The Insider

By John Liang
April 18, 2024 at 2:47 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on House lawmakers' consideration of the multibillion-dollar supplemental spending package, plus the Michigan congressional delegation's efforts to ensure fighter aircraft are stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and more.

We start off with coverage of the supplemental spending package making the rounds in the House:

Johnson releases multipart security supplemental that could endanger his job

After months of debate and party infighting, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) today released three bills that would provide $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region, a move that could cost him his speakership if GOP hardliners seek his ouster.

House GOP appropriators talk bigger defense budget in advance of Johnson's supplemental

Leaders on the House Appropriations Committee said today they would like to see a higher fiscal year 2025 topline for defense spending, despite the capped $850 billion budget mandated by law, while also throwing their support behind Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) piecemeal plan to pass a $95 billion security supplemental spending package.

Throughout this week, Air Force officials have fielded tough questions from the Michigan congressional delegation about whether they would place another fighter squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base:

Kendall falls short of promising Michigan delegation Selfridge will get a future fighter mission

The Air Force is not precluding Selfridge Air National Guard Base, MI from receiving another fighter mission after its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs begins to retire in 2026, but that won’t come anytime soon, service Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers during posture hearings in the House and Senate this week.

Navy acquisition chief Nickolas Guertin told lawmakers this week that he signed several memos directing efforts to alleviate schedule challenges identified across key acquisition programs by a recent shipbuilding review:

Navy moves to alleviate shipbuilding delays through workforce development and industry collaboration

The Navy today unveiled a series of new initiatives to tackle shipbuilding delays by refining contracting strategies, improving collaboration with industry and strengthening the workforce involved in designing, contracting and building naval vessels.

The Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies is a pilot program that aims to transition technologies through prototyping phase to production:

DOD announces 13 new projects to receive APFIT funding

The Defense Department announced the second tranche of projects selected to receive funding in fiscal year 2024 from the Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies, known as APFIT.

A Pentagon acquisition team is looking to help potential defense contractors to avoid the "valley of death":

Transition Tracking Action Group chair says it will supply insights on programs like Replicator and RDER

The chair of the Transition Tracking Action Group (TTAG) told Inside Defense this week that the group will provide recommendations to Defense Department programs involved in bridging the acquisition "valley of death," like the Replicator initiative and the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER).

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced it "intends to award [Blanket Purchase Agreements] to Commercial Accelerators that, together, will provide the best coverage across DOD's critical technology areas as well as diverse coverage of startup ecosystems":

DARPA looking for Commercial Accelerators to help transition funded research to development

The chief of commercial strategy at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency told Inside Defense the agency is searching for multiple Commercial Accelerator providers to aid in scaling acceleration efforts and bringing DARPA-funded projects to the development stage.

By John Liang
April 17, 2024 at 3:03 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on delays to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and E-7A Wedgetail programs plus Navy counter-drone efforts and more.

Certain upgrades to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have been delayed:

Initial F-35 TR-3 deliveries slip even further to the right, may still require tweaks

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt is “as frustrated” as lawmakers over the various schedule slips temporarily halting deliveries of the Lockheed Martin-made jets enabled with Technology Refresh 3 upgrades, he told a House defense panel this week.

The Air Force's E-7A early warning aircraft has suffered yet another delay:

Wedgetail delayed a year as negotiations continue with Boeing

At least one of the E-7A Wedgetail prototypes will be a year late due to ongoing price negotiations with prime contractor Boeing, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall disclosed this week.

The Navy needs supplemental funding to pay for the missiles it has fired in the Red Sea:

SECNAV: Navy needs supplemental to replace nearly $1 billion in expended munitions

The Navy has used nearly $1 billion in munitions to intercept missiles and drones in the Red Sea, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said today, telling Senate appropriators it is critical that Congress pass a pending supplemental spending package to begin replacing these interceptors.

Navy officials detailed a counter-drone effort earlier this month during an industry day hosted by the program executive office for integrated warfare systems, indicating the service launched the initiative with a February request for information in response to "fleet demand":

Navy to test new shipboard C-UAS capability aiming to 'bend the cost curve' of drone defense

The Navy is preparing to test two counter-drone weapon systems during a June demonstration in a rapid capability effort that aims to equip destroyers with a kinetic, counter-UAS capability at a fraction of the cost of Standard Missiles.

