Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

 

Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

UUV with USS PONCE 130514-N-PX130-142

Think it’s hard to find a place to charge your smartphone at the airport? Try finding a power outlet in the ocean. Imagine you’re a robotic Navy mini-sub whose batteries are running low after a long mission monitoring, say, traffic around Chinese artificial islands in the South Pacific. Currently, you’d have to recharge at a land… Keep reading →

Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo

WASHINGTON: As nations like China build up their anti-access/area denial defenses to keep the US out, “the submarine force is the key that unlocks that A2/AD bubble,” Rear Adm. Joseph Tofalo once said. “We’re the folks that are expected to get in underneath.” As the two-star director of Undersea Warfare on the Navy’s Pentagon staff… Keep reading →

Ray Mabus

[UPDATED with Congressional reaction] ROSLYN, VA: Ray Mabus likes robots. The Navy Secretary has declared the F-35 will be “the last manned strike fighter” the service ever buys and invested heavily in unmanned aircraft, boats, and submersibles. But Mabus has frustrated drone advocates on one major program: the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft. This morning, Mabus defended… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

TYSON’S CORNER: Dear Senator McCain, we need to talk — sincerely, Frank Kendall. The Pentagon’s top buyer made clear today that he doesn’t know nearly enough about McCain’s ambitious acquisition reform plan, and some of what he does know makes him nervous. In particular, Undersecretary Kendall said, he doesn’t want the four service chiefs — the Army… Keep reading →

General Dynamics Flyer-72

Can the big guys go fast? In the race to build the Army’s new Ultra-Light Combat Vehicle, General Dynamics is the second biggest competitor, after Boeing, now that aerospace giant Lockheed Martin has dropped out altogether. A traditional defense contractor that builds everything from Army tanks to Navy submarines, GD faces outsiders like commercial offroad… Keep reading →

Air Force artwork of a future dogfight with lasers.

PENTAGON: Star Wars fans, calm down. The US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from a small plane. And not just any airplane, Air Force Research Laboratory officials. The last laser on an airplane — the megawatt Airborne Laser, which filled a converted 747 and cancelled in 2011 — the 2022 demonstration will be… Keep reading →

A Vyper Adamas offorad vehicle

UPDATE: Lockheed Martin won’t compete Want a pink truck?  “If a colonel says, ‘I want to paint it pink,’ it’ll get painted pink in about five minutes,” boasts Shane Sterling, president of Vyper Adamas. That’s the kind of speed with which smaller companies can move, he says: “We don’t have the levels of bureaucracy that a… Keep reading →

army-ah-64e-apache-guardian-attack-helicopter

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s hardest-nosed accountants have endorsed the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative. ARI is a controversial cost-cutting plan which would retire the Vietnam-vintage OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopters and replace them with AH-64 Apache gunships taken from the National Guard. The Army said ARI, once fully implemented, would save $1.09 billion a year. In a document… Keep reading →

Gen. Mark Milley

WASHINGTON: Who is Army Gen. Mark Milley? A lot of the Washington sources we rely on didn’t know him. But the administration’s choice for a new Army Chief of Staff is a “soldier’s soldier” who’s spent more time in Afghanistan than inside the Beltway. Proven warriors don’t always do well in DC: Budget battles require… Keep reading →

Sen. John McCain

CAPITOL HILL: Two chairmen, two very different personalities, two different approaches to one goal: fixing Pentagon procurement. Now their bills are heading towards what may be a happy marriage or an ugly collision. On the south side of Capitol Hill today, House Armed Services chairman Mac Thornberry is shepherding his committee’s version of the 2016… Keep reading →

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