Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

 

Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM)

ARMY & NAVY CLUB: In the dog-eat-dog, admiral-eat-general world of budget warfare in the age of sequestration, it’s easy to pit programs against each other. The Navy’s new nuclear missile submarine and the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber, for example, are both huge strategic-weapons programs with enormous bills coming due in the next decade and much debate… Keep reading →

DF-ST-82-03511

NATIONAL HARBOR: Talk about a radioactive issue. Top officials in Air Force, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense keep talking about how there is no higher priority than the nation’s nuclear deterrent. It’s so crucial, they all say, that someone else should pay for it. “No capability we maintain is more important.… Keep reading →

SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in production.

NATIONAL HARBOR: When will the Air Force certify SpaceX as ready to launch military satellites — if they certify the upstart startup at all? The new chief of Air Force Space Command said this morning that “hopefully” he could certify SpaceX by December 1st. Just hours later, though, the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah… Keep reading →

General Sarah Zabel @ AFA 2014

NATIONAL HARBOR: The good news is the Air Force has almost finished a new strategy to protect its high-tech gear from hackers. The bad news? The problem is huge, the processes are nascent, and the intimately interrelated issue of electronic warfare is, at the moment, not part of the discussion. Sure, cybersecurity is the scary,… Keep reading →

ISIS targets struck by type - 2014-09-10

  UPDATED: INCLUDES TEXT OF OBAMA SPEECH AS PREPARED Just hours before President Barack Obama goes on the air to explain his strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the US military released revealing figures on the airstrikes against them so far. The new data further demolishes the idea that this… Keep reading →

Capitol Dome 6080048121_00bf30d50e_b

Despite concurrent crises in Ukraine and Iraq, defense issues will hardly decide the November elections — but the outcome of those elections will prove decisive for defense. The top candidates for the chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee both told me that they have their fingers crossed for a GOP takeover of the Senate… Keep reading →

A Chinese Navy J-11 fighter buzzes a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane off Hainan Island in August.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us…. – Robert Burns, “To A Louse” WASHINGTON: A tag-team of Chinese reporters pressed the normally soft-spoken Chief of Naval Operations into making some fairly blunt statements on US-China relations this morning. It was an… Keep reading →

The Sikorsky-Boeing concept for the Joint Multi-Role demonstrator, a predecessor to the Future Vertical Lift aircraft.

WASHINGTON: It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better yet to learn from other people’s. On Friday, I watched three battle-scarred acquisition experts — including the admiral who turned the F-35 around — advise a young officer from the Future Vertical Lift initiative, who was furiously taking notes. The panel’s theme: how FVL, which… Keep reading →

The Navy's new EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft during sea trials.

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: “We have lost the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Alan Shaffer, the Pentagon’s research and engineering chief, this morning. “That’s a huge deal when you think about fielding advanced systems that can be [countered] by a very, very cheap digital jammer.” We’ve heard senior Pentagon officials fret about electronic warfare before, most prominently the Chief of… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Hagel, Shaffer comments] NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The four armed services only submitted their draft 2016 budgets to the Office of the Secretary of Defense “basically yesterday,” Undersecretary Frank Kendall said this morning — and he’s already “concerned.” As the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Kendall sees worrying signs. With the automatic budget cuts known as… Keep reading →

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