Leslie Beavers, the principal deputy chief information officer, said at the 5th Annual CIO Summit in Alexandria, VA that her office created the Customer Experience Officer Portfolio Management Office (CXO) to address user experience as technology accelerates:

CIO launches team of experts to ease defense personnel technology challenges

A Defense Department senior information officer said she is working with the head of another office to create a team of experts to help manage and ease defense personnel technology interactions and integration.

During a hearing this week, Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) was sympathetic to Army officials' previously stated desire for more flexible funding when it comes to procurement of capabilities such as unmanned systems:

House authorizers urge Army to pick up the pace on modernization

House Armed Services Committee members questioned top Army officials during a hearing today about the speed of the service's key modernization initiatives.

Last but by no means least, the latest CMMC news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

MITRE raises concerns over CMMC program costs to address assessment gaps, accommodate maturity model changes

MITRE has raised issues with potential costs for contractors who want to do business with the Defense Department in addressing assessment gaps and accommodating for potential future changes in the maturity model for the upcoming Pentagon cyber certification program, in response to a proposed rule to implement the program.

By Nickolai Sukharev
April 17, 2024 at 1:32 PM

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) is questioning whether a flood of commercial Chinese electric vehicles into the U.S. may pose a national security risk.

“What I would pose is that we are about to have a big moment of inflection here with the possibility of the saturation of Chinese electric vehicles being sold in the United States, Slotkin said yesterday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing examining the Army’s fiscal year 2025 budget.

“The first Chinese electric vehicle sold in Europe was in 2021. They now have up to 25 percent of market share. That means every vehicle collecting information, collecting mapping data, collecting all kinds of information about our cities, our infrastructure locations, our military bases and everything else.”

Speaking to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Slotkin said she will submit several amendments to the FY-25 defense authorization bill that, from a military perspective, no Chinese-made electronic parts will be used in Army vehicles.

“But I'm also going to be asking that the experts on ground vehicles provide some assessment of what that kind of Chinese technology would do in the United States of America, again, commercially, and what kind of national security risk that would pose?”

Noting the U.S. military would never allow the use of Chinese component parts on military vehicles, Slotkin added, “Why would we open the door with a red carpet to allow those same Chinese commercial vehicles, that same technology rolling around every single American city, every single American town?”

By Tony Bertuca
April 16, 2024 at 4:45 PM

The Republican chairmen of key congressional defense and national security committees released a joint statement today supporting Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) $95 billion supplemental spending proposal, which would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

“There is nothing our adversaries would love more than if Congress were to fail to pass critical national security aid. Speaker Johnson has produced a plan that will boost U.S. national security interests in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH).

“We don’t have time to spare when it comes to our national security,” they said. “We need to pass this aid package this week.”

The support for Johnson comes as some GOP hardliners, like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), have called for his ouster.

Johnson’s plan would reportedly stick closely to amounts authorized by a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate two months ago, though the House would pass individual measures for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and maybe include other priorities that could be passed by the Senate as a single bill.

But House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) said during a hearing today that Johnson’s proposal for multiple bills amounts to a “twisted process” that could take as long as two months to pass the Senate.

“That is basically boiling Ukraine to death slowly,” he said. “We need to get that support to Ukraine now.”

Smith said the House should pass the Senate’s version of the bill this week so weapons could begin flowing to Ukraine immediately.

“Passing a bill that is dramatically different than the Senate bill does not get something done this week,” he said.

By Dan Schere
April 16, 2024 at 3:59 PM

The Army has awarded L3Harris a $256 million order for continued production of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B), the company announced Monday.

The deal is the first order in the program’s full-scale production, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract that will total $1 billion over 10 years, according to the company.

The night vision systems “enhance situational awareness at greater distances at night and in low-light environments” according to L3Harris. To date, the company has delivered more than 13,000 ENVG-B systems to the Army.

In fiscal year 2025, the Army plans to spend $100 million to procure 2,364 ENVG-B systems.

By John Liang
April 16, 2024 at 2:33 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Lockheed Martin winning a multibillion-dollar missile defense contract, the Government Accountability Office's latest report on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and more.

The Missile Defense Agency has announced the down-select decision for the follow-on homeland defense guided missile slated for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program:

Lockheed wins NGI, shaping new missile defense industrial order for a generation

Lockheed Martin has bested Northrop Grumman in a contest to build the Next Generation Interceptor, a development that establishes for a generation the beginning of a new order in the U.S. missile defense industrial base that will be filled out soon when a contest between Raytheon and Northrop is settled for the Glide Phase Interceptor.

