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  • Kratos Receives $65 Million in Recent Space and Satellite Communications Contract Awards

    January 2, 2019 | International, C4ISR

    Kratos Receives $65 Million in Recent Space and Satellite Communications Contract Awards

    SAN DIEGO, Dec. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that it has received recent space and satellite communications contract awards and options on existing contracts totaling approximately $65 million. Work performed under these contract awards will be performed at secure Kratos manufacturing facilities and customer locations and is expected to be substantially completed over the next 12 months. The awards include Kratos' products and services across technology application domains that are critical to defending space operations and assuring global satellite communication for the United States and its allies, as well as certain other operations that are essential to national security. Under the contract awards, Kratos will provide solutions for satellite command & control, signal monitoring, end-to-end service assurance, cloud-enabled architectures and other applications. Kratos products support more than 85 percent of United States space missions, and are used by more than 75 percent of global satellite operators. Kratos owns and operates the largest global, commercial network of space-focused Radio Frequency (RF) sensors employed to help customers identify, locate and mitigate interference challenges. The company recently announced it has begun leveraging this network to offer new Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services to bring additional clarity and insight to operations in the space environment for its customers. Due to customer related, competitive and other considerations, no additional information will be provided related to these contract awards. Phil Carrai, President of Kratos' Space, Cybersecurity and Training business, said, “The Space sector is experiencing a technology renaissance, and much of that advancement is occurring in the ground segment solutions that Kratos specializes in: those which assure the availability, reliability, security and operational goals of these missions. The range of space missions enabled by these awards and renewals is extremely broad, and Kratos is one of the only companies that can support that breadth with industry-leading COTS products, as well as cloud operations enablement, mission-specific applications and tailored waveforms.” About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and a streamlined development process. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training and combat systems. For more information go to www.kratosdefense.com. Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Kratos and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Kratos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Kratos believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Kratos in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Kratos for the year ended December 31, 2017, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Kratos. Press Contact: Yolanda White 858-812-7302 Direct Investor Information: 877-934-4687 investor@kratosdefense.com http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/12/31/1679167/0/en/Kratos-Receives-65-Million-in-Recent-Space-and-Satellite-Communications-Contract-Awards.html

  • Defense Spending In The Middle East Continues Strong Growth

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Defense Spending In The Middle East Continues Strong Growth

    In 2018, major fault lines developed in the relations between the Middle East's largest power, Saudi Arabia, and its Western allies. For decades, Riyadh has been one of the major buyers of European and U.S. defense equipment, but there is growing uneasiness about how Saudi Arabia has been using it. International pressure increases on Saudi-led conflict in Yemen Middle Eastern nations grow combat mass and capability Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen was already controversial, but ... http://aviationweek.com/defense/defense-spending-middle-east-continues-strong-growth

  • Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Statement From Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

    Under the direction of President Trump, the Department of Defense remains focused on safeguarding our nation. We have deep respect for Secretary Mattis' lifetime of service, and it has been a privilege to serve as his deputy secretary. As acting secretary of defense, I now look forward to working with President Trump to carry out his vision alongside strong leaders including the service secretaries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the combatant commanders, and senior personnel in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Department of Defense continues to be one of our nation's bedrock institutions. Our foundational strength lies in the remarkable men and women who volunteer to serve our country and protect our freedoms, while making immense personal sacrifice. It is an honor to work with such a dedicated team committed to the greatness of our nation. https://dod.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/1722850/statement-from-acting-secretary-of-defense-patrick-m-shanahan/

  • UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    desider is the monthly corporate magazine for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). It is aimed at readers across the wider MOD, armed forces and industry, and covers stories and features about support to operations, equipment acquisition and support. It also covers the work of people in DE&S and its partners in industry, and other corporate news and information. Published 1 January 2019 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/767541/January-desider-v1-Online.pdf

