The Insider

By John Liang
August 14, 2019 at 2:23 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news from a line-by-line Navy appeal of the House's FY-20 defense spending bill, plus a RAND Corp. study on strategic sealift and more.

Inside Defense obtained a document which has a line-by-line Navy appeal of the House's FY-20 defense spending bill. Here's our coverage so far:

House cut could derail Army, Navy plans to rapidly field new hypersonic weapons

A House-proposed cut to the Pentagon's fiscal year 2020 request for the Conventional Prompt Strike program -- the U.S. military's marquee hypersonic strike project -- would knock both the Army and Navy off schedule from current plans to deploy variants of the new ultra-fast, boost-glide weapon in 2023 and 2025 respectively.

Navy says House appropriator cuts would delay CVN-81, MQ-25

The Navy told Congress this week that proposed cuts to the fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill could result in delays of one to two years for the fourth Gerald Ford-class aircraft carrier and the new MQ-25 unmanned aerial tanker.

RAND Corp. has a new study out on the Navy's strategic sealift fleet:

RAND: Problems with strategic sealift fleet raise questions of actual readiness

A new RAND Corp. study suggests the Navy's methods for gauging the readiness of its strategic sealift fleet is inherently problematic and calls into question whether those ships could respond to a large-scale contingency.

U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Maj. Meghan Liemburg-Archer gave Inside Defense some news about the NC3 Enterprise Center:

NC3 Enterprise Center considering options for modeling and simulation facility

The newly established center overseeing nuclear command, control and communications capabilities at U.S. Strategic Command is considering opportunities to open a facility for rapid modeling and simulation.

Air Force Col. Dennis Bythewood, SMC's program executive officer for space development, spoke with Inside Defense last week after a Mitchell Institute event:

SMC considering $1 billion boost to Space Enterprise Consortium funding ceiling

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center wants to triple the funding ceiling for the Space Enterprise Consortium -- bringing the total value to $1.5 billion and giving more Defense Department space programs access to a growing pool of traditional and non-traditional vendors.

Pentagon research and engineering chief Mike Griffin spoke at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington this week. Here's our coverage:

Pentagon tech chief soon to decide on new path for missile defense kill vehicle development

The Pentagon's top technology official will soon decide how to proceed with developing a new kill vehicle for the U.S. fleet of Ground-based Interceptors after halting work on the Missile Defense Agency's Redesigned Kill Vehicle program earlier this year due to technical issues and soaring costs.

Griffin: Early SDA 'management churn' comes with the territory

The Pentagon's under secretary of defense for research and engineering today rejected reports of turmoil at the fledgling Space Development Agency, attributing management changes and a lack of congressional buy-in to the standard disruption that comes with establishing any new organization.

Last but certainly not least, some news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

Lawyers propose revisions to Pentagon cyber reporting rules, warn of contractor shortages

The law firm DLA Piper is urging the Defense Department to revise its cyber-incident reporting rules for contractors, including recommending changes to core elements of the program such as deadlines, scope and the definition of data covered by the requirements.

By Sara Sirota
August 14, 2019 at 11:20 AM

The Air Force has awarded $99 million to Lockheed Martin to provide life-cycle support to the three foreign countries that purchased its long-range, precision standoff missile.

According to an Aug. 13 Defense Department notice, the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract provides Finland, Poland and Australia with assistance for all efforts related to their Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles and any variants. These include system upgrades, integration, production, sustainment, management and logistical support.

Work will be performed in Orlando, FL, and is scheduled to be completed by August 2024.

A 2,000-pound weapon, JASSM can be integrated on Finland's and Australia's F/A-18 Hornets and Poland's F-16 fleet.

By Marjorie Censer
August 14, 2019 at 10:35 AM

DynCorp International's parent company said today sales in its most recent quarter reached $488 million, down about 11% from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The company's quarterly revenue hit $5.3 million, down 79% from the prior year.

DynCorp said it recorded quarterly sales in its DynAviation unit of $234 million, down 21% from a year earlier.

Its DynLogistics business reported quarterly sales of $254 million, up almost 1% from the prior year.

By Mallory Shelbourne
August 13, 2019 at 2:23 PM

The Navy yesterday announced a $107.4 million contract modification to Sikorsky for the Marine Corps' new heavy-lift helicopter.

According to the announcement, Sikorsky will begin purchasing long-lead materials in preparation for six CH-53K King Stallion aircraft as part of Lot 4 of the program's low-rate initial production phase.

