NewsBrief November 19, 2021

Posted by


Cost Estimating NewsBrief: November 19, 2021

Using a cost-control tower to drive affordability in defense

(McKinsey & Company) Although defense companies have long attempted to make their products and services affordable, gains have proven elusive. In today’s cost-conscious environment, in which customers are constantly tightening budgets, the pressure to deliver cost-reduction initiatives (CRIs) is now intense. As defense companies strive to improve affordability, they may find that their function-based organizational structure poses an obstacle. Typically, each function has its own cost-reduction targets, with employees primarily rewarded for meeting those goals. What’s more, each function often manages its own cost baseline rather than leveraging a program-wide “single source of truth,” making it difficult to reconcile information and track progress. Overall accountability for CRIs is often low, since companies may not assign a central owner or simply delegate responsibility to the finance group without giving it authority to cut functional spending. Read More

Army seeks native data analytics in its logistics systems

(FCW) The Army is looking to have native data analytics in its logistics systems to be better prepared for supply chain vulnerabilities. Lt. Gen. Duane Gamble, the deputy chief of staff, G-4, for the Army, said that as the service modernizes its enterprise resource planning systems, it is looking for native data analytics capabilities to avoid what he called “predictable” surprises. Speaking at a Nov. 15 Hudson Institute event supply chain disruptions, Gamble said the military had to modernize enterprise resource planning to help mitigate insecure lines of communication. Read More

DOD organizations plot implementation of ethical AI in new guidance

(fedscoop) As the Department of Defense expands its use of artificial intelligence, two key innovation offices have developed implementation guidance for the ethical use of the technology for the department and its contractors. The DOD’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) plans to deliver finalized departmentwide implementation guidance on the ethical use of AI by Dec. 15 to the deputy secretary of defense, center spokeswoman Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty told FedScoop. Meanwhile, the Defense Innovation Unit this week released detailed artificial intelligence ethics guidance for contractors that want to work with it, the first such guidelines in the DOD procurement ecosystem. Read More

Navy turns to new Aegis Virtual Maintenance Trainer to boost crews’ self-sufficiency at sea

(DefenseNews) DAHLGREN, Va. — Encouraged by the improvements in ship handling and combat systems operations after the U.S. Navy fielded virtual trainers, the surface community is hoping to further improve its readiness with a virtual maintenance trainer for the Aegis Combat System. The Aegis VMT is in development at the newly renamed Surface Combat Systems Training Command (SCSTC, pronounced Sea-Stick), previously known as the Center for Surface Combat Systems, with the trainer set to open in the spring to new sailors seeking to become combat systems maintainers. Read More

CISA issues cybersecurity incident, vulnerability response playbooks for federal agencies

(fedscoop) The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued new playbooks to guide federal agencies’ response to cybersecurity incidents and software vulnerabilities. The documents, which were published Tuesday, reinforce the Department of Homeland Security component agency’s work to formalize the communications processes and action plans federal agencies turn to when a cyberattack is discovered. Much of the new guidance is focused on the preparation required from federal departments in anticipation of future cyberattacks, which includes the monitoring of multiple sources of threat intelligence, including alerts from CISA’s EINSTEIN intrusion detection system and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program. Read More

A new era of planetary exploration: what we discovered on the far side of the moon

( Seven months after it was launched, the US robotic rover Perseverance successfully landed on Mars on February 18 2021. The landing was part of the mission Mars2020 and was viewed live by millions of people worldwide, reflecting the renewed global interest in space exploration. It was soon followed by China’s Tianwen-1, an interplanetary Mars mission consisting of an orbiter, lander and rover called Zhourong. Read More

NASA to Roll Out Mega Moon Rocket for First Time, Media Invited

(NASA) Media registration is now open to capture imagery and video as NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft roll out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida this winter for the first time. SLS and Orion will journey to Launch Pad 39B atop the crawler transporter-2 for a test in preparation for the agency’s Artemis I mission. The exact date for the move is currently under review. Additional information on timing, as well as interview opportunities and NASA coverage for the final prelaunch test, known as a wet dress rehearsal, will be provided later. No onsite media support is planned during the test itself at this time. Read More