The Insider

By Marjorie Censer
November 1, 2019 at 11:35 AM

Booz Allen Hamilton is seeing increased demand for artificial intelligence services, the company's chief executive said today.

Horacio Rozanski told analysts the company has a "robust AI services business" and is working with the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center as well as other parts of the Pentagon.

"We expect continued strong growth and demand as more and more federal agencies work to integrate AI into their missions," he said.

Rozanski said Booz Allen is also "developing new AI business lines and exploring ways to monetize our intellectual property."

Meanwhile, the contractor said today sales in its most recent quarter reached $1.8 billion, up almost 13% from the same three-month period a year earlier.

Booz Allen recorded quarterly profit of $114 million, up 23% from the prior year.

Earlier this week, ManTech International said sales in its most recent quarter reached $579 million, up 16% from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The contractor's quarterly profit hit $28 million, up 27% from the prior year.

ManTech said it saw increased demand for its services and technology.

By Marjorie Censer
November 1, 2019 at 10:04 AM

CACI International said this week it acquired three companies in October for a total purchase price of about $105 million.

CACI picked up Next Century, which specializes in geospatial mapping, data fusion and machine learning for defense and intelligence agencies; Linndustries Shielding Specialties, which makes hardened systems to fend off high-altitude electromagnetic pulses; and Deep3, which offers data analytics, digital transformation and cybersecurity in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, CACI announced that sales in its most recent quarter reached nearly $1.4 billion, up almost 17% from the same three-month period a year earlier. The company recorded quarterly profit of $68 million, down about 14% from the prior year.

CACI attributed its profit decline to "unusually strong results last year due to product sales timing and other one-time benefits."

By Justin Katz
November 1, 2019 at 9:25 AM

The Navy yesterday awarded Boston Consulting Group a $16 million contract modification for continued implementation of the service's aviation maintenance overhaul efforts, according to a Pentagon statement.

The maintenance effort, dubbed Naval Sustainment System-Aviation, focuses on bringing industry into the service's maintenance centers to view the work firsthand and offer feedback. Those efforts began last year shortly after former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis directed the Pentagon to achieve 80% mission-capable rates for its strike fighter fleets by the end of fiscal year 2019.

The Navy this summer started a separate but similar effort, Naval Sustainment System-Shipyards, for the service's public shipyards.

By Justin Doubleday
October 31, 2019 at 4:14 PM

The Defense Department will experiment with fifth-generation wireless technologies at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, Hill Air Force Base, UT, Naval Base San Diego, CA, and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, GA, the Pentagon announced today.

The four bases are the first installations where DOD will begin experimenting with 5G technologies to test out capabilities like dynamic spectrum sharing, augmented reality and "smart" warehouses for logistics operations.

"The bases were selected for their ability to provide streamlined access to site spectrum bands, mature fiber and wireless infrastructure, access to key facilities, support for new or improved infrastructure requirements, and the ability to conduct controlled experimentation with dynamic spectrum sharing," the Pentagon's statement explains.

DOD is expected to release a draft request for prototype proposals through the National Spectrum Consortium in November. The Pentagon plans to add new use cases to the RPP "roughly every quarter," according to the announcement.

By Sara Sirota
October 31, 2019 at 1:52 PM

The Air Force Research Lab's munitions directorate today released a broad agency announcement that will support contracts for studies and experimentation with a cumulative value of up to $750 million.

The BAA will remain open through October 2024. During this period, AFRL will solicit white papers and periodically request proposals for technologies in 12 specific research areas.

These areas include modeling, simulation and analysis, aircraft integration, find-fix-target-track and datalink, an engagement management system, high velocity fuzing, advanced warheads and control actuation systems. They also include missile electronics, guidance and control, advanced propulsion, carriage and release and test and evaluation.

AFRL today released its first call for proposals under the BAA, looking to establish an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for miniature self-defense munition technology development. The first task order under this effort will have a performance period of 39 months and is expected to include one award worth $100 million.

A preproposal conference is scheduled for Nov. 21, and responses are due Jan. 31. AFRL anticipates awarding a contract for the first call during the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.

The BAA does not indicate when calls for proposals in other research areas will be released.

By John Liang
October 31, 2019 at 1:47 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on missile defense, artificial intelligence, Air Force space command and control, the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program and more.

