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September 18, 2018 | International, Aerospace

Air Force calls for 74 more squadrons to prepare for possibility of war against major power

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How will the Air Force get to 386 squadrons?

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on Monday called for growing the Air Force from its current size of 312 operational squadrons to 386 by 2030, as it prepares for a possible conflict against a major nation such as China or Russia.

This 24 percent increase in squadrons is the centerpiece of the service’s “Air Force We Need”proposal, which has been in the works for six months. This proposal seeks to lay out what it would take for the Air Force to fight a peer adversary and win, as well as defend the homeland, provide a credible nuclear deterrent, counter a medium-sized rogue nation that might try to take advantage of the Air Force’s focus on the major adversary, and fight violent extremists such as the Taliban and the Islamic State.

This follows the National Defense Strategy that the Pentagon unveiled earlier this year, which is structured around the need to shift away from the violent extremist fight and instead focus on deterring or fighting nations with significant, well-developed militaries.

In her keynote address at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, Cyber Conference, Wilson referenced the massive Russian military exercises launched last week, involving more than 300,000 of their troops, and China’s unveiling of its first aircraft carrier and its ongoing militarization of islands in the South China Sea to extend its long-range bombers' reach.

“We must see the world as it is,” Wilson said. “That was why the National Defense Strategy explicitly recognizes that we have returned to an era of great power competition.”

But Wilson reiterated the service’s view that the Air Force is not big enough to carry out all the missions currently being asked of it.

The Air Force has to meet the threats facing the nation with its most basic unit: the squadron, Wilson said.

“Our operational squadrons are the combat power of the Air Force," Wilson said. "They are the clenched fist of American resolve.”

Full article: https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/09/17/air-force-calls-for-74-more-squadrons-to-prepare-for-possibility-of-war-against-major-power

On the same subject

  • Unmanned systems, anti-drone tech featured at South Korean arms expo

    November 23, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Unmanned systems, anti-drone tech featured at South Korean arms expo

    By: Brian Kim  SEOUL — Unmanned defense systems and advanced weapons to counter drone threats dominated an arms exhibition held outside of Seoul, South Korea, this week. During the biennial DX Korea event, which ran Nov. 18-20, local defense companies showcased their cutting-edge unmanned and counter-drone technologies. Hanwha Corporation, a leading developer of guided-missile technology and subsidiary of Hanwha Group, displayed its new family of laser weapons systems. The company unveiled two types of anti-drone laser weapons: one for installation on light tactical vehicles, and the other a laser-based anti-aircraft weapon gun in a container configuration. The latter, designated as Block I, can be modified to a Block II self-propelled system, but specifications were not disclosed. Hanwha Corporation is a partner in an anti-drone laser weapons development project led by the government’s Agency for Defense Development. “The laser-based anti-aircraft weapon is a new concept of armament to shoot down small aerial targets, including drones and multi-copter with a light source laser,” the company said in a news release. “Prototypes of the laser weapon variants are under development jointly with the ADD.” The company also displayed anti-jamming equipment that can be fitted in tactical guided missiles as well as on military vehicles and naval vessels. Hanwha Systems — also an affiliate of Hanwha Group — displayed a mock-up of its personal air vehicle, Butterfly, under development with U.S. air taxi startup Overair. In partnership with Overair, Hanwha Systems plans to fully develop the electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing, or eVTOL, vehicle by 2040, with an eye toward military sales. “With technologies to be accrued from the development of commercial eVTOL, we will push for developing a military variant capable of conducing multiple missions, including special operations, transport and assault,” the company said in a news release. Meanwhile, Hyundai Rotem presented its HR-Sherpa unmanned ground vehicle designed to support infantry troops. The six-wheel drive vehicle can move autonomously or via remote control to perform missions such as surveillance, medical support and chemical detection. It has a payload of 600 kilograms and a combat weight of 1,800 kilograms. It is equipped with airless tires and powered by a battery with an operating time of six hours when traveling at 5 kph. LIG Nex1 showcased the third version of its Sea Sword unmanned surface vessel for riverside defense, following other naval variants. The vessel adopts a high-speed monohull design and is constructed with fiber-reinforced plastic. Equipped with a diesel engine and a waterjet propulsion system, the boat can sail at a maximum speed of 40 knots and has an operational endurance of up to eight hours at 15 knots. An indigenously developed autonomous navigation system enables the vessel to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions based on a preprogrammed route. Hanwha group was ranked 32nd in Defense News’ list of the top 100 defense companies in the world. LIG Nex1 was ranked 68th, while Hyundai Rotem was ranked 95th. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2020/11/20/unmanned-systems-anti-drone-tech-featured-at-south-korean-arms-expo

