The Insider

By John Liang
February 21, 2019 at 1:35 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a schedule change to the AWACS upgrade program and more.

There's been a schedule change to the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System Block 40/45 upgrade program:

Air Force reports E-3G delay, pushes AWACS Block 40/45 final milestone into mid-2024

The Air Force has delayed a key milestone for its $2.7 billion, E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System Block 40/45 upgrade program stemming from shortfalls identified during testing and delays in delivering new hardware by prime contractor Boeing.

Inside Defense recently chatted with Nicolas Chaillan, special adviser for cloud security and DevSecOps within the office of the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment:

Pentagon aims to boost agile software development with 'DOD DevSecOps Initiative'

The Pentagon has 19 pathfinders, ranging from individual weapon systems to program executive offices, leveraging the work of a new initiative to make agile software development tools available across the Defense Department, according to the official in charge of the effort.

Jaret Riddick, the head of the Army Research Laboratory's vehicle technology directorate, spoke at a technology forum this morning:

Army official: Research lab seeking partnerships that are less 'transactional'

The Army Research Laboratory is "thinking about new models for collaboration that are not so transactional," according to the head of the lab's vehicle technology directorate.

A new broad agency announcement seeks companies to propose Pit Boss solutions that take advantage of new command-and-control, health monitoring and remediation, inter- and intra-satellite data management, and on-orbit resource scheduling technology:

DARPA solicits proposals for Blackjack's Pit Boss technology

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is calling for industry input into a software development effort known as Pit Boss, which will demonstrate space-based autonomous command-and-control and data processing to support the agency's highly watched Blackjack program.

Defense Department Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Robert Behler is concerned the Air Force's Enhanced Polar System program needs additional improvements in order to meet cybersecurity standards:

DOT&E calls for additional EPS testing to ensure secure polar satellite communications

The Pentagon's top weapons tester is recommending that the Air Force conduct additional testing to ensure a new polar satellite program can provide secure communications in a contested environment.

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity chatted recently with Symantec's federal chief technology officer:

Symantec CTO lauds Trump AI order, calls for 'baseline' IoT security standard

Cybersecurity firm Symantec's federal chief technology officer, Aubrey Merchant-Dest, said President Trump's recent executive order on artificial intelligence builds off important work at the Defense Department, which is being extended across the private sector, while also calling for a standard on securing the emerging Internet of Things market.

By Marjorie Censer
February 21, 2019 at 9:37 AM

ManTech International said this week sales in its most recent quarter reached $497 million, up about 8 percent from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The contractor's quarterly profit hit $20 million, less than one-third of its $68 million in profit the prior year. ManTech said its 2017 fourth quarter results included a one-time tax benefit related to the tax legislation.

ManTech's 2018 sales were just shy of $2 billion, up 14 percent from 2017. The contractor attributed the growth to recent contract awards and acquisitions.

The company's 2018 profit was $82 million, down 28 percent from 2017.

By Marjorie Censer
February 21, 2019 at 9:29 AM

LMI said this week it has named Ian Folau principal of its new venture capital fund, dubbed LMI Ventures.

"Through the fund, LMI will pursue strategic partnerships with companies that augment LMI's federal support in advanced analytics, digital services, logistics, and management advisory services," the company said. "LMI Ventures will source relevant capabilities in the startup community, facilitate adoption, and accelerate implementation to address the U.S. government's most complex challenges."

Folau previously was chief executive of GitLinks, which was acquired by software company Infor last year.

He cofounded GitLinks while he was studying for his master of business administration at Cornell University. Folau spent nine years in the Army and attended West Point.

By John Liang
February 21, 2019 at 9:13 AM

Here are some must-reads from this week's issue of Inside the Pentagon:

1. Oracle's protest against the potentially $10 billion Joint Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure program is on pause as the Pentagon investigates "new information" in determining whether conflicts of interest tainted the competition in favor of Amazon Web Services.

Full story: DOD investigating potential conflicts of interest in JEDI cloud procurement

2. Democrats in Congress say they are eager to learn which military construction projects will go unfunded so President Trump can divert $3.6 billion to build a wall on the southwestern border following his declaration of a national emergency.

Full story: Capitol Hill readies for aftershock as Trump diverts DOD funds toward wall

3. President Trump signed a key space policy directive this week that would direct the creation of a new military service, but falls short of a previous order to establish a new department for space.

