The Insider

By Tony Bertuca
April 22, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are scheduled to speak at several events this week and the Army's aviation association hosts a conference in Denver, CO.


AFCEA Washington hosts a discussion with the Space Force staff director.

The Stimson Center hosts a discussion with Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion with Chief of Naval Operations Lisa Franchetti for a "smart women, smart power" event.

The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on "space industry for space strategy."


The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion with several senior Pentagon officials during the 2024 Global Security Strategy Forum.

The Army Aviation Association of America hosts its Mission Solutions event in Denver, CO. The event runs through Friday.


Defense One hosts a discussion on the Marine Corps.

By John Liang
April 19, 2024 at 2:46 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Defense Department's support of congressional efforts to repeal the law that requires unfunded priorities lists, plus a proposed multibillion-dollar funding cut to an Army high-energy laser program and more.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood said this week that DOD "continues to support the ending of statutory requirements for annual unfunded priorities lists":

OSD still wants Congress to repeal law requiring unfunded priorities lists, despite $30B military request

U.S. military officials have sent Congress more than $30 billion in “unfunded priorities lists” separate from their regular budget request, but civilian leaders at the Pentagon support repealing the law requiring that the annual lists be sent to lawmakers, who often use them as a blueprint for increasing the defense budget.

Billions of dollars have been cut from the five-year plan for an Army high-energy laser system:

Army guts $4.8 billion from IFPC-HEL in new five-year plan, focuses on 'try' before 'buy'

The Army has cut $4.8 billion from planned future spending on the Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High Energy Laser in the service's new five-year spending plan, a dramatic reduction that removes future funding stability for a cruise-missile-killer-and-more project that a key service official says remains a priority.

After hearing from several guest speakers during a Defense Innovation Board meeting this week, DIB Chair Mike Bloomberg announced that the board's next meeting will showcase final recommendations:

DIB discusses studies on partnerships and technology adoption at meeting

The Defense Innovation Board held a meeting yesterday in which guest speakers presented their opinions on two ongoing studies surrounding innovation with allies and accelerating technology adoption, with final recommendations on the studies set to be provided at the board’s July meeting.

Jinyoung Englund, chief strategy officer for algorithmic warfare in the chief digital artificial intelligence office, said this week that if DOD wants to win the AI battle, working with partners to advance AI capabilities through data is crucial:

CDAO official says secure data sharing is key to winning AI battle

A Defense Department senior artificial intelligence officer emphasized the vital role that sharing quality and secure data amongst DOD, allies and partners plays in order to combat adversaries in the AI battle.

The Missile Defense Agency, in concert with the Space Development Agency, plans to observe two sounding rockets in flight as part of the effort to bring online the pair of Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) prototype satellites lofted into orbit:

Pair of sounding rocket tests planned this summer to calibrate HBTSS prototypes

The Pentagon this summer plans to launch a pair of ultra-fast, maneuvering targets in separate tests to calibrate space-based sensors recently placed in orbit as part of the U.S. military’s latest efforts to assemble a suite of new technologies to counter long-range hypersonic glide vehicles.

By Dan Schere
April 19, 2024 at 12:48 PM

U.S. Northern Command is conducting a study on unmanned aerial systems as it pertains to homeland security, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George noted during a congressional hearing this week.

George, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee April 18, was asked by Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC) whether the Army needs additional resources or new authorities when it comes to counter-UAS funding. Both are important, George said.

More authorities are needed to help transition programs from research and development to procurement, the chief said. A critical area of need, he noted, is protection of U.S. airfields and critical infrastructure.

“I think NORTHCOM right now is doing a study kind of on what that is because there's obviously -- it's an interagency challenge when you're looking at, you know, small UAS that are operating here, stateside,” George said.

Lt. Cmdr. Liza Dougherty, a NORTHCOM spokesperson, wrote in an email to Inside Defense Friday that the study is ongoing, but declined to provide additional details.

