WASHINGTON: The “third offset strategy” is officially just four days old, but the man in charge is already lowering expectations for what it will produce. Yes, the Pentagon is absolutely seeking “the key technologies we think will give us a particular operational advantage,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work. Yes, the quest is inspired by… Keep reading →
Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
[UPDATED with Pentagon confirmation] The better-protected, more-mobile replacement for the Humvee took a big step forward this month, when all three competitors’ vehicles completed a crucial series of military tests. All three have also completed a government Production Readiness Review to certify their ability to mass-produce their vehicle. Next comes the final Request For Proposals (RFP) for… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The first Future Vertical Lift Aircraft won’t fly until the 2030s but the Army, Navy, and industry are already at work on software standards. Those include a new “model-based” approach to software architectures that will require a culture change among programmers and defense bureaucrats alike. Why take on so much so early? Because FVL will… Keep reading →
ABOARD THE USS ARLINGTON: 17 warships and two submarines. Thousands of personnel from 19 countries. Billions of dollars of high-tech hardware. Months of planning. But sometimes you still have to improvise. When US and Dutch warships united in an international task force for the 2014 Bold Alligator wargames off Virginia, the two countries could not… Keep reading →
REAGAN LIBRARY: Just two months ago, prominent pro-defense Republicans were telling me the best outcome for the military budget would be a GOP-controlled Senate. Now they’ve got it — but before the new Congress is even sworn in, several veteran legislators speaking here Saturday discounted the prospect of it doing anything to scrap the automatic budget cuts… Keep reading →
[UPDDATED with Hagel memo & expert comment] REAGAN LIBRARY: After months of build-up, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel formally launched the military’s quest for a combination of new technologies to maintain America’s military supremacy over the next 20 years in the face of Russian and Chinese challenges. In a speech before the second Reagan National Defense Forum here, Hagel divulged… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: An obscure change in an arcane statute could open a major Navy contract to lower priced components from South Korea. But America’s last domestic manufacturer of ship-sized diesel engines, Fairbanks Morse, is fighting back. While a Navy spokesman told me the service has a plan to protect the industrial base — a major worry for the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: New agreements between the US and China will reduce the risks of accidental war in the western Pacific. That’s good news — but don’t imagine for a minute that it changes the fundamentals of the competition. Chinese president Xi Jinping’s summit deals with President Obama and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe represent Xi’s tactical… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Every election sets off a round of musical chairs on Capitol Hill. This year’s GOP sweep will shake up the Senate in particular, and there’s one plausible scenario that should make the Pentagon and contractors especially nervous, because it would put two champion attack dogs of oversight at the helm of the Senate Armed… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: NATO is now taking cyber threats as seriously as the Russian tanks and nuclear weapons it was created to deter. But the alliance has a long way to go just to shore up its own network defenses, and it explicitly eschews any role on the offense. NATO has not even written a formal policy… Keep reading →