The Navy expects Lockheed-owned Sikorsky to finish the work by August 2020.

In May, the Navy awarded Sikorsky a $1.1 billion contract modification for Lot 2 and Lot 3 of the program's LRIP phase.

Inside Defense previously reported that the Marine Corps is still eying the 2023 deployment objective for the CH-53K, despite facing program delays due to technical issues with the aircraft.

Congressional defense committees recently approved the second half of a $158 million reprogramming request for the Marine Corps to conduct additional flight testing of the new helicopter.

By John Liang
August 13, 2019 at 1:35 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Mike Griffin's cancellation of the Strategic Capabilities Office's typical budget practices, the Marine Corps' G/ATOR program, the Pentagon's JEDI cloud acquisition effort and more.

Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin's effort to fold the Strategic Capabilities Office into the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has resulted in the proposed shelving of planned spending justification documents for certain weapon system projects:

Griffin abandons traditional SCO funding practice for FY-21

Mike Griffin, the Pentagon's chief technology officer, is canceling plans to produce detailed spending justifications for high-priority projects sought by combatant commanders -- jeopardizing more than a dozen new projects proposed this spring for the U.S. military's fiscal year 2021 budget request.

The Marine Corps is looking into melding its Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar with the Israeli-built Iron Dome rocket protection system:

Marine Corps weighing feasibility of integrating G/ATOR with Iron Dome

The Marine Corps is weighing integrating parts of the Israeli-designed Iron Dome air and missile defense system with the service's existing capabilities -- including the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) -- to address an urgent warfighting requirement and is planning to soon execute a live-fire demonstration, according to sources.

The Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud effort is the focus of a new investigation by the Defense Department inspector general's office:

DOD IG confirms review of JEDI cloud acquisition, potential conflicts of interest

The Defense Department inspector general has opened a sweeping review into the development of the multibillion-dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud acquisition, including whether any DOD employees had conflicts of interest while they were involved in the program.

More DOD IG news:

DOD IG finds inadequacies in NATO efforts to train Afghan airdrop, airstrike capabilities

An investigation by the Pentagon's internal watchdog found NATO's efforts to train Afghan forces for airdrops and airstrikes have failed to meet certain deadlines and objectives.

Document: DOD IG report on Afghan air controllers

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity report that major new regulations are in place today:

Ban on government purchases of Huawei products goes into effect today

Regulations banning the federal government from purchasing products from Huawei and other China-based tech companies take effect today, imposing sweeping requirements on widely available commercial items while also providing for some exceptions.

Document: Draft DOD, GSA, NASA rules on banning purchases of IT products from China

By Marjorie Censer
August 13, 2019 at 12:25 PM

A federal court has set Nov. 21 as the date for oral arguments in DynCorp International's case over the LOGCAP V program.

According to a court document filed late last week, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held a status conference Aug. 7.

"The agency intends to voluntarily stay contract performance until December 4, 2019," the court document reads.

By Ashley Tressel
August 13, 2019 at 10:31 AM

Raytheon and Rheinmetall will partner with Pratt & Miller Defense of Detroit on their proposal for the Army's Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle competition, Raytheon announced today.

"Raytheon and Rheinmetall are assembling a U.S. supply chain for [the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle]," Matt Warnick, American Rheinmetall Vehicles managing director, said in the company's statement. "Partnering with Pratt & Miller brings us one step closer to building Lynx in the [United States]."

Raytheon will contribute advanced weapons, an active protection system, next-generation thermal sights and the Coyote unmanned aircraft system to the Lynx offering.

General Dynamics Land Systems is also preparing to bid on the OMFV, while BAE Systems opted out of the competition in June.

By Justin Katz
August 12, 2019 at 2:33 PM

The Navy announced today that it has cleared the Advanced Arresting Gear to recover "all props and jets."

The AAG is now approved to recover C-2A Greyhounds and E-2C Hawkeyes as well as F/A-18s and E/A-18s, according a Navy statement.

The announcement was made internally to the service on Aug. 2 through an Aircraft Recovery Bulletin.

"Release of the ARB signifies 'Naval Air Systems Command's stamp of approval' for the AAG system to safely recover these type/model/series aircraft aboard the Navy's newest class of aircraft carriers," said Jeff McLean, deputy program manager for AAG System Design and Development.

AAG is one of more than 20 new technologies being incorporated onto the service's Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers.

By John Liang
August 12, 2019 at 1:52 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a protest to an Air Force space launch competition, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, Navy floating dry docks and more.

