwalt’s research expertise at the American Enterprise Institute centers around growing the United States industrial base and reforming defense acquisition, technology transfer and other areas. He is also the founder of the Silicon Valley Defense Group. Previously, he held multiple senior positions in the Defense Department, Congress and the defense industry, including as the deputy under secretary of defense for industrial policy.

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks announced the Replicator initiative in late August, highlighting DOD’s intent to counter China by fielding thousands of “attritable” autonomous weapon systems over 18 to 24 months.

By Nick Wilson
October 11, 2023 at 2:12 PM

Shipbuilder HII has received a $20 million award to build nine small unmanned undersea vehicles for the Navy's Lionfish program in a contract that could climb to as many as 200 SUUVs and almost $350 million over the next five years, according to a Wednesday company announcement.

The initial $20 million award, announced by the Navy in late September, will see HII’s Mission Technologies division working through September 2024 to deliver nine of the seven-foot-long unmanned vessels intended to perform a variety of undersea missions.

The Navy selected HII’s REMUS 300 SUUV to serve as the basis for the Lionfish program of record in March 2022, beginning an initial programmatic phase consisting of low-rate initial production and prototype testing.

At the time of this selection, an HII spokesperson told reporters he could not speak directly to the desired capabilities of the Navy’s Lionfish program but said uses for the commercial REMUS 3000 include mine countermeasures, data collections and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

HII’s Wednesday release describes Lionfish as a “highly portable, two-person SUUV with an open architecture design and versatile payload options.”

“Lionfish provides increased capability and interoperability that aligns with the Navy’s undersea priorities, and we look forward to delivering next-generation vehicles that can readily adapt to and support a variety of mission needs,” said HII Executive Vice President and Mission Technologies President Andy Green in a statement included in the release.

The Navy and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit jointly developed the Lionfish program through a two-year process of spiral development incorporating feedback from “multiple user groups to uniquely meet the needs of the warfighters,” the release adds.

The Navy’s fiscal year 2024 budget request seeks $8.7 million in research and development funding for Lionfish and indicates FY-24 funds will support initial acceptance testing, delivery, and fielding of production units following an authority to operate decision.

By John Liang
October 11, 2023 at 1:29 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Ukraine weapons supplies, continuing coverage of the AUSA conference, autonomous surface vessels and more.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke this week from Brussels after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group:

Austin lays out new plans for international coalitions to supply Ukraine with weapons

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said today the United States and dozens of international partners have now agreed to establish several "capability coalitions" aimed at supplying Ukraine with various air, land and sea weapons in the coming years, including assistance to modernize network infrastructure.

The Army's newly minted chief of staff spoke this week at the annual AUSA conference:

George cautions Army to avoid 'one-size-fits-all solutions from the Pentagon'

In one of his first formal addresses as the Army's chief of staff, Gen. Randy George today emphasized the importance of giving more authority to local leaders at individual military bases and installations.

Army chief details four priorities to modernize the service

Gen. Randy George, who was confirmed last month as the Army chief of staff, yesterday laid out his priorities to modernize the service, top among them the service's No. 1 purpose: defending the country.

(View our complete AUSA coverage.)

Saronic, an Austin, TX-based defense company focused on bringing maritime autonomy to U.S. and allied navies, raised the money to further its autonomous vessel production without the Defense Department's help, but used cooperative research and development agreements with DOD to build its own mission sets of autonomous boats:

Saronic raises $55M for autonomous ships amid DOD's Replicator push

Defense startup Saronic Technologies announced today it has secured $55 million in funding from private capital to accelerate research, development and production on autonomous maritime vessels in alignment with the goals cited by the Defense Department's new Replicator initiative.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall spoke at an Atlantic Council event this week:

Air Force to make significant decisions to 'become more competitive'

The Air Force will make critical decisions in the "January-February timeframe" to leverage warfighting readiness and "become more competitive," according to a top Air Force official.

National Reconnaissance Office Deputy Director Maj. Gen. Christopher Povak spoke this week at a Mitchell Institute Forum:

NRO is expecting to quadruple satellites on orbit within the next decade

The National Reconnaissance Office is expecting to increase by fourfold the number of satellites on orbit "within the next decade" for commercial and national purposes, an NRO senior official said this morning.