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 31, 2018

    January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 31, 2018

    ARMY Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, Oak Brook, Illinois, was awarded a $92,551,470 firm-fixed-price contract for channel improvement project, entrance channel with extension, and dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 operations and maintenance; general construction; and non-federal funds in the combined amount of $92,551,470 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W912HY-19-C-0002). BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc., Radford, Virginia, was awarded an $89,520,585 modification (0053 09) to contract W52P1J-11-G-0053 for operations and maintenance of Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Radford, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2010, 2016 and 2017 other procurement, Army funds in the combined amount of $8,929,605 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc., Kingsport, Tennessee, was awarded a $74,756,071 modification (P00678) to contract DAAA09-98-E-0006 for Building G-3 NQ/RDX recrystallization construction at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Kingsport, Tennessee, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2021. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $74,756,071 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. Honeywell International Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded a $20,335,554 modification (P00100) to contract W56HZV-12-C-0344 for hardware services. Work will be performed in Phoenix, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2019 other procurement, Army; and Army working capital funds in the amount of $20,335,554 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity. STG Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $17,098,410 modification (P00011) to contract W91RUS-18-C-0007 for information technology support services. Work will be performed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $17,098,410 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Melwood Horticultural Training Center Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was awarded a $9,986,235 modification (P00014) to contract W91QV1-18-C-0008 for base operations. Work will be performed in Fort Meade, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $9,986,235 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $75,020,715 firm-fixed-price contract for rotary wing aircraft maintenance. This contract provides for services to support all management, personnel, equipment and services necessary to perform 811th Operations Group rotary wing flight line maintenance. Work will be performed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and five offers were received. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $28,555, are being obligated at the time of award. 11th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is the contracting activity (FA2860-19-C-0005). (Awarded Dec. 27, 2018) Pinnacle Solutions Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, has been awarded a $20,562,123 firm-fixed-price modification (P00040) to previously awarded contract FA8621-16-C-6281 for support of the KC-10 training system. This modification provides for the exercise of the fourth year option and incorporates within scope changes to contractual requirements resulting from a mutual agreement of the parties, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $100,583,419. Work will be performed at Travis Air Force Base, California; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Fairfield, California. Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $20,316,980 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity. *Small business https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/1722766/source/GovDelivery/

  • A year-end Q&A with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

    December 31, 2018 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    A year-end Q&A with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

    By Charlie Pinkerton Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan spoke with iPolitics for a year-end interview. Here's what he had to say. Q: During your time as Canada's defence minister, what are you most proud of? A: The thing I'm most proud of is that our defence policy is focused on looking after our people. I've always said our Number 1 asset is our people; if we look after them, everything else will start to fall into place. I'll give you an example of this: putting the tax-free allowance in the defence policy; if you're deployed on an operation internationally, it's tax-free. That gives families back home tremendous flexibility with what they can do. That's one of the things I'm proud of. We also include families as part of our defence policy. We're seeing tangible results. We've done some work, we've got more work to do. As you can see, this is what I'm focused on. Those procurement projects — ships, jets — are absolutely important, right? But the thing is, if we don't look after our people, those ships and jets don't mean anything. And that's probably what I'm most proud of: turning into a reality our focus in the defence policy, which is to our people. Q: What do you regret during your tenure as defence minister? A: Sometimes things can't move as fast as you want. I wouldn't call it a regret, but you want to see progress as fast as possible, and sometimes you end up pushing so hard, like with procurement: Why aren't we moving faster? We have these questions, and we're reminded that we need to hire enough people to move on these files. And so it's a reminder — it's not a regret — to never put your people in a position to over-extend themselves. You need to have a holistic Canadian Armed Forces that will look after itself. This whole conversation of more teeth, less tail — I hate that. In reality, making sure your pension cheques are given on time is just as important. Q: Is there something you really want to accomplish during the time remaining in your mandate? A: It goes back to my first point: making sure we have enough momentum that we're able to start executing all the things that we want, and having the right number of people to be able to move our projects forward. Also, making it a reality that, from the time somebody joins the military, we're focusing on resilience and that they know the country has their backs. For example, with the Transition Group, we've ensured that no future government can ever take that focus away from the people ever again. Q: Whether you or someone else takes over in a year's time, what will be the most pressing issue he or she faces? A: For me, a Number 1 priority will be making sure the environment inside the Canadian Armed Forces is one that's inclusive, that's harassment-free, and I know it seems very idealistic to say this, but any other goal is unacceptable, because it leaves leeway for things, because when you create that environment, you'll be able to get the best potential out of your people at the same time. That's the challenge we're working on. General (Jonathan) Vance is aggressively dealing with this, and Operation Honour is showing results. To me, it's a challenge, and a challenge that has to be met, regardless of who's in this position. Q: Is there something you wanted to accomplish that was pushed aside by larger or more pressing priorities? A: There's one thing I was really looking forward to doing, which is learn French. I sort of underestimated the time required of the job. However, I am still committed to learning French. I do what I can in my own time, and I'll learn it when I leave politics, because I think it's important for all Canadians to be able to speak both official languages. Q: You're up for re-election. You've been defence minister for three years, which is a relatively long time. Aside from Peter MacKay, who held the job for about six years, you've had one of the longest tenures of the past 20 years. If re-elected, will you seek re-appointment? A: I got into politics because I wanted to represent the neighbourhood I grew up in of Vancouver South, and I was very privileged to have that honour. When it comes to the next election, my job is going to be to make sure I connect with my community in my riding. That's the Number 1 job that I'm fighting for: to become the member of Parliament for Vancouver South. If the prime minister thinks again that my skills are needed, regardless of portfolio, I'd be honoured and privileged to serve. Q: Considering you got into politics to represent Vancouver South, is there something that being defence minister prevented you from doing, and that, given another term, you'd like to take on? A: In Vancouver South, my focus has been a lot on the youth, and I've done a lot of things in the riding, but I always feel like I wish I could do more. I want people to know that I — a person who grew up in that riding — can do some interesting things, and reach this portfolio, and that every single (constituent) can reach the highest levels. So that's the one thing I wish I had a little bit more time to do. But at the end of the day, if I still had that time, I would still have that regret, because I want to make sure we inspire the next generation, because I see so much potential in them. https://ipolitics.ca/2018/12/31/a-year-end-qa-with-defence-minister-harjit-sajjan/

