The Insider

By Marjorie Censer
January 13, 2021 at 9:01 AM

Booz Allen Hamilton said this week it has sold its technical, engineering, advisory and management support business, which serves the Missile Defense Agency and has 110 employees, to System High.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

System High, backed by Enlightenment Capital, specializes in cybersecurity, counterintelligence and security engineering, among other areas. The company said the business will help it grow its presence in Huntsville, AL, and expand its work.

By Marjorie Censer
January 12, 2021 at 3:31 PM

Insitu has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations it knowingly submitted materially false cost and pricing data for U.S. Special Operations Command and Navy contracts to supply and operate drones, the Justice Department said today.

DOJ said that from 2009 to 2017 Insitu entered into five contracts with the Navy and two contracts with SOCOM for the supply and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

"The settlement resolves allegations that Insitu knowingly induced the government to award it these seven, noncompetitively bid contracts at inflated prices by proposing cost and pricing data for new parts and materials in support of its contract proposal while planning to and in fact using less expensive recycled, refurbished, reconditioned, and/or reconfigured parts to perform the contracts," DOJ said.

The department said a former Insitu executive initially filed a whistleblower lawsuit in federal court. The government opted to intervene and the executive, D.R. O'Hara, is entitled to about $4.6 million of the recovered funds.

Under the terms of the settlement, the claims remain allegations and there was no determination of liability.

In a statement, Insitu said the agreement "resolves a complex case."

"We cooperated fully with the government during the course of its investigation and, as reflected in the settlement, maintain that our disclosures to the government at the time satisfied all requirements, as they do today," the company added.

By John Liang
January 12, 2021 at 1:56 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on questions surrounding retired Gen. Lloyd Austin's nomination to be President-elect Biden's defense secretary and more.

Lindsay Cohn from the Naval War College and Kathleen McInnis from the Congressional Research Service testified this morning before the Senate Armed Services Committee on civilian control of the Armed Forces:

Senators wrestling with implications of Austin's nomination

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in advance of a scheduled Jan. 19 nomination hearing for retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as defense secretary, today questioned experts about the perceived erosion of civil-military relations at the Pentagon.

Document: Senate hearing on civilian control of the armed forces

The extent of the disparity between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin's work on the Long Range Standoff Weapon program appears to have been even wider than previously known:

Lockheed's design performance may have motivated ouster from LRSO program

The Air Force's decision last year to bet on Raytheon to build the multibillion-dollar Long Range Standoff Weapon and later remove Lockheed Martin from the program entirely may have come down to inferior design performance by the latter company.

Last week's violence on Capitol Hill has caused defense contractors to rethink their political donations:

Multiple defense contractors pause political giving following last week's insurrection

Several defense contractors confirmed today that they have paused their political action committee giving while assessing the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

The Navy's top uniformed official spoke this week during the virtual Surface Navy Association conference:

Gilday: Navy committed to LCS program despite engineering issues

The Navy is committed to the Littoral Combat Ship despite engineering issues plaguing the program, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said Monday.

Lockheed Martin's High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance system is undergoing testing:

Lockheed: HELIOS laser shows early potential for area defense; exceeding ship self-defense objective

Government testers are evaluating a Lockheed Martin-built laser that promises a better-than-expected capability that, when paired with the Aegis combat system, provides area defense far more robust than simply self-defense against small boats and unmanned aircraft promised at the outset of the project, according to a company representative.

Some Army combat vehicle news:

Jette: OMFV is 'pointy end of the spear' for open architectures

The Army could adapt the open and modular architecture being developed for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle to other ground vehicles, Bruce Jette, the Army's acquisition executive, told Inside Defense last week.

Last but certainly not least, we conclude with coverage of what the Pentagon will do now that the chief management officer position no longer exists:

Congressional axe falls on DOD chief management officer

Congress, after overriding President Trump's veto, has passed a defense policy bill that immediately eliminates the office of the Defense Department's chief management officer, a post lawmakers established in 2017 intending it become the third-most senior job in the Pentagon.

Document: DOD memo on disestablishment of the CMO

New Pentagon management structure to fill CMO vacuum

The Pentagon is restructuring several key offices and beefing up their authorities now that Congress has eliminated the post of chief management officer, according to Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

Document: DOD memo on ASD for intel oversight

By Marjorie Censer
January 12, 2021 at 11:20 AM

BWX Technologies said this week it has named Rob Smith to the newly created position of president of government operations.

"In this position, Smith will be responsible for all of BWXT's U.S.-based nuclear business lines that report through the nuclear operations and nuclear services segments, including the company's work for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, NASA and other government customers," the company said.

