Daily Report

June 18, 2024

Editor’s Note

The Daily Report will not publish Wednesday, June 19, in observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day. We will be back in your inboxes Thursday, June 20.

Space Force Cancels 3 Satellites Planned for MEO

The Space Force’s planned constellation of missile warning/missile tracking satellites in medium-Earth orbit took a small hit June 17, as the service canceled a contract for three space vehicles due to rising costs and schedule delays. Space Systems Command notified RTX, formerly called Raytheon, that it was discontinuing its agreement at the end of May, a spokesperson told Air & Space Forces Magazine.

Radar Sweep

China and Philippines Trade Angry Accusations After a Ship Collision

The New York Times

Ships from China and the Philippines collided the morning in June 17 near a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, according to statements from the two nations, the latest in a series of maritime confrontations that have increased tensions in the vital waterway. Each side blamed the other for the collision, which occurred between a Chinese vessel and a Philippine supply ship near the Spratly Islands.

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Putin to Visit North Korea for First Time in 24 Years


Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit North Korea on June 18 and 19 for the first time in 24 years, the two countries said, underscoring Moscow's burgeoning partnership with the nuclear-armed state since the invasion of Ukraine.

Wittman: Pentagon Needs to ‘Narrow the Scope’ of CJADC2

Breaking Defense

The Department of Defense has been full steam ahead on its concept of networked operations, Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2, for several years. But an influential member of Congress now thinks the Pentagon needs to take a breath, slow down, and reassess the way forward.

Pentagon’s Contracting Speed Lane Sometimes No Faster, Says Watchdog

Defense News

The Pentagon’s fast-track pathway for buying equipment often doesn’t move any faster than the normal process, according to a new report from the government’s watchdog agency. The Government Accountability Office unveiled its annual report on the Defense Department’s buying practices, covering many of the largest items in the military’s shopping cart, from aircraft carriers to intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Half of US Military Bases in the Country Are in ‘Health Care Deserts’


For hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and their families, when the Pentagon orders them to find health care off base there is none. An NPR analysis found that 50 percent of Active-Duty military installations stand within federally designated health professional shortage areas (HPSA). Those are places where medical services are hard to find—commonly called “health care deserts.”

Missile Defense Agency Has New Hope for Airborne Lasers

Breaking Defense

Airborne lasers are back in the sights of the Missile Defense Agency—a decade after the first attempt to build a system collapsed, having swallowed 16 years and $5 billion in research and development. This time, however, MDA is taking things slow. Rather than jumping straight to shooting down missiles in space, the agency is first focusing on using low-powered lasers for tracking and working its way toward higher-powered systems for intercept.

Delays Push Army’s Hypersonic Missile to Fiscal 2025

Defense One

Problems with the launcher and launch sequence of the new Long Range Hypersonic Weapon System will keep the U.S. Army from fielding its first LRHW battery until fiscal 2025, a government watchdog said June 17. The service aims to fix the problems and test the missile and launcher together no later than the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2024, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Space Force Taps Four Firms for Laser Network Project


Space Systems Command (SSC) announced it has awarded contracts to four companies to develop prototypes for laser communication terminals, kicking off the first phase of a $100 million program dubbed Enterprise Space Terminal. Blue Origin, CACI International, General Atomics, and Viasat will compete to design and prototype optical communications terminals for use in space.

How Many F-35s to Buy? Draft Defense Bills Disagree

Defense News

The Senate’s proposed National Defense Authorization Act would leave the military’s planned purchases of 68 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in fiscal 2025 unchanged. The chamber’s draft NDAA, which members of the Senate Armed Services Committee unveiled June 14, represents the latest of three different approaches lawmakers are taking to F-35 purchases for next year, which must be reconciled at some point.