darpa

Arati Prabhakar (left) and Wes Bush (right)

WASHINGTON: With the Pentagon opening an outreach office in Silicon Valley, traditional defense firms may be feeling left behind. But the much-maligned prime contractors play a vital role in innovation, said Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush this morning. In fact, he argued, the Defense Department often needs the traditional firms to act as a “translator,”… Keep reading →

Air Force artwork of a future dogfight with lasers.

PENTAGON: Star Wars fans, calm down. The US Air Force wants to fire a 100-plus-kilowatt laser from a small plane. And not just any airplane, Air Force Research Laboratory officials. The last laser on an airplane — the megawatt Airborne Laser, which filled a converted 747 and cancelled in 2011 — the 2022 demonstration will be… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept LRSB

WASHINGTON: America’s next war plane may look much more like a stealthy long-range bomber than a sleek, fast and maneuverable fighter. That’s the conclusion of a wide-ranging study by the respected Center for Budgetary and Strategic Assessments. Breaking Defense obtained a copy of the report from a source not affiliated with CSBA. Here’s the study’s main finding:… Keep reading →

Frank Kendall

CAPITOL HILL: The United States will begin serious development of prototypes for so-called sixth generation fighters — successors to the F-35 and F-22 — for the Navy and the Air Force in the 2016 budget, says the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall. The Aviation Innovation Initiative is a new effort, not an agglomeration of existing DARPA… Keep reading →

Sikorsky VTOL X-Plane Concept DARPA

In the 1934 film “It Happened One Night,” fictional slime ball “King” Westley shows off by floating to a landing on the lawn of his fiancée’s daddy’s estate in a newfangled autogiro – an airplane with a rotor to enable short take offs and landings. Today, two Defense Department programs are striving to meet the… Keep reading →

Robert Work

WASHINGTON: The “third offset strategy” is officially just four days old, but the man in charge is already lowering expectations for what it will produce. Yes, the Pentagon is absolutely seeking “the key technologies we think will give us a particular operational advantage,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work. Yes, the quest is inspired by… 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 →

A B-52 prepares to launch the X-51 "hypersonic" test vehicle.

WASHINGTON: “I believe, today, we could build a Mach 5 cruise missile [with] off-the-shelf materials,” said Charles Brink of the Air Force Research Laboratory. “We could go 500 nautical miles in 10 minutes.” Brink should know: He ran AFRL’s record-breaking X-51 program. Now AFRL and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are co-funding a… Keep reading →

A Marine Captain and a BAE contractor with DARPA's prototype ULTRA-Vis helmet display.

PENTAGON: After 20 years of unsuccessful efforts to produce a wearable display to provide foot troops digital data without blocking their view of the real world around them, DARPA has invented one called ULTRA-Vis. “The prototype was completed within the past several months. The breakthrough [was] the holographic wave guide” program manager Yiftach Eisenberg told me as he… Keep reading →

The US Army's "Advanced Hypersonic Weapon."

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 →

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