Smith most recently was vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's radar and sensors systems market segment. He joined Lockheed in 2008 through its acquisition of Nantero's government business unit. Smith also previously worked for the National Security Agency.

By Marjorie Censer
January 12, 2021 at 11:12 AM

Business Executives for National Security said this week it has named Mark Gerencser chairman of the nonprofit's board of directors.

"In this role, Gerencser will guide strategy for the leading network bringing together private sector expertise to develop -- for its government partners -- solutions to our nation's most challenging problems in national security, particularly in defense and homeland security," the organization said.

Gerencser is a former longtime Booz Allen Hamilton executive. He succeeds Norman Chambers, who has led BENS since 2017.

By Marjorie Censer
January 12, 2021 at 10:34 AM

Science Applications International Corp. said this week it has named Ravi Dankanikote senior vice president of business development for the company's defense and civilian sector.

"In his new position, Dankanikote will be responsible for all aspects of the sector's business development life cycle activities, including demand creation, shaping, capture, proposal execution, and campaigns," the company said.

He previously spent 27 years at CACI International, most recently as senior vice president of strategic growth and GWAC operations.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 11, 2021 at 4:17 PM

The Army today announced it has entered into other transaction authority agreements with Palantir Technologies and Raytheon Intelligence and Space for a critical ground modernization effort.

The agreements total $8.5 million per vendor over a 12-month period of performance, with the first phase informing the development and integration of the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node, according to a Jan. 11 Army press release.

TITAN is the Army's mobile intelligence ground station architecture that will leverage space-based, aerial and terrestrial layer sensors to provide targetable data. The system will provide access to low earth orbit satellites, enable deep sensing and shorten the sensor-to-shooter loop.

"TITAN will feature a modular, open-systems architecture, and will employ analytic tools, including advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), to assist soldiers and analysts managing large volumes of sensor data at the speed of demand in multidomain operations and across the continuum of competition and conflict," according to the press release.

Phase I of the OTA includes system-level design and software maturation and is "highlighted by a series of design reviews, software demonstrations and soldier touchpoints," the press release states.

One vendor for complete system prototyping will be selected during phase II of the OTA, followed by phase III which will consist of refining prototype capabilities by echelon. Phase IV will prototype and develop the system for the integration of future sensors and technology advancements, according to the release.

The service last September also selected Northrop Grumman to develop two TITAN prototypes that will support upcoming exercises and experiments in FY-22.

The Army plans to use TITAN in future Project Convergence demonstrations once delivered to the field in the fiscal year 2023 to FY-24 timeframe. During the first Project Convergence demonstration last September, the service used a TITAN surrogate to process data from a Gray Eagle drone.

By John Liang
January 11, 2021 at 1:57 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy's latest navigation plan and more.

The Navy's top uniformed officer today released his latest navigation plan:

Gilday focuses on readiness, capabilities and capacity in new navigation plan

The Navy will focus on improving its readiness, capability and capacity in the next decade to maintain its advantage at sea, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said in the new navigation plan the service released Monday.

Document: CNO's navigation plan

The DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer fleet could soon have a hypersonic missile strike capability:

Navy takes up project to arm Zumwalt with hypersonic strike; eyes next-generation vertical launch system

The Navy is advancing plans for integrating a long-range hypersonic strike weapon into the DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer fleet and, as part of the effort, is also eyeing a next-generation vertical launch system -- able to accommodate larger missiles than the currently fielded Mk41 -- for its follow-on to the DDG-51, the Large Surface Combatant.

San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock vessels could soon have an anti-ship missile capability:

Marines to test-fire missile from amphibious transport within the next year

The Marine Corps is likely to test-fire a missile from a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock within the next year, Maj. Gen. Tracy King, the service's director of expeditionary warfare, told reporters Friday.

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten recently spoke at an event hosted by the Association of Old Crows:

Hyten eyes endgame for publishing new requirements under Joint Warfighting Concept

The Pentagon expects to finalize joint requirements for four major areas underpinning a new "Joint Warfighting Concept" by late spring, according to a top military official.

A Space Development Agency spokeswoman has confirmed to Inside Defense that work on the Tracking Layer Tranche 0 satellite development contracts has resumed:

SDA lifts stop-work order on tracking layer satellites, sticks with SpaceX, L3Harris

SpaceX and L3Harris have resumed work on the Space Development Agency's Tracking Layer Tranche 0 satellite development contracts after a series of protests put the companies' contracts on hold and led the agency to reevaluate bids.

