CAPITOL HILL: Prompt Global Strike is a program to build a weapon that can destroy targets anywhere on earth within an hour of getting targeting data and permission to launch. Sandia Lab and the Army may have found the answer: the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon. So far, some aspects of PGS have attracted controversy. When the Pentagon wanted… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Imagine self-healing satellites built in space. One sensor breaks down and another sensor elsewhere on the satellite takes up the slack. And the satellites are launched in modular pieces, on a series of different rockets, then are assembled by a robot arm in orbit. Parts can be replaced. The satellite can be refueled to… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Special operations types — like those who found and killed Osama bin Laden –may stand tall and do amazing things sometimes, but they tend to be fairly plain spoken. You rarely hear them say something is “astounding,” especially a new weapon. For example, one special operator recently awarded the Silver Star said he… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: You didn’t hear much about them during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but DARPA, small businesses, and universities were the people who most impressed retired Gen. Hoss Cartwright when he was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he and the services scrambled to find weapons to give American troops a… Keep reading →
COMDEF: After decades without a significant new rotocraft technology, the head of Pentagon buying says he’s going to try and fund a new initiative to move helicopters and their brethren like the V-22 ahead. It won’t be easy. “Anything is going to be very hard to squeeze into the budget,” Kendall told reporters during a… Keep reading →
Anti-submarine warfare has given rise to some of the best war movies — “Run Silent, Run Deep;” “The Hunt For Red October” and “Das Boot” come to mind.
The romance of the terror of being hunted and of the human conflict inherent in submarine warfare offers great material for auteurs. But the sometimes unbearable tension of a boat maneuvering through different temperature bands of water (thermoclines), hiding in plain sight and using high-tech spoofing and quirky sonar experts to survive in an underwater battle with other subs or destroyers lurking above may become a thing of the past if a new program run by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) succeeds. Keep reading →
New technology creates new capabilities — and new vulnerabilities. “Moving to the cloud” is the trend du jour, even in the intelligence world, but the recent attacks on the nation’s banking system has raised uncomfortable questions about how to make cloud computing secure.
“The cloud” may seem amorphous, but in reality it consists of a host of modestly capable user terminals connected to a high-powered central server or server farm. The great advantage of the cloud is that individual users can borrow capacity — storage, processing power, even entire applications — from the central server when they need it. The great vulnerability is a successful attack on the central server can compromise everyone on the cloud. Keep reading →
It’s conventional wisdom to declare that offense will always beat defense in cyberspace, because the Internet was designed with access in mind, not security. It’s a technological problem with strategic consequences as Russian and Chinese hackers rob us blind. But now DARPA, the agency that invented the Internet, is tried to reverse that situation by redesigning computer hardware and software from the ground up to make it more secure from hackers.
If the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s effort, called the CRASH program, succeeds, it could pave the way for new technologies that could make both government and private-sector computers not only more resistant to attack but also able to self-repair any damage that took place. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Why in the world is the Pentagon trying to develop a better beef jerky, run grocery stores, microbreweries, study flying dinosaurs and build (not tilt at) windmills?
That is the question a conservative Republican senator from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn, asks in a new report — “Department of Everything” — issued today. The subtitle of Coburn’s highly readable effort is: “Department of Defense Spending That Has Little to Do With National Security.” And that’s his real point. In an era of coming austerity, the Southern Baptist preacher and medical doctor argues that the Pentagon should be focused on executing its core mission, namely defending the nation. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: If you’ve ever daydreamed of designing your own tank — okay, “infantry fighting vehicle” — then DARPA wants to give you your shot.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has a long history of long shots, including such high-risk, high-reward projects as the first stealth aircraft and the earliest version of what became the Internet. DARPA also has its share of flops, like a 1960s sensor system called Project Agile that was supposed to locate the elusive Viet Cong (it couldn’t). Keep reading →