By Tony Bertuca
October 10, 2023 at 3:15 PM

President Biden said today that he will ask Congress -- half of which is destabilized due to the ousting of the former House speaker -- to approve an emergency security aid package for Israel in the coming days that will help the Defense Department continue to send ammunition and replenish Iron Dome interceptors needed to fend off Hamas rocket attacks.

“The United States stands with Israel,” he said during a White House press conference.

“When Congress returns, we're going to ask them to take urgent action to fund the national security requirements of our critical partners.”

The president did not say how much aid will be sought. Though Biden did not reference it directly, the White House also seeks $24 billion in security, economic and financial aid for Ukraine, which has been blocked by the same Republican infighting that pushed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) out of the speakership. Houses Republicans, meanwhile, have begun meeting to determine a way forward.

“This is not about party or politics,” Biden said. “It's about the security of our world and the security of the United States of America.”

The president noted that DOD is already doing what it can to “surge” ammunition to Israel and replenish its anti-rocket Iron Dome defense system.

“We're doing it to make sure Israel does not run out of these critical assets,” he said.

On Sunday, a senior defense official told reporters the Pentagon is also "contacting U.S. industry to gain expedited shipment of pending Israeli orders for military equipment that otherwise may have been considered routine for movement.”

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the White House and Pentagon are working with Israeli leaders to determine what additional U.S. military capabilities can be provided but offered no details on the high-level discussions.

“You can expect to see American planes flying into to Israel to deliver military capabilities to support Israel,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sullivan said the first surge of Iron Dome interceptor replenishments is coming from U.S. stocks that were already in Israel.

“We will be flowing in additional Iron Dome interceptors,” he said. “We are also looking at other ways that we can help augment their air defense capabilities.”

The Pentagon, Biden said, has also ordered the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) carrier strike group to deploy to the eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea.

“We stand ready to move in additional interests as needed,” he said.

The president also said the U.S. government is sharing intelligence with Israel and working to recover U.S. hostages taken by Hamas.

Biden, amid reports that Hamas’ Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel was supported by Iran and could enflame global terrorism, issued a stern warning to any nation, organization or group that might seek to take advantage of the escalating military situation in Gaza.

“I have one word,” he said: “Don’t.”

By Dan Schere
October 10, 2023 at 2:36 PM

BAE systems has fired the XM1155-SC guided projectile a record distance for an M109 Paladin in partnership with the Army, the company announced this week.

While the distance wasn't disclosed, the projectile “successfully guided to and impacted the target area using GPS,” according to BAE.

The projectile was shot out of a 39-caliber M109A7 artillery system, BAE Vice President of Business Development Jim Miller told reporters Monday during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington.

BAE’s concept for the Army’s XM1155-SC program is an “advanced, cannon-launched projectile under development for the defeat of fixed and moving targets in contested environments” at more than double the range of existing precision-guided munitions launched from a cannon, according to the company. BAE is under contract with the Army to “demonstrate navigation and control, networking and payload technologies that enable precision fires at very long ranges” for 155mm projectiles.

Miller said Monday that the XM1155 is part of a family of high-velocity projectiles, and BAE has modified the projectiles over time so they can be shot out of various types of cannons. Those cannons include both Navy guns and Army howitzers, he said.

“Our intent with that round now is to prove that we can double the range of traditional artillery, regardless of the caliber of the gun, and we can hit an imprecisely located or moving target in a contested environment. So that’s what we’re out to prove,” Miller said.

The Army’s Extended Range Cannon Artillery program, an upgraded self-propelled howitzer system based on the M109A7 Paladin, is one of the few “24 in ’23” modernization priorities that is not expected to be fielded by the end of this year, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said this summer. ERCA had been experiencing “technology maturation issues,” which led to schedule delays, according to the Government Accountability Office’s Weapon Systems Annual Assessment.

Army acquisition executive Doug Bush told Defense News Monday that decisions about how to proceed on ERCA will be made in fiscal year 2025, although the service still has a requirement for longer-range fires.

