Defense Business Brief: Happy Budget Day; Moon rover; Talking hypersonic; and more...
The Biden administration finally sent its fiscal 2022 budget proposal to Congress — on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. Fortunately, the recently expanded Defense One staff has you covered from many more angles this year, so you can get the budget info you need whether you’re heading to the beach and or simply Netflix-and-chilling.
- Eyeing China, Biden’s First Pentagon Budget Would Cut Troops, Buy Future Weapons
- Biden Requests Less Than 1% Boost to Pentagon R&D, Despite Hyping New Defense Tech
- US Space Force Seeks 2,020 Civilian Acquisition Staff in 2022
- US Air Force Details Proposed Cuts to Planes, Flying Hours
- Biden Wants to Grow State Department Investment, but Front-Line Diplomacy on Hold
We’ll have a few more stories coming this afternoon (and next week, too!). Find them here.
Lockheed Martin and General Motors have teamed up to build a car for astronauts on the moon. “To support NASA's mission, the two industry leaders will develop a unique vehicle with innovative capabilities, drawing on their unparalleled engineering, performance, technology, and reliability legacies. The result may allow astronauts to explore the lunar surface in unprecedented fashion and support discovery in places where humans have never gone before.” More here.
Mark your calendars for June 2 at 1:30 p.m. That’s when Mike White, principal director for hypersonics in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering will be at the Center for Strategic and International Studies talking about the Pentagon’s hypersonic strike and defense budget requests. Watch here.
A group of 44 tech companies and three trade organizations are urging the Biden administration to prioritize buying commercial software as it looks for ways to move fast and save money. “We specifically request that the Office of Management and Budget provide clear guidance to federal agencies to make certain that the existing statutory requirements for commercial preference are followed,” the groups wrote in a Tuesday letter to President Biden. “We also encourage the Administration to require any software or technology acquisition include the opportunity for the private sector to participate in live technology demonstrations alongside any custom-built options.”
Federal acquisition rules require agencies to prioritize buying commercial over a custom development, but those rules are not always followed, the group said.
Buying commercial technology is a way to accelerate the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Plan, said Matthew Cornelius, executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation, one of the groups behind the letter.
From Defense One
Biden Requests Less Than 1% Boost to Pentagon R&D, Despite Hyping New Defense Tech // Patrick Tucker
As the Defense Department shifts its focus toward more technologically advanced potential adversaries, it will have to research and develop more and sustain less.
How Pentagon Cash Helped Save Small Defense Companies During the Pandemic // Marcus Weisgerber
Business leaders are now calling on defense officials and lawmakers to keep a policy that pays contractors more money up front.
As Space Junk Multiplies, Pentagon Is Stuck Tracking It for Civilians // Jacqueline Feldscher
Private industry is launching at a pace with which the military's space-surveillance system can't keep up. Now lawmakers say the Commerce Department's fix is running late.
Biden Nominees Want to Shake Up Pentagon Weapons Buying Process // Marcus Weisgerber
Shyu, Blume tell Congress they plan to bridge the "valley of death" between the development phase and becoming a program of record.
Analysis: Here's What to Look For in Biden's First Pentagon Budget Request // Marcus Weisgerber
DOD likely to face fight from Congress on plans to divest older weapons.
Space Force: Only 6 More Launches With Russian Rocket Engines // Patrick Tucker
It's the end of an era for U.S. launches with Russian-made engines.
US Naval Services Aim to Put Network-War Concepts to Global Test // Caitlin M. Kenney
Enormous exercise will combine several new concepts in scenarios up to major combat.
Russia Is Accelerating Its Own Link-Everything Network // Patrick Tucker
The U.S. sees networked warfare and AI as a game-changer. But what happens when your opponent copies your move?
Keep Tabs on China's Growing Space Situational Awareness // Peter W. Singer and Peter Wood
As more Chinese satellites reach orbit, Beijing is upgrading its ability to track space debris. But such sensors can be used to destroy as well as protect.