More missile defense news:

Air Force, Army readying FY-26 new-start proposal: domestic cruise missile defense capability

The Defense Department is wrapping up work on a comprehensive analysis of technologies needed for an Air and Cruise Missile Defense of the Homeland capability, findings slated to influence in particular Air Force and Army spending plans beginning in fiscal year 2026.

A new Government Accountability Office report finds that over the past decade, "GAO has made 43 recommendations designed to improve the department's operation and sustainment of the F-35 program. While DOD concurred with many of these recommendations and has implemented some of them, 30 (about 70 percent) remain unimplemented":

F-35 costs again skyrocket while aircraft performance remains unsatisfactory

The price tag attached to keeping the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon's largest-ever acquisition program, in service has long been a point of budgetary contention.

Document: GAO report on F-35 sustainment

More coverage from the recent Space Symposium in Colorado:

Whiting: SPACECOM needs dynamic space operations, on-orbit servicing

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- To meet emerging threats, U.S. Space Command needs more investment in fielding capabilities for dynamic space operations, including on-orbit refueling and maintenance, SPCECOM Commander Gen. Stephen Whiting said last week.

(Complete Space Symposium coverage.)

The Defense Department recently submitted its fifth package of legislative proposals:

DOD proposes streamlining tech maturity milestone approval

The Pentagon is asking Congress to consider a proposal that would streamline the technology development phase of defense acquisition, or milestone A, to better tailor the procurement process for specific weapons and to cut redundant documentation burdens.

Document: DOD's fifth FY-25 legislative proposals package

According to government notices posted last week, two Marine Corps contract awards for a loitering munitions system could be worth as much as $249 million each:

Marine Corps selects three contractors for Organic Precision Fires-Light development

The Marine Corps has selected Teledyne FLIR, Anduril Industries and AeroVironment to develop and deliver Organic Precision Fires-Light (OPF-L) -- a loitering munitions system intended to provide infantry Marines with a beyond-line-of-sight, precision-strike capability.

By Tony Bertuca
April 16, 2024 at 9:38 AM

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has spoken with his Chinese counterpart Minister of Defense Adm. Dong Jun, establishing a line of communication that has been severed for nearly two years.

A senior defense official previewed the call for reporters on the condition of anonymity, saying the intent is part of the broader Biden administration effort to ensure that competition with China “doesn’t veer into conflict.”

The call marks the first time Austin has spoken with Dong, who assumed the top Chinese military post last year when his predecessor was removed without explanation.

“This is an important step,” said the official, who noted that the Pentagon and the Chinese military continue to discuss opportunities for further engagement.

Direct military-to-military communication with China was broken off in December 2022 when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited the self-governed island of Taiwan which Beijing considers a renegade province.

A thaw in diplomatic relations, however, began in November 2023 when President Biden met with China’s President Xi Jinping in San Francisco.

In December 2023, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown held a video call with his Chinese counterpart for the first time.

More recently, military officials from the United States and China met in Honolulu, HI, to discuss the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement, an annual meeting that had been paused for two years.

Meanwhile, the senior defense official said the Pentagon continues to view China as its “pacing challenge,” per the 2022 National Defense Strategy.

“These engagements provide us with opportunities to prevent competition from veering into conflict by speaking candidly about our concerns, that includes [the People’s Republic of China’s] behavior in the South China Sea as well as the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the official said.

By Shelley K. Mesch
April 16, 2024 at 9:35 AM

The Air Force will begin early research and development on resilient GPS, positioning, navigation and timing capabilities as well as a command, control, communications and battle management program for moving target indication using a new authority to bypass congressional approval.

Service Secretary Frank Kendall told the Senate Armed Services Committee today the names of the two programs that he announced last week had been approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“The [Air Force Department] also appreciates the committee’s support for the DOD quick-start initiative that was enacted last year,” Kendall said.

Congress passed what Kendall calls the “quick-start initiative” in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act in December, but funding for the program wasn’t appropriated until March with the passage of the FY-24 budget.

Following the early research and engineering work, the two efforts are expected to transition to programs of record in the FY-26 budget, according to a news release from the service.

“This initiative will leverage the success of rapid acquisition authority, marking a pivotal moment in advancing national security objectives with unprecedented speed and efficiency,” Kendall said in the statement. “Quick start will kickstart efforts intended to develop solutions to emerging problems, ensuring rapid progress from concept to implementation.”