When asked about the challenges the ERCA program has been having, Miller referred to BAE’s XM1155 as a “complementary” capability rather than an alternative.

“We want to fill a gap that the brigade commanders need that isn’t ERCA. Because we need that range in our brigades,” he said.

By John Liang
October 10, 2023 at 2:17 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has a look at what the Pentagon's budget could look like if congressional dysfunction continues through next January, a new solid-rocket motor supplier entering the domestic market, plus coverage of this year's AUSA conference.

If the current congressional dysfunction continues through January, the Pentagon could face "ugly" budget cuts:

DOD readying potential $90 billion in FY-24, FY-25 cuts required by debt ceiling deal

The Defense Department is bracing for potential budget cuts of about $90 billion to fiscal year 2024 and 2025 plans -- painful reductions likely to squeeze weapons system modernization accounts -- in the event congressional dysfunction extends into January triggering a statutory sequester provision of the June law enacted to raise the debt ceiling.

X-Bow Systems, a New Mexico-based start-up, has been awarded a $64 million contract to expand manufacturing capacity and reduce the production cost of solid-rocket motors used in hypersonic weapons:

DOD qualifies new solid-rocket motor supplier, breaks Northrop-Aerojet domestic duopoly

The Defense Department has qualified a new large solid-rocket motor domestic supplier -- breaking up an effective duopoly between Northrop Grumman and Aerojet Rocketdyne -- and expanded the industrial base to support the U.S. military's high-priority project to develop and field a long-range hypersonic strike missile.

Our coverage so far of this year's AUSA conference:

New Army chief outlines strategy for reducing excess equipment

The Army's new chief of staff has outlined an effort to rid formations of excess, or unneeded, equipment, which will begin at two installations over the course of the next few months.

DOD orders prototype 300-Kw lasers to test new cruise missile killing capability for Army

The Defense Department is advancing plans for a 300-kilowatt combat laser -- sufficient energy to knock down enemy cruise missiles -- and has commissioned the manufacture of a pair of truck-mounted prototype systems for testing in fiscal year 2025 of a fundamentally new capability that holds the potential to change the way armed forces fight.

General Dynamics announces Stryker technology demonstrator vehicle

General Dynamics Land Systems has unveiled a technology demonstrator vehicle that would increase the Stryker's survivability on the battlefield.

Leonardo DRS successfully tests vehicle power system

Leonardo DRS successfully demonstrated its On Board Vehicle Power system during an Army operational user assessment, the company announced Monday in advance of the Association of the United States Army's annual meeting in Washington.

With FARA prototype engines on the way, Sikorsky looks ahead to testing

Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky is looking ahead to the next series of tests its prototype for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft will undergo, namely flight testing sometime next year.

View our complete coverage of AUSA 2023.

By Georgina DiNardo
October 10, 2023 at 9:34 AM

The Defense Department is considering negotiations of a new Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement with India, requesting industry feedback on past experiences working with India in a notice filed today.

In particular, the department, through the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, requests comments about industry professionals' experience working with the Indian Ministry of Defense of Armed Forces on defense procurements.

RDP Agreements are intended to encourage interoperability, partnership, rationalization and standardization amongst allied or friendly governments concerning market access, defense procurements and implementing procedures.

Currently, there are 28 qualifying countries that have concluded RDP Agreements, which allow the countries certain awareness, product and protection benefits, with the DOD, according to a Federal Register notice.

DOD is presently assessing India’s laws and regulations in public defense procurements and looking for comments from industry professionals with experience in this matter. They also would like comments that relate to the “degree of reciprocity” between the two countries when it comes to using products from a third country, something the department has been working toward eliminating lately.

The department is looking to ensure that transactions between industry and India’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces were all fair, transparent and were done according to the prescribed plan or if any problems occurred during the sale, according to the Federal Register notice.

The DOD is also seeking opinions on if industry professionals believe they would have equal and proportional access to Indian markets if an RDP Agreement was put in place.

Comments need to be received by Nov. 9 and are open to the public.

To submit a comment, email

By John Liang
October 9, 2023 at 5:08 PM

The U.S. government is "surging support to Israel, that includes air defense and munitions," according to a senior Defense Department official.

