The big news, from yesterday:
On Dec. 9, 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee released a summary outlining the conference agreement for the fiscal year 2014 defense authorization bill hammered out with House authorizers.
On Dec. 9, 2013, the House Armed Services Committee released a fact sheet that describes the fiscal year 2014 defense authorization conference bill agreed on by House and Senate conferees.
The chairmen of the House and Senate defense authorization committees today announced an agreement to pass a fiscal year 2014 defense authorization bill before lawmakers adjourn for the year.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) said he wants the House to approve this "full comprehensive bill" this week. The House adjourns this Friday. The Senate would be in position to vote on the bill next week.
The House passed its FY-14 authorization bill in June, but the Senate did not. The agreement announced today calls for the introduction of a new bill, said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) during a news conference today.
McKeon intends to file the new bill over the next few days. It would authorize $552.1 billion for the military's traditional budget and an additional $80.7 billion in overseas contingency operations. It would also address a number of expiring authorities, Levin said.
The Navy takes another look at Next-Generation Jammer bids:
The Navy is re-evaluating proposals and performing a new cost and technical tradeoff analysis of the Next-Generation Jammer competition in line with a Government Accountability Office recommendation, the service said last week.
"In accordance with the GAO's recommendation, the Navy is taking corrective action by reevaluating proposals and performing and documenting a new cost/technical tradeoff analysis," Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Thurraya Kent told Inside the Navy last week. "As a result of implementation of corrective action we are operating in a competitive source selection environment. In order to avoid compromising the integrity of the competitive process we are limited in providing additional information at this time."
This corrective action follows a GAO recommendation to re-evaluate proposals last month, which stemmed from a protest to the Navy's award of the technology development contract for the Jammer to Raytheon.
The Navy awarded Raytheon the three-year, $280 million technology development contract to work on the service's new electronic jammer on July 8. BAE Systems, one of the losing bidders, filed a protest on July 18. In a GAO decision on the protest issued on Nov. 13, Ralph White, managing associate general counsel for procurement law at GAO, said that "GAO sustained BAE's protest on the basis that the Navy failed to reasonably evaluate technical risk in accordance with the terms of the solicitation, failed to adequately document its evaluation, and improperly credited the awardee with outdated experience."
More from this week's Inside the Navy:
The Navy has selected the design for the Virginia Payload Module -- it will carry up to 28 Tomahawk cruise missiles -- and intends to include it in the Block V Virginia-class submarine contract slated for award in December 2018.
Out of the five design concepts the service considered the Navy selected the design it calls the "full diameter concept" that is forward of the normal fuel oil tank on a Virginia-class submarine or near the back of the sub, Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Brie Lang wrote in a Dec. 2 email.
The 70-foot design selected is also the shortest of the designs the service considered, which ranged up to a 97-foot design concept, according to presentation slides.
In November, Rear Adm. David Johnson, program executive officer for submarines, told Inside the Navy that "affordability and, frankly, some of the naval architecture that comes with having something that's 20 feet shorter than your initial concept will help also in cost, maneuverability, ship impacts, all that drives that to as short as possible."
Marine Corps news:
Sikorsky Aircraft is preparing to conduct the first ground test vehicle engine "light off" for the U.S. Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy lift helicopter program as early as this week, according to Sikorsky and Navy officials.
The multibillion-dollar Ground-Air Task Oriented Radar program is gearing up for a milestone C decision in January after recently completing an operational assessment that was delayed to conduct additional developmental testing.
As the Marine Corps ramps up its special-purpose, Marine Air-Ground Task Force crisis-response units -- with one already established to support U.S. Africa Command and another slated for the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility -- the units are learning to collaborate with Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Units in the region.