Showing posts with label Military Matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military Matters. Show all posts

12 December 2017

Analysts Explore Aircraft Carrier Alternatives

By Jon Harper

The Pentagon could save money by jettisoning plans for future Ford-class aircraft carriers and pursuing alternatives. But doing so would require capability tradeoffs and a reconsideration of operating concepts, analysts said. The Ford-class program is projected to cost approximately $140 billion, RAND Corp. analysts Bradley Martin and Michael McMahon said in a Navy-commissioned report, “Future Aircraft Carrier Options,” which was released in October.

Here Is the U.S. Air Force's Crazy Plan to Kill Drones with Falcons

Task and Purpose Jared Keller

What has two wings and doesn’t give a damn? The peregrine falcon: the fastest member of the animal kingdom, preternaturally terrifying bird of prey… and, now, the natural enemy of unmanned aerial vehicles. The Air Force is into putting falcons to work for the U.S. armed forces — and new research suggests they’re smart to do so: The peregrine falcon may hold the key to developing anti-drone interceptor systems. The research, conducted by a group of Air Force-funded researchers at Oxford University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, consisted of letting GPS-outfitted falcons go to pound-town on drone-mounted dummy targets to observe the birds’ interception behaviors. They found that, on the hunt, falcons operate “in a similar way to most guided missiles,” according to Oxford zoologist and chief investigator Graham Taylor.

11 December 2017

The Pentagon’s new tech focus: micro-electronics, hypersonics, and cyber

By: Amber Corrin 

Defense Department leaders want to equip troops with high technology as much focus — and much money — is now going toward modernization and innovation. But against a backdrop of struggles with readiness after more than 16 years of war, can the military both prepare for war and offer leading-edge tools to fight it?

The answer has not always been “yes.” But officials are serious about changing that, focusing on research and development that fosters U.S. military dominance, according to Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

US Strategic Command wants weapons to jam adversary drones

By: Michael Peck 

ELTA North America has been awarded a contract through the Air Force for adaptive anti-drone equipment.

Under the undefinitized contract action, not to exceed $39.2 million, ELTA will provide “counter-unmanned aerial systems in support of U.S. Strategic Command joint emergent operational needs,” according to the Department of Defense contract announcement.

The detection and disruption mechanisms would cause a hostile UAS to crash or be confused and return to its base.

The Defense Policies of Italy and Poland: A Comparison

By Daniel Keohane

Much of the current discussion about European defense, no matter the format, revolves around the ‘big three’: France, Germany and the UK. However, Daniel Keohane argues that Italy and Poland deserve more attention as they are both frontline states for EU and NATO security. As a result, in this article Keohane provides an insight into Poland and Italy’s national defense policies by comparing their 1) geostrategic outlooks; 2) defense operations, capabilities and spending; and 3) positions on military cooperation through NATO and the EU.

Italy and Poland are both frontline states for EU and NATO security. They also represent the two main operational priorities for European military cooperation: defending NATO territory in Eastern Europe, and intervening to stabilize conflict-racked countries south of the EU.

10 December 2017

Pentagon Building Wish List for New Technology Spending

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
 
SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. — The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer is drafting a list of desired technologies as part of a new effort to coordinate the Defense Department’s research and development, including at U.S. laboratories and government-funded research centers.

“We think that we have to make choices and focus in a limited number of areas and put our funding on it,” Ellen Lord, undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters at the Reagan National Defense Forum, an annual gathering of defense industry and government leaders here.

The Weapon Wizards: How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower


Spurred by the digital revolution and pressured by Western moral standards about protecting innocent life, advances in battlefield technology have fundamentally changed the way we fight wars. Armies can now use pinpointed weapons to minimize civilian casualties. They can fire missiles at a single apartment in a crowded building, can identify the car of a terror cell leader and monitor it until it passes into an isolated area and be destroyed with a drone, and can use cyber tools to remotely disable weapons systems without ever dropping a bomb.

9 December 2017

The Next Revolution In Military Affairs: Multi-Domain Command and Control


A Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is a theory about the evolution of warfare over time. An RMA is based on the marriage of new technologies with organizational reforms and innovative concepts of operations. The result is often characterized as a new way of warfare. There have been a number of RMAs just in the past century.