"Planes have already taken off and we anticipate the continual delivery of some of the requests Israel has made," the official said during a Pentagon background briefing this afternoon.

"We remain in constant and ongoing contact with our counterparts in Israel to determine and then support their most urgent requirements," the official added.

While the official wouldn't go into details about what specific equipment was being supplied, "the bottom line is we are working as fast as possible to provide critically needed munitions of various types and other equipment."

The Pentagon is also "contacting U.S. industry to gain expedited shipment of pending Israeli orders for military equipment that otherwise may have been considered routine for movement," the official said.

Further, the department is also "working across the DOD enterprise including with U.S. Central Command to assess what munitions and other equipment are in the U.S. inventory that . . . can be made quickly available for Israel. All of [these] are actions that we are undertaking within our existing authority and appropriations."

When asked whether the Pentagon can maintain aiding both Israel as well as Ukraine, the official said: "We are able to continue our support both to Ukraine, Israel and maintain our own global readiness."

Given that the Pentagon is operating under a stopgap continuing resolution that only lasts through next month, the official called the situation "a clarifying moment in which we would welcome working in a bipartisan manner with Congress and the executive branch to ensure that we're sending a signal to allies and partners across the world that our government, both parties and both branches of our government are working together to ensure that appropriate authority and appropriations are available to support and respond to crises and contingencies."

By Jason Sherman
October 9, 2023 at 11:51 AM

The Army is beginning a new Human-Machine Integrated Formations Initiative, an effort to deeply explore how robots will fight alongside soldiers, the top service civilian announced today at the Association of the U.S. Army convention.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth briefly previewed the new effort, noting the service is taking steps to begin deploying robots for the first time beyond explosive ordnance units with the Small Multi-Purpose Equipment Transport capability and future plans for a Robotic Combat Vehicle to carry weapons, sensors and even other unmanned systems.

“To figure out how robots and sensors will work on the battlefield, we are beginning a new Human-Machine Integrated Formations Initiative,” Wormuth said. “These integrated formations will bring robotic systems into units alongside humans with the goal of always having robots -- not soldiers -- make first contact with the enemy.”

The Army secretary said the plan is to establish a clear division of labor between robots and soldiers.

“This will shift some of the work onto robots so that soldiers can do what only humans can: make value-based decisions, accept risk and practice the art of command,” she said.

By Dan Schere
October 9, 2023 at 9:00 AM

The Army has conducted a test of the Ramjet 155 projectile, which contractors Boeing and Nammo say set a record for the longest indirect-fire test of a ramjet-powered artillery projectile with service officials watching, Boeing announced Monday.

In 2019, the Army awarded Boeing and Nammo a contract under the XM1155 program to develop the Ramjet 155 projectile. Ramjet 155 “utilizes an air-breathing engine design that uses the cannon firing to provide the speed needed for combustion,” according to a Monday announcement from Boeing.

The test, which took place at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, involved the firing of a Ramjet 155 munition from a 58-caliber extended-range cannon artillery, according to Boeing. The test was held a few months ago, according to Boeing spokesman Josh Roth.

Boeing declined to disclose the exact distance the projectile was fired, with the company stating it believes it has “proven that ramjet projectiles can deliver the long range and precision desired by the Army.”

Gil Griffin, the executive director of Boeing Phantom Works, said in a statement Monday that the goal of the test was to “demonstrate the ability to safely operate from the ERCA system and validate our performance.”

“The team is working to deliver a superior, affordable precision strike weapon that can neutralize critical targets at long distances,” he said.

This test follows one last year in which Boeing and Nammo test-fired a munition using a 39-caliber towed artillery cannon in Norway. The companies said at the time that the 2022 test “demonstrated flight stability with a well-controlled engine combustion process.”

The two companies next plan to integrate a precision-guidance system that leverages a Joint Direct Attack Munition mission computer onto the Ramjet 155, which is meant to “evaluate the system’s maturity and effectiveness against stationary and moving targets.”

By Tony Bertuca
October 9, 2023 at 5:00 AM

The Association of the United States Army holds its annual conference in Washington this week, while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is traveling to Brussels to meet with the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.