  • US Spies Want to Know How to Spot Compromised AI

    December 31, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    US Spies Want to Know How to Spot Compromised AI

    BY DAVE GERSHGORN What if you were training an AI, and an adversary slipped a few altered images into its study set? The US government's research arm for intelligence organizations, IARPA, is looking for ideas on how to detect “Trojan” attacks on artificial intelligence, according to government procurement documents. Here's the problem the agency wants to solve: At a simple level, modern image-recognition AI learns from analyzing many images of an object. If you want to train an algorithm to detect pictures of a road signs, you have to supply it with pictures of different signs from all different angles. The algorithm learns the relationships between the pixels of the images, and how the structures and patterns of stop signs differ from those of speed-limit signs. But suppose that, during the AI-training phase, an adversary slipped a few extra images (Trojan horses) into your speed-limit-sign detector, ones showing stop signs with sticky notes on them. Now, if the adversary wants to trick your AI in the real world into thinking a stop sign is a speed-limit sign, it just has to put a sticky note on it. Imagine this in the world of autonomous cars; it could be a nightmare scenario. The kinds of tools that IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) wants would be able to detect issues or anomalies after the algorithm has been trained to recognize different objects in images. This isn't the only kind of attack on AI that's possible. Security researchers have also warned about inherent flaws in the way artificial intelligence perceives the world, making it possible to alter physical objects like stop signs to make AI algorithms miscategorize them without ever messing with how it was trained, called “adversarial examples.” While neither Trojan attacks nor the adversarial examples are known to have been used by malicious parties in the real world, researchers have said they're increasingly possible. IARPA is looking at a short timeline as well, expecting the program to conclude after a maximum of two years. https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2018/12/us-spies-want-know-how-spot-compromised-ai/153826

  • The Army’s ‘triad of opportunity’

    December 31, 2018 | International, C4ISR

    The Army’s ‘triad of opportunity’

