The bulk of this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest features coverage from the Pentagon's latest operational test and evaluation report.
DOT&E on space and missile defense:
The U.S. military is wrestling with how best to evaluate weapon systems focused on the space and cyber domains, despite a new budgetary focus on procuring emerging technologies in both areas, according to the annual report from the Pentagon's chief weapons tester.
The Defense Department has imposed a "strategic pause" on Ground-based Midcourse Defense testing -- assessments used to bolster confidence in the system designed to protect the United States from a North Korean attack -- in an apparent consequence of the August decision to terminate the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program.
The Pentagon's top weapons tester continues to push for greater investment in threat-representative space testing infrastructure, writing in his most recent report that the Defense Department should invest at least $100 million per year over the next five years in improving space threat emulation.
DOT&E on the Joint Strike Fighter:
The Pentagon's top weapons tester has labeled the F-35 joint program office's Block 4 modernization schedule as "high risk" due to inefficiencies in testing and software releases as well as a backlog of 13 Category 1 deficiencies that he says must be addressed before the program integrates significant new capability.
DOT&E on certain Air Force helicopter and bomb programs:
One year after the Combat Rescue Helicopter program received a searing review from the Pentagon’s chief weapons evaluator, more testing has exposed new technical constraints and performance issues in degraded visual and live-fire environments.
The Small Diameter Bomb II has a cumbersome process to load Link 16 data, creating a "significant challenge" for timely mission planning and complicating the delivery of valid targeting information for attacks against moving targets, according to a new report from the Pentagon's chief weapons tester.
DOT&E found issues with the Army's Command Post Computing Environment:
The Pentagon's top weapons tester has made several recommendations to improve the Army's Command Post Computing Environment after labeling the system operationally ineffective and unsuitable for soldiers.
DOT&E on Navy submarine, aircraft carrier and missile programs:
Early operational testing of the Columbia-class submarine's design turned up risks that may affect the ship's operational effectiveness and suitability, a new report by the Pentagon's top weapons tester revealed.
The Navy discovered issues with the combat systems for the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford (CVN-78) that inhibit its self-defense ability, according to a new report from the Pentagon's top weapons tester.
An air-launched, anti-ship missile being purchased by the Navy and Air Force experienced "hardware reliability failures" last year during testing on a strike fighter, according to a new report published Thursday by Pentagon weapon testers.
Last but by no means least, here's the latest on the Pentagon's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification effort:
Pentagon officials are promising the defense industry a slow, phased roll out of the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, with the new security requirements expected to show up in just 10 contracts this year.