WASHINGTON: Marion Blakey stepped up her three-year campaign against sequestration by challenging Congress more directly than ever in her annual address. Last year, the head of the Aerospace Industries Association called on legislators to “step up.” This year, she suggested that if they don’t, “fed up” voters may force them to step down. “Look at the… Keep reading →
Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Posts by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: They get so big, so fast. Once a child-sized helicopter that could just collect reconnaissance imagery, the Navy’s MQ-8 Fire Scout has graduated to a bigger airframe that will also carry a maritime search radar and laser-guided rockets. The tentative plan is to kick off the competition for the new radar with… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The Navy rebuffed today a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the service is too optimistic about the cost of its new nuclear missile submarine. Still, whatever the final cost, it’s certain to be high — so high the Navy officially admits its own figures show the sub is unaffordable under current budget plans. In… Keep reading →
ARLINGTON: “We have, in my view, exquisite capabilities to kill people,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland. “We need exquisite capabilities to manipulate them.” Psychological subtlety and the US military don’t always go hand-in-hand. Worldwide, we’ve become better known for drone strikes and Special Operations raids to kill High Value Targets. But that wasn’t enough for the last 13… Keep reading →
The race to replace the iconic Humvee has entered its final stretch. Today, the Army gave competing contractors AM General, Oshkosh, and Lockheed Martin the final Request For Proposal for production of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The competitors have until February 5 to ask the government questions and must submit their proposals by Feb.… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: The controversial Littoral Combat Ship dodged a big torpedo today, when outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the Navy’s plan for a larger, better armed and better protected version of the ship. Critics had called for a radical redesign or an entirely new ship. The “modified LCS” simply adds new weapons, electronics, and armor to… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: The age of laser weapons has officially begun. Since September, the Navy has had a $40 million, 30-kilowatt Laser Weapons System (LaWS) aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. “They’re using it every single day,” said the Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. Sailors — not contractors or engineers — perform basic… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: Where do ground forces fit in the Pentagon’s new offset strategy? The answer may be an intriguing mix of old-fashioned armored forces, mobile missile launchers, and lasers on trucks. While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s remarks formally launching “offset” were frustratingly vague, we’ve heard plenty from other officials and outside thinkers about how the… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: In real-world warfare, troops and tanks maneuver to take advantage of the terrain. In the looking-glass world of cyberspace, however, “maneuver” may mean changing the terrain itself. If the enemy’s invading your country, you can dig a trench or blow a bridge, but otherwise you go to war with the landscape you have. If… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: If confirmed as Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter will be “more energetic” than outgoing Sec. Chuck Hagel, a top Pentagon official said today. The rational and mild-mannered Jamie Morin, the Pentagon’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation (CAPE), of course put it more politely than that in his remarks this afternoon at the… Keep reading →