- August 21, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Faster: What U.S. Air Force Modernization Would Look Like Without Space (From Forbes)
If President Trump succeeds in creating a Space Force “separate but equal” from the Air Force, the latter service will lose its satellites, its ballistic missiles and many of its networks. It will be mainly about “things with wings.” But once the narrowed focus of Air Force modernization is established, it will become clear the service is buying new planes [ Read More…]
- August 20, 2018
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Looking For Defense Innovation In Not All The Right Places
The U.S. Army recently announced that it would locate the headquarters of its new Futures Command in Austin, Texas. Austin won out over Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh based on its score on six major criteria: proximity to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers and industries; proximity to private sector innovation; academic STEM and research and development investment; quality [ Read More…]
- August 17, 2018
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- A “Space Force” Will Make The F-35 Fighter Indispensable To Air Force Relevance (From Forbes)
The Pentagon’s new Space Force will be largely carved out of the Air Force, leaving the latter service much diminished. The Air Force won’t just lose its satellites, it will probably lose its ICBMs, its most valued networks, and a fair amount of its cyber expertise. So Air Force leaders will need to organize the service’s scaled-back modernization program around [ Read More…]
- August 17, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Pentagon Needs to Approach Service Providers As Military ‘Auxiliaries’ (From RealClearDefense)
The U.S. military learned many valuable lessons from its nearly two decades of war in Southwest Asia. One of the most important of these is the central role that the private sector will play in future operations. For most of this long period of conflict, contractors outnumbered Coalition soldiers in the theaters of conflict. It is time for the Pentagon to stop holding commercial logistics and sustainment providers at arm’s length. In the event of a major war or even [ Read More…]
- August 14, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Competition In Rocket Motors At Risk As Northrop Absorbs Orbital (From Forbes)
Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of Orbital ATK is raising doubts about the future of competition in the market for large solid rocket motors. The Federal Trade Commission has conditioned approval of the transaction on implementation of measures aimed at protecting Northrop’s competitors in the missile business. However, the Consent Order it has prepared does little to protect Aerojet Rocketdyne, the only other domestic producer of large SRMs. Because Northrop will be both a missile producer and a supplier of SRMs, it [ Read More…]
- August 10, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- DoD Takes The Right Approach On JEDI Cloud Procurement (From RealClearDefense)
On July 26, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the final Request for Proposal (RFP) for its much anticipated and politically sensitive Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud. The solicitation envisions a full and open competition leading to a single award for a contract that could last up to 10 years and be worth $10 billion if all options are exercised to provide commercially-based cloud services. JEDI is the first attempt by DoD to create an enterprise-wide cloud infrastructure capable [ Read More…]
- August 9, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- U.S. Navy Boosts Submarine Plans As Tensions With Russia And China Worsen (From Forbes)
The Navy’s Virginia class of attack submarines is one of the Pentagon’s most successful weapons programs. It consistently delivers the world’s most capable multi-role submarines on time and on budget. But the Navy doesn’t have enough attack subs, and that problem is growing: legacy subs are being retired faster than new ones are being commissioned. That could pose a challenge for warfighters, because few of the missions assigned to attack subs can be performed by other types of vessels. The [ Read More…]
- August 8, 2018Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Increasing U.S. Tank Production Helps National Security and the Industrial Base (From RealClearDefense)
From the outset, the Trump Administration has been committed both to rebuilding America’s military and revitalizing the industrial base that supports it. To serve both of these goals, the White House made the decision to substantially increase the production of the latest variant of the Abrams main battle tank. In Fiscal Year 2019, the Army will receive 135 Abrams tanks in the state-of-the-art M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 (SEPv3) configuration, a number sufficient to equip 1.5 Armored Brigade Combat [ Read More…]
- August 6, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Why Marine Aviation Is Leaping Into The Future And Army Aviation Isn’t (From Forbes)
Over the last two decades, the U.S. Marine Corps has transformed its aviation arm. The U.S. Army has not; instead, it has upgraded helicopters that debuted during the Cold War. Efforts to introduce new Army combat helicopters have failed. Now the Army has an opportunity to try again, in the form of its Future Vertical Lift family of rotorcraft. If the Army sticks with its existing plan for FVL, it won’t begin bending metal until around 2030. If, on the [ Read More…]
- August 2, 2018Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Navy’s Aegis Combat System Takes Center Stage As Missile Threats Proliferate (From Forbes)
The U.S. Navy’s Aegis combat system is the most advanced air and missile defense architecture in the world. It is also the most survivable, given the fact that it is mobile at sea rather than sitting at a fixed site on land. Aegis is becoming more important to both national and regional missile defense as overseas threats proliferate — partly because threats are becoming more diverse, and partly because upgrades are making Aegis much more capable than it was only [ Read More…]
- July 31, 2018Constance Douris, M.A.
- How Utilities Make Sure We Have Electricity Access in Extreme Weather (From RealClearEnergy)
Damages from natural disasters in 2017 alone cost $306 billion, the most expensive year on record. Flying debris and downed trees from high winds, coastal flooding, and fires in dry regions can cause significant damage to the U.S. electricity system. While utilities encounter different weather-related risks based on local and regional threats, several options are available to boost the resiliency of the power grid. I have written a commentary about this subject for RealClearEnergy here.
- July 30, 2018Constance Douris, M.A.
- U.S. Military Sites in Europe Are Dependent on Russia for Electricity (From RealClearDefense)
As the Nord Stream II pipeline is beginning construction in the Baltic Sea, President Donald Trump warned that Germany has become “captive to Russia.” Representatives in Congress are also worried about European dependence on Russian energy. To ensure stable operation of critical sites, especially military assets abroad, backup power solutions should be an imperative. I have written a commentary for RealClearDefense about this topic here.
- July 30, 2018Paul Steidler
- Senate Bickering Will Aid Opioid Pushers (From InsideSources)
For years, law enforcement agencies and others have warned that large amounts of Chinese opioids are flooding into the country via international mail. The Senate should act quickly to stop this.