    By: Mike Gruss Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford is quick to remind his audience that the United States Army is one of the largest organizations in the world. Crawford understands the scope because, as the service's top uniformed IT official, any way the Army wants to take advantage of the revolution taking place in information technology must go through his office. Crawford became the service's chief information officer in August 2017 and since then has focused on the move to the cloud, hiring staff and protecting data. “A lot of things that we're looking at are aspirational, but what I will tell you is institutionally we are fundamentally in a different place than we were just 12 months ago,” he said. Crawford spoke recently with C4ISRNET Editor Mike Gruss. C4ISRNET: Talk about the Army's enterprise network and the major muscle movements taking place. LT. GEN. BRUCE CRAWFORD: For about the last 18 months, the Army's been focused on the tactical network. We really needed to take a step back from 17 years of continuous combat and say, “Have we properly networked the soldier?” Of course, the answer was “No.” In terms of the enterprise, there are about three big pieces to it. One has to do with our data. It's not just about storing our data. How do we better protect our data? If you pay attention to a lot of the research, 90 percent of the data that exists in the world today has been generated just in the last 24 months. You combine that with investments in cloud. So today it's about $200 billion. By 2020-2021 it's supposed to go to about $500 billion. One of the big focus areas has to be shifting from defending our networks to how do we protect our data. C4ISRNET: What else? CRAWFORD: I call it a triad of opportunity: you have got cloud, identity and access management and credentialing. Once we put our data in a secure, accessible, elastic environment, then how are we going to make sure that we can authenticate who you are, but you can actually access that data? So, taking on the issue of identity, credentialing and access management is the second leg in that stool. Last, but certainly not least, is the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The real value of that data is your ability to analyze that data, to predict what some of the challenges may be. C4ISRNET: Do you expect to see two-factor authentication or biometrics being used on the battlefield? CRAWFORD: That technology is here today. The vast majority of our Guard and Reserve forces don't get a government-issued Blackberry. When they come to work, they bring their device. So why shouldn't they be able to leverage their personal device and get access to information that has been put behind a two-party authentication firewall? One of the efforts that we have ongoing is to do exactly that. We're looking at the next six months before we have that capability, at least able to test it and put it in the hands of soldiers. C4ISRNET: Some of those technologies will rely on the cloud. How does the cloud help the Army make decisions faster? CRAWFORD: Right now, the Army has 1,112 data centers. Our goal is to have about 296 centers by 2022. So, you've got to ask yourself, with cloud technology available, do we even need data centers? Being able to aggregate that data, allowing the deployed soldiers to not have to take servers to the battlefield with them. Giving them the ability to be lighter and more mobile and being able to access that data from anywhere they are on the battlefield. It's pretty powerful in terms of increasing their mobility and the survivability of their data. C4ISRNET: How does cybersecurity fit into the Army's modernization process? CRAWFORD: You've heard about this concept of multidomain operations. It's not moving from this domain to this domain to this domain; it's organizing ourselves as an Army and posturing ourselves as an institution to be lethal in all these environments at once if we had to. So this idea of cybersecurity is critical to that. It has to be a part of our DNA as we move forward. The vast majority of the intrusions and vulnerabilities are human error. Cybersecurity has to be a part of who we are. The position now is that every domain that you're operating in is a contested environment. That requires a culture change to remain lethal. C4ISRNET: We hear a lot about Agile and Waterfall development. What's needed across the Army to make sure that it happens? CRAWFORD: A shared understanding of the problem. We recognized software optimization was a problem. The Army's expending a considerable amount of resources just on software sustainment over the [Future Year Defense Program]. Recognizing that it's an issue and then pulling together key stakeholders, not just the services, but organizations like the [National Security Agency] or organizations like FBI and CIA, which can innovate at a pace much faster than we can. My No. 1 concern when it comes to software optimization has to do with the resiliency of the applications developed by industry. A lot of the applications, they work great in the lab. But when you put them on a network, especially our tactical network, and then you have to try and extend that to the disadvantaged user at the tip of the spear? A lot of the applications don't perform as well as they would in a sterile environment. Applications have got to be more resilient. C4ISRNET: The storage of data is a challenge, but also the integration between networks or databases. What are the steps you're taking to make sure that soldiers can get all the information they need? CRAWFORD: One of the efforts that excites me the most has to do with this idea of a common operating environment. You're going to take 19 disparate battle command systems and collapse them onto three specific environments — a handheld environment, a mounted environment and a command post environment — and each is going to have the same look and feel. Now think about the infrastructure. If you can collapse these systems — all with their own server farms, all with their own standards, all developed by different people, all from different organizations — if you can collapse those all onto a common operating environment, think of the things that you can divest of, but also think of the complexity. We really need to remove the burden of integration from the backs of soldiers. There is a lot of value in that, to include increased mobility for the soldier. C4ISRNET: What are some of the technologies that get you excited? CRAWFORD: The U.S. Army is the third-largest organization of any kind in the world. You've got to ask yourself, “Do we have total asset visibility? Do we have the ability to know what's on our network?” Enterprise license agreements and the things of that nature. Imagine the power of that, if you had 100-percent visibility — not just of your network from a cybersecurity perspective, but when it comes to a term that I am calling information technology accountability, or investment accountability. If you had 100-percent investment accountability, meaning you knew every time an IT dollar was spent, who spent it and was that done against one of your modernization priorities. C4ISRNET: Those are a lot of the same problems that we see in the business world. You're not starting from scratch. You can use commercial products. CRAWFORD: Absolutely. So, there are several things that we are looking to partner more closely with industry. It's the technologies that give us total asset visibility and reduce the number of tools, reduce the number of enterprise license agreements, help us with better visibility of cybersecurity. Then there's another that I'm really interested in: it's talent. Do we have the talent, right now on board, to deliver the technologies that the Army's going to need in 2028 and the answer is no. We're in a race for talent. We've got an effort called “Workforce 2028” that is looking at the 13,600 IT professionals ... We've looked and asked, “OK, what skill sets are really required, based on what we know now, in the next 5 to 10 years?” That's a tough one. C4ISRNET: What do you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months? CRAWFORD: I talked about a race for talent. That's really important that we posture ourselves to get the right people on the team. C4ISRNET: How do you measure that, though? CRAWFORD: Well, you've got to measure it in terms of knowing what skill sets you need, so there's some work that has to be done upfront and we're doing that work now. And you either began — you created a process to allow you to iterate and field the skill sets — or you didn't. It won't be that difficult to measure, but it's got to be an institutional approach. It's not just in the Pentagon. I want to be able to tell you a year from now that we have created a process or leveraged an existing process, because we've actually been granted some authorities by Congress and others over the last couple of years to better posture ourselves. The other thing has to do with protecting our data. Over the next four years, I want to put 25 percent of 8,000 existing applications in a cloud hosting environment. And I've created a process that allows us to do that. It's in support of and synchronized with where the DoD, Mr. [Dana] Deasy is going with the JEDI effort. We live in times now where status quo can no longer be the norm. https://www.c4isrnet.com/it-networks/2018/12/28/the-armys-triad-of-opportunity

