The Insider

By Marjorie Censer
August 22, 2019 at 10:43 AM

Raytheon said today it will build a 200,000-square-foot facility for 500 new jobs at its space and airborne systems headquarters in McKinney, TX.

The building is set for completion late next year.

"Raytheon's McKinney facility specializes in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, including electro-optical manufacturing and the production of high-energy laser systems," the company said, noting it already has more than 3,000 employees in McKinney.

By Jaspreet Gill
August 21, 2019 at 3:53 PM

Army Cyber Command is soon planning to seek approval to change its name to Army Information Warfare Command.

At an Aug. 20 TechNet Augusta conference in Georgia, Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, U.S. Army Cyber Command commander, said the service will be going to the Defense Department "by the next 60 days" to seek approval for the name change, saying it better reflects the organization's mission.

"We believe that it is a more accurate descriptor of what I’m being asked to do on a daily basis," said Fogarty. "Space, cyberops, et cetera, they’re all in this information environment. . . . We have to be able to integrate all of these operations very, very effectively to give us the advantage that we believe we require to operate in this increasingly more contested environment."

Fogarty added the Army currently does not operate at the speed required to achieve information dominance. Last August, he said the service should consider a host of options to combat threats in cyberspace instead of limiting itself to just cyber.

By Courtney Albon
August 21, 2019 at 3:19 PM

The Pentagon will officially terminate its contract with Boeing for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, following a decision in May to stop work on the program and consider new development alternatives in light of "insurmountable" technical design flaws.

Inside Defense first reported in May that Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin had ordered a pause on development work after determining the program's path was "not viable." Since then the Pentagon has been conducting a new analysis to determine a way forward for developing a new kill vehicle for its fleet of Ground-based Interceptors.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver said in an Aug. 21 statement the contract termination will be effective Aug. 22 and confirmed the Defense Department will start a new competition for a next-generation interceptor.

"The department ultimately determined the technical design problems were so significant as to be either insurmountable or cost-prohibitive to correct," Carver said in the statement. "Research and testing accomplished prior to the program's end will inform development of the next-generation interceptor, which will include a new kill vehicle."

The Missile Defense Agency spent about $700 million on the program. The Government Accountability Office reported in June that the program's cost was projected to grow by $600 million -- above the $1.08 billion contract to Boeing.

Griffin said last week that a team of DOD officials are close to determining a new strategy for the program after three months of analysis.

Raytheon, a subcontractor to Boeing on the program, said in a statement it supports MDA's decision to stop the program.

"Raytheon supports their decision to cease work on the Redesigned Kill Vehicle and initiate a competition for the next-generation interceptor to meet these advanced threats," the company said. "Raytheon will continue to develop and offer a wide range of advanced missile defense technologies available to protect the United States now and in the future."

By Marjorie Censer
August 21, 2019 at 3:09 PM

(This occasional feature highlights protests decided by the Government Accountability Office.)

Agency: Army

Protester: Israel Aerospace Industries

What GAO found: Israel Aerospace Industries filed a protest over a request for proposals issued by the Army for helicopter and maintenance services, according to GAO's report.

The service was seeking maintenance and overhaul of the UH-60 main rotor blade assembly, and the solicitation specifically noted the winning contractor would provide the needed parts to overhaul the main rotor blade, GAO writes.

“Sikorsky is the original equipment manufacturer of the UH-60 and the main rotor blades” and the only supplier of some of the necessary parts, GAO writes. “During the solicitation period, IAI notified the agency that Sikorsky was unwilling to sell it the necessary parts, and requested that the agency provide the parts as [government-furnished material].”

However, the Army declined, and IAI protested.

“The protester argues that the solicitation’s requirement that the selected contractor must provide all of the parts and equipment is unduly restrictive in light of Sikorsky’s unwillingness to enter into agreements to supply the parts to other offerors,” the report says.

But GAO backed the Army's justification, which is that “requiring the contractor to provide the parts reduces its risk and shifts a substantial burden of performance to the contractor, as well as reflects the agency’s desire for administrative convenience.” The protest was denied.

Read the decision.

By John Liang
August 21, 2019 at 2:09 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the fiscal year 2020 defense policy bill, the Pentagon's cross-functional teams, the Air Force's Next-Generation Air Dominance program, unmanned systems and more.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) this week spoke about the status of the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization bill:

Defense bill headed for conference with House and Senate at odds over border wall funding

Whether Pentagon funds should be used to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border remains a key point of contention between the House and Senate as lawmakers prepare to hash out a final defense authorization bill, according to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

The Government Accountability Office has a new report out about the Pentagon's cross-functional teams:

DOD's new electronic warfare team hobbled by funding dispute

The Defense Department late last year touted the establishment of a new team of experts meant to take on Russian and Chinese electronic warfare strategies, but the Government Accountability Office has found the team's work has been significantly delayed because of internal Pentagon disputes over how it should be funded.

