Cost Estimating NewsBrief: May 5, 2023
Where’d the Money Go? Lawmakers Press Air Force on Planned Radar Plane
(Government Executive) Congress gave money to the U.S. Air Force to speed up E-7 Wedgetail production. Now lawmakers are wondering where it went, since the first aircraft won’t be delivered any sooner. Lawmakers allocated an additional $200 million in last year’s defense policy bill to accelerate the production of two U.S. prototypes of the battle management and command-and-control aircraft, the first of which was—and is—scheduled for delivery in 2027. Under questioning by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the program is moving “as fast as we’re able to move it. I did a personal review of the steps that are necessary to get into the first phase of testing and we couldn’t find a way to redo that.” Read More
DOD CIO touts a ‘pipeline’ of JWCC task orders and future zero trust options
(FCW) The Defense Department’s chief information officer said Wednesday that its enterprise cloud contract already has “several dozen task orders in the pipeline”from military services, joint staff, Fourth Estate components and the Defense Information Systems Agency. DOD CIO John Sherman said the department was “working directly with the cloud service providers” to get new capabilities online through its multi-vendor Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract that launched last year. Read More
Court of Federal Claims decision results in a ‘sea change’ for federal acquisition
(Federal News Network) In one fell swoop, the Court of Federal Claims upended two major governmentwide acquisition contracts from the General Services Administration and almost five years of effort to change the culture of federal contracting. The Court ruled April 21 that GSA’s interpretation of Section 876 of the 2018 Defense Authorization was too broad as applied to the Polaris small business GWAC. The decision, released publicly last Friday, not only forces GSA to pause its efforts on Polaris, but also make a significant change to its strategy for OASIS+, the follow-on multiple award contract for professional services. Read More
National Science Foundation to launch 7 new AI research institutes
(FedScoop) The National Science Foundation will establish seven new artificial intelligence research institutes as part of a package of AI initiatives announced Thursday by the Biden administration. According to a briefing note, the agency will invest $140 million in the new institutes, which will bring the total number of government institutes across the country researching the technology to 25. The new institutes are intended to facilitate AI advances that are “ethical, trustworthy, responsible and serve the public group, as well as to drive breakthroughs in critical areas including climate, energy and cybersecurity.” Read More
OMB’s upcoming AI guidance calls on agencies to ‘step up’ use of emerging tools
(Federal News Network) The Biden administration is planning to set new rules for how federal agencies use emerging artificial intelligence tools to do their jobs. The Office of Management and Budget will release draft guidance this summer on the use of AI systems within the federal government. The OMB guidance will establish specific policies for federal agencies to follow when it comes to the development, procurement and use of AI systems — all while upholding the rights of the American public. A senior administration official told reporters Thursday that the upcoming draft guidance reflects the reality that “AI is coming into virtually every part of the public mission.” Read More
Europe won’t have reusable rockets for another decade: report
(Space.com) The CEO of France-based launch company Arianespace says Europe will have to wait until the 2030s for a reusable rocket. Stéphane Israël delivered the comments to a French radio station on April 8, the European Spaceflight newsletter reported. Arianespace is currently preparing its Ariane 6 rocket for a test flight following years of delays. Europe’s workhorse Ariane 5, which has been operational for nearly 30 years, recently launched the JUICE Jupiter mission and now has only one flight remaining before retirement. Read More
What will the Artemis Moon base look like?
(Moon Daily) The next time NASA goes to the Moon, it intends to stay. Under the Artemis program, the US space agency plans to maintain a human presence, for the very first time, on a celestial body other than Earth. But building a lunar base is no small feat. It will need power generators, vehicles and habitats, and the space industry is racing to meet the technological challenges. “It’s the Super Bowl of engineering,” Neal Davis, lead systems engineer for the Lunar Terrain Vehicle at space company Dynetics, told AFP. Dynetics revealed its prototype design for a Moon rover last month at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Read More
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