By Justin Doubleday
January 11, 2021 at 1:36 PM

The Defense and Commerce departments are asking for the public's suggestions on how to execute a new, fifth-generation wireless technology competition aimed at developing open 5G networks.

In a "notice of inquiry" released today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the "creation of a 5G Challenge that would accelerate the development of the open 5G stack ecosystem in support of Department of Defense missions."

"A key innovation in 5G that is becoming more pervasive in the larger 5G ecosystem is the trend toward 'open 5G' architectures that emphasize open interfaces in the network stack," the notice states.

NTIA is seeking feedback on the proposed challenge through Feb. 10.

"These comments will help NTIA and the U.S. Government identify and mitigate the challenges in creating and executing a competition," the notice states. "They will also help NTIA leverage its engineering expertise to construct a Challenge that maximizes the benefit to both the open 5G stack market and the DOD on an accelerated schedule."

In a statement released alongside the announcement, acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Kratsios said 5G technologies are "foundational" to both national security and the U.S. economy.

"Open 5G systems would greatly bolster the Department's ability to deliver on its missions, and we look forward to exploring new and innovative opportunities for their development," Kratsios said.

The Pentagon has already initiated an ambitious 5G experimentation program at various military bases. DOD awarded $600 million in initial contracts under that program in October.

By Jaspreet Gill
January 11, 2021 at 12:44 PM

The Pentagon is planning to give industry the first opportunity to demonstrate technology for its counter-drone efforts in April, according to the service official in charge of the Army-led Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office.

The Defense Department on Jan. 7 released its joint C-sUAS strategy and is expected to release an implementation plan at the end of the month. The strategy includes three lines of effort: readying the force, defending the force and collaborating with allies and leveraging existing relationships.

Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, during a Jan. 8 Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual event, said the Army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) alongside the Air Force will hold the event in April for industry to showcase their "low-collateral effectors."

A notice is expected to go out Jan. 15. asking industry to bring their capabilities to Yuma Proving Ground, AZ.

"The current systems, if they can't keep up with the requirements and we meet a point where they no longer are able, we off-ramp that component capability and then we on-ramp what's next based off of how we're delegating assignment to the service and how they're bringing that with RCCTO to our standard range where those systems are evaluated," Gainey said.

The JCO has planned additional demonstrations at other common test ranges, but Gainey did not elaborate when or where the demonstrations will be held. Following the demonstrations, the JCO will downselect the best systems, he added.

By Tony Bertuca
January 11, 2021 at 12:04 PM

In advance of his Jan. 19 nomination hearing, retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, whom President-elect Biden has picked to lead the Defense Department, has disclosed the extent of his financial relationships with defense contractors Raytheon Technologies and Booz Allen Hamilton, as well as other companies he has worked for since leaving the military.

Austin is a member of Raytheon's board of directors. If confirmed as defense secretary, he expects a cash payout between $750,000 and $1.7 million when he divests his shares in the company and associated entities, according to financial disclosure documents first reported by Bloomberg.

"The cash payout will be determined based upon the closing value of stock of each company as of the date of my resignation," Austin wrote in his government ethics agreement. "Until I have received the cash payout from Raytheon, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that to my knowledge has a direct and predictable effect on the ability or willingness of Raytheon, to provide this payment to me unless I first obtain a written waiver."

Austin also promises to recuse himself for one year from decisions involving Raytheon.

Austin joined the board of United Technologies Corp. upon retiring from the Army in 2016. He became a director on Raytheon's board when the company acquired United Technologies in April 2020.

In 2016, Austin received $380,000 in total compensation from Raytheon; $338,000 in 2017; $336,000 in 2018; and $351,000 in 2019, according to the company.

If confirmed, Austin will also leave the board of Booz Allen Hamilton, where has made at least $200,000, according to his disclosure documents.

In addition, the retired general will close Austin Strategy Group, his private consulting firm, and part ways with Pine Island Capital Advisors, a firm that includes other members of Biden's team.

Austin also sits on boards at steel firm Nucor and Tenet Healthcare and will divest himself from those companies as well.

While it is the Senate's job to confirm presidential appointments, Austin's nomination will receive additional scrutiny in the House as it has been less than seven years since he retired from the military and the full Congress must grant him a waiver allowing him to serve as defense secretary. His House hearing is slated for Jan. 21.

Recent defense secretaries also have a history of working for defense contractors.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, who was President Trump's first defense secretary, was previously a General Dynamics board member. Pat Shanahan, who served as acting defense secretary, joined the Trump administration after more than 30 years as a Boeing executive. Mark Esper, who served as defense secretary until he was fired by Trump several weeks ago, had previously worked as a Raytheon executive.

