The D Brief: Alerts across Europe; $4.5 billion for Patriot missiles; Thousands of US weapons to Israel; China taps private firms for cyber offense; Boeing’s new deal; And a bit more.

U.S. military bases across Europe are on a heightened security alert amid French elections, the high-profile Euro 2024 soccer tournament hosted this year in Germany, and the Summer Olympics, which begin July 26 in Paris. 

Force protection levels range from Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie or Delta, indicating the greatest threat level, Stars and Stripes reported Sunday. These latest alerts are designated Charlie, which “applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against personnel or facilities is likely,” according to the U.S. Army. 

Affected locations include European Command headquarters in Stuttgart; Aviano Air Base in Italy; the Rheinland-Pfalz Army Garrison, as well as the Spangdahlem Air Base and Ramstein Air Base in Germany. “The Rheinland-Pfalz garrison alert includes Baumholder and outlying installations in Romania and Bulgaria,” Stripes reports. 

Also in Europe: The U.S. Army appears to have sent its newest missile launcher to Denmark early last month, Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute for Strategic Studies noticed recently and requested Planet Labs satellite imagery firm investigate.  

The system is known as the Typhoon, which is designed to fire SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles and has a “hypersonic capability,” according to Stars and Stripes, reporting in April when the system was spotted in the Philippines for a training exercise. Those SM-6s have a range of about 290 miles, while the cruise missiles can travel almost 1,000 miles, Lewis noted, and added, “I think Moscow will come to regret violating the INF Treaty.” 

Speaking of U.S. missiles, the Army just awarded a $4.5 billion contract to Lockheed Martin to produce 870 PAC-3 missiles for the Patriot air defense system getting lots of use and attention around Ukraine, service officials announced Friday. This particular missile, the PAC-3 MSE, “is capable of countering incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, hypersonics, and aircraft,” the Army says. 

“This multiyear contract award for the PAC-3 MSE missile follows through on the Army’s commitment to stabilize and expand our production capability for this critical weapon system, which is vital to supporting the US Army and Joint Force, along with Ukraine and other allies around the world,” Doug Bush, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, said in a statement. Read more here

Also in Europe:Vienna Emerges as Hub for Russian Espionage,” the Wall Street Journal reported Friday on location.

Welcome to this Monday edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Ben Watson, Lauren C. Williams, and Audrey Decker. Share your newsletter tips, reading recommendations, or feedback here. And if you’re not already subscribed, you can do that here. On this day in 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg began.

An inventory of U.S. arms to Israel: Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s complaints of slow deliveries, U.S. officials have sent his military almost 30,000 different munitions since Hamas launched its surprise attack on Israel in early October, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday. 

That includes the transfer of “at least 14,000 of the MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire precision-guided air-to-ground missiles, 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, 2,600 air-dropped small-diameter bombs,” U.S. officials said. That’s all part of a wider total of about $6.5 billion in security assistance for Israel since October 7.

Caveat: “The Biden administration has paused one shipment of the 2,000-pound bomb, citing concern over the impact it could have in densely populated areas in Gaza, but U.S. officials insist that all other arms deliveries continue as normal,” Reuters writes. 

From the region: Russia was reportedly close to sending anti-ship cruise missiles to the Houthis in Yemen, but “Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman intervened” to stop the transfer, U.S. officials allegedly told the Middle East Eye, reporting Friday. 

Also from the region: Shabaab hits Djibouti military base with suicide bombing in central Somalia,” Caleb Weiss of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies reported Monday.

Leaked documents show how China is using private firms for offensive cyber operations. A nearly 600-page data dump from February by Chinese hacking firm iS00N revealed how the company spied on targets spanning Asia, Europe, and North America on behalf of China’s Public Security Bureaus and State Security Departments. Matt Brazil and Peter Singer have more.

Two Chinese navy warships have been docked at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base since December, but the country denies an expansion, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday on location. 

