The Insider

By Tony Bertuca
November 28, 2018 at 11:02 AM

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) shared an ambitious list of priorities for the coming year with Inside Defense, focusing on his plans to outflank Democrats (and buck the White House) to increase defense spending. The story is now free to all.

Read the story here.

By Marjorie Censer
November 27, 2018 at 4:13 PM

General Atomics said today it has opened a new office in New Delhi, India, and named Pratesh Gandhi to serve as director of India strategic development.

The office is the company's first in India.

Gandhi is a former naval aviator who has held numerous positions in the Indian Navy, according to General Atomics.

"The United States and Indian governments have pledged to deepen defense and security cooperation, and to work together on advanced defense equipment and technology at a level commensurate with that of the closest allies and partners of the United States," the company said. "General Atomics is working with both governments in an effort to provide India with a variety of systems and technologies supporting national defense, including General Atomics’ MQ-9B SeaGuardian Unmanned Aerial System, and electromagnetic aircraft launch and recovery systems (EMALS) for Indian aircraft carriers."

By John Liang
November 27, 2018 at 2:10 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the defense budget, a recent Air Force Scientific Advisory Board study and more.

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing this morning in which future defense spending was at the top of panel members' minds:

Senate Republicans at odds with White House over proposed defense cut

The opening bell has officially rung in Washington's latest round of arguments over national defense spending.

Document: Senate hearing on defense commission findings


The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board recommends the service recalibrate its basic research, applied research and advanced technology development investments:

AFSAB: Air Force should 'substantially refocus' $2.6B S&T portfolio to ensure tech superiority

The Air Force should "substantially refocus" investments in its $2.6 billion science and technology portfolio to maintain  -- and in some cases regain -- technological advantage against potential adversaries, as well as develop new technologies needed to prevail in conflicts in the 2030s, according to a new advisory panel study.

Document: AFSAB S&T study abstract


The Center for Strategic and International Studies' defense-industrial initiatives group today released several new reports, including an examination of acquisition trends and a look at new entrants in the market:

DOD contract obligations have gone up, but mostly benefited largest contractors and defense products

The Pentagon's contract obligations grew 13 percent between fiscal years 2015 and 2017 -- but the five largest defense contractors reaped most of that benefit, according to new analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Want defense business news delivered straight to your inbox?

Inside Defense's free weekly feature, the Defense Business Briefing, offers the latest in defense industry news.

Read and sign up today →

Lastly (but by no means least), some defense cyber news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Trump response to China's cyber activities seeks to pull all levers of international power

Senior Trump administration officials have described China's cyber aggressions as a "whole-of-government" campaign from Beijing, and in response the United States is putting in motion a range of policy options involving the Pentagon and economic and trade sanctions, as well as law enforcement actions, according to recently released strategy documents and reports.

By John Liang
November 27, 2018 at 1:36 PM

The U.S. Strategic Command Strategic Advisory Group is slated to meet this week, according to a Federal Register notice.

The purpose of the Nov. 29-30 meeting is "to provide advice on scientific, technical, intelligence, and policy-related issues to the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, during the development of the Nation's strategic war plans," the notice states.

Discussion topics, according to the notice, will include: "Policy Issues, Space Operations, Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Assessment, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Intelligence Operations, Cyber Operations, Global Strike, Command and Control, Science and Technology, [and] Missile Defense."

By Marjorie Censer
November 27, 2018 at 10:26 AM

Leidos said today it has named Tim Freeman senior vice president for business development and strategy within its defense group.

"In his new role, Freeman will lead the strategic development, new business capture, and financial strategies for the company's largest business," Leidos said.

He joins from Raytheon, where he was director of business development for mission support and modernization. He also previously was director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission solutions and director of command, control and awareness at Raytheon.

Freeman spent 27 years in the Air Force, including serving as the military aide to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition.

By Marjorie Censer
November 26, 2018 at 6:40 PM

United Technologies, upon completing the acquisition of Rockwell Collins, said today it intends to split into three businesses: United Technologies, Otis and Carrier.

United Technologies will be comprised of Collins Aerospace Systems and Pratt & Whitney. Collins Aerospace was formed by joining UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins.

