NewsBrief December 20, 2019

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: December 20, 2019

MDA Kickstarts New Way To Kill Hypersonic Missiles

(Breaking Defense) WASHINGTON: The Missile Defense Agency held a closed-door meeting today at its Alabama headquarters with defense industry reps to talk through ideas for knocking hard-to-kill hypersonic missiles out of the sky. The classified meeting will begin laying out the basics for what’s being called the Hypersonic Defense Regional Glide Phase Weapon System. While details of the program were scarce, its name may provide some clues. It’s clear “they’re going after the regional as opposed to the homeland mission,” Tom Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said. The lack of a space-based sensor layer likely makes this the more achievable play in the short-term, he said, since these weapons can be forward deployed on ships or overseas bases to target shorter-range weapons. Read More

Experts Praise New Acquisition Workforce Training Requirements

(Government Executive) Experts welcomed provisions in a defense policy bill that will reform the training requirements for federal procurement officials to better align with those in the private sector. The House passed the $738 billion fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday and the Senate is expected to vote on it next week. “Most of these changes do not dramatically impact the acquisition system. A lot of them are just amendments to pre-existing acquisition reform legislation,” said Robert Burton, partner with Crowell & Moring LLP and former deputy administrator and acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. However, he noted that “one of the most significant provisions” directs the Defense Department to redesign the workforce training process to align with that of the private sector for the first time. Read More

DOT seeks data help

(FCW) As data — from vehicle safety to highway construction — mounts in importance at the Department of Transportation, the agency is looking for a new chief technology officer to help manage information at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Daniel Morgan, DOT’s chief data officer, said at an AFCEA Bethesda event Dec. 17 that the job is transformative, melding many data sources to form a more coherent internal and external face for data resources at the component. The FMCSA is a linchpin for federal vehicle safety efforts that rely on local and state data. “You see all those trucks and buses with DOT numbers on the sides?” Morgan asked. “That’s us.” Read More

How to Avoid All-or-Nothing Thinking in Your Tech Strategy

(MITSloan) When I bought my first house, my real estate agent needed me to go through the standard title insurance and escrow process in order to close the transaction. The process seemed strangely antiquated, based on an outdated model that required numerous, unnecessary steps. I looked into it and discovered that the handful of companies controlling the title insurance industry were still operating much like they did in the 1950s. They had managers overseeing teams of people who manually entered the same information into multiple computer programs in order to double-check data that had already been processed multiple times. Read More

Lockheed awards $81.5M contract for hypersonic missile motor

(DefenseNews) WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne to provide a solid-fuel rocket motor for a hypersonic missile meant for the U.S. Air Force, according to a Tuesday news release. The $81.5 million contract award is to support Lockheed’s efforts in creating an air-launched, standoff missile that can reach Mach 5. The company was hired by the Air Force in April 2018 to design and prototype the hypersonic missile under the service’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon program. Then in August 2018, the Air Force awarded another hypersonic missile development contract to Lockheed for the service’s Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon. Read More

Boeing flight test for Commercial Crew Program will pave the way for future science

(Space Daily) Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) is the second uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a partnership with the aerospace industry to launch astronauts on U.S. rockets and spacecraft from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011. When Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft lifts off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Dec. 20 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, scientists who research how things behave in space will be amongst the eager spectators watching with bated breath Read More

Raytheon Receives $217M IDIQ Contract from USAF to Support ASARS Radar Systems; Chad Pillsbury Quoted

(ExecutiveGov) The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has awarded Raytheon a potential five-year, $217 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) to support and sustain the sensor and processor for the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System 2-A (ASARS-2A) through 2024, Raytheon announced on Monday. The ASARS-2A utilizes ground moving-target indicators, search and spot modes to locate stationary targets and collect precise target location data in approximately-real time. The system will allow decision makers to process targeting data faster than they would relying on ground stations. Read More