Blue Origin is contending that the Air Force's plan to select two launch providers to fly a five-year slate of national security space missions is a "flawed acquisition strategy" that impedes a fair competition:

Blue Origin protests Air Force launch RFP; Northrop, SpaceX, ULA confirm bid submissions

Blue Origin confirmed today it has filed a pre-award protest with the Government Accountability Office over the Air Force's Launch Services Procurement effort.

The Marine Corps plans to begin fielding Joint Light Tactical Vehicles to I Marine Expeditionary Force and III Marine Expeditionary Force by the end of next month:

Marine Corps announces IOC for JLTV

The Marine Corps today announced that its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle has reached initial operational capability.

The Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan program office, a relatively new organization charged with executing the Navy's $21 billion, 20-year plan to recapitalize the service's four public shipyards, recently issued a request for information:

Navy requests industry help building floating dry docks for carriers, nuclear submarines

The Navy is seeking industry's help to identify the costs and requirements for constructing a floating dry dock that can accommodate aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, according to an Aug. 9 request for information.

Document: Navy RFI for floating dry docks

At a media roundtable Friday, DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract is moving forward:

Pentagon says 'no pause' in JEDI cloud source-selection process as Esper reviews program

The Pentagon's top information technology official says the Defense Department continues to evaluate proposals from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract as new Defense Secretary Mark Esper reviews the overall JEDI program.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report late last week about the Navy's next-generation frigate program:

GAO questions Navy's use of 'guaranty' instead of 'warranty' for FFG(X)

A government watchdog agency says the Navy won't commit to adjusting its proposal to build the next-generation frigate via a less-risky contract mechanism, despite not providing analysis to support claims about the second- and third-order effects that change may have.

Document: GAO report on the Navy's FFG(X) program

By Tony Bertuca
August 12, 2019 at 5:00 AM

The Pentagon's chief technology official is slated to speak at a think tank event this week. Meanwhile, Congress remains in recess.

Tuesday

Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin speaks at the Hudson Institute about efforts to ensure U.S. technological superiority.

The Air Force Association hosts a discussion on U.S. strategy and Iran.

Wednesday

AFA presents a discussion about China's strategic offensive and defensive forces.

By John Liang
August 9, 2019 at 1:32 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Pentagon's JEDI cloud contract, the Navy's FFG(X) program, the Air Force's Next-Gen OPIR effort and more.

DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy spoke about the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract at a Pentagon media roundtable this morning:

Pentagon says 'no pause' in JEDI cloud source-selection process as Esper reviews program

The Pentagon's top information technology official says the Defense Department continues to evaluate proposals from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract as new Defense Secretary Mark Esper reviews the overall JEDI program.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report today about the Navy's next-generation frigate program:

GAO questions Navy's use of 'guaranty' instead of 'warranty' for FFG(X)

A government watchdog agency says the Navy won't commit to adjusting its proposal to build the next-generation frigate via a less-risky contract mechanism, despite not providing analysis to support claims about the second- and third-order effects that change may have.

Document: GAO report on the Navy's FFG(X) program

Maj. Gen. Nina Armagno, director of space programs within the Air Force's acquisition office, spoke with Inside Defense this morning following a Mitchell Institute space breakfast:

Air Force to request multiple reprogrammings to keep Next-Gen OPIR on schedule

The Air Force plans to take an incremental approach to fill a $623 million funding gap in the Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program, according to a top space acquisition official.

Daryl Haegley, director of cyberspace mission assurance and deterrence within the office of the under secretary of defense for policy, spoke this week at a cybersecurity conference in Washington:

Pentagon struggling to address cybersecurity in weapon systems, critical infrastructure

The Pentagon is struggling to implement policy for addressing cybersecurity risks in critical infrastructure and weapon systems, as the Defense Department lacks the personnel with the skills necessary to address flaws in operational technology, according to defense officials.

If you're attending AUSA's annual symposium in October, you'll be able to see the first Initial-Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense vehicle:

First IM-SHORAD prototype set for AUSA trade floor in October

The first Initial-Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense vehicle will be on display in Washington in October, showcasing the new air and missile defense Stryker variant and the fruit of a new prototyping process that will deliver a combat vehicle 13 months after inking agreements with industry for an IM-SHORAD to harden ground forces in Europe from Russian threats.

By Marjorie Censer
August 9, 2019 at 9:32 AM

ManTech International said this week it has acquired H2M Group, which provides intelligence analysis primarily to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

The Manassas, VA-based H2M was founded in 2014 and offers "geospatial analysis, imagery and full motion video analysis, GEOINT operations and cartography," according to ManTech.

