Back to news

December 27, 2018 | International, C4ISR

Why the Pentagon’s cyber innovation could fall behind

By:

Silicon Valley is the home to the transistor and the birthplace of the IT industry. Boston is the home of prominent universities and technology companies such as Raytheon and Boston Scientific.

So where will the country's hub of cybersecurity innovation reside? A new paper argues that a nucleus of new cybersecurity technologies may struggle to form in the United States.

Because the Department of Defense's research facilities are dispersed throughout the country and located in smaller metropolitan regions, the Army is in danger of stagnating when it comes to technology innovation, a Dec. 18 paper in the Army's Cyber Defense Review argued.

“Without immediate, bold action, the Army will miss its best opportunity to seize the initiative in the current Cyber Cold War,” wrote Col. Stoney Trent, an Army official who now works for the Pentagon's top IT officer in the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. “The Secretary of Defense fully understands the need for dramatic improvement, and fifteen years of Army acquisition failures have created the crisis necessary for change.”

Trent took aim at the Army's decision to move its cyber headquarters to Fort Gordon, Georgia, saying it “lacks most of the characteristics that have attracted technologists to other innovation regions.”

“Limited public infrastructure and services, sparse employment options, a humid subtropical climate, a lack of a private research university, and distance from urban centers will likely delay the emergence of innovative technologists in Augusta-Richmond County,” he wrote.

The state of Georgia, which is partnering with the Army on innovation near Fort Gordon, opened the first phase of a planned a $100 million dollar center earlier this year.

But while Trent argued that the Army has “limited input over the location of its installations and major activities,” because basing decisions are made by Congress, the dispersed locations are not ideal for improving the Pentagon's cyber prowess.

“Due to the location of Army research activities, very few scientists and engineers have access to the operators and analysts who will have to use the technologies under development,” he wrote.

On the contrary, large cities are engines of innovation because they have more local resources, a higher degree of subject area experts and a larger local workforce, Trent argued.

“This exponential increase in innovation is related to social networks and access to ideas, resources, and expertise in more populated urban settings.”

That makes locations like Moffett Air Field in Santa Clara County near Silicon Valley, Fort Devens near Boston, and Fort Hamilton in New York City as potential hubs that “have been left fallow,” Trent argued. “Decades of studies indicate the importance of a culture of experimentation. While our adversaries are experimenting, we must not dither.”

https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2018/12/26/why-the-pentagons-cyber-innovation-could-fall-behind

On the same subject

  • US Navy awards major contract to Huntington Ingalls for its newest class of amphibious vessels

    August 3, 2018 | International, Naval

    US Navy awards major contract to Huntington Ingalls for its newest class of amphibious vessels

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy awarded shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls a $165.5 million contract to procure long lead-time materials for the LPD-17 Flight II, according to a contract dated Aug. 2 and released Friday. The amphibious transport dock, designated LPD-30, is the first of the 13-ship LPD-17 Flight II class that will replace the current dock landing ships. The program, which was until April known as LX(R), is expected to be built exclusively at HII's yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. “This is a significant milestone as we embark toward a new flight of LPDs,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement. “The Flight II LPDs will be highly capable ships meeting the requirements and needs of our Navy-Marine Corps team. We look forward to delivering this series of affordable LPDs to our nation's fleet of amphibious ships.” The Navy is anticipating awarding a detailed design and construction contract either late in 2018 or early 2019. The Navy's cost goal for the program is $1.64 billion for the first ship and $1.4 billion for each subsequent ship, according to the Congressional Research Service. LPD-30 is going to come equipped with Raytheon's Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, an upgrade over the AN/SPS-48 currently on the LPD-17 class. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2018/08/03/us-navy-awards-huge-contract-to-huntington-ingalls-for-its-newest-class-of-amphibious-vessels

  • Japan Could Pick And Choose Components From Tempest

    December 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    Japan Could Pick And Choose Components From Tempest

