- February 7, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Textron’s Scorpion Jet: Disruptive Technology, Disruptive Business Model (From Forbes)
Textron’s Scorpion armed recon jet is unique. There’s no other plane like it in the world — which in a way is why the company developed it. After conducting a market survey at the beginning of the decade, Providence, RI-based Textron concluded there was an unaddressed global market for about 2,000 low-cost, multi-mission jets that could perform both reconnaissance and [ Read More…]
- February 6, 2018
- Constance Douris, M.A.
- Cyber Assault On Electric Grid Could Make U.S. Feel Like Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico (From Forbes)
If a mass power outage were to result from a successful cyberattack on the electric grid, national security and economic stability would be threatened. This is because hospitals, banks, factories, pipelines, financial networks, water systems, telecommunications and military bases would simply not function without electricity. Policymakers and industry need to work together to identify weaknesses and deploy technologies to prevent [ Read More…]
- February 5, 2018
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- U-2 Versus Global Hawk: Why Drones Aren’t Always The Best Solution For Warfighters (From Forbes)
The Air Force has been struggling of late to determine whether manned or unmanned aircraft are best-suited to generating useful high-altitude intelligence and recon. The answer isn’t so obvious. On the one hand, the service’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft can stay aloft for 30 hours, collecting a diverse array of information with its on-board sensors. On the other hand, its [ Read More…]
- February 2, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Boeing Views Navy’s MQ-25 Carrier-Based Drone Contract As A Must Win (from Forbes)
After two decades of experimenting with how unmanned aircraft might fit into a carrier air wing, the Navy has settled on a concept: it wants an aerial-refueling drone that can extend the reach of carrier-based fighters to 1000 nautical miles. At present, it has to rely on some fighters to fuel others; if drones can take over that role, then all of the strike fighters in an air wing can be dedicated to tip-of-the-spear combat missions. The program to develop [ Read More…]
- February 1, 2018Constance Douris, M.A.
- Backup Charging Is Essential As More Electric Vehicles Are Adopted (From InsideSources)
A recent analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that EVs could account for half of all new cars sold by 2040. This begs the following question: as electric cars become more popular, how would a driver charge an EV when electricity is unavailable? The aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico demonstrates the potential devastating consequences of not having electricity for an extended period of time. Thus, backup charging infrastructure is necessary so that EVs are able to operate [ Read More…]
- February 1, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Speech: Trump’s Nuclear Posture Affirms Obama Framework
The following remarks were delivered by Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson to a deterrence forum sponsored by the Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance in Washington on January 31.
- January 30, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Lockheed Martin’s F-35: How the Joint Strike Fighter is Becoming a Key Missile Defense Sensor (From The National Interest)
Airpower enthusiasts have long promised that the introduction of fifth generation combat aircraft, particularly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) when it is finally fielded in numbers, will change the nature of air warfare. The F-35’s combination of stealth, maneuverability, AESA radar, passive sensors and battle management software makes it ideal as a strike platform. The same attributes that make the F-35 so powerful in air-to-air and air-to-ground warfare are opening up possibilities for a radical improvement in the way [ Read More…]
- January 29, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Trump Nuclear Plan Requires Big Fixes In Decaying Warhead Industrial Complex (From Forbes)
The nuclear posture to be proposed by the Trump administration hews closely to principles embraced by the president’s predecessor. However, building the kind of capabilities planned during the Obama era will require a major renewal of the energy department’s neglected nuclear enterprise for producing and sustaining warheads. Although some significant investments have been made in modernizing the nuclear complex, most of it exceeds 40 years of age and some of it actually dates to World War Two’s Manhattan Project. The [ Read More…]
- January 25, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How UTC’s Pratt & Whitney Has Made Connecticut A Springboard To Global Dominance In Jet Engines (From Forbes)
Connecticut is nobody’s idea of a great place to run an industrial enterprise, but United Technologies’ engine unit Pratt & Whitney is managing to leverage the state’s virtues without being dragged down by its high taxes and burdensome regulations. One key advantage is that the Nutmeg State has been a hotbed of industrial innovation for two centuries, and as a result it has an articulated manufacturing “ecosystem” that few other states can match. But tapping that ecosystem required Pratt to [ Read More…]
- January 25, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Army’s Acquisition Reform Must Be Even Bolder (From RealClearDefense)
The Army’s leadership has taken a number of bold steps to reform its sclerotic acquisition system. Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff General Mark Milley have set very ambitious goals for a revamped acquisition system. Secretary Esper has spoken of reducing the time it takes to formulate requirements from an average of five years to just one. General Milley wants new capabilities ten times more lethal than those they replace. As aggressive as the Army acquisition reform program [ Read More…]
- January 23, 2018Lexington Institute
- Six Former Senior Commanders Endorse JSTARS Recapitalization
Six former Senior Commanders signed a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis on E-8C JSTARS recapitalization. JSTARS is a unique ground moving-target tracking capability that can monitor up to 600 targets simultaneously, day or night, through dust, clouds or haze. The planes and their radars generate pinpoint reports of enemy locations and vehicle movements for U.S. and allied forces. They have been used with great effect in the Iraq and Serbian wars, as well as to provide close surveillance [ Read More…]
- January 22, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Trump’s Nuclear Strategy Is Basically The Same As Obama’s (From Forbes)
A draft version of the final report from the Trump administration’s nuclear posture review was published by the Huffington Post on January 11, and it reveals that U.S. strategic plans will change barely at all from what the president’s predecessor intended. News coverage has made it sound like the proposed posture is a significant departure from the past, but it actually hews closely to the core principles followed by every administration since Eisenhower’s. The U.S. will continue to maintain a [ Read More…]
- January 19, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- War In Space: How The Air Force Is Preparing, And What Might Go Wrong (From Forbes)
Faced with rising threats to satellites and space infrastructure, the U.S. Air Force is rethinking its whole approach to military space. Doctrine is being rewritten, training curricula are being revised, and investment priorities are shifting to emphasize resilience. Clearly, the time when U.S. warfighters could simply assume the availability of overhead assets has passed, and space is becoming a contested domain. Achieving resilience will take many years and tens of billions of dollars, and there is no guarantee war will [ Read More…]