The Insider

By Justin Doubleday
April 12, 2021 at 4:06 PM

President Biden met with the chief executives of 19 U.S. firms today to tout his plan to invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research as part of a sweeping infrastructure proposal.

"I've been saying for some time now, China and the rest of the world is not waiting," Biden said during a virtual "CEO Summit on Semiconductor and Supply Chain Resilience" at the White House. "And there's no reason why Americans should wait. We're investing aggressively in areas like semiconductors and batteries, that's what they're doing and others. So must we."

As part of a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, Biden is urging Congress to appropriate $50 billion for a set of semiconductor manufacturing programs authorized, but not funded, under the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act (CHIPS Act). The legislation was passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

The push for boosting U.S. chip manufacturing comes in the wake of COVID-19's rattling of global supply chains. Lawmakers are also concerned about China's plans to become a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing.

Adding to the urgency is a global shortage of chips that has forced U.S. auto manufacturers and other sectors to slash production this year.

"These chips, these wafers, batteries, broadband, are all infrastructure," Biden said. "This is infrastructure. So look, we need to build infrastructure of today, not repair the one of yesterday."

According to the White House pool report, the individuals involved in today's meeting were:

  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google
  • Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Consumer, AT&T Communications LLC
  • Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins, Inc.
  • Michael Dell, President and CEO of Dell Technologies
  • James "Jim" D. Farley, Jr., President and CEO of Ford Motor Company
  • Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
  • Dr. Thomas "Tom" Caulfield, CEO of Global Foundries
  • Enrique Lores, President and CEO of HP
  • Patrick "Pat" Gelsinger, CEO of Intel Corporation
  • Geoff Martha, Chairman and CEO of Medtronic
  • Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO of Micron
  • Kathy J. Warden, Chairman, CEO, and President of Northrop Grumman
  • Kurt Sievers, President and CEO of NXP
  • R. Preston Feight, CEO of PACCAR
  • Gordon Fournier, Chief Operating and Financial Officer of the Piston Group
  • Si Young Choi, President and General Manager of Samsung's Device Solutions Division
  • Thomas Sonderman, President and CEO of SkyWater Technology
  • Carlos Tavares, CEO and Executive Director of Stellantis
  • Mark Liu, Executive Chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)
By Ethan Sterenfeld
April 12, 2021 at 3:37 PM

BAE Systems confirmed today that it is one of the two companies the Army selected to compete for the Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, the service's new ground vehicle for the Arctic.

The Army said last week that BAE and a team of Oshkosh and ST Engineering will deliver prototypes by June 14 for the CATV competition. Each company will provide two prototypes: one general-purpose and one cargo variant.

The vehicles will be tested in Alaska this year ahead of the Army's scheduled selection of one of them in the third quarter of fiscal year 2022.

BAE will provide two of its Beowulf vehicles, which are unarmored, tracked and designed for mobility over challenging terrain, such as swamps and melting ice, Mark Signorelli, vice president of BAE Systems Platforms and Services, said during an April 12 call with reporters.

"I can't imagine that there is a better fit for the Army's needs than what Beowulf provides," Signorelli said.

The Beowulf is the unarmored version of the BvS10, an armored vehicle that is currently used by the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Norway and Austria, Signorelli said.

"The family of vehicles is well-exercised," he said.

Signorelli did not have a specific timeline of when the prototypes would be delivered to the Army, except to say that BAE will meet the June 14 deadline the Army has set.

"We are just waiting now on shipping instructions from the Army," he said.

BAE Systems Hagglunds builds the Beowulf in Sweden, and the vehicle would be assembled there if it is selected by the Army, Signorelli said. He said the planned schedule and procurement quantities for the vehicle would not justify opening an American assembly line.

"It wouldn't make sense either for the company or the Army" to move production to America, Signorelli said.

Many of the Beowulf's components are made in the United States, including the engine, transmission and hydraulics, Signorelli said.