Full story: President signs key Space Force policy directive

4. The Pentagon is asking industry for ideas on a new satellite constellation optimized to identify fleeting, high-priority targets for attack by conventionally armed hypersonic glide vehicles, a solicitation that marks/node/202363 a development in the U.S. military's effort to field a new class of ultra-fast weapons and advances the Trump administration's goal to develop a "left of launch" missile defense capability.

Full story: DOD seeks new satellite network for long-range, hypersonic strike targeting

By John Liang
February 20, 2019 at 3:15 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on a delay to the JEDI cloud contract dispute, the Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter program, Navy autonomous vehicles and more.

Don't expect the JEDI cloud contract dispute to be settled anytime soon:

DOD investigating 'new information' tied to potential conflicts of interest in JEDI cloud procurement

Oracle's protest against the potentially $10 billion Joint Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure program is on pause as the Pentagon investigates "new information" in determining whether conflicts of interest tainted the competition in favor of Amazon Web Services.

The Air Force is aiming to get its Combat Rescue Helicopter program to the next developmental milestone by September:

CRH program aims for September 2019 milestone C decision despite DOT&E warning

The Combat Rescue Helicopter program office is aiming for a September 2019 milestone C decision, despite concerns from the Pentagon's senior weapons tester.

Keep an eye out for some upcoming Navy industry days on autonomous vehicles:

Navy seeks industry help to develop standards for autonomous vehicle architecture

The Navy is proposing a series of industry days to discuss the nascent stages of standardizing autonomous vehicle interfaces, with the intent to mandate those standards in future contracts, according to a Feb. 15 request for information.

The Defense Department needs a new satellite network that can track hypersonic missiles:

DOD seeks new satellite network for long-range, hypersonic strike targeting

The Pentagon is asking industry for ideas on a new satellite constellation optimized to identify fleeting, high-priority targets for attack by conventionally armed hypersonic glide vehicles, a solicitation that marks a development in the U.S. military's effort to field a new class of ultra-fast weapons and advances the Trump administration's goal to develop a "left of launch" missile defense capability.

More missile defense news:

RKV flunks review, MDA resetting program schedule and budget requirement

The Missile Defense Agency's effort to accelerate development of a new Ground-based Midcourse Defense kill vehicle -- a more than $2.6 billion project to deliver a reliable ballistic missile defense warhead to protect the United States from North Korean and potential Iranian threats -- suffered a setback when the Redesigned Kill Vehicle did not pass muster with a key design review last year.

The Navy recently called on industry to provide details to inform the requirements process for the future large surface combatant:

Navy begins fielding information for future large surface combatant

The Navy has begun its search for information on a future large surface combatant, asking industry for feedback on potential systems, capabilities, designs and technology options for the vessel.

The Navy also has a new initiative, called the "Revolutionize Readiness Campaign Plan":

Readiness officer billet, fleet analytics office to come in Navy readiness plan

SAN DIEGO -- Adm. Christopher Grady, U.S. Fleet Forces commander, is preparing to sign out a "readiness campaign plan" in the coming weeks that will establish a fleet analytics office, and potentially install an officer billet on his staff focused on readiness.

By Ashley Tressel
February 20, 2019 at 2:08 PM

The Army is hosting an industry event in March for a fire-control system to go with its future Next Generation Squad Weapon.

The service wants the eventual system to include "a variable magnification, ballistic calculator, atmospheric sensor suite and laser range finder" combined with an "in-scope digital display," according to a notice released this month.

Proposed fire-control systems will aid development of the NGSW-Automatic Rifle and NGSW-Rifle, which will replace the M249 Squad Automatic Rifle and the M4 Carbine, respectively.

The "Next Generation Squad Weapon-Fire Control" is intended to give both NGSW variants "an accurate range to target along with an adjusted aim point for the selected weapon/ammunition combination," the notice states.

The service plans to release a draft prototype solicitation two weeks before the March 28 and 29 industry day at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. It will evaluate bid samples in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

By Marjorie Censer
February 20, 2019 at 10:17 AM

Lockheed Martin late last year created a new market segment called spectrum convergence, according to the executive leading the venture.

The unit was created by splitting it out of the company's cyber business. Deon Viergutz told Inside Defense in an interview this week the new segment made sense, given the needs of the government.

The new group is "focused on delivering what I would call more of an integrated suite of cyber, electronic warfare and intelligence products and capabilities," Viergutz said. "Over the last several years, we've really heard an increased demand and need from our customers about the challenging electromagnetic battlespace."