H2M adds about 180 employees and will become part of ManTech's mission, cyber and intelligence solutions group.

By John Liang
August 8, 2019 at 2:26 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Army's Initial-Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense vehicle, the Missile Defense Agency's hypersonic defense effort and more.

If you're attending AUSA's annual symposium in October, you'll be able to see the first Initial-Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense vehicle:

First IM-SHORAD prototype set for AUSA trade floor in October

The first Initial-Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense vehicle will be on display in Washington in October, showcasing the new air and missile defense Stryker variant and the fruit of a new prototyping process that will deliver a combat vehicle 13 months after inking agreements with industry for an IM-SHORAD to harden ground forces in Europe from Russian threats.

The Missile Defense Agency has submitted its analysis of alternatives for a Hypersonic Defense program of record to the cost assessment and program evaluation office:

MDA forwards proposal for new Hypersonic Defense program to Pentagon for review

The Missile Defense Agency has completed a proposal for a new multibillion-dollar project to develop and field a defense against hypersonic weapons, that -- if included in the Defense Department's fiscal year 2021 budget request -- would expand the agency's focus to a new class of maneuvering, ultra-fast threats.

More coverage of the Pentagon's latest Selected Acquisition Reports:

F-15 EPAWSS Nunn-McCurdy breach triggered by delivery delays, quantity reductions

The unit cost of a new F-15 self-protection capability has spiked more than 24% above its original estimate due to a decision to reduce the overall quantity and subsequent delays to hardware delivery and test jet modifications -- triggering a Nunn-McCurdy cost breach.

Maj. Gen. David Krumm, the director of global power programs in the Air Force's acquisition office, recently spoke at a Mitchell Institute event:

Air Force working to better communicate NGAD plans to Congress

In the wake of a congressional proposal to cut the Air Force's fiscal year 2020 Next-Generation Air Dominance funding in half, service officials say they may need to do a better job of explaining the "family-of-systems" concept.

The Navy this week released documents related to a recent industry day for the T-AGOS(X) Class Small Waterplane Twin Hull (SWATH) Ship replacement program:

Navy prepares to build new anti-sub surveillance ship amid alarm over Russian fleet

The Navy this fiscal quarter will begin a full-and-open competition to replace its legacy class of catamaran-hulled auxiliary ships focused on undersea surveillance, a vessel with renewed importance to the fleet as the Navy continually sounds the alarm over Russia's submarine force.

Document: T-AGOS(X) industry day briefing slides, Q&A

Here's some news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

DOD, GSA, NASA draft rules banning purchases of IT products from China

The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA have drafted interim final regulations for banning the government's purchases of IT and video surveillance equipment and components from Hauwei and other China-based tech firms, a move that will likely fuel growing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

By Marjorie Censer
August 8, 2019 at 2:11 PM

DynCorp International early this week took its concerns over being excluded from the Army's LOGCAP V program to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The court yesterday granted the motions by several other competitors to intervene in the case.

Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office said today it is dismissing the remaining protests on the program because of the pending court case.

GAO late last month denied DynCorp's protest.

In today's decision, GAO said the "court's resolution of DynCorp's protest challenging the agency's evaluation of proposals and resulting award decisions could render a decision by our Office on AECOM's, Fluor's, and [PAE-Parsons'] similar challenges academic."

The Court of Federal Claims yesterday granted the motions of KBR, Vectrus, Fluor and the PAE-Parsons team to intervene in the case.

However, the court denied a motion to intervene filed by AECOM. The court filing indicates the lawyers for both DynCorp and KBR opposed AECOM’s intervention.

AECOM argued it should be allowed to intervene because DynCorp's filing "deprived AECOM of a decision at GAO, its chosen forum."

By Courtney Albon
August 8, 2019 at 12:45 PM

The Air Force has sidelined 123 C-130s for inspection after discovering "atypical cracks" on the aircraft's lower wing joint during programmed depot maintenance.

Air Mobility Command announced the decision Wednesday night, stating it will conduct "in-depth visual and modified non-destructive" inspections of the wingboxes on C-130H- and J-model aircraft that haven't been fitted with an extended service-life center wing box and have flown more than 15,000 equivalent service hours.

The Air Force has 450 aircraft in its C-130 fleet. The AMC press release notes that the temporary removal of service won't impact those airlifters currently operating overseas.