Cyber Information Sharing. IronNet, the cybersecurity firm founded by retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who led the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, is working with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to share information collected by the company’s cyber threat platform. IronNet says its Collective Defense platform “identifies anomalous behaviors that often go undetected by alternative solutions and then uniquely delivers actionable attack intelligence to all other participants in the IronNet community.”

…Sharing Issues.

Separately, the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General reported last week that while CISA has increased the number of federal and private sector participants in its real-time information sharing portal, and the number of cyber threat indicators it is sharing, the quality of the threat information is inconsistent. The IG said that participants in the Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) program his office spoke with “generally stated the cyber threat information was not consistently useful or actionable.” The IG added that federal and private sector entities said that “most of cyber threat indicators did not contain enough contextual information to help decision makers take actions.”

DARPA Award. DARPA has awarded BAE Systems a $17.5 million deal to work on technology that could help reduce high-powered electronic oscillators “from the size of a mini-fridge to the size of a quarter,” the company said on Aug. 17. BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development organization will support DARPA’s Generating RF with Photonic Oscillators for Low Noise, or GRYPHON, program, which it said aims to develop breakthrough technology that “could enable an unprecedented combination of low noise, compact size, and frequency agility for next-generation airborne sensing and communications capabilities.” BAE Systems said the push to provide precision microwave sources “in an unprecedentedly small form factor” can enable new capabilities to be deployed on much smaller platforms. “The GRYPHON program is a great example of applying new concepts, such as incorporating photonics and digital electronics, to provide leap-forward innovation,” Chris Rappa, chief technologist at BAE Systems’ FAST Labs, said in a statement.

Hicks on CHIPS. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said this week the new CHIPS and Science Act to bolster U.S. microelectronics manufacturing capacity will help the Pentagon increase confidence in its supply chain and help the department get after specific semiconductor technologies needed to power critical capabilities. “Those kinds of capabilities that we are specifically reliant upon and really help us in the national security community and throughout the U.S. economy by putting that whole development cycle here together, to get the most innovation as quickly as possible,” Hicks said during remarks at Purdue University in Indiana. President Biden signed the bill on Aug. 9, which includes $52.7 billion to bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing capacity. Hicks’ discussion at Purdue was part of a week-long travel schedule, which also included stops at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

DDG-129. HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division in Pascagoula, Miss., authenticated the keel of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the future USS Jeremiah Denton (DDG-129) on Aug. 16. The ship is named after a Vietnam War veteran who received the Navy Cross for heroism while a prisoner of war and later served as a senator from Alabama (R) from 1981-1987. DDG-129 is the third Flight III destroyer being built by HII, incorporating modifications to field the Raytheon Technologies’ AN/SPY-6(V)1 Air and Missile Defense Radar. The company is also in production on the future USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG-123), Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), Ted Stevens (DDG-128) and the George M. Neal (DDG-131). DDG-125 is the first Flight III destroyer.

FFG-62. A Navy official said Fincantieri Marinette Marine is set to start construction on the first Constellation-class frigate this month. “We’re going to start bending metal later this month. That’s a success story,” Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director of the Surface Warfare Division, N96, at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations said during the Surface Navy Association’s 2022 Waterfront Symposium on Aug. 18. The Navy’s FY ‘22 budget request expected construction to start in April 2022, but it was pushed back to the summer to finish the critical design review. The FY ‘23 budget request projected construction to start in July 2022. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the frigates is expected to be reached in FY ‘29.

T-45 Engines. The Navy awarded Rolls-Royce a $1.01 billion firm-fixed-price contract to cover intermediate depot-level maintenance and associated logistics for about 210 in-service F405-RR-401 Adour engines used by the Boeing T-45C Goshawk trainer aircraft. Work will be split between Meridian, Miss. (47 percent); Kingsville, Texas (46 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (six percent); and Patuxent River, Md. (one percent) and is expected to be finished by July 2027. The service did not obligate any funds at the time of award, but they will be obligated on individual orders. DoD noted the contract was not competitively procured. The Navy maintains over 190 Goshawks. 