Otis is the elevator, escalator and moving walkway business, while Carrier is the HVAC, refrigeration, building automation, fire safety and security business.

The new United Technologies produced sales of $39 billion in 2017, according to the company. Collins Aerospace serves both commercial and military customers with electrical, mechanical and software offerings, while Pratt & Whitney is focused on aircraft propulsion, including providing the engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

"The proposed separation is expected to be effected through spin-offs of Otis and Carrier that will be tax-free for UTC shareowners for U.S. federal income tax purposes," the company said. "Each spin-off is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions, including final approval by UTC's Board of Directors, receipt of a tax opinion from counsel, the filing and effectiveness of a Form 10 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and satisfactory completion of financing."

Greg Hayes, United Technologies' chief executive, will manage the transition and remain UTC chairman and CEO after the split, the company said. The split is expected to be complete in 2020.

By Courtney Albon
November 26, 2018 at 4:43 PM

As the Pentagon drives the Air Force and Navy to bring key fighter aircraft to an 80 percent mission-capable rate, the head of the Pacific Air Forces said today he is working with his wing commanders to better understand what they need to increase aircraft availability.

Gen. Charles Brown told reporters during a Nov. 26 briefing at the Pentagon that in response to Secretary Jim Mattis' September memo calling for F-35, F-16, F-22 and F/A-18 fleets to achieve an 80 percent mission capable rate by the end of fiscal year 2019, he has provided wing commanders guidance on changing maintenance and supply chain practices. He's also asked them to describe the primary readiness barriers, which he will provide to the Air Staff as it makes decisions about shifting and requesting additional funding to support Mattis' directive.

PACAF hasn't made any dramatic shifts, Brown said, but plans to make some changes to its maintenance practices to increase aircraft availability. The major command's director of logistics and sustainment has been meeting with individual wings to offer advice on how to operate more efficiently.

"When you're really close to it, you don't always see the things and the techniques that might be available to you," Brown said, adding, "It helps us in the long run -- not just because the secretary put out a memo. If we've got a conflict, I want to have aircraft availability. So to me, it's pretty important."

Brown said he is also working to operationalize his command's strategy, particularly as it works to make sure its capabilities are interoperable with partner assets and to ensure the command is making the most out of the military and training exercises it runs.

Because PACAF covers such a larger area of responsibility, Brown said it's important that the command considers platforms and supporting equipment it is using and where it is going to be sent so that key capabilities don't get tied up in training exercises when they are needed operationally. He is also working with PACAF partner nations to evaluate the value of certain longstanding exercises to make sure they are still providing relevant training and experience.

By John Liang
November 26, 2018 at 2:18 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest features news on CFIUS, the military's hypersonic boost-glide vehicle program and more.

Eric Chewning, deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy, spoke at an Atlantic Council event this morning:

Chewning: Government is taking into account BAE's concerns over CFIUS policy

A top Pentagon official said an interim Treasury Department rule that has concerned some organizations, including BAE Systems, will go through a regulation-writing process over the next year.

Earlier this month, the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) office announced plans to negotiate a sole-source contract with Lockheed Martin for a planned five-year program to support the Navy's Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike flight test demonstrations:

Navy turns to Lockheed Martin for hypersonic flight test support through 2023

The Navy is turning to its trusted supplier for submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles -- Lockheed Martin's Sunnyvale, CA, business unit -- to design, develop, build and integrate large rocket motors and missile bodies to support test flights of the service's hypersonic boost-glide vehicle program.

In case you missed them, here are the stories that ran right before the Thanksgiving break:

Navy plans to develop, acquire NGJ-LB using rapid acquisition authorities

The Navy plans to use rapid prototyping and fielding acquisition authorities to develop and deliver a Next Generation Jammer-Low Band system, setting a 2024 target for the first operational pod on an EA-18G Growler -- a goal that requires setting a program baseline in July.

Air Force seeks airborne, autonomous MDC2 data-processing technology

A recent Air Force notice requests airborne systems that autonomously process command-and-control data, a new example of the service's nascent search for material solutions that enable fast, complementary air, space and cyber combat planning.

