This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on Navy unmanned surface vessels, a nascent Defense Science Board study, new Pentagon guidance on “middle-tier” acquisition programs and more.

The Navy’s surface forces chief is expected to submit a final draft of a concept of operations for Medium and Large Unmanned Surface Vehicles by Sept. 15:

The Navy last month directed its top surface warfare officer to develop the concepts of operations for two major unmanned surface vessel programs, according to a Dec. 19 message to the fleet.

A new Defense Science Board study is underway:

An influential Pentagon advisory panel is launching a new study to investigate potential new dimensions of conflict that China and Russia might employ to impose their will on other states beyond conventional military force, and seeks recommendations for a modernization blueprint that, in turn, puts the U.S. military at the vanguard of innovating new forms of conflict.

Document: DSB terms of reference memo for new dimensions of conflict study

The Defense Department now has guidelines on how to run fast-track “middle-tier” acquisition programs:

The Pentagon has finalized guidance outlining how the military services should run fast-track “middle-tier” acquisition programs, with the Defense Department acquisition chief asserting the power to determine when a program is not appropriate for the streamlined process.

Document: DOD instruction on middle tier of acquisition management

Our colleagues at Inside Cybersecurity have an early look at the cybersecurity efforts the Pentagon will be undertaking in the first couple months of this year:

The next two months could be crucial for the federal government’s landmark efforts in setting cybersecurity requirements for contractors and agencies to protect national security and other information from foreign adversaries, with a proposed rule later this month and comments due in February on banning Huawei and other China-based tech products.

In case you missed it, the first story we posted in the new year takes a deep dive into the issues defense industry advocates will be monitoring in 2020:

Defense industry advocates say they expect a busy year as the Pentagon takes up new measures, such as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. However, the coming election could add some uncertainty.

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