GPS

Adm. Paul Zukunft

  WASHINGTON: “What is modern warfare going to look like in the 21st century?” asked Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Not that long ago,” he said, workers aboard a mobile offshore drilling unit unwittingly downloaded malware that scrambled the system that kept the floating platform stable. “They drifted off the well site,” the Coast Guard commandant said… Keep reading →

Gen. John Hyten

WASHINGTON: The US Army has the most disruptive space technology right now. So says the head of Air Force Space Command, Gen. John Hyten. Hyten was asked about the technology in the space domain at breakfast this morning by my colleague Mark Thompson of Time magazine. Now in the good old days, the head of Space… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: Insights From Steve Grundman, Former DUSD Industrial Affairs WASHINGTON: For several years, senior Pentagon officials have said they don’t expect or encourage mergers of the giant defense companies, but mergers and acquisitions of smaller entities might well make sense. The first example we saw was the merger of ATK and Orbital Sciences. Today, Harris… 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 →

NATIONAL HARBOR: As the US shifts its focus from low-tech Taliban “cavemen” to an aggressively modernizing China, the Air Force has launched an urgent effort to find near-term countermeasures against a foe that can jam sensors, hack networks, disrupt communications, and shut down GPS.

“Mostly we’re looking at the next three to five years,” said Randall Walden, the director of information dominance programs under the service’s assistant secretary for acquisition. On that schedule, he said, “you’re not talking about a brand new system. You’re not even talking about cutting a hole in a current plane [to modify it]. You’re talking about pods and concepts.” Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: It has all the hallmarks of what could have become a very embarrassing political and technical scandal. A company called LightSquared got provisional permission from the chairman of the FCC to go ahead with a 4G system that the military said — unequivocally — would jam the crucial signals from Global Positioning System satellites.

The company is politically connected and plays tough on Capitol Hill. Although tests by GPS companies and by the government’s National Telecommunications and Information Assurance Administration have demonstrated to most government officials’ satisfaction that LightSquared’s technology would jam GPS receivers and signals, the company continues to argue that the tests are questionable or that the company can fix the issues raised by the tests. Keep reading →