New OCPA Chief. Maj. Gen. John Rafferty is the Army’s new chief of public affairs. Rafferty assumed the role in July, leaving his role as director of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross Functional Team (LRPF CFT) out of Fort Sill in Oklahoma. As the LRPF CFT director, Rafferty oversaw the development of ongoing modernization programs, such as the Precision Strike Missile and Extended Range Cannon Artillery. Rafferty succeeds Brig. Gen. Amy Johnston who retired from the Army earlier this year following an inspector’s general report which detailed workplace hostility concerns at OCPA under her leadership. Col. Rory Crooks is serving as the new LRPF CFT director following Rafferty’s move to OCPA. Crooks has previously served as the chief of staff of the Army V Corps and as director of Future Command’s Futures and Concepts Center.

Air Operations Center Contract. Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) said that the U.S. Air Force has awarded the company a $319 million sustainment contract for the Falconer Air Operations Center (AOC). SAIC said that it will work with Kessel Run, a division within the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s digital directorate, to sustain AOCs with modern mission systems under Falconer. Michael LaRouche, president of SAIC’s national security and space sector, said in a statement that the Falconer sustainment win builds on other work that SAIC is performing, under the Integrated Multi-Domain Command and Control, Air Force Advanced Battle Management System,  and the Air Force Counter-small UAS contracts. The Falconer contract “is a strategic win for SAIC that combines our capabilities in command and control and leadership in cloud migration and digital modernization,” LaRouche said.

Change of Command. On Aug. 15, U.S. Air Force Gen. Duke Richardson, the head of Air Force Materiel Command, passed the command flag for the Air Force Sustainment Center at Tinker AFB, Okla., from Lt. Gen. Tom Miller to Lt. Gen. Stacey Hawkins. The sustainment center employs about 40,000 military and civilian personnel in more than 20 locations for the upkeep and logistics of Air Force weapons systems, including the F-35A, the F-22, the KC-46, C-17, and the Minuteman III ICBM. Hawkins was the director of logistics, engineering and force protection for Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis and, before that, he served as the commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, Utah. Miller has been named the Air Force’s next deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection at the Pentagon.

Now Operational. HawkEye 360 says its fourth and fifth clusters of radio frequency detecting satellites are now operational, doubling the company’s number of satellites on orbit to 12 and enabling collections over a region of interest up to 16 times per day. Cluster 4 was launched on April 1 and Cluster 5 on May 25, each consisting of three satellites. HawkEye is aiming to eventually have 60 satellites on orbit. “With all our improvements, HawkEye 360 has quadrupled daily RF data collection since the start of the year,” says Rob Rainhart, the company’s chief operating officer.

C-UAS Award. BlueHalo says the Defense Department has awarded the company a $24 million contract to provide multiple Titan counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) for use in pre-deployment activities, mobile security, fixed-site protection and dismounted operations. The end customer wasn’t disclosed. The radio frequency-based Titan system, which earlier this year selected as a program of record by an undisclosed DoD customer, is currently being used by the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection for various counter-drone operations. BlueHalo says Titan is used by customers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Special Operations Forces and federal departments.

Unified MILSATCOM. The U.S. Space Force said that the U.S. Army’s satellite communications mission transferred to USSF on Aug. 15 during a ceremony at Peterson Space Force Base, Colo., with Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, the head of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and Space Force Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, the head of Space Operations Command. “This transfer from the Army to the Space Force marks the first time all Department of Defense military satellite communication functions have been consolidated under a single military service,” Space Force said.

…Space Delta 8. The Army SATCOM mission is moving from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Satellite Operations Brigade, which includes the 53rd Signal Battalion and SATCOM directorate, to the 53rd Space Operations Squadron and SATCOM Office, which fall under Space Operations Command’s Space Delta 8. About 200 civilian and 300 military positions are transferring from the Army to the Department of the Air Force. The 53rd Space Operations Squadron is to be the only DoD organization to conduct payload and transmission control for the Defense Satellite Communications System and the 10 Boeing Wideband Global SATCOM satellites.

Helicopters to Czech Republic. The U.S. is planning to donate eight Bell-built helicopters to the Czech Republic under the Excess Defense Articles program, the U.S. Embassy in Prague confirmed on Aug. 18. The transfer will include six AH-1Z and two UH-1Y helicopters. The embassy said the Czech Republic will only pay for “modernization and transfer” of the helicopters, and cited the U.S.’ recognition of Prague’s ongoing efforts to deliver security aid to support Ukraine. The U.S. previously signed a $650 million deal with the Czech Republic in December 2019 to sell the country eight UH-1Y Venom and four AH-1Z Viper helicopters, with all 12 aircraft expected to be completed in 2023.