Without this approval, similar work would need to wait for the passage of new-start authority in the next budget cycle -- a year and a half from now at best.

By Dan Schere
April 15, 2024 at 2:32 PM

EOS Defense Systems' R600 Remote Weapon Station shot down pairs of unmanned aerial vehicles during the Army's Project Convergence capstone event last month.

The R600 consists of a Northrop Grumman-made M230LF cannon, coaxial machine gun and four Javelin missiles on an Army Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport robotic infantry support vehicle, according to Huntsville, AL-based EOS. The platform provides light- and medium-caliber firepower and the “added lethality of multiple antitank or anti-air missiles.”

During the demonstration, the 30mm cannon shot down pairs of “class 1 UAVs at ranges of more than 300m and engaged multiple ground targets,” according to the company.

“These capabilities paired with four of the premier anti-armor missiles in the world represents a significant increase in firepower available to light forces on a platform that is currently being fielded,” the company stated in a press release.

EOS called the demonstration at Project Convergence a “critical venue for Army senior leaders to assess new technologies needed to ensure the Army’s success in future conflicts as well as inform acquisition and force structure decisions.

“As human-machine integration continues to be a key strategic priority, the demonstration was an important opportunity to evaluate unmanned and remote solutions which provide essential protections to the warfighter,” the company stated.

By John Liang
April 15, 2024 at 1:06 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Defense Department's secretive Replicator program, the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, plus coverage from a missile defense hearing and more.

We start off with news on the Pentagon's secretive Replicator program:

Three MARTAC unmanned surface vessels under 'consideration' for Replicator initiative

Maritime Tactical Systems (MARTAC) has submitted three unmanned surface vessels to the Pentagon's secretive Replicator initiative, Inside Defense has learned.

Pentagon cost estimates indicate a proposed block buy would achieve a $135 million savings compared to single-year contracts for the CH-53K program, which will replace the legacy CH-53E aircraft and play an important role in Marine Corps and Navy operations:

Navy looks to enter block buy for CH-53K airframes

The Navy is asking Congress for the authority to enter into a block-buy contract during fiscal years 2025 or 2026 for up to 37 CH-53K helicopter airframes, according to a legislative proposal submitted by the Defense Department on Friday.

Document: DOD's fourth FY-25 legislative proposals package

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee recently held a hearing on the fiscal year 2025 budget request for missile defense and missile defeat programs:

MDA to pick winner this month in Lockheed and Northrop NGI competition

The Missile Defense Agency this month will pick a winner between Lockheed Martin and Northrop in the Next Generation Interceptor competition, slicing a year off the original source-selection plan to develop the homeland defense guided missile based on information produced during the first round of the contest.

Document: House hearing on FY-25 BMD budget request

The Army's acquisition office has been putting out multiple requests for information to industry as a way to drive "market entry" and bring down the cost of commercial drones:

As it seeks to field commercial drones, Army wants to bring down the cost

As the Army seeks to invest more in commercial technology to bolster its arsenal of small UAS and counter UAS capabilities, the service is focused on finding ways to reduce the price tag.

There are increasing signs on Capitol Hill that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are thinking about raising the congressionally mandated budget cap on defense spending:

Appropriators send bipartisan signals for possible move against defense budget cap

Senior House and Senate appropriators this week said they believe the congressionally mandated cap on fiscal year 2025 defense spending is too low to address the Pentagon's requirements and signaled that they intend to do something about it.

By Tony Bertuca
April 15, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are slated to appear at numerous hearings on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the military's fiscal year 2025 budget request.


The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on security in the Arctic.


The National Defense Industrial Association hosts the 2024 Missile Defense Conference.

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Army's FY-25 budget request.

The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee holds a hearing on the Defense Department’s energy and installations budget.

The House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee holds a hearing on fixed-wing tactical and training aircraft.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Air Force's FY-25 budget request.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Navy and Marine Corps' FY-25 budget.


The House Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Defense Department’s FY-25 budget request with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown and Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord.

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Air Force's FY-25 budget request.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee holds a hearing on the Navy's FY-25 budget request.

The House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee holds a hearing on personnel posture.

The Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee holds a hearing on Army modernization.

The Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee holds a hearing on access to pharmaceuticals.


The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Army's FY-25 budget request.

The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on innovative U.K. strategic command.

Defense One hosts a virtual event on Army counter-UAS efforts.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on Army software acquisition.

By John Liang
April 12, 2024 at 1:21 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on lawmakers inching toward raising the congressionally mandated defense spending budget cap, the Army seeking to reduce the price of commercial drones and more.

