The Insider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

F-35 reaches full-rate production benchmark

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

Missile defense funding news:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Navy budget reflects delays in Constellation-class frigate program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cybersecurity news:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Army to hold industry day for new self-propelled howitzer

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

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

By John Liang
March 11, 2024 at 3:36 PM

The bulk of this Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2025 budget request.

We start off with DOD's request for modernization as well as research and development funding:

DOD's modernization investments cut in FY-25 budget request

The Pentagon, which had to absorb a $10 billion cut to its previously projected topline thanks to a two-year congressional budget deal, is cutting its requested modernization investment for fiscal year 2025 -- which includes its procurement and research and development accounts -- by $4.3 billion below what it sought in FY-24.

Pentagon R&D budget cut by almost $2B

The Defense Department is seeking $2 billion less in its research and development account for fiscal year 2025 than what it sought for FY-24, according to a defense budget overview released today.

Document: DOD's FY-25 Budget Overview Book

Document: DOD's FY-25 program acquisition cost by weapon system budget book

. . . followed by the Navy:

Navy proposes modest budget request with limited procurement under FY-25 spending caps

The Navy is seeking $257.6 billion in fiscal year 2025 funding -- a modest 0.7% increase over the previous year's request -- in a budget that sees the service procuring fewer new ships and aircraft than expected and pushing the development of next-generation platforms further into the future in order to prioritize near-term readiness.

Document: Navy's FY-25 budget highlights book

. . . and the Army:

Army aircraft, missile procurement up in FY-25 request

Army aircraft and missile procurement both will see slight bumps in the service’s fiscal year 2025 budget request, unveiled Monday afternoon in Pentagon budget materials.

Document: Army's FY-25 budget overview

. . . as well as the Air and Space Force:

Air Force reveals 'constrained' but 'adequate' FY-25 budget, service leaders say

The Air Force is cutting total procurement of F-15EX Eagle II fighter jets by six, from 104 aircraft to 98, according to the service’s fiscal year 2025 proposed budget.

Space Force budget will shrink to meet congressional spending caps

The Space Force did not request an increase in funding for fiscal year 2025 and instead reduced its budget by 2%, even as Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said he thinks the service needs to move faster.

Document: Air Force's FY-25 budget overview

. . . plus the Missile Defense Agency:

MDA seeking $10.4 billion in FY-25; project that aims to counter North Korea clipped

The Missile Defense Agency is seeking $10.4 billion in fiscal year 2025, a nearly 8% reduction compared to the $11.3 billion the Biden administration planned before House GOP fiscal hawks last year demanded reduced federal spending, with the program to defend against North Korean nuclear missiles taking a $300 million cut.

By Tony Bertuca
March 11, 2024 at 5:00 AM

The White House is scheduled to submit the fiscal year 2025 defense budget request to Congress this week. Senior defense officials will also testify on Capitol Hill.


The Pentagon is slated to roll out its fiscal year 2025 budget request. Watch Inside Defense for coverage throughout the day.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on the AUKUS agreement featuring Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George.


The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on national security challenges in North and South America.

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee holds a hearing on U.S. and adversary hypersonic capabilities.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee holds a hearing on the Air Force budget.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on global security challenges and U.S. strategy.


The House Armed Services cyber, information technologies and innovation subcommittee holds a hearing on rapid software innovation.

The Brookings Institution hosts a discussion on nuclear deterrence.

The Association of the United States Army hosts a discussion with the chief of Army Material Command.

By Tony Bertuca
March 8, 2024 at 4:14 PM

The Defense Department has established a new “warfighter senior integration group” to focus on the “urgent and growing threat posed by uncrewed weapon systems,” according to chief Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder.

Ryder told reporters at a press briefing today that the new group will “bring together the department’s senior-most leaders to drive solutions that support our warfighters throughout our combatant commands.”

Establishing the group, Ryder said, will focus the “cross-department attention and speed the threat now demands.” The SIG, he said, intends to “identify needed capabilities and associated solution” to focus on near-term threats posed by drones.

The Pentagon intends to provide additional details about the group’s work in the coming months.

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante said Thursday that he predicts a massive surge in counter-drone investments in the coming years, noting that he wants to move about half of the department's approximately 40 counter-drone prototypes into production as soon as possible.