  • Budget Busters: What to Look For in 2019 and Beyond

    December 31, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Budget Busters: What to Look For in 2019 and Beyond

    By PAUL MCLEARY The release of the 2020 defense budget is still over a month away, and it's already been a wild ride. A look at what has happened, and what might happen next. WASHINGTON: If there's one complaint that has sounded a consistent across the Joint Chiefs and Pentagon leadership in recent years, it has been the lack of predictability in year-to-year funding. If there's one thing we have learned about President Trump, it's that nothing is certain until the very end. And even when there's a decision, it can be flipped, rehashed, tinkered with or forgotten about in the time it take to knock out a Tweet on phone. After two years of budget certainty in 2018-19, the 2020 submission was humming along at $733 billion — until it wasn't. In late October, the number plummeted (relatively speaking) to $700 billion, until the president was convinced by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — not yet on his way out at the time — to rocket it up to $750 billion. But even that number isn't certain. Most analysts see the 2020 submission settling around the $733 billion level. Visiting US troops at the Al Asad air base on Dec. 26, the president gave the latest vague update. “I mean, I want to see costs come down, too. But not when it comes to our military. You have to have the finest equipment anywhere in the world, and you have that — $716 billion. And this year, again, we're going to be — don't tell anybody because nobody else knows — even a little bit higher.” Whatever the number is, it appears likely that incoming acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will be the one to deliver and defend it on Capitol Hill in February, as Mattis has been told to leave by Jan. 1. It's unclear what effect the firing of Mattis will have on the process, or if there will be any significant strategic shifts for the department given the change in leadership. As budget guru Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told me this week — specifically in reference to the Space Force, but it really applies across the entire budget — “the thing to keep in mind is that this is, so far, just the Pentagon's proposal to the White House. It's not clear if the White House is going to agree to this. The president has a way of sticking to his ideas even if his own administration recommends otherwise.” Here are a few of the stories we've done over the past months breaking down what is happening, and what might — might — happen next. Full article: https://breakingdefense.com/2018/12/budget-busters-what-to-look-for-in-2019-and-beyond

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