By John Liang
April 18, 2024 at 2:47 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on House lawmakers' consideration of the multibillion-dollar supplemental spending package, plus the Michigan congressional delegation's efforts to ensure fighter aircraft are stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base and more.

We start off with coverage of the supplemental spending package making the rounds in the House:

Johnson releases multipart security supplemental that could endanger his job

After months of debate and party infighting, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) today released three bills that would provide $95 billion in aid to Ukraine, Israel and U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region, a move that could cost him his speakership if GOP hardliners seek his ouster.

House GOP appropriators talk bigger defense budget in advance of Johnson's supplemental

Leaders on the House Appropriations Committee said today they would like to see a higher fiscal year 2025 topline for defense spending, despite the capped $850 billion budget mandated by law, while also throwing their support behind Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) piecemeal plan to pass a $95 billion security supplemental spending package.

Throughout this week, Air Force officials have fielded tough questions from the Michigan congressional delegation about whether they would place another fighter squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base:

Kendall falls short of promising Michigan delegation Selfridge will get a future fighter mission

The Air Force is not precluding Selfridge Air National Guard Base, MI from receiving another fighter mission after its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs begins to retire in 2026, but that won’t come anytime soon, service Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers during posture hearings in the House and Senate this week.

Navy acquisition chief Nickolas Guertin told lawmakers this week that he signed several memos directing efforts to alleviate schedule challenges identified across key acquisition programs by a recent shipbuilding review:

Navy moves to alleviate shipbuilding delays through workforce development and industry collaboration

The Navy today unveiled a series of new initiatives to tackle shipbuilding delays by refining contracting strategies, improving collaboration with industry and strengthening the workforce involved in designing, contracting and building naval vessels.

The Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies is a pilot program that aims to transition technologies through prototyping phase to production:

DOD announces 13 new projects to receive APFIT funding

The Defense Department announced the second tranche of projects selected to receive funding in fiscal year 2024 from the Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies, known as APFIT.

A Pentagon acquisition team is looking to help potential defense contractors to avoid the "valley of death":

Transition Tracking Action Group chair says it will supply insights on programs like Replicator and RDER

The chair of the Transition Tracking Action Group (TTAG) told Inside Defense this week that the group will provide recommendations to Defense Department programs involved in bridging the acquisition "valley of death," like the Replicator initiative and the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER).

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced it "intends to award [Blanket Purchase Agreements] to Commercial Accelerators that, together, will provide the best coverage across DOD's critical technology areas as well as diverse coverage of startup ecosystems":

DARPA looking for Commercial Accelerators to help transition funded research to development

The chief of commercial strategy at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency told Inside Defense the agency is searching for multiple Commercial Accelerator providers to aid in scaling acceleration efforts and bringing DARPA-funded projects to the development stage.

By John Liang
April 17, 2024 at 3:03 PM

This Wednesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on delays to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and E-7A Wedgetail programs plus Navy counter-drone efforts and more.

Certain upgrades to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have been delayed:

Initial F-35 TR-3 deliveries slip even further to the right, may still require tweaks

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt is “as frustrated” as lawmakers over the various schedule slips temporarily halting deliveries of the Lockheed Martin-made jets enabled with Technology Refresh 3 upgrades, he told a House defense panel this week.

The Air Force's E-7A early warning aircraft has suffered yet another delay:

Wedgetail delayed a year as negotiations continue with Boeing

At least one of the E-7A Wedgetail prototypes will be a year late due to ongoing price negotiations with prime contractor Boeing, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall disclosed this week.

The Navy needs supplemental funding to pay for the missiles it has fired in the Red Sea:

SECNAV: Navy needs supplemental to replace nearly $1 billion in expended munitions

The Navy has used nearly $1 billion in munitions to intercept missiles and drones in the Red Sea, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said today, telling Senate appropriators it is critical that Congress pass a pending supplemental spending package to begin replacing these interceptors.