An example of an RMA is the mechanization of warfare that began in World War I with the introduction of military airpower, aircraft carriers, submarines and armored fighting vehicles. Out of these advances in technology came independent air forces, strategic bombardment and large-scale amphibious operations. Another occurred with the invention of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles leading to the creation of new organizations such as the now-defunct Strategic Air Command and new concepts such as deterrence. In the 1970s, the advent of information technologies and high-performance computing led to an ongoing RMA based largely on improved intelligence and precision strike weapons. The 1991 Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 are considered to be quintessential examples of this RMA.

WHY THE ARMY NEEDS A FUTURES COMMAND

NEIL HOLLENBECK AND BENJAMIN JENSEN

It is 2024. During the Russian presidential election, Russian-nationalist proxies attack Latvian forces with surplus equipment from the conflict in Ukraine. NATO responds, preventing nuclear escalation and blocking larger Russian conventional involvement through a combination of military and diplomatic threats, while U.S. airborne forces deploy to reinforce a NATO battlegroup outside of Riga. Artillery units deploy swarms of munitions, cheap hunter-killer drones that act as armed scouts using machine-learning to find, fix, and finish targets. Soldiers with occupational specialties that did not exist just several years ago take the field — like maintainers who fabricate their own drone repair parts with 3D printers and data technicians who help optimize predictive algorithms, integrating intelligence data with open-source information. These technologies are available today, but the U.S. Army has trouble reaching them, owing to a broken modernization enterprise.

8 December 2017

How to Save (Or Destroy) the Royal Navy

James Holmes

Talk about role reversal. A long century ago, starting in 1909, Great Britain entreated its Pacific dominions—Canada, New Zealand, Australia—to construct “fleet units” to supplement a Royal Navy that confronted multiple challengers in multiple theaters. A fleet unit was a modular task force composed of a cruiser and its coterie of destroyers. Naval potentates such as Adm. Jacky Fisher expected each dominion to construct and maintain one. It would serve as the national navy while doubling as a module in an imperial navy. In peacetime each fleet unit could perform routine functions on its own, acting as a standalone armada. Or dominion navies could merge into a grand Pacific fleet alongside Royal Navy forces when storm clouds gathered. Having massed for action, the imperial fleet would face down some predator—presumably the Imperial Japanese Navy, a force casting covetous eyes on maritime Asia.

Deja Vu All Over Again: US Military Toying With the Already Tried-and-Failed Idea of Setting Up Another Pro-Afghan Government Militia to Fight Taliban

Suzanne Schmeidl

For long-time observers of Afghanistan, déjà vu happens with such frequency that one feels trapped in a never-ending farcical nightmare. This is why news of a mid-September visit to India by a joint US-Afghan military delegation to see whether the model of the Indian Territorial Army could work in Afghanistan was met with horror and disbelief. Surely standing up yet another militia was not being seriously considered? Afghanistan already has, and has had, several versions of such a force to support the struggling Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), among them the Afghan Local Police created in 2010 by US Special Forces after toying with several prototypes since 2005, and the more recent ‘National Uprising Groups’ set up in 2015 by Afghanistan’s National Directorate for Security (NDS). The mandate of the proposed new force seems identical to these groups: to provide security in areas where the ANSF has not managed to do so.

Why the AK-47 is the World's Most Feared Firearm (75 Million Guns in Nearly 100 Nations)

Blake Franko

The AK first saw widespread military use in Vietnam. American soldiers saw its effectiveness firsthand, as farmers armed with the rifle proved a tenacious foe. Washington would take this experience to heart and go on to design the AR-15 (what would become the M-16) with such lessons in mind. In doing so, the United States ended up arming its troops with a rifle that was lighter and capable of suppressing fire as well. In effect, America was saying goodbye to large-caliber rifles like the M-14 as standard infantry rifles, moving closer to the Soviet model. The reach of the AK and weapons inspired by it would go on to provide the fuel for much of the violent encounters of the Cold War.

The Army's plan to stop soldiers from staring at their tablets

By: Mark Pomerleau 

The tablets, known as Nett Warrior systems, often provide the location of friendly forces and other mapping data. Now that information is being moved to a heads up display available with a soldier’s helmet. This would allow soldiers to look forward and on alert as opposed to focusing, head down, on a tablet. What the Army wants to prevent is what is sometimes pejoratively termed the “Nett Warrior stare.”. “Anytime you’ve got a potential shooter looking down, when he’s looking down he’s not lethal,” Lt. Col. Ray Gary, Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate military deputy, said during a visit to its Fort Belvoir facility.