By John Liang
April 12, 2021 at 1:48 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Biden administration's proposed fiscal year 2022 defense budget, plus the Air Force's new acquisition strategy for the Stand-in Attack Weapon program and more.

Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle aren't happy with President Biden's proposed defense budget:

Biden defense budget takes political hits from left and right

President Biden's first defense budget is being criticized by congressional Republicans, who say it is too small, and liberal lawmakers, who say it is too big.

Related, in case you missed it:

Biden's defense budget seeks to cut legacy programs, eliminates warfighting account

President Biden is proposing a $715 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2022, with plans to cut unspecified legacy weapon systems and eliminate a controversial warfighting account intended for overseas military operations, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Document: OMB's FY-22 discretionary budget request

The Air Force has a new acquisition strategy for the Stand-in Attack Weapon program:

USAF's SiAW program abandons sole-sourced, AARGM-ER upgrade plan

The Air Force has changed its acquisition strategy for the Stand-in Attack Weapon -- a new strike capability for the F-35 -- and is no longer solely pursuing an upgrade to the extended-range variant of the Navy and Northrop Grumman's Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile.

The Space Force recently announced the organizational design for Space Systems Command it has been developing over the last year and officials say is on track for establishment this summer:

Space Force reaches agreement on capability transfers from Army, Navy

Space Force officials said last week the service is making progress on two efforts of significant congressional interest -- designing an acquisition system that delivers capabilities faster and determining which space capabilities will transfer to the new service from the Army and Navy.

Document: Space Force organizational design for Space Systems Command

Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, surface warfare director in the office of the chief of naval operations (N96), is spearheading a Distributed Offensive Surface Fires Analysis of Alternatives study that began in late January:

Navy considering alternatives to LUSV, packing amphibs, commercial designs more with long-range missiles

The Navy, which last fall proposed a $3.6 billion, five-year plan to launch a fleet of Large Unmanned Surface Vehicles packed with long-range missiles, is now conducting an analysis to determine if an LUSV is the most appropriate platform to add offensive punch to the surface fleet -- an assessment mandated by Congress and which the service aims to complete by October.

Inside Defense recently interviewed Gaylia Campbell, vice president of precision fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control:

Extended Range GMLRS flies 135 km in test

An extended-range version of the Army's Guided Multiple Rocket Launch System flew more than 135 kilometers in a March 25 test, Lockheed Martin announced.

By Marjorie Censer
April 12, 2021 at 12:28 PM

CACI International said today it has promoted Glenn Kurowski to chief technology officer.

"As CTO, Kurowski will work across the company to lead corporate technology outreach and help realize CACI's technical vision, its investments for growth in national security technology, as well as to continue building the company's scientific, engineering, and technical talent," the company said.

Kurowski joined CACI about six years ago, the company said. He previously was an executive at Lockheed Martin.

By Tony Bertuca
April 12, 2021 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak during several events this week, including testifying on Capitol Hill.

Monday

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville discusses Army modernization during a virtual Washington Post event.

Tuesday

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on defense innovation and research.

The Atlantic Council hosts an event on the modern government services company.

Business Executives for National Security hosts a virtual discussion with the Army inspector general.

The Association of Old Crows hosts a virtual event on electromagnetic spectrum.

Wednesday

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing with senior defense officials on U.S. military challenges and activities in North and South America.

The Washington Space Business Roundtable hosts a virtual discussion with the director of pathfinding at the Space Development Agency.

The National Defense Industrial Agency hosts a virtual event on the future of U.S. special operations forces and Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

Thursday

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing with Adm. Craig Faller, chief of U.S. Southern Command.

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing with Gen. Todd Wolters, chief of U.S. European Command.

Gen. John Murray, chief of Army Futures Command, speaks during a virtual event hosted by the AFC-Lieber Institute at West Point.

By Marjorie Censer
April 9, 2021 at 6:28 PM

Raytheon Technologies said today it has named Neil Mitchill chief financial officer, succeeding Toby O’Brien who "has stepped down from his role as CFO."