Navy officials detailed a counter-drone effort earlier this month during an industry day hosted by the program executive office for integrated warfare systems, indicating the service launched the initiative with a February request for information in response to "fleet demand":

Navy to test new shipboard C-UAS capability aiming to 'bend the cost curve' of drone defense

The Navy is preparing to test two counter-drone weapon systems during a June demonstration in a rapid capability effort that aims to equip destroyers with a kinetic, counter-UAS capability at a fraction of the cost of Standard Missiles.

Leslie Beavers, the principal deputy chief information officer, said at the 5th Annual CIO Summit in Alexandria, VA that her office created the Customer Experience Officer Portfolio Management Office (CXO) to address user experience as technology accelerates:

CIO launches team of experts to ease defense personnel technology challenges

A Defense Department senior information officer said she is working with the head of another office to create a team of experts to help manage and ease defense personnel technology interactions and integration.

During a hearing this week, Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) was sympathetic to Army officials' previously stated desire for more flexible funding when it comes to procurement of capabilities such as unmanned systems:

House authorizers urge Army to pick up the pace on modernization

House Armed Services Committee members questioned top Army officials during a hearing today about the speed of the service's key modernization initiatives.

Last but by no means least, the latest CMMC news from our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity:

MITRE raises concerns over CMMC program costs to address assessment gaps, accommodate maturity model changes

MITRE has raised issues with potential costs for contractors who want to do business with the Defense Department in addressing assessment gaps and accommodating for potential future changes in the maturity model for the upcoming Pentagon cyber certification program, in response to a proposed rule to implement the program.

By Nickolai Sukharev
April 17, 2024 at 1:32 PM

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) is questioning whether a flood of commercial Chinese electric vehicles into the U.S. may pose a national security risk.

“What I would pose is that we are about to have a big moment of inflection here with the possibility of the saturation of Chinese electric vehicles being sold in the United States, Slotkin said yesterday at a House Armed Services Committee hearing examining the Army’s fiscal year 2025 budget.

“The first Chinese electric vehicle sold in Europe was in 2021. They now have up to 25 percent of market share. That means every vehicle collecting information, collecting mapping data, collecting all kinds of information about our cities, our infrastructure locations, our military bases and everything else.”

Speaking to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Slotkin said she will submit several amendments to the FY-25 defense authorization bill that, from a military perspective, no Chinese-made electronic parts will be used in Army vehicles.

“But I'm also going to be asking that the experts on ground vehicles provide some assessment of what that kind of Chinese technology would do in the United States of America, again, commercially, and what kind of national security risk that would pose?”

Noting the U.S. military would never allow the use of Chinese component parts on military vehicles, Slotkin added, “Why would we open the door with a red carpet to allow those same Chinese commercial vehicles, that same technology rolling around every single American city, every single American town?”

By Tony Bertuca
April 16, 2024 at 4:45 PM

The Republican chairmen of key congressional defense and national security committees released a joint statement today supporting Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) $95 billion supplemental spending proposal, which would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

“There is nothing our adversaries would love more than if Congress were to fail to pass critical national security aid. Speaker Johnson has produced a plan that will boost U.S. national security interests in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL), House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), House Appropriations defense subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH).

“We don’t have time to spare when it comes to our national security,” they said. “We need to pass this aid package this week.”

The support for Johnson comes as some GOP hardliners, like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY), have called for his ouster.

Johnson’s plan would reportedly stick closely to amounts authorized by a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate two months ago, though the House would pass individual measures for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and maybe include other priorities that could be passed by the Senate as a single bill.

But House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) said during a hearing today that Johnson’s proposal for multiple bills amounts to a “twisted process” that could take as long as two months to pass the Senate.

“That is basically boiling Ukraine to death slowly,” he said. “We need to get that support to Ukraine now.”

Smith said the House should pass the Senate’s version of the bill this week so weapons could begin flowing to Ukraine immediately.

“Passing a bill that is dramatically different than the Senate bill does not get something done this week,” he said.

By Dan Schere
April 16, 2024 at 3:59 PM

The Army has awarded L3Harris a $256 million order for continued production of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B), the company announced Monday.

The deal is the first order in the program’s full-scale production, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract that will total $1 billion over 10 years, according to the company.