Background: Cambodian military officials initially said the two ships were there to help with training. But months later, suspicions grow that China’s military has set up shop permanently near a strategic waterway in case of conflict with Taiwan or the South China Sea.

Developing: About 80 percent of the AI chips Huawei produces are defective as the firm tries to expand its footprint in the industry. The challenges come after several months of production and as U.S. sanctions prevent the company from accessing key microelectronics technologies. Asia Financial has more. 

And in case you haven't already seen video of it online, a Chinese rocket static-fire test resulted in an unintended launch and huge explosion. Space Pioneer conducted a test for its Tianlong-3 launch in Gongyi country, Henan province on Sunday. But video footage captured by local bystanders shows the test-stage launching, falling, and then exploding after its descent. Space News has the details (and video).

Homeland Security tests AI waters with tools for intel analysts.  Avery Alpha, DHS’ principal deputy undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, said the pilot efforts were driven by the organization’s intersection between national and law enforcement intelligence data. 

“We're really that bridge to push information in both directions, try to get the messaging, the sensitivity from the highest classified levels down to something that we can share with state and local and then infuse their insights back into the more closed-off operating environment of the federal [intelligence community],” she said during the Amazon Web Services Summit in Washington, D.C. 

Background: The department is first testing the tools in unclassified environments to help the workforce get familiar with the technology. But analysts will still need to use their judgment to make the most out of AI-based intelligence. “We have to be able to describe what the logic was behind it,” she said. Read more here

DOD’s supercomputers get a cloud boost. The computers defense researchers rely on to solve tough problems, like the impact weather conditions have on operations or materials, could soon be accessed from virtually anywhere thanks to an initiative by the Defense Innovation Unit. 

The Pentagon’s innovation agency teamed with the High Performance Computing Modernization Program and greenlit two companies to produce cloud-based supercomputing services for defense organizations after 18 months of prototyping. Defense One spoke with Matt McKee, the chief operating officer of Rescale, one of the chosen companies, to learn more about what this means for defense tech capabilities.

Cloud-based supercomputing is “much more collaborative” and allows for sharing across multiple entities from various locations, McKee said. It also provides the “agility to be able to solve mission-critical problems on the spot” using major cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Read the full interview here

Related reading: The Pentagon is trying 'to be less hard to work with' for tech companies,” NextGov/FCW reported after last week’s AWS Summit in Washington. 

And lastly: Boeing Defense wins with new $4.7 billion Spirit deal. Boeing is set to buy longtime subcontractor and supplier Spirit AeroSystems in a multibillion dollar deal, the company announced Monday. The deal, expected to close sometime in the middle of the next calendar year, represents a shift for Boeing, which spun off Spirit in 2005 and started relying on independent suppliers to cut costs. 

This move will likely help Boeing’s defense portfolio since Spirit is a supplier for a number of defense programs, such as Northrop’s B-21 Raider stealth bomber, Boeing’s E-7 Wedgetail and P-8 Poseidon, and Bell’s V-280 (FLRAA), Defense One’s Audrey Decker reports. Contributing to these programs without being the prime could give Boeing’s defense business more stability, which has had a number of program delays and losses on fixed-price contracts as the company also deals with high-profile quality control and safety problems on the commercial side. 

The newly-announced deal comes as the Justice Department is reportedly planning to “criminally charge Boeing with fraud over two fatal crashes and ask the planemaker to plead guilty or face a trial,” Reuters reported Sunday. “Should Boeing refuse to plead guilty, prosecutors plan to take the company to trial,” the wire service reported, citing two sources.

“We believe this deal is in the best interest of the flying public, our airline customers, the employees of Spirit and Boeing, our shareholders and the country more broadly,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in a statement. “By reintegrating Spirit, we can fully align our commercial production systems, including our safety and quality management systems, and our workforce to the same priorities, incentives and outcomes—centered on safety and quality,” he said (emphasis added).