Mitchill is corporate vice president for financial planning and analysis and investor relations for Raytheon.

"As CFO, Mr. Mitchill, age 46, will serve as a member of the senior leadership team and direct the company's financial strategy and its global finance team," the company said.

Mitchill joined United Technologies in 2014 as vice president for global financial services. He has also served as CFO of Pratt & Whitney and was acting CFO of UTC before its merger with Raytheon.

By Jordan Wolman
April 9, 2021 at 4:27 PM

Naval Sea Systems Command has released a draft request for proposals for industry studies on the Next Generation Logistics Ship. The final RFP is expected by early May.

The studies, according to the announcement, will assess affordability in ship concept designs and examine cost impacts of potential mission features and ship characteristics.

The Navy is looking for the NGLS to be a "family of vessels to rearm, refuel and resupply" units in various contested environments. Preferably, according to the announcement, the industry studies will use mature ship designs that can be modified to meet the ships' mission.

NGLS will be classed to ABS Marine Vessel Rules, according to the notice. The family of vessels would conduct logistics missions in support of distributed maritime operations, littoral operations contested environment and expeditionary advanced base operations.

The contracts will require a domestic shipyard that can construct NGLS. The contracts will only be awarded to a shipyard able to construct the NGLS as either the prime contractor, sub-contractor or team member, the notice reads.

By John Liang
April 9, 2021 at 1:53 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Biden administration's proposed fiscal year 2022 defense budget and more.

The Biden administration this morning released details on its proposed fiscal year 2022 defense budget:

Biden's defense budget seeks to cut legacy programs, eliminates warfighting account

President Biden is proposing a $715 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2022, with plans to cut unspecified legacy weapon systems and eliminate a controversial warfighting account intended for overseas military operations, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Document: OMB's FY-22 discretionary budget request

Some military space news:

Space Force reaches agreement on capability transfers from Army, Navy

Space Force officials said this week the service is making progress on two efforts of significant congressional interest -- designing an acquisition system that delivers capabilities faster and determining which space capabilities will transfer to the new service from the Army and Navy.

Space Systems Command on track for summer standup

The Space Force plans to redesignate the Space and Missile Systems Center as Space Systems Command and will officially standup SSC this summer, according to officials.

Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, surface warfare director in the office of the chief of naval operations (N96), is spearheading a Distributed Offensive Surface Fires Analysis of Alternatives study that began in late January:

Navy considering alternatives to LUSV, packing amphibs, commercial designs more with long-range missiles

The Navy, which last fall proposed a $3.6 billion, five-year plan to launch a fleet of Large Unmanned Surface Vehicles packed with long-range missiles, is now conducting an analysis to determine if an LUSV is the most appropriate platform to add offensive punch to the surface fleet -- an assessment mandated by Congress and which the service aims to complete by October.

Inside Defense recently interviewed Gaylia Campbell, vice president of precision fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control:

Extended Range GMLRS flies 135 km in test

An extended-range version of the Army's Guided Multiple Rocket Launch System flew more than 135 kilometers in a March 25 test, Lockheed Martin announced.

DOD wants to "push the envelope" on 5G standards, according to Keith Gremban, program manager for DOD's "5G-to-NextG Initiative" in the office of the under secretary of defense for research and engineering:

Pentagon looks to influence 5G standards on cybersecurity

Defense Department officials are seeking to influence standards and specifications for fifth-generation wireless networks in key areas like cybersecurity.

By Marjorie Censer
April 9, 2021 at 1:16 PM

The White House on Monday will hold a virtual CEO Summit on semiconductor and supply chain resilience, according to a pool report.

The report said the event will be hosted by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and will also include Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

"They will discuss the American Jobs Plan and steps to strengthen the resilience of American supply chains for semiconductors and other key areas," according to the pool report.

More than a dozen companies are set to participate, including Google parent company Alphabet, Dell Technologies, General Motors, HP and Samsung. The only defense contractor included is Northrop Grumman, according to the list provided by the pool report.

