NewsBrief: April 14, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: April 14, 2023

Why the Marine Corps has established its own software factory

(Federal News Network) If it’s true that software is eating the world, that’s certainly true of the U.S. military. One way to get crucial software is to develop it with your own people. Now the Marine Corps is the latest component to establish a software factory for, in the Corps’ words, “solving real Marine problem sets.” For more, the Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with the software factory director, Lt. Col. Charlie Bahk. Read More

Navy anticipates cyber strategy release in May … maybe

(Breaking Defense) The Navy is still awaiting approval of its cyber strategy from the Defense Department, and while one service official anticipates it being released as soon as next month, that timeline isn’t set in stone — leaving it unclear as to when the service can go public with the document outlining it’s cyber vision. Chris Cleary, the Navy’s principal cyber advisor, told Breaking Defense on Tuesday that he anticipates DoD to release the service’s strategy in May. And while it’s hardly unusual for high-level strategies or documents to be delayed in the Pentagon, given the length of the review process and the department bureaucracy, the service’s strategy release is now almost two months behind its stated schedule. Read More

Congress should give Pentagon more flexibility in buying, budgeting, report urges

(Breaking Defense) To fix the Pentagon, start in Congress. That’s the central takeaway from an Atlantic Council commission co-chaired by Mark Esper, former Secretary of Defense, and Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the Air Force. The commission’s interim report, released today, argues that before the Defense Department can adopt new technology at the speed and scale required to compete with China, legislators must loosen statutory limits in an array of areas, from reprogramming funds between projects mid-year to contracting with start-up companies. It also calls for Congress to accept less detailed budget data in the Pentagon’s annual requests. Read More

Navy cancels ‘Snakehead’ large undersea drone competition after decade of development

(Breaking Defense) he Navy has cancelled a previously planned industry competition to manufacture a large unmanned undersea vehicle, Breaking Defense has learned. The program, the Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle, also dubbed Snakehead, has been in development for more than a decade and has produced at least one prototype vessel that measures roughly four feet in diameter and is seven-to-eight feet long. “The original acquisition strategy for LDUUV planned a competitive contract for phase 2 industry prototyping, but this was cancelled due to the decision to pause the program,” said Alan Baribeau, a Navy spokesman, told Breaking Defense in response to an inquiry. Read More

DOD Conducts Inquiry Into Classified Documents Leak

(ExecutiveGov) The Department of Defense has formed a team to carry out its own investigation to determine the authenticity of the purported classified documents containing information on the Ukraine war and intercepted communications and other intelligence on U.S. allies that appeared online, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Chris Meagher, a spokesman for DOD, said Defense Secretary and 2023 Wash100 awardee Lloyd Austin is overseeing the Pentagon inquiry, which includes senior military officials from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and officers from legislative affairs, public relations and defense policy teams. Read More

Private Japanese moon lander targeting April 25 for historic touchdown try

( Japan’s Hakuto-R spacecraft is preparing to make a historic lunar landing attempt on April 25. The private Japanese lunar lander is currently in orbit around the moon and targeting a landing for 12:40 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 25 (1640 GMT, or 1:40 a.m. JST on April 26). Alternative landing dates are April 26, May 1 and May 3, according to a statement (opens in new tab) from the spacecraft’s developer ispace, which was published on Wednesday (April 12). Read More

Kids judge Alexa smarter than Roomba, but say both deserve kindness

(Science Daily) Most kids know it’s wrong to yell or hit someone, but what if that someone is a robot named Alexa? A new study asked kids how smart and sensitive they thought the virtual assistant was compared to a robotic vacuum. Four- to eleven-year-olds rated Alexa as more intelligent than the Roomba but felt neither deserve to be yelled at or otherwise harmed. A new study from Duke developmental psychologists asked kids just that, as well as how smart and sensitive they thought the smart speaker Alexa was compared to its floor-dwelling cousin Roomba, an autonomous vacuum. Read More

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