As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a proponent of the JSTARS radar plane since arriving in Congress, I am alarmed by the undercurrent of discussion within Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) considering delaying the Next Generation JSTARS acquisition program. This is in stark contrast to the support for JSTARS… Keep reading →

Helicopter lands in brownout - Army photo

AUSA: The Army is groping for solutions to the worst threat helicopter pilots face in Afghanistan,  Iraq and other sandy places – brownout and other forms of Degraded Visual Environment (DVE), which from 2002 to 2015 caused nearly 400 aircraft losses in combat operations at a cost of 152 lives and roughly $1 billion. “Of… Keep reading →

DoD photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: US missile defenses can hit a bullet with a bullet, shooting supersonic weapons right out of the sky — when they can see them. But as the Russians are showing in their invasion of Ukraine, radar can be jammed. That’s why the US Army conducted an unprecedented wargame this spring to test its new… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: After 14 years of guerrilla war, the Army has underinvested in defeating high-end threats, the service’s acquisition chief said today. That puts a premium on modernizing missile defense despite tight budgets, from upgrades to the venerable Patriot to new offensive missiles to revolutionary technologies like lasers. “We need to enable ourselves to operate… Keep reading →

Patriot missile launch

The Army’s missile defense force is getting a new brain. That’s the real meaning of a successful test yesterday of something called the Integrated Air & Missile Defense Battle Command System, or IBCS for (mercifully) short. IBCS doesn’t blow stuff up. A Patriot missile destroyed the target in last week’s test at White Sands Missile Range. IBCS doesn’t detect the… Keep reading →

Patriot missile launcher

WASHINGTON: It’s been a big week for arms exports. But sometimes the big story isn’t what you think. While headlines have focused on the US government’s decision to allow limited exports of armed drones, arguably the most important export policy change involved a material called gallium nitride (GaN). “The gallium nitride story is an under-reported… Keep reading →

Next Generation Jammer in tests

WASHINGTON: Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer underwent its first test flights at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake as the electronic warfare association’s annual conference got underway in October. The tests were performed to judge whether the system could successfully jam and disrupt enemy threat radars. This marks the first tests of the pod itself, the AESA… Keep reading →

Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

NORFOLK: The famed “eyes of the fleet” are getting sharper. The Navy has declared the latest variant, the E-2D radar plane, ready for real-world operations just in time for the 50th anniversary of the original E-2 Hawkeye. The first five-plane squadron will deploy on the USS Theodore Roosevelt next year. Meanwhile, the current E-2C models are… Keep reading →

A Navy electronic warfare technician.

WASHINGTON: The Navy is crafting a battle plan to retake control of the electromagnetic spectrum, which the Pentagon’s chief of research says we’ve lost. First of all, if adversaries can exploit rapid advances in commercial electronics to run circles around America’s multi-billion dollar arsenal, our slow-moving procurement process needs to be more open to civilian innovation.… Keep reading →

PENTAGON: Technology is a two-edged sword, and it can cut the hand that wields it in unexpected ways. For a generation, ever since the first Gulf War, the information age has been America’s big advantage, arming the US military with everything from smart bombs to remotely piloted drones to supply databases. But even low-tech Iraqi insurgents could pick up Predator video transmissions from time to time, and potential adversaries from China to Iran are far more capable in cyberspace. So as the all-consuming commitment to Afghanistan winds down, the armed services have started looking hard at the perils and potential of their dependence on computer networks — none more so than the US Navy.

The Chief of Naval Operations himself, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, has increasingly emphasized the intersection of the brave new world of cyber with the Navy’s longstanding strengths in electronic warfare, most recently in an editorial published on this website yesterday. To flesh out the CNO’s vision, I sat down with Greenert’s point man on the coming war of electrons, Rear Adm. William Leigher. A veteran cryptologist who went on to serve at Fleet Cyber Command, Leigher now bears the jaw-breaking title of “director of warfare integration for information dominance,” known in Navy shorthand as N2/N6F. It’s his job to keep up with the staggering pace at which information technology advances. Keep reading →

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