Document: GAO report on cross-functional team funding responsibilities

Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes told reporters Tuesday at a Defense Writers Group breakfast there is likely some skepticism among lawmakers about the size of the service's funding request for the Next-Generation Air Dominance program:

ACC Chief: Some Hill staffers skeptical of NGAD funding slope

The head of Air Combat Command told reporters this week he has been meeting regularly with congressional staffers during recess to discuss the Air Force's plans for the Next-Generation Air Dominance program and lawmakers' proposed $500 million cut to its fiscal year 2020 funding request.

Here is a bunch of unmanned systems news:

Pentagon aims to link small UAS firms with 'trusted' venture capitalists under new program

The Pentagon wants to boost American manufacturers of small unmanned aerial systems by connecting them with "trusted" venture capitalists as part of a new program being launched later this fall.

Army to replace Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System

The Army is on its way to replacing the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System in brigade combat teams.

Air Force RPA chief wants to reduce acquisition costs using Century Series concept

The Air Force's lead for remotely piloted aircraft wants to use a 1950s fighter production concept being resurfaced by senior officials to reduce acquisition time lines and costs as the service prepares for the next era of its drone enterprise.

DynCorp International doesn't like the way it was treated during the Army's LOGCAP V competition:

DynCorp alleges Army was 'arbitrary and capricious' in LOGCAP V decision

DynCorp International says it was treated worse than other competitors for the Army's LOGCAP V competition, according to a redacted complaint filed in federal court.

Last but by no means least, our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity recently chatted with contracting lawyer Robert Metzger, of the law firm Rogers Joseph O'Donnell:

Contracting lawyer warns of 'severe' consequences from new rule banning Huawei products

A leading legal voice for the federal contracting community warns a new regulation banning purchases of products from Huawei and other China-based tech companies will prevent some U.S. suppliers from bidding on contracts, which could force the government to do without certain services and components.

By Justin Katz
August 21, 2019 at 11:24 AM

The Navy is inviting the public in early September to participate in a "Hack the Machine" event in New York City with $90,000 in prizes available for those "who produce key insights or solutions," according to a service statement.

Similar white hat hacking events, hosted by the military, have become more prominent in recent years as cybersecurity has become a bigger concern in the Pentagon. All the events generally feature outsiders attempting to expose flaws in some part of the Defense Department's security systems for unclassified information.

The Navy event, taking place Sept. 6-8 in Manhattan, has three tracks: the geographic systems onboard ships, such as radars, aircraft maintenance systems for the F/A-18s and the use of 3D printing to assist vessels in distress.

"Up to $90,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to participants who produce key insights or solutions, and there is potential for jobs and follow-on work for individuals and teams ready to contribute to the Navy's mission of maintaining freedom of the seas," according to the service statement.

By Courtney Albon
August 21, 2019 at 10:26 AM

Lockheed Martin has selected BAE Systems to modernize the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's electronic warfare capabilities, announcing this week it has awarded BAE a $349 million contract to deliver the systems as part of the Block 4 continuous development effort.

Under the contract, BAE will upgrade its AN/ASQ-29 Electronic Warfare/Countermeasures system "to address emerging threats and maintain U.S. and allied warfighters' ability to conduct missions in contested airspace," BAE said in a press release today.

The company has been supplying EW capability for the JSF program for 14 years and has delivered more than 500 F-35 EW shipsets in support of the jet's first 11 low-rate initial production lots. Under the Block 4 Continuous Capability Development and Delivery effort, the system will be upgraded with 11 new EW capabilities.

By Justin Doubleday
August 20, 2019 at 5:31 PM

The State Department notified Congress today of a potential $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Taiwan's approved request includes 66 F-16 Block C/D aircraft, as well as associated equipment and bombs, the DSCA said in a statement released today. The prime contractor on the deal is Lockheed Martin.

The formal notification comes days after news of the sale's approval first appeared in press reports. Chinese officials have denounced the arms transfer and argue it is a violation of the "One China" policy.

A State Department spokesman pointed to comments made Aug. 19 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the F-16 sale in a Fox News interview.

"These are deeply consistent with the arrangements, the historical relationship between the United States and China, the three communiques that layer on top of that," Pompeo said. "Our actions are consistent with past U.S. policy. We are simply following through on the commitments we've made to all of the parties."

