Innovation

frank-kendall-7422576862ae9b101354b

[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 →

computerscreens

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is not nimble. That’s more of a problem than ever in an era where even terrorist groups can increasingly download, buy, or steal sophisticated technology. So how can America’s bureaucratic military stay ahead? While Congress is wrestling with acquisition reform, some experts both inside the Pentagon and out argue that there’s more… Keep reading →

Falcon Hypersonic

WASHINGTON: “We’ve been complacent,” Frank Kendall said. For decades, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer said yesterday, the US has assumed its forces will be better equipped than any foe, but that’s increasingly in doubt: “Our technological superiority is very much at risk, there are people designing systems [specifically] to defeat us in a very thoughtful… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

WASHINGTON: August is the month of decision for UCLASS, the Navy’s controversial program to build armed drones that fly off aircraft carriers. At stake: whether the “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance & Strike” aircraft will be primarily a scout (surveillance) or a bomber (strike). The new Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work, delayed the Navy’s release of… Keep reading →

Forbes & Langevin @ Carnegie IMG_8319

WASHINGTON: “We have the presumption we’re going to have the competitive edge when it comes to technology,” said Rep. Randy Forbes, “[that] just because we’ve had it in the last several decades that somehow or other we’re destined to have it in the future.” That’s a dangerous mistake, Forbes said Thursday at the Carnegie Endowment,… Keep reading →

Marines use off-the-shelf Samsung tablets to coordinate operations from the back of a V-22 Osprey in an Infantry Officer Course experiment.

WASHINGTON: High-ranking officials and blue-ribbon commissions have spent decades trying to reform how the Defense Department develops new technologies, buys them, sustains them, and controls their export abroad. Almost everyone has failed. Why? Ben Fitzgerald says they’re thinking too small. “Hey guys, this is actually a strategic issue. It’s not just an acquisition issue or… Keep reading →

chinesecyberguys

COLORADO SPRINGS: The United States invented the Internet, but we may not rule it any more. “We are certainly behind right now. We are chasing our adversary, for sure,” one of the Air Force’s top cyber warriors, Col. Dean Hullings, told an audience of about 350 here at the National Space Symposium‘s one-day cyber event. Hullings,… Keep reading →

The USS Essex (pictured) is the first Navy warship with a 3D printer.

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Navy has put a 3D printer on a warship for the first time. That’s a small revolution but don’t expect world-changing results any time soon. Just ask Lt. Benjamin Kohlmann, a fighter pilot and member of the Chief of Naval Operation’s Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC), a handpicked handful of junior officers and… Keep reading →

The USS Warner under construction in Newport News, one of the last two shipyards in the US able to build a US.

The American military-industrial complex used to lead the world in high technology. Now it struggles to keep up with private-sector breakthroughs in computing and other commercial technologies, from iPhones to 3D printing, that any adversary can buy to use against us. Even in military-unique technologies like precision-guided missiles and electronic warfare, experts in and out of… Keep reading →

Army concepts for future armor.

US special operators are notoriously low-profile “silent professionals.” But lately the Internet’s been abuzz over Special Operations Command’s effort to build a high-tech suit of bulletproof armor – TALOS, the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit – that the normally understated chief of SOCOM, Adm. William McRaven, actually compared to the metal-clad superhero Iron Man. Make… Keep reading →

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