There are increasing signs on Capitol Hill that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are thinking about raising the congressionally mandated budget cap on defense spending:

Appropriators send bipartisan signals for possible move against defense budget cap

Senior House and Senate appropriators this week said they believe the congressionally mandated cap on fiscal year 2025 defense spending is too low to address the Pentagon's requirements and signaled that they intend to do something about it.

The Army's acquisition office has been putting out multiple requests for information to industry as a way to drive "market entry" and bring down the cost of commercial drones:

As it seeks to field commercial drones, Army wants to bring down the cost

As the Army seeks to invest more in commercial technology to bolster its arsenal of small UAS and counter UAS capabilities, the service is focused on finding ways to reduce the price tag.

A new Congressional Budget Office report "examines the potential acquisition costs" of the Navy's Landing Ship Medium program:

CBO projects LSMs will cost over $340 million per hull, more than double Navy estimates

Procuring a fleet of 18 Landing Ship Mediums will cost $340 to $430 million per ship in fiscal year 2024 dollars, according to a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate, which indicates acquisition costs will be two to three times greater than the Navy’s own estimates.

Document: CBO report on LSM acquisition costs

U.S. Strategic Command submitted its fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list to Congress:

STRATCOM sends empty UPL to Congress

U.S. Strategic Command has sent Congress an unfunded priority list without identifying any unmet needs that could use additional funding, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: STRATCOM's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

When releasing its multiyear procurement bid last September for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles, the Army estimated the savings would be 2.5% or $67.6 million "when compared to four annual awards," according to budget documents from the Defense Department comptroller:

Army to award multiyear contract for GMLRS in Q4 of FY-24 estimated to save $68M

The Army plans to award a four-year multiyear procurement contract in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year to buy 18,000 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles estimated to save $67.6 million, according to a service spokesperson.

By Abby Shepherd
April 12, 2024 at 1:20 PM

The amphibious transport dock Richard M. McCool Jr. (LPD-29) was delivered to the Navy Thursday, according to HII and Naval Sea Systems Command announcements.

The 13th San Antonio-class ship delivered to the Navy, LPD-29 is the final Flight I transition ship before Ingalls Shipbuilding begins producing LPD Flight IIs.

“This is an exciting milestone for LPD-29; culminating the tremendous efforts of Navy and industry to deliver new technologies and game-changing capability as reflected in this platform,” said Amphibious Warfare Program Manager Capt. Cedric McNeal in a statement. “It is deeply satisfying to see the team’s contribution in support of adding to the Navy’s force structure, in what ultimately will become a mission-ready, and mission-capable ship as we look to get more surface ship ‘players on the field.’”

LPD-29 is the first ship to be equipped with the SPY-6(V)2 radar, and the two combined successfully completed builder’s and acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico in February and March 2024, according to a Raytheon spokesperson.

“So that's another big milestone for the program, delivering that (V)2 capability for that platform,” Scott Spence, naval integrated solutions vice president at RTX, told Inside Defense.

The delivery highlights how shipbuilders enable the combined force of the Navy and Marine Corps, Ingalls Shipbuilding President Kari Wilkinson said in a statement.

“It is the most recent example of what U.S. industry and government partnerships can accomplish by putting another player on the field,” she added. “We will now bring the full weight of this collaborative team to bear on steady-state Flight II execution going forward.”

By Abby Shepherd
April 12, 2024 at 12:55 PM

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The Navy is consistently delivering heavyweight torpedoes despite there being a "long road" to reach that point, a Navy official told an industry audience at Monday's Sea Air Space conference.

When production lines for the MK 48 Mod 7 stopped in 1996 and began again years later, tackling aged software and hardware was a challenge, said Capt. Christopher Polk, program manager of the Navy’s Undersea Weapons Program Office.

“Everything evolves, everything goes forward, and we were somewhat looking backwards before we can bring it forward in those cases,” Polk said. “So, developing that workforce also meant adding the right type of people that you needed to make the processes go along faster. We've right sized that workforce and attacked obsolescence.”

Over 1,000 changes have been made to the torpedo’s technical data package, Polk added.

“You can imagine some people who made resistors back in ‘96 don't make them today, or it looks like it's the same resistor, but it doesn't operate the same way,” he said. “So, we're constantly going after obsolescence, looking at redesign efforts in order to modernize the Mod 7 torpedo as we try to bring on the next generation of torpedoes which is the Mod 8.”