By Vanessa Montalbano
March 8, 2024 at 11:54 AM

Delays in getting the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter reconfigured with Block 4 and Technology Refresh 3 upgrades are inhibiting the Air Force’s ability to “stay competitive,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told reporters yesterday at the annual Washington conference hosted by McAleese and Associates.

“We really need those to stay competitive and we’re going to need them at quantity,” he said. “It’s hurting already.”

Deliveries of TR-3 enabled aircraft were originally scheduled to start in April 2023, but that date has since slipped twice. The Defense Department last year paused acquisition of Lot 15 jets until Lockheed Martin can produce F-35s fully integrated with TR-3, which is needed to support modernized capabilities brought on by Block 4 - - including new sensors and munitions.

Since then, the plane maker has been holding incomplete F-35s in its facilities.

“As we delay acceptance it affects costs in the units that we had expected to replace airplanes,” Kendall said. “We’ve got to carry existing aircraft, generally speaking, for longer than we had planned.”

Plus, the “operational capability impact is significant,” he added.

Asked whether he would consider accepting incomplete versions of the fifth-generation fighter jet, Kendall said he wants “to hold industry responsible for delivering what they promised.”

“My bias, if there is one, is to not accept products that are not what we’ve been promised, but there’s an operational argument that we made that, you know, a better capability as opposed to the current capabilities is a preferred outcome,” he explained.

In January, Lockheed CEO Jim Taiclet told shareholders that the company is anticipating deliveries to start back up in the second quarter of the calendar year, between April and June, or even into the third quarter.

By John Liang
March 8, 2024 at 11:12 AM

The bulk of this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news from the annual McAleese and Associates conference in Washington.

Let's start off with what the deputy defense secretary, Pentagon acquisition chief and comptroller had to say:

Hicks touts data quality to drive AI countering China's influence

Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is touting the superiority of the Defense Department's data to power the artificial intelligence that will counter China's efforts for global dominance, while stressing the Pentagon's commitment to human control of emerging AI uses.

DOD acquisition chief predicts surge in counter-drone production; investment protected in FY-25

Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante said today that he wants to move about half of the department's approximately 40 counter-drone prototypes into production, noting that the programs have been protected from scheduled fiscal year 2025 procurement cuts.

DOD comptroller says FY-25 will emphasize 'innovation,' notes inflation is easing

Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said today that the fiscal year 2025 defense budget request slated to be rolled out on Monday will emphasize innovation by continuing the Defense Department's focus on investments in emerging technologies, despite a 1% topline cut driven by a congressional spending agreement reached last year.

Moving on to Air Force leaders' remarks:

Allvin: Air Force FY-25 request likely to be 'unsatisfying'

The Air Force's fiscal year 2025 budget request that will be announced Monday will be "unsatisfying," Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin said today, as the service looks to modernize for what it calls "great power competition" amid congressional calls for fiscal moderation.

Air Force leaders preview FY-25 fighter force mix, again eye F-22 divestment

As the Air Force envisions a future fighter fleet, it wants to divest aging Block 20 F-22 Raptor jets to instead fund the modernization of more recent F-22 configurations, according to top service officials.

. . . and Army:

Army is 'OK' with non-standard buys

The Army is willing to buy "non-standard equipment" and let units experiment with new technologies, according to a senior Army official.

. . . Then Navy:

Del Toro: U.S. shipbuilding stands to benefit from foreign investment

The United States shipbuilding industry could benefit from foreign investment, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said today, indicating a "cash infusion" from an international shipbuilder could boost production capacity, drive down prices and inject competition into the domestic market.

. . . And last but not by no means least there was missile defense:

U.S., Japan finalizing co-development agreement for hypersonic-killing missile interceptor

The governments of the United States and Japan are finalizing a formal agreement to co-develop a next-generation, ship-launched guided-missile interceptor designed to defeat long-range, hypersonic weapons during the glide phase, according to a senior U.S. military official.

By Jason Sherman
March 7, 2024 at 4:53 PM

Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Heath Collins revealed today the agency had no role in the decision to break a more-than-two-decade-long tradition of publicly discussing a new spending request as part of the Pentagon's annual budget rollout.