A plan for a technologically ambitious Next Generation Interceptor appears to not yet have necessary support in the Pentagon:

GMD modernization fuels FY-21 budget deliberations over new interceptor design

The plan for a technologically ambitious Next Generation Interceptor -- a potential decade-long project to develop a new long-range, guided missile to protect the nation against anticipated North Korean and Iranian ballistic missile threats beginning in 2030 -- is fueling a debate about the shape of the program late in the fiscal year 2021 budget endgame.

The Defense Innovation Board met this week:

Defense Innovation Board recommends five 'principles' for Pentagon's use of AI

The Defense Innovation Board is recommending the Pentagon commit to developing and using artificial intelligence systems in a responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable and governable manner.

Document: Defense Innovation Board's 'AI principles'

Related from earlier in the week:

Pentagon to grapple with tough questions about using artificial intelligence for warfare

The Pentagon is set to this week receive recommendations for principles guiding the U.S. military's development and use of artificial intelligence, the latest step in DOD's effort to both take advantage of the rapidly advancing technology and keep it within ethical boundaries.

A Government Accountability Office report on the Air Force's space command-and-control architecture is out:

Air Force to submit Space C2 acquisition strategy in November

The Air Force plans to submit a formal acquisition strategy for its latest effort to modernize space command-and-control architecture and is working to mitigate early technical and program management concerns, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Document: GAO report on DOD's space C2 program

The Mk21A reentry vehicle program is moving toward a system requirements review during the second quarter of fiscal year 2020:

Mk21A reentry vehicle program moving toward system requirements review

The program to develop a reentry vehicle that can deliver the future W87-1 warhead from the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent -- the Air Force's next intercontinental ballistic missile system -- is expected to reach a key early milestone in the beginning of the next calendar year.

Inside Defense this week chatted with Raytheon's Jim Long, senior business development manager for the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-To-Air Missile program:

Raytheon confident about AMRAAM production despite Air Force's JATM plans

The supplier of one of the world's most frequently bought air-to-air missiles is not altering its production strategy in response to the Air Force's stated plan to cut procurement in favor of a longer-range weapon that's under development with another company.

The chief executive of L3Harris spoke to Wall Street analysts this week on his company's quarterly earnings:

L3Harris CEO says company has submitted 14 combined proposals since merger

Since merging four months ago, L3Harris Technologies has submitted more than a dozen proposals, mostly in electronic warfare and space sensing domains, that bring together Harris and L3 Technologies capabilities, according to its chief executive.

By Ashley Tressel
October 31, 2019 at 10:25 AM

The Army next month is holding an industry day for the Extended Range Cannon Artillery Increment 2 program at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, according to a recent notice.

The industry day will be the first in a series of engagements through the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, says the Federal Business Opportunities notice posted Oct. 22.

The event, scheduled for Nov. 26, will cover an operational overview, acquisition strategy overview, key system capabilities and the development efforts of the Army's Armaments Center.

The notice says the Army may release a request for prototype proposals around April, which would result in an award through an other transaction agreement.

By John Liang
October 31, 2019 at 9:18 AM

The Defense Science Board will hold its two-day, closed-to-the-public "Fall Quarterly Meeting" next week, with Air Force Space Command as well as task force studies on counter autonomy, multidomain effects and the insider threat among the topics on the agenda.

According to a Federal Register notice published this morning, the Nov. 6 part of the meeting will include a briefing on the findings of the task force looking into "Counter Autonomy" and a vote on its findings and recommendations.

Following that, Mike Griffin and Lisa Porter from the Pentagon's research and engineering shop "will provide a classified brief on their view of the defense challenges and issues the [Defense Department] faces," the notice states.

Board members will then be briefed on the findings of the task force on "Gaming, Exercising, Modeling, and Simulation (GEMS)" and will vote on its recommendations. Following that, the DSB will receive briefings from Air Force Gen. John Raymond, head of Air Force Space Command, and Alan Shaffer from the Pentagon's acquisition and sustainment shop.

The following day, the board will be briefed and vote on the findings and recommendations of the task forces studying "Multi-Domain Effects" and "Strengthening Counter Intelligence Capabilities Against the 'Insider Threat,'" according to the notice.

The meeting will conclude with a briefing from Christopher Scolese, head of the National Reconnaissance Office.

By Mallory Shelbourne
October 30, 2019 at 2:07 PM

The Navy yesterday announced a $119.9 million contract modification to BAE Systems for Lot 3 of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle's low-rate initial production phase.

