This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has more news from the Senate Armed Services Committee's fiscal year 2021 defense policy bill, plus an exclusive interview with the deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting development and more.
We start off with more coverage of the Senate Armed Services Committee's version of the FY-21 defense policy bill, including language on the Iron Dome system, space acquisition reform and the FCC decision on Ligado:
Senate bill would mandate Army plan for Iron Dome deployment
A key Senate panel is proposing legislation requiring the Army to outline a plan for deploying the Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense system, potentially enshrining in law what House and Senate lawmakers have requested of Pentagon leaders in written correspondence.
Senate authorizers bypass space acquisition reform provisions as they await key report from DOD
The Senate Armed Services Committee's fiscal year 2021 defense spending policy mark includes several provisions around the organization and implementation of the Space Force, but based on an executive summary released today, appears to be silent on any major space acquisition reforms.
Senate defense authorizers seek DOD cost estimate, independent review of FCC's Ligado order
The Senate Armed Services Committee's fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill would bar the Pentagon from complying with the Federal Communications Commission's decision to approve Ligado Networks' L-band network until the Defense Department submits cost estimates associated with potential GPS interference.
Inside Defense recently had an exclusive interview with Navy Vice Adm. Stuart Munsch, his first since the Navy established a new warfighting directorate that he leads:
Newest DCNO takes on Navy's strategic framework as 'circumstances are rapidly changing'
The new deputy chief of naval operations, leading an office only established in October, is now overseeing the Navy's effort to sync its operational, budgetary and educational strategies for a return to great power competition.
The Army's Initial Maneuver-Short-Range Air Defense system has run into some problems:
IM-SHORAD hits snag during testing, but still on track for FUE
The Army has run into some integration issues while testing the prototype for the Initial Maneuver-Short-Range Air Defense system, on top of a delay associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, but the service is still planning to make an initial production decision by the end of this fiscal year, according to the program office.
An Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center spokeswoman recently confirmed the acquisition timeline for the service's next-generation GPS satellites:
SMC expects GPS IIIF milestone C decision this month
After completing a critical design review in March for its next-generation GPS satellites, the Space and Missile Systems Center expects the program to achieve milestone C and a production decision by June 30.
Earlier this week, U.S. Transportation Command announced "an interested party" had disclosed new information regarding a moving system contract, leading the command to seek corrective action and a review of the award:
TRANSCOM pulls back $7.2B military moving services contract to investigate new information
U.S. Transportation Command is re-evaluating a $7.2 billion award to overhaul the military's moving system made to a firm whose parent corporation has a history of legal problems.
The leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee are OK with the Defense Department's assessment that it'll need a lot of money to reimburse contractors affected by the ongoing pandemic:
Inhofe, Reed open to DOD supplemental to help contractors cover COVID-19 costs
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee said today they support Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord's assessment that the Defense Department will need billions in supplemental funding to reimburse contractors for costs related to COVID-19.
Walter Chai, Missile Defense Agency director of space sensors, disclosed for the first time the savings claim for the space-based Kill Assessment project during an event hosted by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance this week:
MDA claims $700 million savings in developing SKA by teaming with commercial space sector
The Missile Defense Agency's partnership with commercial space companies to develop and set in orbit nearly two-dozen sensors, a prototype project called the Space-based Kill Assessment, allowed the government to avoid spending $700 million to develop the same capability using traditional acquisition practices, according to a senior MDA official.