Caret on RTX Board. Leanne Caret, who retired as Boeing’s defense chief last year, was elected to the board of Raytheon Technologies where she is on the audit and special activities committees. Caret’s term began Jan. 16 and will expire later this year at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, although she may be re-elected at that time. Caret’s new gig with RTX comes shortly after Boeing awarded the consulting firm she owns, GCubed Group LLC, a tidy three-year contact in mid-December for $20,000 per month to consult “on matters relating to veterans recruiting and college/university relations.” Caret stepped down last April as president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security but was still an executive vice president and senior advisor with the company until late 2022.

…Other People News.

The private equity firm AE Industrial Partners last week named David Joyce as chairman of the firms venture capital investment platform HorizonX, which Boeing founded and remains a strategic investor in. Joyce is the former president and CEO of General Electric Aviation. HorizonX invests in start-ups with innovative technologies for the aerospace, defense, enterprise and industrial markets. General Dynamics Information Technology business unit has appointed Glenn Miller, a former acting chief information officer at the State Department, as senior director for IT and Operations, providing strategic support to federal customers in areas such as cloud, digital modernization and cybersecurity. Blake Larson, a former chief of Northrop Grumman’s Space Sector, has been appointed to the board of Innovative Rocket Technologies, better knowns as iRocket. Larson spent 40 years in the aerospace and defense industry that also included time with Orbital ATK, ATK and Honeywell.

NGA Award. Raytheon Technologies won a potential $271 million contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to enable imagery scientists and analysts to conduct “non-literal imagery exploitation as web services and desktop applications,” the agency said this month. The five-year award was made under NGA’s Mantis program.

Defense Tech Financing. Vannevar Labs, a California-based defense technology company, last week said it raised $75 million in a Series B funding round to fund development of new products and position it to win its first multi-year program for its Decrypt platform that collects public data from key foreign sources. The funding round was led by Felicis with new investors DFJ Growth and Aloft VC, and includes existing investors General Catalyst, Point72 Ventures, Costanoa Ventures, and Shield Capital. Vannevar has raised $90 million so far. Vannevar has reached $25 million in sales and Decrypt is being used across 15 government agencies since being launched in January 2021.

MacDill KC-46s. The U.S. Air Force has picked MacDill AFB, Fla., as the sixth main operating base for Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers. If the Air Force clears MacDill in an environmental impact assessment this fall, the base’s 6th Refueling Wing will receive 24 KC-46s to replace the 24 KC-135s at MacDill, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), a co-chair of the congressional Air Force Caucus and the Special Operations Caucus, said last month.  The Air Force decided on MacDill “after conducting site surveys that assessed locations based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations, and cost,” per Castor’s office. Air Force consideration of MacDill as a KC-46 base dates back to 2012–the year Rep. Castor “led a ‘MacDill Means Mobility’ campaign with local and state leaders to highlight the strengths of the base to national policymakers,” according to Castor’s office. “Castor convened community and business leaders for a meeting at the Pentagon to highlight MacDill’s strength and reputation as a ‘tanker town.'”

AFRL Intelligence Contract. Northrop Grumman said on Jan. 17 that the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) information directorate awarded the company a $406 million contract under the Intelligence Systems Infrastructure, Tools and Enhancements (InSITE) program to modernize intelligence information collection, sharing and analysis to enable military forces to make better decisions more rapidly. Rebecca Torzone, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman combat systems and mission readiness, said in a statement that the company “will digitally transform InSITE to meet its space domain awareness and counterspace intelligence mission priorities.” Northrop Grumman said it will use cloud-based applications to allow data sharing among the DoD-Intelligence Community, including the U.S. Space Force’s National Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The standing up of the center last June “is a critical step to shape the future of Space Force, improve acquisitions, and drive innovation across the Intelligence Community,” Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, said at the time.

Fixing the EWIR. The U.S. Air Force should fix its Electronic Warfare Integrated Reprogramming (EWIR) process to allow more rapid updates to electronic warfare systems than the months the process has taken, according to a new RAND study. “Threats include radars; communications jammers; and the electronic emissions of adversary  aircraft, missiles, or related air warfare systems,” per the study, Outsmarting Agile Adversaries in the Electromagnetic Spectrum [EMS]. “Historically, this has been accomplished through a relatively manual and slow EWIR process. Fixing problems that slow the existing EWIR process is a necessary step to keeping the United States competitive in the EMS.” New waveforms are complex, and radars and jammers of potential adversaries are increasingly software-defined and “adaptive,” RAND said. The report contains 20 recommendations, including that Air Force and DoD leaders “should determine the feasibility of requiring delivery of EWIR-related software using containers, including maintaining a repository of core-portable, platform-agnostic containers,” and that the Air Force should work with software factories to increase the use of airborne, not ground-based, computing infrastructure.