Capt. David Vehon, senior program manager of the Submarine Combat and Weapons Control Program Office, added that a major step in the modernization process is to decouple hardware from software.

“We need to be able to do a modernization, get our hardware in there that’s going to last us multiple years,” he said. “It can be upgraded with multiple versions of software over the years.”

By John Liang
April 11, 2024 at 2:34 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Pentagon officials urging lawmakers to pass the supplemental spending bill to help arm Ukraine, plus coverage from this week's Space Symposium and more.

Senior DOD officials this week discussed the necessity of passing the supplemental spending bill to aid Ukraine:

Russia poised to 'outshoot' Ukraine 10-1 in coming weeks without U.S. aid, top NATO general says

Gen. Christopher Cavoli, chief of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of NATO, said today that Russia currently has a 5-1 advantage over Ukraine when it comes to firing artillery shells, an alarming mismatch that in the coming weeks will be 10-1 if Congress doesn't pass a supplemental security spending bill to provide Kyiv with additional U.S. weapons.

Lack of supplemental will impact training of Ukrainians by late May, Wormuth says

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth told Congress today that by late May, the lack of a supplemental security spending package will hurt the service's efforts to train Ukrainian troops.

Coverage from this year's Space Symposium in Colorado Springs:

Kendall beginning two programs under new 'quickstart' authority

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is already getting started on his "quickstart" initiatives, just weeks after the fiscal year 2024 budget appropriated funds for the new process for rapid prototyping for new-start programs.

Space Force releases Commercial Space Strategy

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- The Space Force today released its long-awaited Commercial Space Strategy, which offers descriptions of what capabilities the service will seek and what processes it will create to ensure commercial integration.

Inside Defense was able to briefly chat with the Navy's No. 1 civilian official following Wednesday's Navy and Marine Corps budget hearing with the House Appropriations defense subcommittee:

Foreign shipyard repairs may be viable future option, Del Toro tells House appropriators

Opening the door to repairs on U.S. Navy ships in foreign countries is one way to ease pressure on domestic shipyards -- an idea that will be included in the service's fiscal year 2025 legislative proposals, according to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro.

Jon Elliott, chief of test and evaluation and director of AI assess and assurance in CDAO, said this week that data security and protection is vital to DOD technology transition:

CDAO official says secure data sharing is key for tech transition

An official from the Defense Department's chief digital artificial intelligence office said today that CDAO is focused on providing tools for "data mesh" and establishing "AI pipelines" to help the transition of technology, something he noted the government currently struggles with because of data security.

In its fiscal year 2025 budget request, the Air Force indicated its fleet would reach 4,903 aircraft -- a historic low -- as the service moves to divest 250 aircraft and procure 99:

Air Force fleet will continue to hollow out as service balances readiness and modernization

The Air Force's aircraft inventory is on track to remain under 5,000 "for the remainder of the budget horizon," the service's top planner said Tuesday, hinting it could even drop close to 4,000 by 2029.

News on Army cannons:

Army eyes Next Generation Howitzer new start, third attempt at leap-ahead artillery

The Army, after a failed five-year project to rapidly prototype a self-propelled, extended-range cannon, wants to launch a new-start Next Generation Howitzer program, marking a third attempt since the end of the Cold War to build a leap-ahead artillery system -- this time with a goal to counter threats forecasted in 2040 and beyond.

Army to hold competitive howitzer evaluation in FY-25

After hosting an industry day to evaluate existing capabilities, the Army plans to hold a competitive evaluation for a new self-propelled 155mm howitzer in fiscal year 2025.

The Pentagon's new Transition Tracking Action Group will focus on ensuring that cutting edge systems and tools rapidly reach the hands of military personnel:

DOD stands up new team to track technology transitions

Heidi Shyu, under secretary of defense for research and engineering, inaugurated the Transition Tracking Action Group today in the hopes of giving the Pentagon greater visibility into its technology transition process.

The Army's fiscal year 2025 budget request for the Integrated Battle Command System proposes $2.1 billion for system development and demonstration funding over five years, a substantial increase compared to the FY-24 five-year plan which forecasted $1.1 billion:

Army doubles IBCS development funding in new five-year plan; ties in F-35, THAAD, more

The Army is doubling funding in its updated five-year budget plan for the Integrated Battle Command System in an effort to expedite development of software needed to integrate a list of new sensors, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, the Remote Interceptor Guidance-360 and more.