Lawmakers have largely expressed support for the sale. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elliot Engel (D-NY) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) released a joint statement Aug. 16 praising the sale.

"The sale of F-16s to Taiwan sends a strong message about the U.S. commitment to security and democracy in the Indo-Pacific," they said. "We are pleased the administration is moving forward with this sale and have every confidence that it will be supported on a bipartisan and bicameral basis."

By John Liang
August 20, 2019 at 1:57 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest features ISR funding news, the official standup date for U.S. Space Command, the Army's Distributed Common Ground System and more.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford announced the official standup date for U.S. Space Command at the sixth meeting of the National Space Council:

SPACECOM to stand up next week; DOD, NRO establish new joint ops floor

The Defense Department will formally establish U.S. Space Command next week, on Aug. 29, a move that will shift 87 units under a single unified combatant command.

A new Pentagon internal reprogramming action shifts money from a fiscal year 2019 defense-wide operations and maintenance account for "administration and service-wide activities" to the military departments' Overseas Contingency Operations coffers for new ISR programs:

Pentagon transfers nearly $70M to fill ISR gaps

The Pentagon is shifting nearly $70 million to buy additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, according to an Aug. 13 budgetary reprogramming notice signed by acting Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker.

Army Col. Thomas Nguyen, project manager for DCGS-A, spoke last week at Aberdeen Proving Ground:

Army to field first capability of Distributed Common Ground System

The Army is planning to field the first capability of the Distributed Common Ground System to 500 battalions by next spring.

The Army is fielding the third capability drop of Increment 1 of the Electronic Warfare Planning Management Tool, the service's software-intensive product for commanders to plan, control and manage the electromagnetic spectrum:

Army fielding new EW software

The Army has started fielding software from the Electronic Warfare Planning Management Tool and is implementing user feedback while the system is in production.

Delivery of the first U.S.-built A-29 Super Tucano to Nigeria has been delayed:

First A-29 Super Tucano delivery to Nigeria pushed back to May 2021

The first delivery in the foreign military sale of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria is not expected until May 2021, one year later than initially scheduled.

By Tony Bertuca
August 20, 2019 at 11:31 AM

The Defense Department Threat Reduction Advisory Committee is scheduled to hold a classified meeting Aug. 26 on the "continued viability" of U.S. chemical and biological weapon treaties, according to a Federal Register notice.

The meeting will include discussions on the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention, "in as far as current international agreements on chemical and biological weapons and the implementation and enforcement of those treaties," the notice states.

The committee will also consider "analytic and data-driven frameworks for the evaluation of the current strategic nuclear environment and the assessment of emergent challenges to the U.S. ability to deter threats from peer and near-peer competitors; and providing independent, executive-level advice and recommendations in support of Special Operations Command (SOCOM) efforts as the DOD coordinating authority for countering weapons of mass destruction," according to the notice.

The committee is also expected to brief Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord during the meeting.

By Mallory Shelbourne
August 20, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Raytheon today announced that one of its new radar systems effectively traced targets for the first time during recent testing with the Navy.

The company said the variant of its Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar that is slated for outfitting on the Navy's amphibious assault ships and amphibious transport dock vessels efficiently tracked multiple targets at Wallops Island, VA.

"Moving quickly from radar installation at Wallops Island to 'tracks on glass' in less than three months is a major accomplishment," Capt. Jason Hall, the Navy's above water sensors program manager, said in a statement.

"The EASR program is progressing extremely well. We are now one step closer to production and delivering the radar's unmatched capability to the surface fleet," he continued.

Raytheon in a press release said the radar in one test "continuously" tracked several targets throughout multiple hours, while the first test featured a commercial plane as a target.

The Navy plans to backfit this EASR variant, which Raytheon describes as "a single-face rotating array," onto the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

Raytheon bills EASR as part of its new Air and Missile Defense Radar system family, commonly referred to as SPY-6.

Scott Spence, Raytheon's Naval Radar Systems senior director, said the company anticipates the first rotating variant of EASR in 2021.

"Because EASR is built off the same hardware and software baseline as the SPY-6 (V)1, the [air and missile defense radar] program, what we're really concentrating on is testing the new functionality that EASR has above . . . the original baseline from AMDR," Spence told Inside Defense.

"So AMDR, while it has an integrated air and missile defense capability that has been tested out in Hawaii, EASR adds both the air traffic control mission, as well as a weather tracking mission," he continued.

Another variant of EASR will go on the Navy's new Ford-class aircraft carriers and the next-generation frigate program, while the service is outfitting SPY-6 onto the Arleigh Burke Flight III ships.

