Newsbrief June 7, 2019

Posted by

Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 6, 2019

Bunch: Boeing’s Recent Wins May Signal Change in Cost Estimating Methods

(Air Force Magazine) Boeing’s cluster of big contract wins last year, which came in billions below Air Force estimates, may soon signal that USAF will have to change its cost estimating system, Gen. Arnold Bunch, head of Air Force Materiel Command, said in an exit interview from his post as top uniformed acquisition official. Former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson characterized Boeing’s win on the T-X advanced trainer as coming in at $10 billion below what USAF thought the program was worth, and the UH-1N replacement helicopter program at $1.7 billion below USAF’s estimate. Boeing also won the Navy’s MQ-25 carrier-based refueling drone contract last fall at a bid below the Navy’s estimates. Read More

House Armed Services Scrutinizes F-35 Costs, ABMS, Army Modernization

(Breaking Defense) CAPITOL HILL: A key congressional committee is demanding more information from the Pentagon on an array of weapons. The biggest ask: an independent cost estimate on the massive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to compare against official figures from the Joint Program Office. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen an independent cost estimate from the services” — the Air Force, Navy, and Marines all use F-35 variants — as well as the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation office (CAPE), a House Armed Services Committee staffer told reporters this afternoon. The committee’s draft of the annual National Defense Authorization Act also seeks details on how the Pentagon plans to control the long-term operations, maintenance, and sustainment costs of the stealth fighter, a timeline to both patch and rebuild the troubled ALIS maintenance system, and more information on the plane’s critical upgrade Block IV software upgrade. The HASC did reject suggestions to break out Block IV as a separate Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP), saying that wasn’t necessary to improve oversight. Read More

DHS Would Get At Least $2.9B for Tech, Cyber Under House Proposal

(Nextgov) The House Appropriations Subcommittee for Homeland Security released its draft spending bill Tuesday, including $898 million for specific technologies and research and almost $2 billion for the government’s lead cybersecurity agency. The 2020 Homeland Security draft appropriations bill includes few direct references to technology but does propose $242 million for new technologies for Customs and Border Protection and $656 million for the Science and Technology Directorate. Read More

How the NRO learned to stop worrying and love the commercial imagery

(C4ISRNET) The National Reconnaissance Office has announced three new contracts to purchase more commercial imagery for the Intelligence Community. The NRO awarded contracts May 31 to BlackSky Global, Maxar Technologies and Planet that will allow the agency to study the satellite imagery capabilities of the three companies and determine whether they will meet government requirements. The values of the three contracts were not announced. The NRO announced the deals June 3. Read More

Government not just looking to regulate AI, but use it too

(fedscoop) Whether it is defending nuclear weapons, reducing drunk driving fatalities or shrinking bureaucratic workload, artificial intelligence is changing the way the government works, a panel of government leaders said Wednesday at FedTalks. Leaders from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy spoke at FedTalks on the importance of AI and machine learning with a clear message: The government will not only regulate AI but use it. Read More

US State Department approves $1.7B sale of F-16 jets to Bulgaria

(DefenseNews) COLOGNE, Germany — The U.S. State Department on Monday approved the Bulgarian government’s request to buy eight F-16 aircraft and an assortment of related equipment and weapons. The government’s notice puts a price of $1.67 billion on the table for negotiations that are ongoing with the former Warsaw Pact country. The aircraft in question are of the F-16C/D Block 70/72 variety; the weapons include sidewinder missiles and several types of precision-guided and unguided bombs, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which brokers U.S. weapons sales. Read More

RSO team wins achievement award

(Air Force Materiel Command) WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Cost Analysis team for the Rapid Sustainment Office was named the winners of the Greater Dayton Chapter of International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association’s 2019 Team Achievement Award. The team is honored for their work in quickly collecting data, building cost estimates, comparative analyses, and identifying the applicable funding appropriations to support the RSO’s fiscal year 2021 program objective memorandum submittal. During this time the team educated themselves on new sustainment technologies and practices while interviewing more than 40 government and industry experts. Read More

This Weird Galaxy Is Creeping Up on Our Milky Way

( A gorgeous new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope depicts Messier 90, a spiral galaxy roughly 60 million light-years away from our own Milky Way — but getting closer. While the image itself is incredible, even more fascinating is the information astronomers discovered while capturing it. Messier 90 is one of very few galaxies moving toward the Milky Way, according to a statement from Hubble. Scientists are able to tell that the galaxy is coming closer to us because of the light coming from Messier 90. Read More