Operation Iraqi Freedom

UPDATED 2:00 pm Tuesday with detailed 2015 budget figures WASHINGTON: The 2015 budget effectively kills the Army’s top priority weapons program, the 60-plus-ton Ground Combat Vehicle — as we’ve been predicting since November — but GCV did not die in vain, the Army’s acquisition chief insists. “We sacrificed the GCV” to save programs upgrading electronics… Keep reading →

US Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) logo.

WASHINGTON: In an Army budget outlook that’s otherwise as grim as television tuned to a dead channel, there is one bright spot: cyberspace. “You know, we say that ‘flat is the new growth’ in DoD,” Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, said at yesterday’s Bloomberg conference. “[Even] special operations forces”… Keep reading →

Army vehicle full of network computers

From handheld radios to high-tech headquarters, the Army’s top priority is what it calls the network. That’s not one project but a whole array of programs, each complex on its own. They all are supposed to interconnect so it’s no surprise that the Pentagon’s top tester has found plenty of problems. What is surprising in… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman's MADDS armed robot (based on an earlier unarmed 'bot called CaMEL) captured in the act of firing.

More robots, fewer people. That’s where the US military is headed in the future. But what kind of robots? Army Gen. Robert Cone, four-star commander of the powerful Training and Doctrine Command (aka TRADOC), said that the service is studying how robots could help replace 25 percent of the soldiers in each of its 4,000-strong combat brigades. That’s because the… Keep reading →


“Cyber” is the buzzword of the decade in the defense world, so overhyped and overused it has lost almost all meaning. Intelligent discussion of cyber threats is a rare gem indeed. But even experts who shed real light on the dark corners of cyberspace consistently miss a crucial dimension of both the threats and the… Keep reading →


NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY: It just might be iPhone time for the world’s most powerful army,. As defense budgets shrink and commercial networks grow, top brass from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on down are questioning the service’s current plan to keep developing custom-built, military-specific, and extremely expensive communications networks. If groups like al-Qaeda,… Keep reading →

Navy LCAC hovercraft like this one carry Marine vehicles, supplies, and heavy equipment ashore.

PORTSMOUTH, VA: People tend to think of the Marines as square-jawed jarheads, not tech geeks. But after a decade of wartime investment in network technologies, Marine commanders have acquired lots of high-tech gear — so much so that now they’re returning from long land wars to Navy ships, they can’t always find a place to… Keep reading →

Army Maj. Gen. Hughes (left) and Lt. Gen. Walker (right) discuss the services' network upgrade plans.

[UPDATED with comments from Army generals] WASHINGTON: In the latest battle over Army radios, defense industry giant General Dynamics is beating the war drums once again. If the Pentagon doesn’t issue a new contract for backpack-sized “Manpack” radios soon, GD warns, they and co-supplier Rockwell Collins will complete the current lot by the year’s end — a… Keep reading →

General Dynamics employees building AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios for the Army.

WASHINGTON: Defense contractor General Dynamics has taken hits from the Army, from the Pentagon’s independent Director of Operational Test & Evaluation and from us about its role in the troubled Joint Tactical Radio Systems program. Now, in an interview this morning, the president of GDC4S (that’s General Dynamics Command, Control, Communications, & Computer Systems), Chris Marzilli,… Keep reading →

Harris PRC-117G Kandahar Afghanistan

Part outsider, part incumbent, Harris Corp. is eagerly upsetting applecarts by taking on defense industry colossus General Dynamics and other established contractors in its bid to grab a hat trick in this year’s Army radio competitions. The largest service is expected to make awards in three of its largest communications programs this year as early… Keep reading →

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