F-22 program develops recovery plan, gets funding boost to support 80 percent readiness target

The F-22 program office has developed a "recovery plan" to meet Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' mandate that the fifth-generation fighter achieve an 80 percent mission-capable rate by the end of fiscal year 2019.

Marine Corps begins research for Utility Task Vehicle replacement

The Marine Corps has started research on an Ultra-Light Tactical Vehicle for a possible fiscal year 2022 full-rate production decision.

Army to field new Stryker APS in FY-21

The Army is testing two non-developmental active protection systems on the Stryker vehicle and expects to begin fielding one of them in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, according to a report sent last month to the congressional defense committees.

By Marjorie Censer
November 26, 2018 at 9:30 AM

United Technologies said late last week it has received the final regulatory approval required to close its purchase of Rockwell Collins.

"Today's conclusion of the regulatory review by China's State Administration for Market Regulation clears the way for United Technologies to proceed with the proposed acquisition announced on September 4, 2017," the company said. "The acquisition is expected to close within three business days."

In September, United Technologies said the deal would boost its annual sales range to $67 billion to $68 billion.

By Marjorie Censer
November 26, 2018 at 9:26 AM

Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems said yesterday it has completed its acquisition of IMI Systems for about $495 million with a potential additional payment of about $27 million if performance goals are met.

IMI specializes in combat mobility, survivability and protection systems, armor solutions and crisis management, Elbit said.

"The synergy between the capabilities of the two companies and the global positioning of Elbit Systems will enable us to offer an enhanced portfolio and to realize the potential of the technologies of IMI in the international arena," Bezhalel Machlis, Elbit's chief executive, said in a statement.

By Tony Bertuca
November 26, 2018 at 5:30 AM

Senior Pentagon officials will appear before Congress and elsewhere around the Washington area this week, while the Credit Suisse conference gets underway in Palm Beach.

Monday

The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on implementing defense industrial base policy.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies holds a panel discussion on the Joint Staff approach to air and missile defense.

Tuesday

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the findings and recommendations of the Commission on the National Defense Strategy.

The Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee holds a hearing on Navy shipbuilding programs.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on U.S. policy for "gray zone" competition.

Wednesday

Lockheed Martin and Maxar Technologies executives are slated to speak at a Credit Suisse conference.

The Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion on Russia's violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a maritime security dialogue on great power competition.

Thursday

Northrop Grumman executives are set to present at the Credit Suisse conference.

AeroVironment executives are slated to discuss the company's quarterly earnings.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing to consider nominees to become the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and the principal deputy administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Friday

Washington Technology hosts a breakfast focused on recruiting and retaining talent.

By John Liang
November 26, 2018 at 5:15 AM

Some must-reads from this week's edition of Inside the Army:

1. The Army is testing two non-developmental active protection systems on the Stryker vehicle and expects to begin fielding one of them in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, according to a report sent last month to the congressional defense committees.

Full story: Army to field new Stryker APS in FY-21

2. The Army has reorganized one of its leading technology project management offices to instead focus on defensive cyber operations, responding to a growing need in that domain.

Full story: Army creates new defensive cyber project office

3. The Pentagon is preparing a smaller budget following the wishes of the White House, but senior officials -- as well as GOP defense hawks -- hope to convince President Trump to approve additional spending, despite his administration's new taste for fiscal restraint.

Full story: Pentagon to hear from military services on proposed budget cuts

4. Moody's Investors Service says LOGCAP V, scheduled for award in the spring, will be a "substantial opportunity," but the large number of potential awardees could mean some see a lower level of work.

Full story: Moody's: Next LOGCAP deal could mean some companies see less work

By John Liang
November 26, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Navy:

1. The Navy plans to award a production contract for two low-rate initial production Unmanned Influence Sweep Systems in fiscal year 2019 following a planned milestone C decision, according to a Navy spokesman.

Full story: Navy will award production contract for two UISS in FY-19

2. The Office of Naval Research plans to award contracts by the end of December for the next-generation replacement of the Marine Corps' Light Armed Vehicle fleet and is considering industry proposals submitted last week that aim to inform requirements for an estimated $3 billion Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle program.

