The Insider

By John Liang
January 10, 2020 at 2:09 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has coverage of a new Defense Science Board report on quantum technologies, Boeing's efforts to protect its technical data, the Pentagon's acquisition appeals process and more.

The Defense Science Board has released a redacted report on quantum technologies:

DSB: DOD should focus on quantum-based technologies for sensing, computing, communicating

An influential advisory board says the Pentagon must "vigorously" pursue three quantum technology areas with particular military potential.

Document: DSB report on quantum technologies

Boeing has support from the Professional Services Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the company's dispute with the government on Boeing's effort to protect its technical data:

PSC, Chamber back Boeing in dispute over technical data markings

The Professional Services Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are seeking to bolster a case filed by Boeing over markings intended to protect the company's technical data.

Document: Legal documents regarding Boeing's technical data markings case

Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist recently issued a memo on the acquisition appeals process:

Pentagon No. 2 looks to settle turf fights, create acquisition appeals process

The Defense Department's No. 2 official has issued new guidance to clarify "acquisition roles and responsibilities" after recent congressional reforms led to Pentagon infighting regarding the oversight and management of DOD weapons programs.

Document: DOD memo on acquisition appeals process

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Cross Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise is developing Enterprise Ground Services to provide a common architecture for satellite command and control:

SMC creates initial space enterprise ground transition plan

The Space and Missile Systems Center has developed an initial roadmap for transitioning space programs to a new Enterprise Ground Services architecture by 2028.

The V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft recently demonstrated that it could be flown autonomously:

Bell achieves autonomous flight for V-280

ARLINGTON, TX -- Bell Flight demonstrated its V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft's autonomous flying capabilities on Jan. 8 during a piloted demonstration here at the company's flight research center.

By Justin Doubleday
January 10, 2020 at 1:33 PM

The Defense Department inspector general’s office is opening an evaluation into "foreign influence" on the Pentagon's research and development programs, as officials worry about the extent of China's reach into U.S. universities, laboratories and companies.

"The objective of this evaluation is to determine whether the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD[R&E]) is monitoring and mitigating foreign influence into the DOD's research and development programs," the DOD IG's office said today in announcing the evaluation, which will begin this month.

The office will evaluate "selected" R&E entities, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, as well as the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, according to the announcement.

The new assessment begins as the Pentagon's research and development efforts in areas like hypersonic weapons, fifth-generation wireless technologies, and artificial intelligence are largely driven by what defense officials describe as a rapidly advancing Chinese military.

In response to cyber and intelligence threats from China, the Pentagon has established a "Protecting Critical Technology" task force to coordinate better ways of preventing technology exfiltration and compromise.

Meanwhile, the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act signed into law last month expands on past acquisition reforms targeting foreign adversaries like China and Russia.

By Ashley Tressel
January 10, 2020 at 12:01 PM

The Army's efforts to aid and train in the Indo-Pacific region have bolstered partnerships with those countries, who are seeking to develop their own concepts for great power competition, service Secretary Ryan McCarthy said today.

"Our operations in the Pacific include training with Army forces, helping Thailand stand up their new Stryker units as their new Stryker vehicles, 15 in fact, are arriving right now," McCarthy said at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "The Philippines has asked for more help in training 72 infantry battalions as they upgrade their equipment and evolve their doctrine. While we continue to do traditional security cooperation, we are also employing new capabilities and using the Indo-Pacific as grounds to test our new concept known as multidomain operations, or MDO."

He stressed the importance of preparing forces in the region for sudden conflict, saying that right now, "If conflict with a great power competitor occurred, the United States would be unable to easily bomb strategic locations and safely flow in forces."

The secretary said Japan, Thailand and Singapore are developing their own "MDO-like concepts" in concert with the Army.

Additionally, the service in 2020 is sending forces on five-month-long extended rotations to Thailand, Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

"We are not only providing persistent presence and coordination with our allies and partners, we are also expanding the scope, duration, scale and locations of our training and exercises with partners to push into new areas," McCarthy said.

