Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.


Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

A target truck disabled by Lockheed's ATHENA laser

CRYSTAL CITY: The world’s largest defense company is taking a big step towards battlefield laser weapons. In a few weeks, Lockheed Martin will start production of high-efficiency fiber-optic modules that can be wired together into a wide variety of different weapons. Production will start with a prototype 60-kilowatt rocket-killer for the Army, they said, but… Keep reading →

Courtesy David Knapp & NGAUS

WASHINGTON: The powerful National Guard Association of the US spent a year and a half battling the last Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, over everything from Apache gunships to readiness. NGAUS president Gus Hargett has a very different take on Gen. Mark Milley, who replaced Odierno August 14. “I found him to be… Keep reading →

Gerald R. Ford (CVN78) Photo by Chris Oxley

CAPITOL HILL: Sen. John McCain says the $4.7 billion overrun on the Navy’s new Ford-class aircraft carriers is “unacceptable.” That’s understandable. But Congress’s own investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, told McCain today it’s also “predictable.” Given our broken acquisition system, huge cost and schedule overruns on new designs are the norm, GAO said, adding… Keep reading →

Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations.

WASHINGTON: The annual defense bill authorizes $411 million to upgun the Army’s Stryker vehicles. The compromise goes with the Senate’s higher funding levels: $314 million for modification work and $97 million for R&D. That’s a heady increase from the $0.00 the president’s budget included for the initiative, which emerged mid-year as a response to Russian aggression… Keep reading →

A Navy F-35C conducts its first-ever arrested landing aboard the carrier USS Nimitz

WASHINGTON: The conference version of the defense policy bill for 2016 puts the Navy on notice in multiple high-priority programs. In three areas — carriers, the UCLASS drone, and LCS — Sen. John McCain‘s tough positions prevailed over the House, albeit with some compromises around the edges. In a fourth — Ticonderoga-class cruisers — it was a House leader,… Keep reading →

Syria Airstrike map Sept 24

WASHINGTON: In keeping with its increasingly aggressive behavior over the past two years, Russia is deploying lethal and long-ranged anti-aircraft defenses to keep Western forces out of three key regions: the Baltics, the Black Sea, and, now, the Levant. From where NATO’s top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove sits, the Russian forces flowing into Syria don’t look… Keep reading →

A B-1 bomber test-fires a LRASM missile, the anti-ship variant of Lockheed's JASSM

[Updated with Bryan Clark analysis] Lockheed Martin doesn’t like to say it, but their best salesman isn’t getting a bonus this year. That’s because his name is Vladimir Putin. An increasingly aggressive and well-armed Russia is clearly driving its neighbors to build up their own arsenals, and in highly specific ways. Thus the international success of… Keep reading →

Army vehicle full of network computers

CRYSTAL CITY: Left with a patchwork of field and homebase systems as military networking exploded after 9/11, the Army is striving to rationalize its systems so troops can train with the same systems they fight with. “During the last 12-13 years at war, units were buying capabilities that were not consistent across the board at home station just to… Keep reading →

NATO photo

RESTON, VA: US command and control networks take too long to link to allies and respond to Russia’s rapid-fire aggression. In Ukraine, “we’ve had at least two, maybe three of these cycles [already, where] they’ll back off, and there’ll be a long kind of quiet period, and then they’ll spike back up,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD: Pax River is a robot zoo today, showcasing unmanned vehicles from micro-mini-submarines — so small you can throw one like a football — to what appears to be a solar-powered canoe. More than 40 systems here from 30 projects and six nations were gathered by the US Office of… Keep reading →

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