The US Army Knows It’s Vulnerable to Space Attack. Here’s What They Want to Do About It

BY CAROLINE HOUCK

The Pentagon is well aware that its modern way of war is vulnerable to disruption, thanks to its reliance on satellites for communications, navigation, and timing. This has led the Army to reintroduced training with paper maps, and the Navy to break out its sextants. (Even Russian forces reportedly practiced map-based land navigation during the large-scale Zapad-17 exercise that simulated a full-scale conflict with the West.) But the U.S. military’s efforts to harden itself against space-based disruption hardly end with folded-up charts, said Col. Rick Zellmann, the commander of the U.S. Army’s 1st Space Brigade.

7 December 2017

FIFTH GENERATION WARFARE AND OTHER MYTHS: CLARIFYING MUDDLED THINKING IN OUR CURRENT DEFENSE DEBATES

By Dave “Sugar” Lyle

When you are talking about the command and control of forces that could potentially destroy human society as we know it, you owe it to the rest of humanity to be very precise with your terms and concepts – matters of such extreme importance require the greatest degree of conceptual due diligence that we can collectively muster. But the reality is that much of the debate over future force structure, command and control, and strategy writ large is littered with unexplored assumptions and muddled thinking, often cloaked in buzzwords that members of an organization become obligated to use once their leadership has adopted and promulgated them as guidance. We will always need “bumper stickers” to spread new ideas, but as we do that, we must be very careful which ones we use, and be very aware of their inherent limitations, before they are used to justify dangerous courses of action built on conceptual foundations of sand.

Rethinking Sun Tzu

By John F. Sullivan

The author James Clavell once wrote that if he were ever put in charge of the U.S. military, he would require all generals to take an annual written and oral exam covering the tenets of Sun Tzu—with those scoring below 95 percent being summarily dismissed.[1] Predictably, the proposal never gained much traction within the Pentagon, but the hypothetical exam raises an interesting question. Would we even be able to agree on a common, testable understanding of the principles inherent in The Art of War? The number of prominent Western military strategists who consistently attribute to Sun Tzu phrases never a part of his work suggests the Chinese sage suffers the same fate as his Prussian counterpart.[2] That is, he is the author of a book “well-known but little read.”[3] As a result, we too readily ascribe to Sun Tzu contemporary views bearing little resemblance to the cultural and historic milieu that ultimately grounds the text. In short, we stray too far from the original document we are attempting to interpret for a modern audience.

The F-35 Can Now Fight a Ground War

Dave Majumdar

The United States Air Force is adding the ability to attack moving targets to its new Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter with the addition of the 500lbs Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II laser-guided bomb. "Fielding the GBU-49 for use on the F-35A is a key milestone in delivering combat capability to the warfighter," Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, director of the Air Force F-35 Integration Office, said in a statement. 

The U.S. Army Might Just Have a 'Secret Weapon' to Win the Next Big War



Kris Osborn
Source Link

Rapid access to historical databases and sensor information, made available by AI-driven computer automation such as that used by IBM’s Watson, allows commanders to quickly identify and anticipate mechanical failures, equipment functionality and service life details. As a result, wireless connectivity and more AI-driven conditioned-based maintenance expedites analysis and allows for near real-time decision-making, Army developers explained. Army weapons developers recently completed a "proof-of-principle" exercise with Stryker vehicles using wireless devices, faster computer processing speed, cloud technology and artificial intelligence to expedite vehicle health monitoring and anticipate future needs for the platform.

6 December 2017

*** The New American Way of War

By W.J. Hennigan

The convoy of weather-beaten trucks and Toyota Land Cruisers kicked up dirt as it streaked across the wooded West African terrain toward the hazy horizon. A joint team of 12 U.S. Army Special Forces and 30 Nigerien troops were making the trek back to base after a two-day reconnaissance mission to a remote area along Niger’s border with Mali. The weary commandos had just spoken to elders near the village of Tongo Tongo after sifting through a deserted campsite, seeking intelligence on an elusive terrorist operative. But it was a dry hole; whoever was there had since moved along. As the mid-morning sun bore down, the commandos settled in for the 110-mile drive.

5 December 2017

How the Army hopes to accelerate decision-making

By: Mark Pomerleau

If the Army wants to be successful in future conflicts, its senior leaders believe they will have to make decisions faster.
To help do that, the Army is trying to avoid the problems that have plagued the service in the last few years, including interoperability between IT, mission command systems and sensors. The concept called asymmetric vision/decide faster, or AVDF, is a philosophy of integrating systems at low technology readiness levels (TRL) as opposed to later in development, officials told C4ISRNET during a visit to the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate at their Fort Belvoir facility.