- August 1, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Aerojet Rocketdyne Cuts Costs, Builds Infrastructure To Compete For Engines On Future ICBM (From Forbes)
Aerojet Rocketdyne is one of only two companies left in the U.S. that can build large solid rocket motors. Whether it is able to remain a high-rate producer depends on winning a berth as supplier for the Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent — the planned replacement of the Minuteman III missile. In order to enhance its cost competitiveness, the [ Read More…]
- July 30, 2019
- Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Defense Against Hypersonic Attack Is Becoming The Biggest Military Challenge Of The Trump Era (From Forbes)
Russia and China are testing weapons that can fly several times faster than the speed of sound — in other words, over a mile per second. In addition to their extreme velocity, these “hypersonic” weapons fly below sensor horizons, are maneuverable, and may even be invisible to radar. All of which makes them devilishly difficult to track and intercept. But [ Read More…]
- July 27, 2019
- Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- Marine Corps’ Vision of Future Conflicts Will Require Improved Amphibious Forces (From RealClearDefense)
In an era of great power conflict, U.S. amphibious warfare forces are the Nation’s first line of defense. But many senior military leaders, including the new Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger, believe that large-scale, multi-brigade opposed landing operations of the kind conducted in the last century are no longer possible due to the proliferation of anti-access/area denial [ Read More…]
- July 25, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Eight Reasons NASA Needs To Stick With Its Plan If It Wants To Get Back To The Moon — Or Beyond (From Forbes)
There’s a great deal of political pressure on NASA’s program for returning astronauts to the Moon. Some players want a rethink, which could be fatal to the whole effort. Artemis, as it is now called, may be NASA’s last chance to sustain a real human exploration effort. The arguments for sticking with the current plan are compelling. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
- July 25, 2019Paul Steidler
- U.S. Must More Aggressively Combat Counterfeit Products (From InsideSources)
Counterfeit products cost U.S. businesses more than $100 billion annually. They exploit consumers and pose health and safety risks, especially to children. With e-commerce accelerating, and 70 percent of counterfeit products originating in China and Hong Kong, it is important that the United States strengthen its laws and customs enforcement against counterfeit products. Paul Steidler has written a commentary for InsideSources about this topic here.
- July 23, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Using Commercial Satellites To Control Nuclear Weapons Is A Bad Idea — But It’s Being Discussed (From Forbes)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at a June meeting that his service might consider using commercial satellites to assure connectivity with strategic nuclear forces. The basic idea is to have as many pathways for controlling the weapons as possible, so that command relationships are sustained even in the midst of a war. However, commercial satellites lack most of the features necessary to assure their survivability and security in executing the military’s most critical mission. They are [ Read More…]
- July 19, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Problems That Could Torpedo America’s Naval Shipbuilding Capability (From Forbes)
The U.S. Navy’s shipbuilders are currently awash in business thanks to a sizable increase in the Pentagon budget under President Trump. However, defense buildups typically don’t last long, whereas some of the the naval shipbuilding sector’s problems have been chronic for decades. An inter-agency task force last year identified five such problems: unstable demand, capacity shortfalls, lack of workforce skills, sole-source suppliers, and lack of competition. All of these problems are traceable in varying degrees to peculiarities of Washington’s political [ Read More…]
- July 18, 2019Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- How To Protect The Growing Internet Of Battlefield Things (From Fifth Domain)
Soon, everything and everyone on the battlefield will be connected, often carrying multiple sensors, computers and communications devices. This emerging Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) will transform the American way of war. But at the same time, it could create enormous cyber vulnerabilities for DoD as unauthorized and insecure devices are connected to defense networks. It is imperative that the Pentagon implement a security framework that allows only authorized and properly secured devices to access defense networks. Enter Comply-to-Connect (C2C). [ Read More…]
- July 15, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Congress Should Fully Fund The Air Force’s Long-Overdue Competition For A Safer Ejection Seat (From Forbes)
The Air Force determined in 2010 that its combat pilots needed better ejection seats for coping with on-board emergencies. Heavier headgear was increasing the neck and head stress associated with ejections, while an increasingly diverse population of cockpit occupants didn’t always fit so well into legacy ejection seats. Today, the Air Force is finally prepared to conduct qualification testing for a next-gen ejection seat, but the effort is underfunded. If it is to be ready to commence production and installation [ Read More…]
- July 13, 2019Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- The Warfighters Need a War Cloud Now (From RealClearDefense)
Advances in networking and computing are driving modern warfare away from its centuries-old segmentation based on domains – land, sea, air, outer space and, most recently, cyber – and towards what has been called multi-domain operations (MDO). To win a multi-domain fight will depend to a large degree on superior command-and-control and battle management. This, in turn, will be a function, largely, of the cloud architecture that supports U.S. warfighters. Such a cloud must connect the entire war waging enterprise, [ Read More…]
- July 11, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Basic Facts About Boeing Missing From Coverage Of The 737 MAX Story (From Forbes)
Loss of two 737 MAX jetliners has unleashed a media assault against Boeing, maker of the planes. Some of the issues raised in the reporting are important, but much of it is herd-instinct overkill. The most important angle that is missing concerns the importance of Boeing to the U.S. economy, and the economic fallout that would result if the company’s most important product does not return to service quickly and safely. In thinking through how to respond to the MAX [ Read More…]
- July 9, 2019Daniel Gouré, Ph.D.
- TRANSCOM’s Plan To Reform The Movement Of Household Goods Will Benefit All Stakeholders
U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) is responsible for the global movement of military personnel, equipment and supplies across the United States and around the world. It is also the largest shipper in the world of household goods (HHGs) for military families. Currently, TRANSCOM runs the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) to manage HHG movements. This program relies on a disaggregated and inefficient system based on dozens of separate offices awarding individual contracts to hundreds of private transportation service providers (TSPs, or [ Read More…]
- July 8, 2019Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
- Five Money-Pit Projects The U.S. Air Force Can Do Without (From Forbes)
The U.S. Air Force is struggling to overcome two decades of depressed investment in new technology by simultaneously purchasing new bombers, new tankers, new fighters, and new trainers. It also needs to re-architect satellite constellations that are too vulnerable to interference from China or Russia. With investment accounts unlikely to rise much in the near future, the service must focus its modernization outlays on the highest priorities rather than being distracted into dead-end projects. Five projects it can do without [ Read More…]