"This modification is for the purchase of 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles and associated production, fielding and support costs and depot support products," the contract announcement reads.

A BAE press release noted the contract modification is for the ACV's personnel variant. The program is slated to include three additional variants: a command and control variant, a recovery variant and a gun variant.

"This award further validates the Marine Corps' confidence in the vehicle's proven capability in meeting their amphibious mission, and represents an important step toward fielding the vehicle in the Fleet Marine Force," John Swift, BAE's amphibious program director for combat vehicles, said in a statement.

Inside Defense recently reported that the Marine Corps had delayed the initial operational test and evaluation stage and full-rate production for the ACV program after vehicle deliveries fell behind projections.

Last December, the Navy awarded BAE a $140 million contract modification for LRIP Lot 2.

By John Liang
October 30, 2019 at 1:57 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Navy's plans to get through a yearlong continuing resolution, the Missile Defense Agency's Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program and more.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer this morning said the service has planned for the current stopgap continuing resolution in effect through Nov. 21 and is now evaluating what a full-year CR would look like:

Navy planning for one-year CR

The Navy is gearing up for the possibility of a one-year continuing resolution, as the Senate remains stalled in the appropriations process.

Four companies have won prototype design contracts for the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program:

Harris, Leidos, Northrop and Raytheon win HBTSS prototype contracts

The Missile Defense Agency has selected Harris, Leidos, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon to develop prototype designs for the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program -- a project formerly called the Space Sensor Layer -- to develop a network of orbiting satellites optimized to continuously track long-range missiles from launch to impact.

The former head of the Pentagon's policy shop and a former senator both testified this week before a new House Armed Services Committee task force:

Former Pentagon policy chief raises cyber warnings over threats from China, Russia

The Pentagon's top policy official in the Obama administration is raising warnings about the cyber threats from foreign adversaries such as Russia and China, as conflicts move to a "grey zone" of electronic warfare and advance outages.

Document: House 'future of defense task force' hearing on 'theories of victory'

An officer with the Air Force's Air Education Training Center spoke with Inside Defense this week:

Pilot Training Next program begins integrating with NASA for next session

The Air Force's Pilot Training Next program -- intended to establish an accelerated student curriculum by leveraging biometric data and artificial intelligence -- has begun executing a new partnership with NASA ahead of the program’s third iteration, set to begin in January.

Some big Joint Strike Fighter news, in case you missed it yesterday:

Pentagon to rebaseline F-35 due to 13-month milestone C delay

The Pentagon is updating the F-35's acquisition program baseline, acquisition chief Ellen Lord confirmed today, after announcing earlier this month that milestone C and a full-rate production decision would likely be delayed more than a year due to problems integrating the jet into a new Joint Simulation Environment.

Pentagon finalizes $34 billion F-35 deal for LRIPs 12 to 14

The Pentagon has finalized a $34 billion contract with F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin to buy 478 jets across the next three low-rate initial production lots.

By Marjorie Censer
October 30, 2019 at 1:12 PM

Aerojet Rocketdyne said this week sales in its aerospace and defense segment during the most recent quarter reached $480 million, down about 3% from the same three-month period a year earlier.

"The decrease in net sales was primarily due to a decrease of $27.9 million in space programs primarily driven by the RS-68 program partially offset by growth in the RS-25 program," the company said. "The decline in space programs was partially offset by an increase of $10.7 million in defense programs primarily driven by the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) programs."

The company's quarterly profit in the segment totaled $59 million, down about 16% from the prior year.

By Marjorie Censer
October 30, 2019 at 1:01 PM

Oshkosh said today its defense group recorded $570 million in sales in its most recent quarter, up almost 23% from the same three-month period a year earlier.

The company attributed the increase to the "continued ramp up of [Joint Light Tactical Vehicle] sales to the U.S. government."

The defense unit's quarterly profit hit $51 million, down about 20% from the prior year. Oshkosh said the previous year's quarter had benefited from a litigation settlement.

Meanwhile, KBR too today reported growth in its government work. The government solutions business announced quarterly sales of $978 million, up 5% from a year earlier.

KBR said the growth was "underpinned by the commencement of new programs, including cybersecurity and risk management services for the Defense Health Agency, holistic human and psychological performance services for the U.S. Special Operations Forces under the Preservation of the Force and Family program, and networking, communications and training services for the U.K. Ministry of Defence."

Additionally, KBR noted, it "substantially completed disaster recovery work at Tyndall Air Force Base during the quarter."

