- November 23, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Reasons Return Of Boeing’s 737 MAX To Service Is Important To National Security (From Forbes)
Aerospace is one of the few technology areas where America still unquestionably leads the world. Maintaining that edge is vital to national security. However, many observers don’t grasp the connection between the return of Boeing’s 737 MAX to service and remaining the world’s preeminent aerospace innovator. 737 is the main reason that Boeing is the nation’s biggest exporter. It is [ Read More…]
- November 22, 2020
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Next Administration Will Need To Fix Military Sealift (From The National Interest)
The next administration must address the crisis in military sealift. Multiple studies, government officials, and experts have warned that the sealift fleet is in jeopardy in recent years. Unless a major effort is undertaken to correct the situation, the United States could lose its ability to project military power abroad and sustain forward-deployed forces. This means that the Department of [ Read More…]
- November 20, 2020
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why Slow Construction Of The Navy’s ‘Fabulously Successful’ DDG-51 Destroyer When Plans For A Successor Are Unclear? (From Forbes)
The DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class of destroyers is one of the most successful naval construction programs in modern history. It is the most versatile destroyer ever built, and on any given day dozens are deployed around the globe. But the Navy has begun talking about a Large Surface Combatant that might serve as the Burke’s successor–one with more space and [ Read More…]
- November 20, 2020Paul Steidler
- Why We Should Watch The Electric Grid Blow Up
For years, a bevy of national security, cybersecurity, energy, and other experts in important government agencies have strongly and clearly warned about the cataclysmic dangers facing America from cyberattacks on the electric grid. Hostile nation-states and others could wipe out electricity in large parts of the country for weeks or longer, leading to widespread death, economic chaos, and other upheavals. So how come this issue is seldom discussed at major political forums or a topic of kitchen table conversations? A [ Read More…]
- November 17, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- How A Low-Cost Upgrade Could Make Hundreds Of Air Force C-130s Safer And More Useful (From Forbes)
The U.S. Air Force’s C-130 transport has remained versatile and relevant for seven decades through the timely implementation of upgrades to the original airframe. Today, it is time for another such upgrade: an enhanced vision system to amplify the value of digital head-up displays. The enhanced vision system overlays an image of surrounding terrain and obstacles on top of the symbology generated by the displays. It enables pilots to peer through fog, smoke, snow and other obscurants to see precisely [ Read More…]
- November 14, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Three Ways To Make The M1 Abrams The Tank Of The Future (From RealClearDefense)
The Army appears fixated on fielding transformational capabilities. At the same time, it must be sure that the other armored fighting vehicle fleets can be effective in future high-end fights. The way it is doing this is through a series of planned upgrades. Perhaps the perfect example of the ability of the value of smart upgrades is the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank. Since it was first deployed in 1980, the Abrams has undergone continuous modification and upgrades in response [ Read More…]
- November 13, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Four New Weapons That Will Define The Biden Defense Posture (From Forbes)
Predicting the priorities of a new presidential administration is risky business–especially when it hasn’t even taken office yet. However, President-elect Biden has a long and fairly consistent track record on defense, so when it comes to weapons programs some of the calls are easy to make. For instance, the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine is critical to assuring effective nuclear deterrence, a strategy Biden has embraced since he first entered the Senate. The B-21 bomber, designed for both nuclear and conventional [ Read More…]
- November 11, 2020Paul Steidler
- Biden And The Postal Service: Why Conciliation Trumps Combat
Joe Biden and his likely incoming administration must make a basic decision about how they will deal with the large and financially troubled U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Option one is to continue, even accelerate, House Democrats’ policy of belligerence toward Republican Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Option two is to recognize the reality that DeJoy is likely to remain as Postmaster General for the next few years and that he is a potential ally for overdue holistic postal reforms. Conciliation is [ Read More…]
- November 11, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Can the Pentagon Come Up With An Effective Strategy For Countering Small Drones? (From RealClearDefense)
Drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), particularly small ones, are proliferating on the battlefield. They also pose a growing threat to the homeland. The drones themselves and the tactics for employing them are becoming more sophisticated. Small drones require different counters than larger ones that resemble aircraft. They are harder to detect, track and engage. Over the past decade, the military has fielded lots of stop-gap solutions. Industry is working on many more, some extremely sophisticated. Now, the Pentagon is [ Read More…]
- November 9, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Airbus Wants To Sell Space Services To U.S. Spy Agencies. That Raises Some Questions. (From Forbes)
The U.S. arm of Airbus Space & Defense reorganized last summer to bid for classified intelligence work. An early target reportedly will be the opportunity to sell commercial imagery to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). But such work is highly sensitive, and there are questions that Airbus will need to answer. Why would NRO hire a state-subsidized foreign company that has done extensive harm to the U.S. aerospace sector? Why would NRO hire a company that has conducted space business [ Read More…]
- November 4, 2020Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Why The U.S. Can And Must Win The Race For Hypersonic Weapons (From RealClearDefense)
Winning the race to deploy hypersonic weapons will be one of the most important achievements in U.S. national security of the 21st Century. For the U.S. and its allies, hypersonic weapons are more than a counterbalance to Russia and China. They hold out the prospect for fundamentally undermining competitors’ massive investments in so-called anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. The Department of Defense has put together a well-thought-out and funded program to provide all Services with hypersonic weapons. Equally important, the aerospace [ Read More…]
- November 3, 2020Paul Steidler
- Mail-In Ballots: What Matters Most Tonight
The U.S. Postal Service reported that on November 2 it delivered 89.59% of ballots on time to election officials. These figures have been reported daily since October 24 to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Figures in the accompanying chart for outstanding ballots come from the U.S. Elections Project with the University of Florida. Wisconsin and Florida figures are from today, November 3.
- October 30, 2020Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Biden Win Would Be A Mixed Blessing For Aerospace, But A Trump Win Could Be Worse (From Forbes)
President Trump has been a friend of the domestic aerospace sector during his first term, increasing Pentagon weapons outlays and promoting overseas arms sales. However, a second Trump term could be problematic if he tries to decouple from China, withdraws from NATO, or ends U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization. Such moves could make it harder for companies like Boeing to compete with foreign rivals. As president, Joe Biden wouldn’t do any of those things, but he would be [ Read More…]