Exercises to date focusing on threats spelled out in the National Defense Strategy include the first experiments with the multidomain task force intelligence, information, cyber, electronic warfare and space units, known as I2CEWS, in fiscal year 2018; Exercise Orient Shield in FY-19 with Japanese ground self-defense forces operating in the East China Sea and task force units distributed across the Senkaku Islands; and Pacific Pathways, which began in 2014.

In FY-20, McCarthy said, the Army plans to conduct Defender 2020, incorporating long-range precision fires and long-range precision effects.

"By FY-21, the Army will position a multidomain task force in the Indo-Pacific theater and deploy a second one in FY-22," he added.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 10, 2020 at 11:50 AM

The Army has released a request for white papers for the service's next integrated network capability set.

According to an Army press release, the service is looking for prototype solutions at a technology readiness level of six and above for Capability Set 23, which will provide tactical network transport, application and command post enhancements.

An official request was posted on Jan. 6 to the Consortium Management Group website.

The notice lists six topic areas for white papers: hardened network transport and reduced electronic signature for command post and mounted formations; separation of data by identity access and management; electronic warfare modular open suite of standards and radio waveforms; non-proprietary open suite of consolidated tools for unified network operations; optimizing compute, storage and applications on a distributed computing architecture; and managed multi-orbit/medium earth orbit/geostationary equatorial orbit satellite communications services for operational and tactical forces.

The service outlined plans for Capability Set 23 in November during a two-day industry event in Austin, TX. The capability set is focused on increasing resilience and capacity of the network through satellite communication, including faster command platform set up, integrated signature management planning tools and cloud capabilities for improved readiness.

The service plans to award an other transaction agreement for Capability Set 23 in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020.

Responses are due by Jan. 21.

By Marjorie Censer
January 10, 2020 at 9:24 AM

Oshkosh said today David Sagehorn, the company’s chief financial officer for the last 12 years, will retire, effective April 3.

He will be succeeded by Michael Pack, vice president of finance in Oshkosh’s fire and emergency segment.

Pack, who joined Oshkosh in 2006, has held his current role since 2012.

“In this capacity, he helped lead a turnaround of this key business segment to deliver record operating margin growth,” Oshkosh said.

By Marjorie Censer
January 10, 2020 at 9:22 AM

BWX Technologies said this week it has named Rick Loving chief administrative officer.

Loving most recently was senior vice president for human resources at BWXT. He joined Babcock & Wilcox, the predecessor company to BWXT, in 1979, but later left to work at McDermott International, the company said. He returned to BWXT in 2016.

His new role encompasses human resources, communications, security and environmental health and safety, according to the company.

By Marjorie Censer
January 9, 2020 at 5:11 PM

Lockheed Martin has named Steven Walker, the former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, chief technology officer.

The company said Walker, who was named DARPA director in 2017, "will act as our liaison to science and technology communities in the U.S. and internationally, as well as manage strategic relationships with our partners and stakeholders to ensure the maturation and deployment of advanced technologies."

"He will also oversee corporate [independent research and development] projects and coordinate certain Business Area IRAD investments," Lockheed added.

Walker's hiring was first reported by Reuters.

Keoki Jackson, who has served as Lockheed's CTO for five years, has been named chief engineer and vice president of engineering and program operations.

Lockheed said Jackson "will oversee corporate program performance, mission success and functional excellence."

"The six corporate councils (Engineering and Technology, Program Management, Production Operations, Quality, Supply Chain, Sustainment) will report through this organization, as will the Chief Data and Analytics organization," the company added. Jackson "will also assist in assessing technical and programmatic issues in support of the Business Areas, and providing program assist teams as required."

By Mallory Shelbourne
January 9, 2020 at 4:58 PM

The State Department has authorized a potential $2.75 billion sale of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter to Singapore.

In a press release, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said it sent Congress the "required certification" informing lawmakers of the prospective deal today.

The sale is for up to 12 F-35Bs, or the short take-off and vertical landing variant, and as many as 13 F135 engines from Pratt and Whitney.

Singapore would initially buy four aircraft under the agreement, with the opportunity to buy another eight F-35Bs.