Full story: ONR set to kick-start next-generation ARV program

3. The Marine Corps has started research on an Ultra-Light Tactical Vehicle for a possible fiscal year 2022 full-rate production decision.

Full story: Marine Corps begins research for Utility Task Vehicle replacement

4. The Navy spent over $1.5 billion in the last decade on attack submarines that could not be operationally deployed, according to a new study.

Full story: GAO: Navy spent $1.5B on subs that couldn't be operationally deployed

By John Liang
November 23, 2018 at 5:00 AM

Some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Air Force:

1. The F-22 program office has developed a "recovery plan" to meet Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' mandate that the fifth-generation fighter achieve an 80 percent mission-capable rate by the end of fiscal year 2019.

Full story: F-22 program develops 'recovery plan,' gets readiness funding boost

2. The F-22 program's use of Section 804 rapid prototyping authority has led the program office to restructure two key upgrade efforts into an iterative, two-phased software delivery plan aimed at fielding more capability at a faster pace.

Full story: F-22 program office using section 804 to restructure software upgrade effort

3. A recent Air Force notice requests airborne systems that autonomously process command-and-control data, a new example of the service's nascent search for material solutions that enable fast, complementary air, space and cyber combat planning.

Full story: Air Force seeks airborne, autonomous MDC2 data-processing technology

4. The Air Force aims to install a new Air Staff member to oversee information warfare by the end of fiscal year 2019, the service's cyberspace strategy and policy director told Inside Defense Nov. 16.

Full story: Confirmation process for new info warfare leader expected within FY-19

By John Liang
November 21, 2018 at 2:31 PM

This pre-Thanksgiving INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the F-22 Raptor, Air Foce MDC2 technologies, Navy next-generation jammers and more.

Inside Defense chatted with F-22 System Program Office Director Col. Darien Hammett last week:

F-22 program develops recovery plan, gets funding boost to support 80 percent readiness target

The F-22 program office has developed a "recovery plan" to meet Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' mandate that the fifth-generation fighter achieve an 80 percent mission-capable rate by the end of fiscal year 2019.

Hammett and his deputy, Andreas Walsh, also offered new details on how the effort has been restructured:

F-22 program office using section 804 to restructure software upgrade effort

The F-22 program's use of Section 804 rapid prototyping authority has led the program office to restructure two key upgrade efforts into an iterative, two-phased software delivery plan aimed at fielding more capability at a faster pace.

The Air Force recently issued a request for information seeking airborne systems that autonomously process command-and-control data:

Air Force seeks airborne, autonomous MDC2 data-processing technology

A recent Air Force notice requests airborne systems that autonomously process command-and-control data, a new example of the service's nascent search for material solutions that enable fast, complementary air, space and cyber combat planning.

The office of the Program Executive Officer Tactical Aircraft (PEO-T) and EA-6B and Airborne Electronic Attack Office (PMA-234) at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD, recently published a notice detailing the schedule milestones for a multibillion-dollar next-generation jammer:

Navy plans to develop, acquire NGJ-LB using rapid acquisition authorities

The Navy plans to use rapid prototyping and fielding acquisition authorities to develop and deliver a Next Generation Jammer-Low Band system, setting a 2024 target for the first operational pod on an EA-18G Growler -- a goal that requires setting a program baseline in July.

The Marine Corps recently posted a request for information to industry about a potential replacement for its Utility Task Vehicle:

Marine Corps begins research for Utility Task Vehicle replacement

The Marine Corps has started research on an Ultra-Light Tactical Vehicle for a possible fiscal year 2022 full-rate production decision.

Army acquisition executive Bruce Jette recently sent a report to the congressional defense committees on active protection systems for the Stryker vehicle:

Army to field new Stryker APS in FY-21

The Army is testing two non-developmental active protection systems on the Stryker vehicle and expects to begin fielding one of them in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, according to a report sent last month to the congressional defense committees.

(Editor's Note: The next INSIDER will publish on Monday, Nov. 26. Happy Thanksgiving!)