The night vision systems “enhance situational awareness at greater distances at night and in low-light environments” according to L3Harris. To date, the company has delivered more than 13,000 ENVG-B systems to the Army.

In fiscal year 2025, the Army plans to spend $100 million to procure 2,364 ENVG-B systems.

By John Liang
April 16, 2024 at 2:33 PM

This Tuesday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Lockheed Martin winning a multibillion-dollar missile defense contract, the Government Accountability Office's latest report on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and more.

The Missile Defense Agency has announced the down-select decision for the follow-on homeland defense guided missile slated for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program:

Lockheed wins NGI, shaping new missile defense industrial order for a generation

Lockheed Martin has bested Northrop Grumman in a contest to build the Next Generation Interceptor, a development that establishes for a generation the beginning of a new order in the U.S. missile defense industrial base that will be filled out soon when a contest between Raytheon and Northrop is settled for the Glide Phase Interceptor.

More missile defense news:

Air Force, Army readying FY-26 new-start proposal: domestic cruise missile defense capability

The Defense Department is wrapping up work on a comprehensive analysis of technologies needed for an Air and Cruise Missile Defense of the Homeland capability, findings slated to influence in particular Air Force and Army spending plans beginning in fiscal year 2026.

A new Government Accountability Office report finds that over the past decade, "GAO has made 43 recommendations designed to improve the department's operation and sustainment of the F-35 program. While DOD concurred with many of these recommendations and has implemented some of them, 30 (about 70 percent) remain unimplemented":

F-35 costs again skyrocket while aircraft performance remains unsatisfactory

The price tag attached to keeping the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon's largest-ever acquisition program, in service has long been a point of budgetary contention.

Document: GAO report on F-35 sustainment

More coverage from the recent Space Symposium in Colorado:

Whiting: SPACECOM needs dynamic space operations, on-orbit servicing

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- To meet emerging threats, U.S. Space Command needs more investment in fielding capabilities for dynamic space operations, including on-orbit refueling and maintenance, SPCECOM Commander Gen. Stephen Whiting said last week.

(Complete Space Symposium coverage.)

The Defense Department recently submitted its fifth package of legislative proposals:

DOD proposes streamlining tech maturity milestone approval

The Pentagon is asking Congress to consider a proposal that would streamline the technology development phase of defense acquisition, or milestone A, to better tailor the procurement process for specific weapons and to cut redundant documentation burdens.

Document: DOD's fifth FY-25 legislative proposals package

According to government notices posted last week, two Marine Corps contract awards for a loitering munitions system could be worth as much as $249 million each:

Marine Corps selects three contractors for Organic Precision Fires-Light development

The Marine Corps has selected Teledyne FLIR, Anduril Industries and AeroVironment to develop and deliver Organic Precision Fires-Light (OPF-L) -- a loitering munitions system intended to provide infantry Marines with a beyond-line-of-sight, precision-strike capability.

By Tony Bertuca
April 16, 2024 at 9:38 AM

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has spoken with his Chinese counterpart Minister of Defense Adm. Dong Jun, establishing a line of communication that has been severed for nearly two years.

A senior defense official previewed the call for reporters on the condition of anonymity, saying the intent is part of the broader Biden administration effort to ensure that competition with China “doesn’t veer into conflict.”

The call marks the first time Austin has spoken with Dong, who assumed the top Chinese military post last year when his predecessor was removed without explanation.

“This is an important step,” said the official, who noted that the Pentagon and the Chinese military continue to discuss opportunities for further engagement.

Direct military-to-military communication with China was broken off in December 2022 when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited the self-governed island of Taiwan which Beijing considers a renegade province.

A thaw in diplomatic relations, however, began in November 2023 when President Biden met with China’s President Xi Jinping in San Francisco.

In December 2023, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown held a video call with his Chinese counterpart for the first time.

More recently, military officials from the United States and China met in Honolulu, HI, to discuss the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement, an annual meeting that had been paused for two years.