“I was told that MDA wasn’t briefing,” Collins said at the McAleese conference in Washington today. “Any other questions on why will have to go to the [Defense D]epartment.”

For more than 20 years, Pentagon leaders have included a separate briefing on missile defense projects in addition to new fiscal year budget requests by the Office of the Secretary of Defense along with the Army, Navy and Air Force. But that tradition appears set to end on March 11 when DOD rolls out its FY-25 budget request.

By John Liang
March 7, 2024 at 2:03 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's plan to reform its budget planning and execution process, coverage from today's McAleese conference and more.

Within hours of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform Commission releasing its final report, the Defense Department has issued an implementation plan of its own:

Pentagon moves to implement 'near-term' budget planning system overhaul

The Pentagon, in response to "near-term" recommendations released today by a bipartisan congressional commission, has formulated a new implementation plan to enact more than a dozen structural reforms to its decades-old budget planning and execution process.

Document: DOD's PPBE reform implementation plan

Senior service officials spoke this morning at the annual McAleese and Associates conference. Here's our preliminary coverage:

Army preparing to stand up deep sensing cross functional team

The Army is getting ready to stand up a cross functional team devoted to deep sensing, Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George said today.

Air Force to make KC-46A follow-on decision this summer

The Air Force will reveal this summer how it plans to fill the gap period between the end of production for current KC-46A tankers in 2028 and the planned delivery of the Next Generation Air Refueling System in the late 2030s, a senior service official said today.

Last ARRW test to inform Air Force hypersonic strategy

The Air Force is waiting on the last test of the all-but-killed Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon, and data from the program will help inform the mix of hypersonic capabilities the service looks for, acquisition chief Andrew Hunter said today.

Senior Army officials were on Capitol Hill this week, talking about their helicopter development efforts:

Money spent on FARA was not a 'waste,' Army officials tell lawmakers

Despite spending more than $2 billion on development of the now-canceled Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program, Army officials told Congress during a hearing today that the effort was not all for naught due to key takeaways that will help inform the service's pivot in its aviation modernization strategy.

For the first time in over two decades, the Missile Defense Agency won't be doing its traditional briefing on its upcoming budget request:

FY-25 rollout sidelines Missile Defense Agency, 'de-emphasizing' budget day

The Missile Defense Agency is not slated to publicly explain its expected $11 billion fiscal year 2025 request next week, breaking an annual practice that reaches back uninterrupted to at least 2000 that provides Pentagon reporters a once-a-year, carte blanche opportunity to ask agency leaders about program status, policies and more.

Keep an eye out for the Air Force's installation infrastructure action plan:

Air Force to release installation infrastructure action plan this spring

In the coming days, the Air Force will release an installation infrastructure action plan to bolster bases against energy-related vulnerabilities, such as cyberattacks and extreme weather events, a senior service official said today.

By Nickolai Sukharev
March 6, 2024 at 4:51 PM

The Army received its first prototype of an Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle featuring a turret armed with a 120mm mortar, BAE Systems announced Wednesday.

“Handing this remarkable capability over to the Army for evaluation is an important step in creating broader multipurpose options for Soldiers to maintain combat overmatch on the battlefield,” said Bill Sheehy, BAE Systems AMPV program director.

The prototype features the Patria NEMO remote-controlled 120mm turreted mortar system atop an AMPV chassis and can be used for direct and indirect fire, according to a company press release.

“By using a fielded and fully-qualified asset like the AMPV chassis, it gives the Army options to field combat capabilities -- such as the Patria NEMO -- to Soldiers who need them at a much faster pace and reduced cost,” the release adds.

The Patria NEMO can be fitted to armored personnel carriers, such as the Patria AMV, an eight-wheel-drive vehicle. In 2010, the Swedish Navy installed the Patria NEMO on a quick attack water vessel.

Currently, the Army is procuring the M1287 Mortar Carrier Vehicle, which is an AMPV armed with the M121 Mortar System, a variant of the Israeli-made Soltam K6 120mm mortar.

The M1287 replaces the M1064, an M113 variant armed with a 120mm mortar.

Instead of featuring a turret, the M1287 has a large round opening atop the vehicle from which the mortar operates.