He said the unit is focused on creating adaptable and affordable systems and particularly pointed to the need for open-systems architectures.

Viergutz declined to identify the total sales and headcount of the new organization, but a Lockheed spokeswoman said the cyber business that spectrum convergence was previously a part of had close to $1 billion in annual sales.

By John Liang
February 20, 2019 at 9:59 AM

The Defense Science Board will hold meetings in March and April to continue discussing an ongoing summer study on the future of U.S. military superiority, according to a pair of Federal Register notices posted this morning.

The meetings will take place March 20-21 and April 17-18, respectively, with DSB members meeting in small groups as well as plenary sessions "to discuss classified ways in which the [Defense Department] can secure U.S. interests, manage escalation, and deter and counter adversary aggression, given a renewed great power competition," both notices state.

The task force was also scheduled to meet this week to discuss the same topic.

The study was commissioned last October by Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin, a new one-year project that reflects the continued angst of senior U.S. policymakers over how to deal with continuing advances by China's and Russia's armed forces.

"I ask the Defense Science Board to develop creative ways and means beyond traditional weapon systems to achieve National Defense Strategy objectives," Griffin wrote in a two-page memo commissioning the study, calling for "novel employment and harmonization of existing whole-of-government capabilities."

Craig Fields, DSB chairman, and Eric Evans, MIT Lincoln Laboratory director, are co-leading the new study.

By Marjorie Censer
February 20, 2019 at 9:26 AM

Aerojet Rocketdyne said this week sales in its most recent quarter reached $438 million, down 17 percent from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The company reported quarterly profit of $24 million, up from a $52 million loss the prior year.

The contractor's 2018 sales totaled $1.9 billion, up about 1 percent from 2017. Profit for the year reached $137 million, up from a $9.2 million loss in 2017.

Aerojet Rocketdyne noted that it used new revenue recognition guidance, adjusting the timing by which the company can take credit for sales.

The company attributed its sales gains in 2018 to increased deliveries on the Standard Missile and PAC-3 programs. Those gains were partly offset by a decline in space programs "primarily driven by cost growth and performance issues on the Commercial Crew Development program and lower deliveries on the Atlas V program as this program winds down."

By Courtney Albon
February 19, 2019 at 5:35 PM

The Air Force awarded more than $738 million in launch services contracts on Tuesday to the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX for upcoming Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office missions.

The ULA award totaled $441.7 million and includes launch services for the final two Space-Based Infrared System satellites, SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6, and for a largely classified space situational awareness program, Silentbarker.

A Feb. 19 contract announcement notes that the Silentbarker launch is expected to occur by March 2022 and the SBIRS GEO-5 by March 2021. The contract includes an option for the GEO-6 launch.

SpaceX was awarded a $297 million contract to launch two NRO missions -- NROL-87 and NROL-85 -- as well as the Air Force Space Command 44 mission. The intelligence missions are slated to be launched by December 2021 and AFSPC-44 is expected to launch by February 2021.

The awards come as the Defense Department inspector general is conducting an audit of the Air Force's process for certifying SpaceX as a new entrant launch provider. The IG office announced Feb. 11 it would review "whether the U.S. Air Force complied with the launch services new entrant certification guide" when it approved the company's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets to fly national security space missions.

By Ashley Tressel
February 19, 2019 at 5:31 PM

The Defense Department today announced a slew of new assignments for several Army one- and two-star generals as well as a promotable colonel.

Among those changes is a new leader for the Army's Air and Missile Defense cross-functional team.

Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, commandant of the Air Defense Artillery School at Ft. Sill, OK, will replace Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire as director of the Air and Missile Defense CFT, also at Ft. Sill.

Brig. Gen. David Francis, director of Army aviation for the deputy chief of staff (G-3/5/7), will assume command of the Aviation Center of Excellence and Ft. Rucker, AL.

Francis replaces Maj. Gen. William Gayler, who will become the director of J-3 operations and cyber for U.S. Africa Command in Germany.

Maj. Gen. Erik Peterson, commander of First Army Division West at Ft. Hood, TX, will become director of force development for the deputy chief of staff (G-8).

Brig. Gen. Karl Gingrich, director of capability and resource integration (J-8) for U.S. Cyber Command at Ft. Meade, MD, will become director of program analysis and evaluation for the Army's deputy chief of staff (G-8).

Col. Robert Collins, assistant program executive officer for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, will become the program executive officer.