Meanwhile, the senior defense official said the Pentagon continues to view China as its “pacing challenge,” per the 2022 National Defense Strategy.

“These engagements provide us with opportunities to prevent competition from veering into conflict by speaking candidly about our concerns, that includes [the People’s Republic of China’s] behavior in the South China Sea as well as the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the official said.

By Shelley K. Mesch
April 16, 2024 at 9:35 AM

The Air Force will begin early research and development on resilient GPS, positioning, navigation and timing capabilities as well as a command, control, communications and battle management program for moving target indication using a new authority to bypass congressional approval.

Service Secretary Frank Kendall told the Senate Armed Services Committee today the names of the two programs that he announced last week had been approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“The [Air Force Department] also appreciates the committee’s support for the DOD quick-start initiative that was enacted last year,” Kendall said.

Congress passed what Kendall calls the “quick-start initiative” in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act in December, but funding for the program wasn’t appropriated until March with the passage of the FY-24 budget.

Following the early research and engineering work, the two efforts are expected to transition to programs of record in the FY-26 budget, according to a news release from the service.

“This initiative will leverage the success of rapid acquisition authority, marking a pivotal moment in advancing national security objectives with unprecedented speed and efficiency,” Kendall said in the statement. “Quick start will kickstart efforts intended to develop solutions to emerging problems, ensuring rapid progress from concept to implementation.”

Without this approval, similar work would need to wait for the passage of new-start authority in the next budget cycle -- a year and a half from now at best.

By Dan Schere
April 15, 2024 at 2:32 PM

EOS Defense Systems' R600 Remote Weapon Station shot down pairs of unmanned aerial vehicles during the Army's Project Convergence capstone event last month.

The R600 consists of a Northrop Grumman-made M230LF cannon, coaxial machine gun and four Javelin missiles on an Army Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport robotic infantry support vehicle, according to Huntsville, AL-based EOS. The platform provides light- and medium-caliber firepower and the “added lethality of multiple antitank or anti-air missiles.”

During the demonstration, the 30mm cannon shot down pairs of “class 1 UAVs at ranges of more than 300m and engaged multiple ground targets,” according to the company.

“These capabilities paired with four of the premier anti-armor missiles in the world represents a significant increase in firepower available to light forces on a platform that is currently being fielded,” the company stated in a press release.

EOS called the demonstration at Project Convergence a “critical venue for Army senior leaders to assess new technologies needed to ensure the Army’s success in future conflicts as well as inform acquisition and force structure decisions.

“As human-machine integration continues to be a key strategic priority, the demonstration was an important opportunity to evaluate unmanned and remote solutions which provide essential protections to the warfighter,” the company stated.

By John Liang
April 15, 2024 at 1:06 PM

This Monday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the Defense Department's secretive Replicator program, the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, plus coverage from a missile defense hearing and more.

We start off with news on the Pentagon's secretive Replicator program:

Three MARTAC unmanned surface vessels under 'consideration' for Replicator initiative

Maritime Tactical Systems (MARTAC) has submitted three unmanned surface vessels to the Pentagon's secretive Replicator initiative, Inside Defense has learned.

Pentagon cost estimates indicate a proposed block buy would achieve a $135 million savings compared to single-year contracts for the CH-53K program, which will replace the legacy CH-53E aircraft and play an important role in Marine Corps and Navy operations:

Navy looks to enter block buy for CH-53K airframes

The Navy is asking Congress for the authority to enter into a block-buy contract during fiscal years 2025 or 2026 for up to 37 CH-53K helicopter airframes, according to a legislative proposal submitted by the Defense Department on Friday.

Document: DOD's fourth FY-25 legislative proposals package

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee recently held a hearing on the fiscal year 2025 budget request for missile defense and missile defeat programs:

MDA to pick winner this month in Lockheed and Northrop NGI competition

The Missile Defense Agency this month will pick a winner between Lockheed Martin and Northrop in the Next Generation Interceptor competition, slicing a year off the original source-selection plan to develop the homeland defense guided missile based on information produced during the first round of the contest.