By Tony Bertuca
January 9, 2020 at 4:45 PM

The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Jan. 16 to consider two nominations for senior Pentagon positions.

The committee is slated to hear from James McPherson, nominated to be Army under secretary, and Charles Williams, tapped to be assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations, and environment.

Meanwhile, committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) said in a statement that lawmakers hope passage of the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill will go smoothly.

"With a two-year budget deal in place, we hope that we can move quickly and complete this must-pass bill on time," they said.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 9, 2020 at 3:36 PM

ARLINGTON, TX -- Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy this week laid out readiness and modernization priorities for the fiscal year 2021 budget.

McCarthy told reporters he was happy with the $741 billion total topline for defense spending in the budget, which is expected to be submitted next month.

"One thing in particular about readiness you will see is us talking about the strategic aspect, force projection," McCarthy said at Bell's flight research center in Texas. "That's as much Gen. Gus Perna of our Materiel Command as it is Gen. [Michael] Garrett, the Forces Command commander. So, getting the notification to a unit, getting them on an airplane, putting their equipment on a ship and being in position in a matter of days. And there's no greater testament to that than the 1st Brigade Combat team in the 82nd Airborne Division."

McCarthy added the Army is making investments working with U.S. Transportation Command to ensure the service has lift capabilities in place as well as testing "a lot of stuff across all the investment portfolios."

"From a monetization standpoint, [we're] ensuring that we have the dollars to the [2022 to 2023] timeframe. . . . We're ready to transition to buying low-rate initial production tranches of prototype materials that are out there in place," McCarthy said.

He added the Army is "staying the course and making some slight adjustments" in FY-21, but that "bigger choices" will be made in the FY-23 and FY-24 time frame.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 9, 2020 at 3:33 PM

ARLINGTON, TX -- The Army has been approved to field an Israeli-made, long-range missile on attack helicopters, according to a senior service official.

Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, director of the Future Vertical Lift cross-functional team, told reporters this week during an aircraft demonstration at Bell Flight in Texas the Army Requirements Oversight Council will allow the service to field Rafael's Spike Non-Line-of-Sight missiles.

"We still have to get the long-range precision munition requirement, but we did AROC successfully the Spike NLOS missile on a directed requirement for an interim capability," Rugen said.

Rugen added there will be limited fielding of the missiles, but it is "premature to talk numbers yet."

By John Liang
January 9, 2020 at 1:54 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Cross Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise, the V-280 tiltrotor aircraft and more.

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Cross Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise is developing Enterprise Ground Services to provide a common architecture for satellite command and control:

SMC creates initial space enterprise ground transition plan

The Space and Missile Systems Center has developed an initial roadmap for transitioning space programs to a new Enterprise Ground Services architecture by 2028.

The V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft can be flown autonomously:

Bell achieves autonomous flight for V-280

ARLINGTON, TX -- Bell Flight demonstrated its V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft's autonomous flying capabilities on Jan. 8 during a demonstration here at the company's flight research center.

The first of several Leader Follower vehicles has been delivered:

Ft. Sill to test Leader Follower vehicles being delivered this month

The Army last week delivered to Ft. Sill, OK, the first three of 30 Leader Follower vehicles to be sent over this month. The 5th Transportation Company, 100th Brigade Support Battalion will now begin training with and evaluating the systems.

Raytheon's Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar contract with the Air Force is set to be canceled:

Air Force to terminate Raytheon's 3DELRR contract

The Air Force plans to cancel a contract with Raytheon to develop the Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar due to "numerous technical and supplier challenges."

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

DOD-backed cyber certification group selects chairman in setting up accreditation body

Industry working groups tasked with implementing the Pentagon's landmark cybersecurity certification program have selected the University of Virginia's Ty Schieber as board chairman to lead the process for selecting a board of directors for an accreditation body that is expected to be up and running later this month.

Trump raises 'constitutional concerns' over requirement to report on military cyber operations

President Trump is asserting executive privilege to withhold annual reporting of military operations in cyberspace to senior members of Congress, based on his signing statement last month in enacting the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

By Ashley Tressel
January 9, 2020 at 10:39 AM

The Army plans to award in mid-February other transaction agreements to QinetiQ North America and Textron to build four Robotic Combat Vehicles each, the service announced today.

