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Daily News

May 04, 2020

Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed today the Pentagon intends to seek supplemental funding from Congress to help finance its response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including money to “keep priming” the defense industrial base, especially small suppliers and subcontractors.

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The Pentagon intends to roll out this month detailed guidance for reimbursing defense contractors whose employees can’t work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new memo.

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Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman are teaming up to pursue the Next Generation Interceptor, narrowing the expected competitive field of potential prime contractors from four to three and pairing two companies that are effectively incumbents.

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The Navy last week began a three-year effort to solicit ideas from industry to improve its future submarines and unmanned undersea vehicles.

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May 01, 2020

The Air Force's fiscal year 2022 budget proposal will commit funding to Agility Prime -- a new effort to accelerate and adopt technology in the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) industry, according to service acquisition executive Will Roper.

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The Air Force this week awarded General Electric four undefinitized contract actions worth $707 million to produce F110 engines for foreign military sales customers -- a move the service's acquisition executive said was made, in part, to support the propulsion industrial base as it faces severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Army earlier this month published a notice heralding plans to seek industry's help in reverse engineering a technical data package for the M109A7 hull and chassis -- the workhorse of the modernized self-propelled artillery fleet, including early variants of its top priority -- the Extended Range Artillery Cannon.

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The Missile Defense Agency wants to double the range of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system's guided missile in a gambit to bulk up the interceptor -- originally designed to defend against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles -- to foil intercontinental rockets and defense the U.S. homeland against North Korean threats.

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April 30, 2020

The Navy announced today it is awarding Fincantieri Marinette Marine a $795 million contract to design and build its next-generation frigate, FFG(X), capping off a high-profile competition among some of the largest shipbuilders.

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Lockheed Martin's preliminary design for the Sentinel A4 air defense radar passed muster with the Army this month, clearing the way for the defense contractor to begin drafting designs for the upgraded sensor which a company official said could launch a new line of business -- including foreign sales -- worth as much as $6 billion.

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The Army this morning hosted the third successful flight test of the Precision Strike Missile built by Lockheed Martin, the sole competitor for the program to replace the Army Tactical Missile System.

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Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord said today that for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19, more defense companies are re-opening than closing.

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Northrop Grumman CEO Kathy Warden said the contract to develop the Air Force's Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, expected to be awarded during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, may be signed one or two months early.

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Auditors under the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification will be prohibited from consulting with companies they are certifying in an effort to create "checks and balances," according to DOD acquisition Chief Information Security Officer Katie Arrington.

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The Air Force is making progress toward a full-scale engine test in early fiscal year 2021 of advanced engine technologies being matured under the Adaptive Engine Transition Program.

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April 29, 2020

Boeing faces a charge of $168 million on the VC-25B Air Force One replacement program as a result of "engineering inefficiencies" associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the company revealed in a filing today.

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The coronavirus pandemic is expected to delay defense research at U.S. universities, as administrators and researchers grapple with social distancing measures, lab shutdowns, travel restrictions and potential gaps in grant funding.

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The Space Acquisition Council met this week for an emergency session aimed at reaching consensus on how to help the space industry withstand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Air Force's top acquisition official said today that concerns about assured space access and the global launch market raised in a new RAND Corp. report could drive a discussion around funding research and development for the next phase of launch competition sooner than expected.

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The Missile Defense Agency is fleshing out its plan to potentially disaggregate the Ground-based Midcourse Defense sustainment contract, detailing the scope of Next Generation Interceptor development and procurement in a new solicitation that could set the stage for a major realignment of industry participation in the Pentagon's marquee homeland missile defense project as soon as fiscal year 2021.

(670 words)