A Northrop spokesman confirmed Kathy Warden, the company's chief executive, will attend the summit.

By Tony Bertuca
April 9, 2021 at 9:12 AM

President Biden will propose a $715 billion fiscal year 2022 budget for the Pentagon, Inside Defense has confirmed.

The figure was first reported by Bloomberg News. Additional details on the FY-22 topline are expected today, while a more detailed budget will be released later this spring.

The $715 billion topline for the Pentagon, which is less than the $722 billion planned for FY-22 by the Trump administration, does not include other national defense spending like that of the Energy Department. In FY-21, the Congress enacted a $704 billion Pentagon budget, making Biden's new proposal a decrease of less than 0.5% in real terms when adjusting for inflation.

Republicans have called for annual defense increases of 3% to 5%, while some liberal Democrats are pushing for a 10% cut.

Watch Inside Defense for more reporting throughout the day.

UPDATE: Read the OMB statement on the FY-22 budget here.

By Jordan Wolman
April 8, 2021 at 4:03 PM

The Navy's Fleet Integrated Readiness and Analysis Office is working toward a "modern, unified readiness analytics dashboard" that offers service officials a go-to source for readiness analysis, reporting and decision-making that supports the Navigation Plan's 16 objectives.

The work toward such a dashboard is part of the Navy's overall focus on data-driven analytics and decision making, according to Patrick O'Connell, the service's chief digital transformation officer.

The service's Navigation Plan, released in January, outlines how the Navy will "control the seas and project power across all domains." The plan focuses on sailors, readiness, capabilities and capacity.

O'Connell, speaking at a Navy League event earlier today, highlighted a few other initiatives for the service to use data in a way that increases readiness and capabilities.

In the past year, O'Connell said the Navy developed a tool for carrier strike groups that calculates the optimized search pattern for a designated area depending on the "mix of the assets available," including piloted aircraft, ships, radars and drones. While that tool is currently a combination of automated and manual processes, the Navy is looking to make it a "live dashboard."

O'Connell is also focused on developing an automated dashboard for fleet personnel, equipment, supply, training, ordnance, network, and infrastructure, or PESTONI, to determine the readiness of a CSG for a mission.

Data is expected to become so important in the Navy's operations that it's "not so much if but more of a when" that "software folks" and "data scientists" will exist in the service "as a profession," he said.

O'Connell said education-oriented tools, like a "digital academy," could provide Navy leadership with a common understanding and language in this domain.

"Culture is one of the most important but hardest elements of a digital transformation," he said.

Rear Adm. Paul Spedero, Jr., the director of fleet readiness and analysis, also spoke at the Navy League event and emphasized the significance of a data-accepting culture.

"Transformation within an organization, particularly one that is steeped in heritage like the United States Navy . . . there's a lot of folks that are fairly comfortable with the problems in place and their approach to the business side of the Navy, and knocking down those barriers -- it can be pretty challenging," Spedero said.

By John Liang
April 8, 2021 at 1:32 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Missile Defense Agency's Next Generation Interceptor program, the Army's upcoming electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle and more.

Boeing now knows why it wasn't chosen to work on the Next Generation Interceptor program:

MDA debriefs Boeing on NGI loss, option to protest closes next week

The Missile Defense Agency has debriefed Boeing on its loss in the Next Generation Interceptor, giving the incumbent in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program through next week to consider whether to protest awards to Lockheed Martin -- which ranked first in the three-way contest -- and a Northrop Grumman/Raytheon team, according to a source familiar with recent developments.

Inside Defense recently interviewed Army Maj. Ryan Ressler, eLRV project officer in the maneuver requirements division of the Maneuver Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate:

Hybrid drivetrain likely 'most feasible' for eLRV, Army official says

It is more likely that the Army's upcoming electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle will have a hybrid than a pure electric drivetrain, according to officials leading the development and prototyping of the vehicle.