QinetiQ was chosen over HDT Global, Oshkosh and Textron for the Light variant, while Textron beat General Dynamics Land Systems and QinetiQ for the Medium.

"The progress that our engineers, scientists, project managers and leaders around Team Warren and the Army Modernization Enterprise have made in moving the RCV closer to reality is truly a heartening success story for Army modernization," Jeffrey Langhout, director of the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, said in an Army release. "That we can get this far already is a testament to the dedication and passion of the Army to giving our soldiers the best capabilities possible. This is a great day for our Army, as we make another important step in learning how we can employ robotic vehicles into our future formations."

The RCVs will be used "to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations," according to the service.

The Light and Medium RCVs will participate in a company-level experiment in 2021. The Army will use the results of that experiment along with a platoon-level experiment in March and several virtual experiments to decide "how to proceed with robotic combat vehicles in 2023."

Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles cross-functional team said today, "Robots have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct ground combat operations. Whether that's giving increased fire power to a dismounted patrol, breaching an enemy fighting position, or providing [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives] reconnaissance, we envision these vehicles providing commanders more time and space for decisions and reducing risk to soldiers."

By Sara Sirota
January 8, 2020 at 4:45 PM

The Air Force is looking to integrate a warhead, fuze and other technologies into the Stand-in Attack Weapon, a new missile intended to thwart anti-access/area-denial targets, according to a notice the service published today.

SiAW's program office also intends to add an active radar homing guidance system and a universal armament interface message set to ready the weapon for its threshold aircraft -- the F-35. It further seeks development of other capabilities that can respond to future threats, the notice states.

The Air Force is modeling SiAW -- a fiscal year 2018 new-start program -- on the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range system that Northrop Grumman is building for the Navy.

Per its FY-20 budget documents, the Air Force anticipates needing more than $840 million for SiAW's research and development over the next five years. It budgeted $18 million for the program in FY-18 and FY-19.

The service is looking for capability statements from potential sources and not seeking proposals. Responses are due by Jan. 21.

By John Liang
January 8, 2020 at 2:49 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA program, possible Iranian cyber threats, the Strategic Capabilities Office's new leadership and more.

The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA program will soon move to the production phase:

DOT&E backed SM-3 Block IIA decision, set to determine operational effectiveness, suitability

The Pentagon's top weapons tester supported a production recommendation last fall for the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA and next month will determine the system's operational effectiveness and operational suitability, according to a Defense Department spokesman.

The reduced risk of imminent military hostilities between the United States and Iran does not clear the decks of possible cyber risks from the latter country:

As Iran military situation eases, long-term cybersecurity threat remains in place

President Trump today suggested a de-escalation in the military confrontation with Iran along with new sanctions against that country, an evolving dynamic that may do little to diminish the lingering threat of cyberattacks targeting U.S. critical infrastructure.

The Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office has a new leader:

Griffin recruits new SCO director from NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

Mike Griffin, the Pentagon's top technology officer, has recruited a senior NASA appointee to head the Strategic Capabilities Office, setting the stage for the start of a new chapter for an organization that was the object of a bureaucratic turf fight during much of 2019 that Griffin waged and lost.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency this week published a broad agency announcement for a "Sea Trains" program, which seeks ways to "overcome the range limitations inherent for [MUSVs] by exploiting wave-making resistance reductions":

DARPA launches 'Sea Trains' program, eyeing easier movement of medium USVs

The Pentagon's advanced research arm recently announced a new three-year program focused on improving medium unmanned surface vessels' ability to move in formation through rough waters.

Document: DARPA BAA for Sea Train

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board is taking part in studies on autonomous systems and communications technologies:

AFSAB to study JADC2, autonomy, space in FY-20

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board in fiscal year 2020 is conducting three studies under the direction of the service's secretary that focus on modern communications technology, autonomous systems and space applications, according to a notice published in December.

Document: AFSAB terms of reference memos for CFE, UBA studies