“This new AMPV Turreted Mortar prototype offers a significant enhancement that would not only allow for increased capabilities and force protection, but also keep Soldiers completely under the armor protection provided by the vehicle,” the release adds.

In January, BAE delivered a turreted AMPV prototype to the Army that featured the ExMEP top plate, a system designed to counter unmanned aerial systems.

By Nick Wilson
March 6, 2024 at 4:34 PM

Drone company Saildrone today announced it has launched the first aluminum Surveyor unmanned surface vehicle from shipbuilder Austal USA's production line, marking a step forward for a strategic partnership between the two contractors that aims to meet growing demand for uncrewed systems.

The companies formed this partnership in 2022 to scale up production of autonomous USVs like Surveyor -- a 65-foot medium USV designed for ocean mapping and maritime domain awareness. Now, Austal is producing one Surveyor every six weeks and has “the ability to scale up production as demand requires,” the Saildrone announcement states.

“These first Surveyors are contracted to the U.S. Navy for the initial testing and evaluation of Surveyor-class vehicles in multiple environments,” the notice adds, indicating Navy applications include surface and undersea intelligence for mission sets including anti-submarine warfare.

Earlier this week, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti and Assistant Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Christopher Mahoney visited the shipyard to view Surveyor production in addition to Austal’s newly constructed steel line and the future Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship Kingsville (LCS-36), according to a separate Navy release.

“Using unmanned assets helps put more players on the field by freeing up manned assets for more specific and important tasks,” Franchetti said in a statement included in the Navy release. “It’s good to see high-tech industry partnering with the traditional shipbuilding industrial base to rapidly deliver cutting-edge products at scale.”

Last month, the CNO said the Navy is making progress in experimentation and prototyping efforts for unmanned systems and is on pace to begin the widespread integration and operationalizing of unmanned platforms as early as fiscal year 2029.

By Nick Wilson
March 6, 2024 at 3:28 PM

The Marine Corps has officially awarded contracts to Textron Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems to design and produce 30mm autocannon Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle prototypes, according to a Wednesday service announcement indicating the prototype vehicles will be delivered in fiscal year 2025.

According to a separate Feb. 29 Pentagon contract announcement, Textron received $11.8 million while General Dynamics was awarded $10.9 million for this work. The awards cover the production of a single prototype vehicle per contractor, with an estimated completion date for both listed as Sept. 24, 2024.

The awards mark a continuation of the Marine Corps’ competitive prototyping approach for the ARV. Both contractors have already delivered initial ARV prototypes that went through a gauntlet of government testing in FY-23. The Marine Corps also evaluated a modified version of BAE Systems’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle but decided to cut BAE from the competition in favor of the Textron and GDLS vehicles.

While the initial prototypes were designed to deliver command, control, communications and computer/uncrewed aerial systems (C4UAS) capabilities, the new ARV-30 prototypes aim to provide Marines with mobile protected firepower.

In addition to the 30mm medium-caliber cannon, the new prototypes will be equipped with features including “anti-armor capability, modern command-and-control systems, and a full range of advanced sensors,” the Marine Corps notice states.

“The ARV-30 aims to combine the turret and weapon system found on the ACV-30,” said Light Armored Vehicles Program Manager Steve Myers in a statement included in the release. “Ensuring commonality is crucial, especially for the Marine Corps' capacity to maintain weapon systems with limited fleets. The prototyping of the ARV-30 allows the government to test and confirm the requirements before entering the engineering and manufacturing development phase.”

The Marine Corps anticipates releasing a request for proposals in the second quarter of FY-25 and awarding an EMD contract in the second quarter of FY-26. The service’s FY-24 budget request includes $63.6 million in continuing research and development funding for the program and projects procurement to begin in FY-28.

In February, the Marine Corps announced it would postpone an ARV industry day, first scheduled for Feb. 29, to an undisclosed date later in FY-24. At the industry day, the Marine Corps is expected to provide information on the upcoming EMD phase.

The ARV will succeed the legacy Light Armored Vehicle and become a primary platform supporting the service’s new Mobile Reconnaissance Battalions. The Marine Corps plans to procure a family of six mission role variants including organic precision fires, logistics, counter-UAS and recovery variants in addition to the ARV-30 and C4UAS versions.