A new Government Accountability Office report finds that Defense Department "domain readiness varied from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2019":

GAO: Ground readiness improves, but sea readiness decreases

The Defense Department has experienced an increase in ground readiness and a decrease in sea readiness from fiscal year 2017 through FY-19, according to a Government Accountability Office report published Wednesday.

Document: GAO report on military readiness

The Pentagon recently released a controlled unclassified information "Quick Reference Guide" brochure, as well as an associated slide deck:

Pentagon releases guides for marking controlled unclassified information ahead of CMMC program launch

The Defense Department has issued two new resources for contracting officials regarding the identification of controlled unclassified information and how it should be identified on government documents.

The Navy's top information warfare officer spoke this week at a Navy League event:

Final DOD approval of JADC2 strategy is 'imminent,' Trussler says

The Defense Department's Joint All-Domain Command and Control strategy is "very close" to gaining final Pentagon approval, according to Vice Adm. Jeffrey Trussler, the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare.

By Tony Bertuca
April 8, 2021 at 12:18 PM

The world will be an increasingly contested place in 2040, with many factors contributing to potential inter-nation conflict, according to a new report from the National Intelligence Council.

The report, which is a product of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, identifies key "global trends" the authors use to outline several scenarios for the future, all of which involve some form of strategic competition between the United States and China.

The report also highlights likely global disruptions due to shifting demographics, economics and technology.

"The most certain trends during the next 20 years will be major demographic shifts as global population growth slows and the world rapidly ages," the report states.

Meanwhile, "the physical effects of climate change are likely to intensify during the next two decades, especially in the 2030s."

Several global economic trends, "including rising national debt, a more complex and fragmented trading environment, a shift in trade, and new employment disruptions are likely to shape conditions within and between states."

Technology, meanwhile, "will offer the potential to mitigate problems, such as climate change and disease and to create new challenges, such as job displacement."

The report also notes there may be "unanticipated second- and third-order effects" of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming decades.

Additionally, the report states that advancements in artificial intelligence will transform warfare.

"AI will confer strong advantages to countries that incorporate AI into their military systems," the report states. "AI will enhance the performance of existing weapons, defenses, and security systems, both physical and cyber, while counter-AI techniques, designed to negate or confuse AI decision-making, also are likely to emerge."

Advancements are also predicted in "conventional and hypersonic weapons; ballistic missile defense; robotics and automated systems; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance networks; and long-range anti-ship missiles."

The advancements in warfare "almost certainly will further complicate deterrence calculations and could lead to asymmetric retaliation," according to the report. "Leaders might calculate that they need to strike first in a crisis to avoid losing advanced weapons to a surprise attack."

By Courtney Albon
April 8, 2021 at 9:16 AM

The Air Force has chosen Collins Aerospace to upgrade the B-52's wheels and brakes -- part of a larger effort to extend the aging bomber's service life.

The company announced the deal in a press release Wednesday, saying it will design and develop a new wheel and brake for 77 aircraft.

"Our world-class engineers will develop a solution that offers seamless technology insertion to help sustain the B-52 as it continues flying for another three decades," Vice President for Landing Systems Ajay Mahajan said in the release.

Beyond the wheel and brake systems, Collins also provides generators, communications and navigation systems, environment control systems and engine systems and sensors for the B-52.

"Collins is actively working with the Air Force and the plane's manufacturer to explore how it can support further B-52 modernization efforts, including communications and avionics upgrades," the release states.

By Justin Doubleday
April 7, 2021 at 5:13 PM

The Biden administration and Congress are on the cusp of pouring billions of dollars into creating new U.S. manufacturing plants for semiconductors, the tiny computer chips that underpin most modern technologies, including advanced military systems. Officials are particularly concerned about China's plans to dominate the semiconductor industry by 2030.

In a new story, Inside Defense explores how policymakers are grappling with difficult questions about shaping what amounts to a U.S. attempt at "industrial policy" for the first time in decades.

Read the free story here.