Executive Change. Northrop Grumman’s board has elected Tom Jones as corporate vice president and president of the Aeronautics Systems sector, succeeding Janis Pamiljans, who is retiring in February. Jones, who will assume his new position on Jan. 1, 2020, is currently sector vice president and general manager of the company’s Airborne Sensors & Networks division in the Mission Systems sector. Jones, a 30-year veteran of the aerospace and defense industry, joined Northrop Grumman in 2011 from Boeing. Pamiljans has been with Northrop Grumman for 34 years.

Cyber Concerns.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security agency and FBI this month released a joint advisory warning of advanced persistent threat actors exploiting legacy vulnerabilities frequently directed at federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government networks. The advisory, which will be updated as new information become available, said that “Although it does not appear these targets are being selected because of their proximity to elections information, there may be some risk to elections information house on government networks.” In some cases, elections support systems have been accessed but “CISA has no evidence to date that integrity of elections data has been compromised.”

Army Cyber. The Army has awarded BAE Systems a one-year, $11.7 million deal to provide IT services to support Army Cyber Command. Under the contract, BAE Systems is tasked with providing system integration and management, network and systems administration and cyber and IT engineering support at Army Cyber Command’s headquarters at Fort Gordon in Georgia. The work also includes operating and maintaining ARCYBER’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Management/Enterprise Information Technology Service Management environment. “We’re pleased to continue supporting ARCYBER’s G-6. Our trusted, cleared IT and cyber experts are dedicated to meeting the needs of our customers and ultimately assisting warfighters with the defense of cyberspace and information operations missions,” Peder Jungck, vice president of the company’s intelligence solutions business, said in a statement. 

Hypersonics. The Pentagon on Oct. 15 opened a Joint Hypersonics Transition Office (JHTO) Systems Engineering Field Activity at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) in Indiana. “The JHTO and its Systems Engineering Field Activity present a signature opportunity for the Department. Leveraging the capabilities at NSWC Crane, we cannot only develop effective hypersonic technologies, but we can also develop them affordably at the speed of relevance to our warfighters. Proactive engineering for affordable upgrades is critical to the long-term sustainability of these systems,” Mark Lewis, acting deputy under secretary of defense for research and engineering, said in a statement. JHTO is responsible for creating strategies for developing hypersonic capabilities and then transitioning them to operational capabilities.

Microelectronics Awards. The Pentagon on Oct. 15 awarded nearly $200 million in deals to bolster domestic production of advanced microelectronics technologies. Microsoft and IBM received awards totaling $24.5 million to “advance commercial leading-edge microelectronics physical ‘back-end’ design methods with measurable security.” Those contracts were Other Transaction Authority agreements for the Phase 1 Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes program. Intel Federal and Qorvo received $172.7 million in contracts to “develop and demonstrate a novel approach toward measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and test of advanced packaging solutions” for the State-of-the-Art Heterogeneous Integration Prototype Program Phase 2. “Today’s awards support the Department’s mission to promote microelectronics supply chain security and accelerate U.S. development of the very best in circuit design, manufacturing, and packaging,” Michael Kratsios, acting under secretary of defense for research and engineering, said in a statement. 

DDG and SSN. Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite said on Oct. 13 the future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer DDG-137 will be named the USS John F. Lehman and the future Virginia-class attack submarine SSN-804 will be named the USS Barb. DDG-137 is named after the 65th Secretary of the Navy who served under President Reagan from 1981 to 1987 while SSN-804 carries on the name of two previous submarines that served in World War II and the Cold War, respectively.

SSN-794. Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries started moving the Virginia-class attack submarine Montana (SSN-794) to a floating dry sock on Oct. 3 in preparation for launch, the company said Oct. 15. The vessel is planned to be launched into the James River in Virginia in November. Once at the pier, it will undergo the waterborne test program and crew certification. Construction of the submarine began in 2015 and is currently about 85 percent complete. The Montana was christened in September and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in late 2021.