Document: House hearing on FY-25 BMD budget request

The Army's acquisition office has been putting out multiple requests for information to industry as a way to drive "market entry" and bring down the cost of commercial drones:

As it seeks to field commercial drones, Army wants to bring down the cost

As the Army seeks to invest more in commercial technology to bolster its arsenal of small UAS and counter UAS capabilities, the service is focused on finding ways to reduce the price tag.

There are increasing signs on Capitol Hill that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are thinking about raising the congressionally mandated budget cap on defense spending:

Appropriators send bipartisan signals for possible move against defense budget cap

Senior House and Senate appropriators this week said they believe the congressionally mandated cap on fiscal year 2025 defense spending is too low to address the Pentagon's requirements and signaled that they intend to do something about it.

By Tony Bertuca
April 15, 2024 at 5:00 AM

Senior defense officials are slated to appear at numerous hearings on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the military's fiscal year 2025 budget request.


The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on security in the Arctic.


The National Defense Industrial Association hosts the 2024 Missile Defense Conference.

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Army's FY-25 budget request.

The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee holds a hearing on the Defense Department’s energy and installations budget.

The House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee holds a hearing on fixed-wing tactical and training aircraft.

The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Air Force's FY-25 budget request.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Navy and Marine Corps' FY-25 budget.


The House Appropriations defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Defense Department’s FY-25 budget request with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown and Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord.

The House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Air Force's FY-25 budget request.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee holds a hearing on the Navy's FY-25 budget request.

The House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee holds a hearing on personnel posture.

The Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee holds a hearing on Army modernization.

The Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee holds a hearing on access to pharmaceuticals.


The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the Army's FY-25 budget request.

The Atlantic Council hosts a discussion on innovative U.K. strategic command.

Defense One hosts a virtual event on Army counter-UAS efforts.


The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosts a discussion on Army software acquisition.

By John Liang
April 12, 2024 at 1:21 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on lawmakers inching toward raising the congressionally mandated defense spending budget cap, the Army seeking to reduce the price of commercial drones and more.

There are increasing signs on Capitol Hill that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are thinking about raising the congressionally mandated budget cap on defense spending:

Appropriators send bipartisan signals for possible move against defense budget cap

Senior House and Senate appropriators this week said they believe the congressionally mandated cap on fiscal year 2025 defense spending is too low to address the Pentagon's requirements and signaled that they intend to do something about it.

The Army's acquisition office has been putting out multiple requests for information to industry as a way to drive "market entry" and bring down the cost of commercial drones:

As it seeks to field commercial drones, Army wants to bring down the cost

As the Army seeks to invest more in commercial technology to bolster its arsenal of small UAS and counter UAS capabilities, the service is focused on finding ways to reduce the price tag.

A new Congressional Budget Office report "examines the potential acquisition costs" of the Navy's Landing Ship Medium program:

CBO projects LSMs will cost over $340 million per hull, more than double Navy estimates

Procuring a fleet of 18 Landing Ship Mediums will cost $340 to $430 million per ship in fiscal year 2024 dollars, according to a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate, which indicates acquisition costs will be two to three times greater than the Navy’s own estimates.

Document: CBO report on LSM acquisition costs

U.S. Strategic Command submitted its fiscal year 2025 unfunded priorities list to Congress:

STRATCOM sends empty UPL to Congress

U.S. Strategic Command has sent Congress an unfunded priority list without identifying any unmet needs that could use additional funding, according to a document obtained by Inside Defense.

Document: STRATCOM's FY-25 unfunded priorities list

When releasing its multiyear procurement bid last September for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles, the Army estimated the savings would be 2.5% or $67.6 million "when compared to four annual awards," according to budget documents from the Defense Department comptroller:

Army to award multiyear contract for GMLRS in Q4 of FY-24 estimated to save $68M

The Army plans to award a four-year multiyear procurement contract in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year to buy 18,000 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles estimated to save $67.6 million, according to a service spokesperson.