NewsBrief January 22, 2021

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: January 22, 2021

DISA to Take Over Implementation of the Pentagon’s Cloud Programs

(Nextgov) Control of the Defense Department’s enterprise cloud programs office will completely transition to the Defense Information Systems Agency by the end of the month, according to Pentagon officials. DISA will subsume DOD’s Cloud Computing Program Office, home of the Defense Enterprise Office Solution and the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud projects, by Jan. 31. Currently, the Office of the Chief Information Officer runs implementation for DOD cloud programs. Read More

Army is working on Frankenbots with living tissue to better robot capabilities

(Federal News Network) The thought of living tissue and machinery meshed together brings up images of grotesque cyborgs and far-future sci-fi films, but at the Army Research Laboratory a robot with living, organic muscles may not be that far off. ARL’s Combat Capabilities Development Command is teaming up with universities in North Carolina to develop studies in bio-hybrid robotics. The idea is just as fantastical as you may be imagining. ARL wants to fuse living tissue with cold metal to build robots that may be able to gain the agility and versatility of living creatures. Read More

GAO: DOD Needs Permanent Group to Protect Critical Technologies

(Nextgov) A Defense Department task force is making progress on developing procedures for identifying and protecting critical technologies but should designate an organization to run protection efforts departmentwide to ensure consistent leadership, according to a new Government Accountability Office audit released Jan. 12. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act mandated DOD come up with a list of acquisition programs, technologies, manufacturing capabilities and research areas critical to maintaining U.S. military superiority. Read More

Agencies told to assess if they can end contracts for drones built by foreign adversaries

(fedscoop) Agencies must determine if they can stop buying drones built by foreign adversaries or containing certain software or hardware from those countries, according to an executive order President Trump issued Monday. The order calls for assessments of current unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and it requires agencies to tell Office of Management and Budget if they have the ability to halt those existing procurements, grants and contracts. Trump’s order has no firm deadline. President-elect Joe Biden could choose to reverse it or alter it after taking office Wednesday. Read More

Air Force, Korean Partners Unveil Plan to Co-Fund ‘Breakthrough’ Quantum Research

(Nextgov) The Air Force and two of its existing Korean research partners linked up to unleash a joint solicitation offering up to three-year grants to collectively spur headway in quantum information science and technologies. Building on more than a decade of cooperation to advance basic scientific research pursuits, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, as well as the National Research Foundation of Korea, and the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation, or IITP, recently opted to co-fund the research program, according to an announcement from the Air Force Research Laboratory. Read More

American warship, F-35 jets to deploy with British fleet

(DefenseNews) LONDON — U.S. combat jets and a destroyer are to join the British Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier on its maiden operational deployment to the Asia-Pacific region later in 2021, after officials formally approved the deployment Tuesday. British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and U.S. acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller co-signed a joint declaration approving the deployment of U.S. Marine and U.S. Navy assets as part of a carrier strike group led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the British Ministry of Defence announced. Read More

NASA Conducts Test of SLS Rocket Core Stage for Artemis I Moon Mission

(NASA) NASA conducted a hot fire Saturday of the core stage for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that will launch the Artemis I mission to the Moon. The hot fire is the final test of the Green Run series. The test plan called for the rocket’s four RS-25 engines to fire for a little more than eight minutes – the same amount of time it will take to send the rocket to space following launch. The team successfully completed the countdown and ignited the engines, but the engines shut down a little more than one minute into the hot fire. Teams are assessing the data to determine what caused the early shutdown, and will determine a path forward. Read More