AUSA holds its annual conference in Washington. The event runs through Wednesday.


The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion with Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.

The Air and Space Forces Association hosts a discussion with the deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on space intelligence.

The Intelligence and National Security Alliance hosts a virtual discussion with the director of intelligence for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The Hudson Institute hosts a discussion on spectrum availability and American security.


The Global Taiwan Institute hosts its annual symposium featuring the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies hosts a discussion with U.S. Southern Command chief Gen. Laura Richardson.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a strategic landpower discussion with the commander general of U.S. Army Pacific.

By John Liang
October 6, 2023 at 1:39 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon beginning to run low on funding to replenish U.S. weapons stocks sent to Ukraine, an Air Force Research Laboratory project on a digitally certified airplane and more.

The Pentagon will continue to use the more than $5 billion in presidential "drawdown" authority required to transfer weapons to Ukraine, though there remains only $1.6 billion to replenish what is taken from U.S. stocks:

DOD to transfer U.S. weapons to Ukraine while running low on replenishment funds

Though Congress, hobbled at the moment by House GOP intraparty dysfunction, remains divided over support for Ukraine, the Defense Department says it still intends to transfer billions of dollars in U.S. weapons to that country at a regular "cadence," despite the fact DOD is running low on the congressionally appropriated funds needed to replenish them.

On Sept. 22, the Air Force Research Laboratory awarded a $19 million contract on behalf of the AFWERX Prime program to Istari Digital for an effort dubbed Flyer Øne:

Air Force kicks off project to demonstrate major new first: a digitally certified airplane

The Air Force hopes to demonstrate a radical new industrial feat that could signal a major leap forward for the aerospace industry by designing an aircraft and certifying its airworthiness before ever building a physical component as part of a new project launched last month to prototype a fixed-wing drone from concept through Military Flight Release inside a computer.

Lockheed Martin's top executive spoke this week at the Hudson Institute:

Lockheed CEO: 'Antifragility' key to industrial base strength

The U.S. defense industry needs to invest in antifragility measures to improve resilience during this time of rising geopolitical tension, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet said, which will require government buy-in.

The Pentagon's latest selected acquisition report on the National Security Space Launch program talks about the dual-lane approach the Space Force will use to meet warfighter requirements:

Space Force releases final RFP for Phase 3 launch acquisition program

The Space Force yesterday posted the final request for proposals for Phase 3 of the space launch acquisition program, a dual program approach with two separate contract types.

Document: DOD's December 2022 NSSL selected acquisition report

Ely Ratner, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, spoke at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event this week on the upcoming release of the China Military Power Report:

Senior DOD official previews risks cited in upcoming China military power report

The upcoming release of the Pentagon's annual China Military Power Report will state that Beijing has increasingly come to rely on its military -- the People's Liberation Army -- as a tool for coercion and "revisionist" aims in the Indo-Pacific amid the rapid modernization of its nuclear arsenal, according to a senior Defense Department official.

By Nick Wilson
October 5, 2023 at 3:24 PM

The Marine Corps is looking for an artificial intelligence chatbot to complement an existing intelligence system used to collect and process data for battlefield decision making, according to a request for information published Thursday.

According to the notice, the Marine Corps is looking for readily available AI chatbot technology that can receive requests from and output textual responses to personnel using the Distributed Common Ground/Surface System-Marine Corps (DCGS-MC) Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Program.

The DCGS-MC GEOINT system supports battlefield decision-making by providing Marines with “near-real-time geospatially referenced data and products supporting the full spectrum of Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), joint and multinational partners operations,” the notice states.

“The Marine Corps is reaching out to vendors to see what technology is available to provide an artificial intelligence chatbot capability to receive, parse and output information pertaining to Marine Corps geospatial processes, requirements, and workflows through natural language processing,” the RFI continues.

The service is planning a vendor demonstration in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, the notice adds. Responses to the notice are required by Oct. 20.

The Marine Corps’ FY-24 budget request includes $27 million for DCGS-MC GEOINT.

According to budget documents, FY-24 plans include a technical refresh that will upgrade the system’s software and procure new “common geospatial workstations” to support use by the service’s new Marine Littoral Regiments.