  • Raytheon-FlexRadio team to develop airborne high-frequency radio

    September 5, 2019 | International, C4ISR

    Raytheon-FlexRadio team to develop airborne high-frequency radio

    FORT WAYNE, Ind., Sep. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) will develop and qualify a high-frequency radio under a $36 million Project Agreement through an Other Transaction Agreement with Consortium Management Group. The OTA is on behalf of Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace, in support of requirements from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. The new radio will provide beyond line-of-sight, long distance communications for aircrews. "High-frequency radios provide the military with secure communications in an increasingly complex and congested threat environment," said Barbara Borgonovi, vice president of Integrated Communication Systems. "Raytheon's partnership with FlexRadio combines commercial innovation with advanced military hardening techniques to rapidly deliver a next-generation operational capability that supports strategic and tactical missions." The Raytheon-FlexRadio team is one of two recipients for this development program. After the 31-month period of performance, one team will be named to move on to production. "Worldwide high-frequency communications is what our commercial customers do every day using virtually every mode of operation and type of propagation," said Gerald Youngblood, CEO of FlexRadio. "Our partnership brings together the vast resources and experience of Raytheon in airborne tactical communications systems with FlexRadio's commercial off-the-shelf high-frequency Software Defined Radios to deliver a modular, extensible, and flexible communications platform for the warfighter." About CMG The mission of Consortium Management Group, Inc. on behalf of Consortium for Command, Control, and Communications in Cyberspace (C5) is to speed development of technologies to improve U.S. Government capabilities required to sustain U.S. military supremacy in weapon systems information technologies. For more information on CMG and its uniquely rapid, cost-effective and collaborative acquisition vehicle for companies, nonprofits and academic organizations seeking to do business with the Federal Government, contact Mary Reinecke at mary@cmgcorp.org, 202-466-4211 About FlexRadio  FlexRadio Systems is a leader in technologically advanced software defined radio systems for the consumer, commercial and government markets.  Founded in 2003, FlexRadio has customers in more than 30 countries with a wide range of products spanning consumer HF radio systems, government geolocation sensors and signals intelligence platforms.  FlexRadio Systems is headquartered in Austin, Texas.  For more information, please visit www.flexradio.com. About Raytheon Raytheon Company, with 2018 sales of $27 billion and 67,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. With a history of innovation spanning 97 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, C5ITM products and services, sensing, effects and mission support for customers in more than 80 countries. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Follow us on Twitter. Media Contact B.J. Boling +1.972.952.4761 saspr@raytheon.com  http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2019-09-04-Raytheon-FlexRadio-team-to-develop-airborne-high-frequency-radio

  • US Army-funded research project makes inroads on scaling quantum processors

    August 19, 2020 | International, C4ISR

    US Army-funded research project makes inroads on scaling quantum processors

    Andrew Eversden Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Sara Gamble, a program manager in quantum information science at the Army Research Office. WASHINGTON — A research project funded by the U.S. Army has developed a new approach to manufacturing quantum computer chips, representing a significant step forward toward making quantum processors at the scale needed to deliver rapid processing capabilities to the battlefield. The new approach could impact how the service builds quantum networks and distributed sensing capabilities. Quantum processors use a qubit to store information. The researchers were looking to increase the amount of qubits placed onto a photonic chip. Prior to the experiment, researchers were only able to get two or three qubits into one photonic chip, said Sara Gamble, a program manager in quantum information science at the Army Research Office, an element of the Army Research Laboratory at Combat Capabilities Development Command. “Currently we can exert control and successfully manipulate handfuls of qubits, like very countable numbers of them. But when it comes to the millions or billions of qubits that we need for applications of actual interest, how to get to those millions or billions of qubits is a major research challenge,” Gamble said in an interview with C4ISRNET. In this study, researchers succeeded in integrating 128 qubits onto a photonic chip by making small quantum “chiplets” and placing them onto a larger circuit. The chiplets were able to carry quantum information through artificial atoms created by scientists by exploiting defects in diamonds. The increase to 128 is a large jump, but well short of the thousands, millions or billions of qubits needed to successfully complete the applications the service sees as useful in the future. For example, qubits could be used for distributed sensing through networks of quantum systems on the battlefield to allow for greater situational awareness, though Gamble noted that quantum information science research is still in the early stage. “We know that a lot of these qubit types are also excellent sensors. So for things like electric and magnetic fields, these quantum sensors can sense those fields ... with a higher sensitivity than you can get out of classical sensor,” Gamble said. “And then if you network those quantum sensor systems together, that increase you can get in your signal goes up even more. “So we need those isolated qubit sensors. But then we also need a way for those qubit sensors to talk to each other over a quantum network.” Being able to process data at quantum speeds would benefit the military as it seeks to make decisions based on large sets of data coming in from the battlefield in near-real time, and as it moves toward multidomain operations. “It’s a fundamentally different way to gather, process and share information,” Gamble said. The research was completed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sandia National Laboratories. The new technology still needs to undergo tests to ensure the qubits in the chip can be controlled in a way that would help the Army. Gamble said the research team is also considering how to automate parts of the production process. “Thinking about how we can automate these processes to make them even more repeatable is going to be exciting,” Gamble said, “and something that’s going to be necessary if you really want to do this for, you know, millions to billions of qubits instead of 128.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/it-networks/2020/08/17/us-army-funded-research-project-makes-inroads-on-scaling-quantum-processors/

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