SSN(X). This week Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said one of the most important aspects of the future attack submarine, SSN(X) is speed over many missiles. “I know in terms of sea control, of sea denial, that that’s a significant advantage that we can bring to bear for an operational commander and the rest of the joint force. But I just don’t think it’s about a lot of missiles. I also think that speed’s an important factor there that we have to take into account,” Gilday said during the online Defense One State of the Navy event Oct. 13. The CNO said inherent mobility of naval forces is important with attack boats sounding like an asset an operational commander can move around at a high tempo to deliver ordnance in a timely way. “So it’s got to be a fast sub as well,” he added.

NUWC Newport. Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport’s Office of Small Business Program will host virtual Industry Day on Oct. 20, 22, 27, and 29. The Navy said these sessions aim to network and invite industry representatives to learn about ways they can do business with the service and specifically Division Newport. “This is a great opportunity for all businesses in our area and outside to learn about the work we do at the Division and to gain insight into upcoming solicitations,” Sarah Heard, director of Division Newport’s Office of Small Business Programs, said in a statement. Each technical department at NUWC is set to present briefs on their organizational makeup, core competencies, and long range acquisition forecast.

THAAD Plan. An Oct. 13 Joint Communique from the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and South Korean Minister of National Defense Suh Wook at the culmination of the 52nd U.S.-Republic of Korea Security Constative Meeting said the countries would make a “long-term plan for the stable stationing” of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea. The battery is based at Camp Carrol in the Seongju area of South Korea, 190 miles south of Seoul. Esper also reaffirmed continued U.S. commitment to providing extended deterrence to South Korea using all military capabilities including nuclear, conventional, and missile defense systems. The leaders also pledged to enhance deterrence via implementation of many policy recommendations from the Extended Deterrence Joint Study and implement the Tailored Deterrence Strategy while considering the effects of changes in the security environment on the Korean peninsula and the region more generally.

Space Men? U.S. Space Force’s recently issued capstone document refers to members of the sixth and newest military service as “space warfighters” and “space professionals.” While its sister service, the Air Force, refers to its members as “airmen,” the Space Force is still deciding upon a new name for its service members—a name that likely won’t be “space men.” The Space Force may announce the new name for its members in December to coincide with the first anniversary of the service. “I think we’re getting close,” Air Force Lt Gen B. Chance Saltzman, Space Force’s deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear, says of the new name for Space Force members. “Could we have gone fast? Yes. Did we want to be deliberate because this is going to have a lasting impact? Yes. We want to be deliberate, and we want to make sure we’ve thought through all of the second and third order effects of this and not jump into a name we’ll end up regretting later.”

Doomsday Plane Simulator. The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) simulators division has awarded a $16 million contract to Oklahoma-based CymSTAR, LLC, to develop and sustain a high fidelity, full motion simulator for E-4B pilots and flight engineers. The Boeing E-4B—known as the “doomsday plane”—is a militarized version of the company’s 747-200 airliner and would serve as the National Airborne Operations Center for the president, defense secretary, and Joint Chiefs of Staff to direct military forces, deliver emergency war orders, and coordinate civil authorities in the case of destruction of ground command and control centers. The FAA “Level C”-equivalent E-4B simulator will fill a training need, AFLCMC said. “Currently, the E-4B fleet stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., does not have a dedicated simulator for training, so aircrew members have to either take an aircraft out of operations to train on, or travel out of state to use a commercial 747 simulator, which doesn’t completely represent the E-4B or its capabilities,” per AFLCMC. “The new simulator will fully replicate the E-4B cockpit and include aerial refueling training capability.” AFLCMC’s simulators division “is working closely with the AFLCMC Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate – responsible for the recapitalization and sustainment of the E-4B fleet – to ensure the new simulator meets Global Strike Command’s training requirements,” AFLCMC said. Delivery of a “Ready For Training” E-4B simulator is expected in April 2022.