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Daily News

September 10, 2020

The Army this month is exploring its role in the joint all-domain command and control effort through Project Convergence, a sensor-to-shooter technology demonstration taking place at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ.

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Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, charged with overseeing a controversial study on the future force structure of the Navy, said today a series of analytical wargames led the Pentagon to develop plans for three notional fleets which he intends to discuss next week with Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

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U.S. Northern Command wants to retool the U.S. weapon system inventory for homeland defense against Russian and Chinese threats -- particularly new, long-range, conventional strike weapons designed to hobble critical domestic infrastructure -- with unprecedented air and maritime sensing capabilities linked to all-domain command and control tools that would guide a new array of anti-missile systems.

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The Air Force is collaborating with the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to leverage the digital infrastructure enabled by its enterprise-wide cloud, software development and data support initiatives to achieve Project Maven's original goals and develop 'AI as a service' for all the military departments.

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The Navy urgently contracted the use of five wind-powered, unmanned surface vessels for data collection during a major exercise with the intent to survey industry for other capabilities if the demonstrations are successful.

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Unexpected software development challenges have pushed the first delivery of a major F-22 upgrade from the end of 2020 to September 2021 and drove the program and prime contractor Lockheed Martin to transition in June from a cost-plus contract to a hybrid, fixed-price arrangement.

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The Army is addressing capability gaps and receiving feedback from units assessing prototypes of the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System as the service works to define a capability development document for the effort, a service official said yesterday.

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September 09, 2020

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord said today it may take up to six months to reimburse defense contractors seeking reimbursement for hardships and inefficiencies experienced during the COVD-19 pandemic, but she reiterated that Congress has yet to appropriate any money for the cause.

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The Defense Department will launch a training program next month for its acquisition professionals to specifically learn about artificial intelligence and data science capabilities, according to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

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The Defense Department inspector general's office this week published its audit of the Air Force's process to certify new entrants to the national security space launch enterprise, which confirmed the Space and Missile Systems Center generally complied with its own guidance, but recommended lifting some constraints in its process and working with SpaceX to assess reusability.

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The Navy is working with the Pentagon's Strategic Capabilities Office to evaluate the command, control and design of large and medium unmanned surface vehicles.

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The Defense Department expects to have a proposed acquisition rule needed to implement its cyber certification program out for public comment by November, according to Pentagon acquisition Chief Information Security Officer Katie Arrington, with the final regulation probably pushed into 2021.

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A new Defense Department inspector general report finds that the F-35 joint program office has a "nonfunctioning process" to determine whether damaged parts should be repaired or discarded -- an issue that has led to a reduction in available spare parts and disposal of hundreds of parts without DOD approval. 

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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said today the House and Senate are unlikely to pass a final fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill before the November election.

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September 08, 2020

The Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3 billion contract to develop the military's next intercontinental ballistic missile system, the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.

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The White House is prioritizing the need to fund two Columbia-class submarines and restructure the Space Force in the event lawmakers cannot agree to pass regular appropriations bills and are forced to pass a stopgap spending measure, according to documents obtained by Inside Defense.

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The Navy has begun a prototyping effort to demonstrate a new autonomous integration capability that, if successful, will debuted in the fiscal year 2022 budget request, according to an officer overseeing the project.

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Senior Navy leadership last month approved the capability framework for the service's "operational architecture," an overarching document that describes how the Navy will analyze and transmit data in the future distributed fleet envisioned by military brass.

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The Navy late last week awarded six companies with contracts to begin studies for the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel, providing an early look into which companies will vie to build the new class of ship.

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The Defense Department, following a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office, intends to begin annual reviews of independent industry research and development projects so they can be better integrated into the U.S. military's technology plans.

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