By Tony Bertuca
January 11, 2021 at 5:00 AM

Senior Pentagon officials are slated to participate in several virtual events this week.


The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on civilian control of the armed forces.


Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville speaks virtually with the Heritage Foundation about great power competition.

The Association of Old Crows hosts a virtual event to discuss the electromagnetic spectrum of operations.

The Southern California Aerospace Professional Representatives hosts a virtual discussion on the state of U.S. space and missile systems.


The Heritage Foundation hosts a virtual event with the Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration.


AFCEA hosts a virtual event on the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program.

By Tony Bertuca
January 8, 2021 at 4:52 PM

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) said today he intends to hold a hearing Jan. 21 with retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, President-elect Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

"Following our extensive conversation today, I am reassured that Secretary-designate Austin shares my commitment to civilian control of the military and will do what it takes to uphold this cherished principle once confirmed by the Senate," Smith said in a statement. "In order to pave the way for Secretary-designate Austin's historic nomination, subject to the organization of the House Armed Services Committee, I intend to convene a public hearing before the full committee on Thursday, January 21, so that members of our committee and the American people can hear directly from Secretary-designate Austin regarding civilian control of the military."

If confirmed, Austin will be the first black U.S. defense secretary.

Meanwhile, Austin is scheduled to have a nomination hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 19. Though the Senate is the body that must confirm Austin, he requires a waiver from the House and Senate to serve as defense secretary as he has been retired from the military for fewer than seven years.

The same waiver was approved for retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis to become defense secretary in 2017, the first time in nearly 70 years.

Smith said he supports Austin's nomination, though the selection initially "gave me pause."

"Civilian control of our military is an important principle in our Constitution and is not one I take lightly," he said.

By Courtney Albon
January 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM

The Space Force today was officially designated the 18th member of the intelligence community.

"This is a significant milestone, a clear statement that America is committed to a secure and accessible space domain," Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond said in a press release today. "Our partnership will ensure the Space Force and the nation remain always above any threat."

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced last month during a meeting of the National Space Council that his agency was close to approving the new service as a member of the intelligence community -- a move expected to bolster cooperation between DOD and the IC and improve space intelligence sharing.

Ratcliffe said during a ceremony today that partnering with the Space Force, the first new IC member since 2006, helps to improve space-related information and intelligence and "ensures interoperability, future capability development and operations, and true global awareness for strategic warning."

The intelligence components of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy are already members of the IC, along with four other DOD entities: the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office.

By Sara Sirota
January 8, 2021 at 3:41 PM

The Golden Horde program flew a "collaborative autonomy" payload on Small Diameter Bombs for the first time last month but ran into a software update issue that drove the weapons to strike a failsafe target, the Air Force announced in a press release Thursday.

The program's inaugural flight demonstration occurred Dec. 15 at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, where testers piloting an F-16 carried two SDBs outfitted with algorithms, a software-defined radio and a seeker. The Air Force Research Laboratory and industry partner Scientific Applications and Research Associates built these technologies to enable “networked, collaborative and autonomous” weapons, or a swarming capability, which the military believes can help overwhelm adversary defenses.

Upon release from the F-16, the SDBs quickly established communication with each other and detected a GPS jammer. The bombs then worked together to identify the two highest priority targets, but as a result of an improper software load, testers could not send the collaboration guidance commands to the weapons’ navigation system. Without the updated target coordinates, the SDB IIs instead struck a backup location.

Steven Stockbridge, Golden Horde principal investigator, nevertheless said in Thursday’s notice he’s "very pleased" with the demonstration, adding, "The team saw good performance from the networked collaborative sub-systems and understood the root cause of the weapons not impacting the desired targets. We anticipate readiness for the next flight test."

The program expects to conduct two more demonstrations with four SDBs in early 2021. While it’s not clear what the follow-on plans are, the release states the Air Force doesn’t currently intend to transition the swarming technologies to SDB munitions.

Rather, the December flight test “builds the foundation for integrating this technology into a variety of other weapon systems, which will help the U.S. maintain a technological advantage over our adversaries,” Col. Col. Garry Haase, director of AFRL’s munitions directorate, said in the notice.

The Air Force established Golden Horde as a “vanguard” program in 2019 to accelerate development of swarming weapon technologies through live and virtual testing. The notice describes these munitions as “semi-autonomous” since they follow predefined rules of engagement and enable or disable actions when certain conditions are met.