Raytheon is planning to finish a technical data package in October to backfit a scaled-down form of the SPY-6 radar onto Flight IIA of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Spence said.

By Jaspreet Gill
August 19, 2019 at 4:16 PM

The Army is seeking information on computing technology for the Distributed Common Ground System.

A request for information posted this month on Federal Business Opportunities states the service wants to hear from industry "on the current state of technology for scalable computing, processing, and storage capabilities for a future intelligence ground processing station."

The notice states the service is seeking details about on "combined computing and storage equipment that provides flexibility and scalability while also reducing the size, weight, power and cooling required for a future mobile ground station system." The future ground station system is intended to reduce the footprint of the existing computer solutions.

Responses are due Sept. 28 and should include a description of the scalable computing capability, number of applicable vendor solutions, customizability of the product, development and production timelines and cost information, the notice says.

By John Liang
August 19, 2019 at 2:01 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest features a deep dive into the $116 billion "defense-wide" budget account, and more.

We start off with an in-depth look at an ongoing review of the Pentagon's multibillion-dollar "defense-wide" budget account:

New budget review draws skepticism from those who once hunted for DOD savings

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered a review of a $116 billion Defense Department account outside the purview of the military services, stoking concern that officials will search for savings in civilian-led corners of the Pentagon already picked clean by previous efficiency initiatives.

Delivery of the first U.S.-built A-29 Super Tucano to Nigeria has been delayed:

First A-29 Super Tucano delivery to Nigeria pushed back to May 2021

The first delivery in the foreign military sale of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria is not expected until May 2021, one year later than initially scheduled.

Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly spoke to reporters during a roundtable at the Pentagon late last week:

Navy to stand up new position focused on cybersecurity and information management

The Navy is establishing a new position dedicated to cybersecurity and information management following a critical review earlier this year of the service’s cyber practices, according to a top official.

The Air Force has begun limited flights out of an air base in Niger:

Air Force begins limited flying operations at Nigerien Air Base 201, no ISR flights scheduled

This month, the Air Force began limited flight operations to support airfield assessments at Air Base 201 in Niger, where the service is building infrastructure, including a runway, to support regional counterterrorism missions.

The Navy's fiscal year 2020 budget appeal, obtained last week by Inside Defense, states that the Marine Corps' CH-53K helicopter program has suffered a multimillion-dollar cost increase:

Navy discloses $43.4 million CH-53K cost increase to House appropriators

The Navy has informed House appropriators of a recent cost increase for the Marine Corps' delayed new heavy-lift helicopter.

Here's more of our recent coverage of the Navy's appeal document:

$20M congressional cut could trigger up to $43M in fees for Columbia sub program

The Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program is at risk of incurring up to $43 million in contract cancellation fees if Congress slashes $20 million in requested funding for missile tube production.

Navy urges House appropriators to restore rescinded F-35B funds

The Navy disagrees with the House Appropriations Committee's choice to rescind fiscal year 2019 advanced procurement funding for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, arguing the move would set back the service's timeline for standing up the Marine Corps' second squadron of F-35Cs.

House cuts could limit LUSV concept design contracts from seven to five awards

The concept design phase for a new unmanned surface vessel may be limited from seven contract awards to five if Congress maintains a proposed $20 million cut to the program in the fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill, according to an undated document newly obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: Navy's appeals to FY-20 House spending bill

By Justin Doubleday
August 19, 2019 at 1:50 PM

The Defense Department tested a ground-launched cruise missile at a range greater than 500 kilometers over the weekend, the first such test since the Trump administration formally abandoned the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty due to Russia's alleged violations.

The test occurred on Sunday afternoon at San Nicolas Island, CA, and involved a "conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile," according to a DOD statement issued today. The missile "accurately impacted its target after more than 500 kilometers of flight," DOD said.

"Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities," the statement continued.

The United States withdrew from the INF Treaty on Aug. 2, six months after notifying Russia of its intent to leave the accord.

The 1987 treaty bans the deployment of all land-based cruise missiles, conventional and nuclear, with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. For several years dating back to the Obama administration, U.S. officials have charged Russia with developing and deploying weapons that violate the treaty, an allegation Moscow denies.

"We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other," President Trump said in February. "We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct."

By Tony Bertuca
August 19, 2019 at 5:05 AM

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak in the Washington area this week. Congress remains on August recess.

Tuesday

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies hosts an invitation-only discussion with acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.

The Association for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles International hosts an event with senior Pentagon officials, including Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord.

Wednesday

The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement hosts an event on Multi-Domain Battle Management.

Friday

The Air Force Association hosts a breakfast with Air Combat Command chief Gen. James Holmes.