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Daily News

February 13, 2019

The Pentagon's acquisition office is set to host a meeting this week where officials will begin hashing out a permanent policy for "middle-tier acquisition" programs after allowing the services to experiment with the streamlined authority over the past year.

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A senior Pentagon official responsible for data management is calling for immediate action to secure networks based on a recent assessment of threats, a call that comes as the Defense Department is moving aggressively to modernize its systems under the chief information officer's expanded authority provided this year by Congress.

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Sen. Angus King (I-ME) today demanded data from the Navy to show the service is addressing the issues that led to two deadly ship collisions in the Pacific.

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February 12, 2019

The Pentagon's acquisition executive agreed to allow the Missile Defense Agency and Raytheon to transition the Standard Missile-3 Block IB into production more than a year ago only after mandating continued flight tests in order to ally concerns about the reliability of the interceptor in the wake of several developmental flight-test failures.

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The Pentagon plans to work with a range of commercial companies to rapidly develop artificial intelligence capabilities "responsibly and ethically," according to a new Defense Department strategy.

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Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said today he has talked with President Trump about nominating a new defense secretary to succeed Jim Mattis, voicing concern that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan lacks the "humility" of his predecessor and is unable to muster the full force of his office because of his "temporary" status.

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February 11, 2019

A defense intelligence official told reporters today that the biggest threat to U.S. space superiority is likely not a single adversary capability, but rather actions in recent years by Russia and China to better organize and integrate space capabilities within their militaries -- actions that could help the Pentagon as it makes a case to create a new Space Force.

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The Missile Defense Agency is readying a potential $15 billion contract with Lockheed Martin to buy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems for Saudi Arabia, a deal in the works for years that would in a single package outfit the desert kingdom with seven batteries -- equivalent to the Army's current THAAD ballistic missile defense capabilities for the entire globe.

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February 09, 2019

The Army is delaying plans to begin full-rate production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, originally slated for December 2018, until as late as early summer to assess options for vehicle-design changes suggested by soldiers and Marines during testing and evaluation in a move that could push the $28 billion program toward a schedule breach.

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Despite progress in career advancement for remotely piloted aircraft pilots, the Air Force has not evaluated its process for efficiently managing certain staff positions, according to a congressional watchdog.

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February 08, 2019

From advanced software to autonomous systems to directed energy weapons, the Defense Department lacks the adequate tools, ranges and skills to fully vet many emerging technologies Pentagon leaders say are crucial to renewed great power competition, according to DOD's head of operational testing.

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The Navy formulated its fiscal year 2020 budget with the service's new maritime strategy at the "very front" of the process, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told Inside Defense in a Feb. 7 interview.

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology is racing to publish a second revision of a draft guidance document on protecting "controlled unclassified information" prior to Feb. 15 in case another partial government shutdown occurs.

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The Navy's top admiral this week said the service may consider making "first moves" in the Black Sea region to force responses from Russia and other competitors in the area, but in an interview with Inside Defense said those actions could fall short of being labeled as "aggressive."

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The director of the Combat Capabilities Development Command, now under Army Futures Command, says it's partly his responsibility to tell AFC what it can realistically achieve within its aggressive time lines to develop modern systems.

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The Marine Corps' new Amphibious Combat Vehicle performed effectively in 15 out of 16 missions, according to the Defense Department's top weapons tester, but should look into alterations to improve its steering issues.

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The Pentagon is backing a Government Accountability Office recommendation that the Defense Contract Management Agency create a way to better monitor contractor business system reviews.

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February 07, 2019

The Defense Department is preparing to ask Congress for an increase of more than $100 billion in its controversial warfighting account to skirt a mandatory budget cap, but some government officials are worried it will only further the account's appearance as a slush fund.

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The Air Force's acquisition chief acknowledged the new Advanced Battle Management System has had a slow start and pledged to speed up the process once the new architect joins next month.

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The Pentagon's top weapons tester said in his annual report that a timely start and finish of KC-46 operational testing could hinge on the program's ability to certify the required jets to be refueled by the new tanker.

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