By Courtney Albon
February 19, 2019 at 4:37 PM

President Trump today signed Space Policy Directive 4, directing the Pentagon to craft a proposal to create a new military service for space.

According to the text of the directive, released today, the proposed Space Force will fall under the Air Force's purview, similar to the Marine Corps' relationship to the Navy. If approved by Congress, the new service will consolidate existing Defense Department space programs and personnel "as appropriate" in order to "minimize duplication of effort and eliminate bureaucratic inefficiencies."

In a Feb. 19 statement, the Air Force called the new directive "bold," stating that it "guarantees American dominance in space."

"If enacted, it will be our responsibility to deter and defeat threats in space through the U.S. Space Force, which will organize, train, and equip military space forces," the Air Force said in a statement. "It will be our obligation to ensure unfettered access to, and freedom to operate in space, and to provide vital capabilities to joint and coalition forces."

House Republicans praised the directive, with House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX) calling it "an important next step towards real reform of national security space."

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), ranking member of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said in a statement that the signing "is the first step in a process which may create the capabilities we need to ensure our success in the domain of space."

"As we look towards Congress's responsibility in legislating further on this issue, I look forward to working with my counterparts on the strategic forces subcommittee to ensure that the President's proposal satisfies our space needs, is cost effective, and results in increased capabilities," wrote Turner, who has pushed back on past attempts by lawmakers to create a separate military service for space, advocating for continued study of the issue.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), former chair of the strategic forces subcommittee and an outspoken proponent of reforming space organization and management, said today he is "glad to see the progress we have made toward finally doing something about it."

"I want to thank President Trump for the work he did to draw attention to the threat," Rogers said. "I look forward to seeing the final proposal as part of the President's budget and continuing our bipartisan work here in the Congress."

By Ashley Tressel
February 19, 2019 at 2:50 PM

The Army's Ground Vehicle Systems Center and the Next Generation Combat Vehicle cross-functional team will host an industry event April 2 and 3 to give program and investment updates.

The GVSC, formerly the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, is now a part of Army Futures Command and is working with the NGCV CFT on developing multiple next-generation vehicles, including the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.

The April event in Warren, MI, will address both funded and future projects, including "power and energy, mobility, survivability, robotics and autonomy, vehicle electronics and architecture," according to a notice posted today.

By John Liang
February 19, 2019 at 2:19 PM

The nascent Space Force, a protest of General Electric Aviation's win of a helicopter engine replacement contract and more highlight this Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Keep an eye out for a White House space policy directive:

President expected to sign key Space Force policy directive today

President Trump is expected to sign a key space policy directive today that would set up a new military service, but would fall short of establishing a new department for space.

The Army's helicopter engine replacement program is under protest:

ATEC protests GE's Apache, Black Hawk engine replacement win

Advanced Turbine Engine Co. said today it has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office against the Army's award to General Electric Aviation for the Improved Turbine Engine Program, intended to replace the engines in the AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

More of our coverage from the recent AFCEA West conference in San Diego:

JPO planning a 'Pitch Day' for F-35 software development, sustainment

SAN DIEGO -- The F-35 Joint Program Office is planning to award up to 20 software development and sustainment contracts for "immediate" requirements to small businesses and startups later this year, according to the program executive officer.

Moore: Contracting strategies driving late DDG-51 maintenance deliveries

SAN DIEGO -- The Navy delivered only 30 percent of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers out of maintenance on time in recent years, and the admiral overseeing that maintenance believes the service's acquisition strategy is to blame.

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity scored an exclusive interview with a senior NSA official:

NSA official: Use of NIST framework provides 'holistic view' of cyber threat

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's framework of cybersecurity standards, released five years ago, helped power a cost-effective approach to cyber risk management at the Defense Department that aligns in many ways with how the framework is employed by the private sector, according to senior National Security Agency official Pat Arvidson.

By Justin Katz
February 19, 2019 at 2:08 PM

SAN DIEGO -- The F-35 joint program office will brief Congress on its Block 4 modernization plan in the coming months, according to the program executive officer.

That plan was characterized as "high risk" in a recent report by the Pentagon's top weapons tester, who also called for an assessment of the cost to test and continuously modernize software.

Asked about the director of operational test and evaluation's report, F-35 PEO Vice Adm. Mat Winter said the plan does come with a "sense of uncertainty and risk."

"The [Defense] Department knows that and DOT&E is recognizing that and providing that in their assessment. So I don't see any issue with what they wrote because that's good program management understanding," he told reporters here at the AFCEA West conference.