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Daily News

May 12, 2021

The Missile Defense Agency is planning a second flight test of a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA against an intercontinental ballistic missile surrogate, this time featuring a more complex target with upgrades to the Aegis weapon system and interceptor to reflect lessons learned from the first intercept attempt last November that achieved its goal even as congressional auditors recently raised questions about its efficacy as a homeland defense weapon.

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Executives from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing declined an invitation from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to testify during a Tuesday hearing about waste, fraud, cost overruns and auditing the Pentagon.

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The Chief of Space Operations today revealed a once-classified Ground Moving Target Indicator satellite program, and said he sees a growing opportunity for the Space Force to contribute to the tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission.

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Training committee chair Ben Tchoubineh this week departs the accreditation body responsible for establishing an assessment ecosystem for the Pentagon's cyber certification program, and says he's leaving behind a solid foundation for the training of assessors and the preparation of future instructors.

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The Air Force's new chief scientist brings a Silicon Valley background to the service's science and technology portfolio, and she told Inside Defense in a recent interview she plans to use her expertise in product management and acquisition to help the service accelerate change.

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May 11, 2021

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) said today he thinks the flat defense budget proposed by the Biden administration will provide opportunities to reform the Pentagon and prioritize new technologies over older programs.

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Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks is directing a series of reviews starting this summer on the Defense Department's progress toward becoming a "data-centric organization," including an assessment of the DOD chief data officer position.

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Mike McCord, nominated to serve as Defense Department comptroller -- a job he held during the Obama administration -- was questioned by lawmakers today about President Biden's proposed Pentagon budget, though full details have not yet been released.

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Maxar Technologies said earlier this month a workmanship issue will delay the company's WorldView Legion program.

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Facing a likely constrained budget environment, Army officials said yesterday they have agreed to cap active-duty troop levels for the next fiscal year, the first indication on what the service will have to compromise on in order to preserve its other priorities, like its modernization programs.

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The Infantry Squad Vehicle program is an example of how quickly Army acquisition programs can move from prototype to production, a service official said May 4 at the official opening of a facility in Concord, NC, where GM Defense will build the vehicle.

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The Army is using a “block-mod approach” to field a next-generation protection system to multiple locations for its helicopter fleet following a $959 million contract to Northrop Grumman for the system’s production, according to service officials.

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May 10, 2021

A new report from the Government Accountability Office highlights roadblocks to developing alternate positioning, navigation and timing capabilities and recommends the Defense Department do a better job of coordinating authorities, increase its focus on resiliency and clarify PNT requirements.

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The Navy's first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald Ford (CVN-78) will miss the service's goal to certify all of the ship's 11 elevators by this month, but has started its full ship shock trial phase on schedule.

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Lockheed Martin has prepared a plan to move a large percentage of its workforce to a hybrid in-person and telework approach as the pandemic appears to be easing.

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May 07, 2021

The Air Force will try again this year for congressional approval to divest a portion of its RQ-4 Global Hawk fleet, service leaders told lawmakers today.

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The Air Force last fall reported a Nunn-McCurdy breach in its project to replace the MK21 fuze on the Minuteman III -- which has long-exceeded its originally envisioned 10-year service life -- cost growth caused by a defective part that is requiring the redesign of several components in the Air Force Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Fuze Modernization program.

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REDSTONE ARSENAL, AL -- The Army is evaluating how hypersonic missiles will fit within the military's command and control structures, as the service prepares to field its first battery of the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon in 2023, according to Gen. Joseph Martin, vice chief of staff of the Army.

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May 06, 2021

House lawmakers today called on the Navy to provide an in-depth, shorter-term plan for its shipyard improvement work.

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HUNTSVILLE, AL -- The Army remains on track to field four Directed Energy Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense systems in fiscal year 2022, officials said during an April 29 visit by the vice chief of staff of the Army to the prime contractor for the system.

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