Senate Democrats are working with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and a handful of Republicans on a rarely used procedural tactic to defeat Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) blockade of more than 360 military promotions, a stalemate that has consumed the Senate for months.
The Department of Defense’s Chief Digital and AI Office issued a call to industry as it scouts for data-mesh capabilities to underpin the U.S. military’s future warfighting network. The request for information was recently posted to the CDAO’s Tradewinds website.
As the Space Force looks to modernize its military satellite communications and positioning, navigation and timing capabilities, its acquisition command is preparing to award contracts for programs in fiscal 2024 worth some $20 billion. The total value of the contracts to be solicited this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, is an exponential increase from the $1.6 billion awarded across the SATCOM and PNT portfolios in fiscal 2023, according to Cordell DeLaPena, the Space Systems Command program executive officer who oversees those programs.
The Space Development Agency (SDA) finally can begin testing Link-16 signals from its Transport Layer of data relay satellites in low Earth orbit, having just received approval from a key international regulatory body—although the agency remains caught up in a long-running Defense Department spat with the Federal Aviation Administration that is preventing use of the venerable military data/communications link over U.S. territory.
The Air Force Research Laboratory on Oct. 26 announced new Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, or CRADAs, between the U.S. Space Force and two Indian startups. The agreements are with artificial intelligence startup 114AI, which builds dual-use software for space domain awareness, and 3rd Itech, an imaging sensor supplier and developer of computer chips, integrated circuits and other semiconductor technologies.
The shift to private management of household goods shipments during military moves is being delayed yet again as U.S. Transportation Command and its new contractor, HomeSafe Alliance, work through technical issues with their respective apps. The privately managed household goods shipments were originally slated to begin in September featuring HomeSafe Alliance’s HomeSafe Connect digital interface, along with the military’s new MilMove platform.
The flyaway cost for the F-15EX Eagle II is approximately $90 million for each aircraft in the program’s second production lot, about $7.5 million more than the newest price for an F-35A, Breaking Defense has learned. The Air Force has confirmed to Breaking Defense that a contract for the next three production lots of the Boeing-made F-15EX was finalized on Sept. 28, a major milestone for the program. But the $90 million per unit cost in the contract—a number that is expected to grow in successive lots—will likely raise eyebrows among critics both within and outside the service who argue that officials should focus on buying more F-35s.
The Senate on Oct. 26 overwhelmingly voted down a bill 11-86 that would have required President Joe Biden to withdraw U.S. troops from Niger. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., secured a vote on the bill after Niger became the latest west African country to succumb to a coup in July, when a military junta ousted and detained democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
A milestone in electric aviation took place Oct. 26, when Beta Technologies landed its ALIA eVTOL aircraft at Duke Field, on Eglin Air Force Base, for a deployment period with the U.S. Air Force. During its 2,000-mile journey from Burlington, Vt., to Florida, the plane completed multiple short- and long-distance legs.
Capt. Henry Cho made history as the first U.S. Space Force Guardian to receive the Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal by spending 21 freezing cold days in the Arctic aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20). “I never imagined I’d have this opportunity when I joined the Space Force, but it’s humbling to pave the way forward for my fellow Guardians,” Cho said. “I appreciate the opportunity to travel and see the spectacular views of the Arctic region onboard the Healy while assisting with monitoring our experiment onboard.”