LPD-24. The Navy awarded General Dynamics NASSCO in Norfolk, Va., a $149 million contract action for the maintenance, modernization and repair of USS Arlington (LPD-24) in a fiscal year 2023 docking selected restricted availability (DSRA). The contract announcement said the acquisition scope covers all labor, supervision, facilities, equipment, production, testing, and quality assurance needed to prepare for and accomplish the modernization, maintenance and repair availability. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would raise the total value to $168 million. Work will occur in Norfolk and is expected to be finished by September 2024. This contract was competitively procured with two offerors, but the Navy as usual did not disclose the other competitor. A nearby potential East Coast competitor is BAE Systems’ Norfolk Ship Repair yard that largely has worked on destroyers and cruisers.

CVN-70 PIA. The Navy’s Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility finished a six month-long Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) aircraft carrier four days ahead of schedule. The work was finished on Dec. 4, the service reported on Jan. 19. Shane Browning, deputy project superintendent, said the project team was able to start the project one month early. He also said the project involved 211,000 work-days of labor at a cost of $173 million. During this PIA, testing and repairs involved propulsion plants, habitability spaces, flight deck, navigation, communications, radars, weapons and information systems.

Navy WC Collaboration. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) signed a memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on Jan. 11 to increase technology development in digital transformation, Live Virtual Constructive training, and Modeling and Simulation of different platforms and systems. The MoA says the two divisions agreed to this collaboration particularly to support naval training systems in research, development, test and evaluation. “NAWCTSD is dedicated to accelerating warfighter readiness through training solutions. We are going to be faster. The next 10 years is about boosting iteration speed. The best way for us to do that is through collaboration with other commands. I’m looking forward to seeing positive outcomes as a result of this MoA,” Capt. Dan Covelli, the NAWCTSD Commanding Officer, said in a statement.

T-AO 207. The Navy plans to christen the third John Lewis-class replenishment oiler, the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), during a ceremony in San Diego on Jan. 21. The vessel is named after politician, former governor of California, and 14th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren. T-AO 207 will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and is based on commercial design standards. This class of ships provides replenishment fuel to Navy ships at sea. The ceremony will have Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro deliver a ceremonial principal address with other officials also providing remarks. The ship’s sponsor is current Supreme Court Justice Elana Kagan, who will ceremonially christen the ship. The first new ship in the class, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) was delivered in July 2022 and is currently undergoing post-delivery test and trials and operational testing. Shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSO is also building T-AO 206-209 while T-AO 2010-212 are also under contract. The Navy plans to procure 20 of these oilers.

NGSW Rifle. The Army has officially renamed its Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) Rifle the “XM/M7,” the service’s Project Manager Soldier Lethality said on Jan. 18. The original designation for the NGSW rifle was “XM5,” but the Army said it learned the name was already used by Colt Industries for one of its 5.56mm carbines. The new NGSW Automatic Rifle will still be designated as the XM250/M250, the Army noted. Sig Sauer was awarded a potential 10-year contract last April to deliver the new NGSW Rifle and Automatic Rifle, as the service looks to replace the M4 rifles and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon for its close combat forces.

DeLauro Letters. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, sent letters on Jan. 19 to the heads of every federal agency asking how a reported proposal from new House GOP leadership to cap fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending at FY ‘22 enacted levels would impact their agencies. Each of the letters asks the agency heads, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, to provide specific examples of programs or efforts that would be affected by such cuts, if such a deal is seen through. DeLauro noted “the details of this policy have not been publicly released—some reports have described the policy as returning defense spending to its 2022 level…,” and asks for responses back by Feb. 3.

FMTV Order. The Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense a $141 million order for 414 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) A2 trucks and 56 FMTV trailers, the company said on Jan. 18. Oshkosh Defense noted the FMTV A2 is the modernized version of the truck, “offering increased force protection, greater payload capacity, superior off-road mobility, enhanced engine power, and an upgraded electrical system.” “Since we were awarded the FMTV A2 production contract in 2018, we’ve worked closely with the U.S. Army to refine the platform and add additional capabilities,” Pat Williams, the company’s chief program officer, said in a statement. “We’re confident that we are delivering the best performing medium tactical vehicle in the world.” With the latest order, Oshkosh Defense has now received a total of $627 million to deliver 1,412 FMTV A2s and 800 FMTV trailers.