The government solutions unit recorded quarterly profit of $110 million, up about 12% from the prior year.

By Courtney Albon
October 30, 2019 at 12:49 PM

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center recently released a far-reaching call for industry input on launch capabilities to inform future National Security Space Launch architecture requirements and deepen its understanding of future commercial and civil lift, maneuver and transport capabilities.

The request for information, issued Oct. 25, is part of a series of RFIs looking for more details on commercial launch, maneuver and transport capabilities that will help shape the Air Force's future launch requirements. The notice states that the findings will directly inform a National Security Launch Architecture study that began this month and will be incorporated in the third phase of the NSSL strategy as well as small and experimental lift programs.

Responses should consider how capabilities could be used by the Air Force in the 2025 to 2030 time frame, which could feature new proliferated low-earth orbit constellations, on-orbit servicing, advanced rideshare and hosted payload utilization. The study also asks for a more forward-looking review of future integrated payload concepts that could be needed in a multidomain space enterprise in the 2030 to 2050 time frame.

The RFI is directed not only toward launch providers, but also satellite developers and operators, asking specifically about future "architecture ambitions," perspectives on the Defense Department's current launch policies and innovative ideas for future capabilities.

The need to update the national security launch architecture is driven by a number of initiatives within the Pentagon to adapt its space posture to a changing domain. The RFI highlights some of the underlying drivers, including the 2017 National Security Strategy, which calls for more resilient space constellations; the stand-up of U.S. Space Command this spring and potential reorganization under a new Space Force; and the creation of a new Space Development Agency tasked with setting a vision for a next-generation space architecture and realigning existing programs to fit under that plan.

RFI responses, in the form of a statement of capability, are due Nov. 19, and SMC is planning an industry day in early December to discuss industry submissions.

By John Liang
October 29, 2019 at 6:18 PM

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has released a "skinny" version of the fiscal year 2020 defense authorization bill.

The bill is a backup plan in case House Democrats and Senate Republicans cannot compromise on how to address President Trump's use of military construction money to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I'm introducing this simple, politics-free version of the annual defense authorization bill today to guarantee that we are able to fulfill our responsibilities to our service members and maintain critical national security programs -- a goal all conferees share," Inhofe said in a statement. "Given our deadline, I want to preserve all options for fulfilling our Constitutional duty. My Democrat colleagues in the Senate have been great partners throughout this entire process, and I believe we can still reach a final, bipartisan agreement on a comprehensive defense authorization bill, just as we have for the last 58 years."

Read the "skinny" bill.

By John Liang
October 29, 2019 at 1:42 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the JEDI cloud contract decision and more.

We start off with news on the Pentagon's largest weapon system acquisition program in history:

Pentagon to rebaseline F-35 due to 13-month milestone C delay

The Pentagon is updating the F-35's acquisition program baseline, acquisition chief Ellen Lord confirmed today, after announcing earlier this month that milestone C and a full-rate production decision would likely be delayed more than a year due to problems integrating the jet into a new Joint Simulation Environment.

Pentagon finalizes $34 billion F-35 deal for LRIPs 12 to 14

The Pentagon has finalized a $34 billion contract with F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin to buy 478 jets across the next three low-rate initial production lots.

DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy faced questions on Capitol Hill this morning about the Pentagon's decision last week to award the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to Microsoft over Amazon Web Services:

Top DOD official says Trump, White House did not influence JEDI source-selection team

The Defense Department officials who decided to award a multibillion-dollar cloud contract to Microsoft Azure were not influenced by anyone from the White House, including President Trump, according to DOD's top IT official.

Document: Hershman, Deasy, Sander nomination hearing

Insurance companies could play a key role in helping small businesses get certified against cyberattacks when contracting with the Defense Department:

Defense industry touts insurance to help small firms certify under DOD cybersecurity program

The National Defense Industrial Association has issued a report that emphasizes the important role that insurance companies can play in helping smaller businesses get certified -- and stave off potential supply shortages -- under an emerging Defense Department program that would establish baseline cybersecurity requirements for vendors and service providers.

Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts told reporters this week at the Pentagon that the service's newest aircraft carrier has completed about "50%" of its sea trials:

Ford finishing sea trials, starting 18-month testing phase

Having finished its maintenance availability, the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford (CVN-78) will conduct sea trials this week and then begin an 18-month, post-delivery testing phase, according to a senior Navy official.