    Bradley Perrett Japan says it wants international collaboration in developing its Future Fighter for the 2030s, but it wants to lead the project despite limited experience in fighter development. And it aims at a fighter much larger than any operated by a western European country ; the U.S. is not offering a possible joint project. That seems to leave only the choice of indigenous development, perhaps with help from a foreign technical partner. Nevertheless, participation in the UK's Tempest program may also be feasible. The Tempest project—which includes the Royal Air Force, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and MBDA—has a cooperation concept that leaves scope for Japan and other partners to use their own systems, weapons, propulsion and even airframes, says Air Commodore Daniel Storr, head of combat aircraft acquisition at the UK Defense Ministry. The model described by Storr gives Japan the flexibility to choose the size of its own fighter. Though evidently not an objective, this mix-and-match approach also creates an opportunity for Japan to continue to claim development leadership—but also to save money by sharing systems. The policy goal of running its own fighter program, stated in 2018, has looked like a big obstacle to Japan's participation in the Tempest or the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) project initiated by France and Germany. But if the Future Fighter shared only some features with Tempest, Japan could reasonably say it was leading its own program. BAE Systems promoted the Tempest program at the DSEI Japan exhibition held in Tokyo fromNov. 18-20. Prospective FCAS prime contractors, such as Airbus, did not show their concept. Storr outlined the flexible model of cooperative development at an exhibition conference, but Japanese speakers at that event did not comment on the prospect of Japan joining Tempest. In a Nov. 1 interview with The Financial Times, newly appointed Defense Minister Taro Kono seemed to play down the possibility of participation in a European program, saying Japan should explore all possibilities but needed to maintain interoperability with U.S. forces. Storr addressed that point, emphasizing that working with the U.S. was a high priority for the UK too. Japan's alternative to international cooperation is developing a fighter by itself with the technical help of a foreign company. Lockheed Martin is supporting the Korea Aerospace Industries KF-X and BAE is helping the Turkish Aerospace Industries TF-X in such an arrangement. By working with Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Northrop Grumman, Tokyo would partially compensate the U.S. for its expenditures in defending Japan. But the U.S. would gain little from technical support fees, and Japan is already committed to buying 147 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightnings as the aircraft to precede the Future Fighters. The defense ministry has asked for the development of the Future Fighter to be launched in the fiscal year beginning April 2020. It is not clear whether that means mobilizing resources to commence full-scale development or taking some lesser step to firm up the commitment to create the aircraft. For the past year, the government's policy has been to launch no later than March 2024. However, Japanese companies, especially fighter builder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), are pushing for a launch as soon as possible. They want to transfer knowledge to young engineers from the older generation that developed Japan's last fighter, the MHI F-2, which the Future Fighter will replace. The UK does not want to commit to launching full-scale development of the Tempest before 2025, but its date for entry into service in 2035 meets Japan's objective, which is sometime in the 2030s. Meanwhile, the FCAS program is aiming at 2040. Sweden and Italy are cooperating with the UK during the current early stage of Tempest research, while Spain has joined France and Germany for FCAS work. Like Storr, BAE has stressed the advantages of partners taking only as much of the Tempest as they want. “There is a range of different partnership models that can be considered,” says Andy Latham, who is working on the program. “Japan has some great technology that any partner can benefit from. Their avionics industry is pretty effective.” The cooperation concept replaces the standard model, one in which partners spend years negotiating and compromising to define a design that all of them must accept. Instead, according to Storr, they can save time and money by agreeing to disagree—to the extent that each is willing to pay the extra cost of independent development and manufacturing of design elements. The Japanese defense ministry's studies point to a need for a very big fighter with an empty weight well above 20 metric tons (40,000 lb.), larger than the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. Superior endurance and internal weapon capacity are the key factors behind this choice. No western European country has operated a fighter more than about two-thirds as big, but Storr said a large configuration for the Tempest cannot be ruled out. The mockup exhibited at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow was bigger than the F-22. Still, the UK and other European partners might want a much smaller fighter; concept designs that have not been shown are not as big as the mockup. But the concept for cooperation would allow for Japan to devise its own airframe while, for example, using the same engine and some weapons, software and avionics as other partners. The architecture of the software is intended to be open, accepting different programs easily. Tempest researchers will consider which systems and capabilities will go into the fighter and which will be incorporated into the ammunition or an accompanying drone, which could be fully reusable or optionally expendable, Storr says. The FCAS program is taking a similar approach. The Tempest will need great capacity for generating electricity, he says, and the weapon bay should be regarded as a payload bay, perhaps for holding additional fuel that would extend endurance on surveillance missions. The Japanese finance ministry is insisting upon private investment in the Future Fighter program, in part to ensure contractors are fully incentivized to prevent failure. Contractors will be able to make money in civil programs from technology developed for the fighter, says the ministry, which is highly influential but does not have a final say. “Judging from past program examples, it is clear that the Future Fighter program would bring a risk of a budget overrun and schedule slippage, but would also benefit the private sector,” the finance ministry said in an October presentation to the Council on Fiscal Policy, an advisory body. “The government and private sector should invest funds and resources to build a failure-proof framework.” Noting that MHI used technology from the F-2 program in its development and manufacturing of the outer wing boxes of the Boeing 787, the ministry says contractors can expect to gain similar opportunities for civil applications of technology from the Future Fighter program—so they should invest in it. https://aviationweek.com/defense/japan-could-pick-and-choose-components-tempest

  • Défense : un programme franco-allemand ambitieux

    June 19, 2018 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land

    Défense : un programme franco-allemand ambitieux

    ANNE BAUER Fabriquer un char franco-allemand commun ? Par deux fois, à la fin des années cinquante et dans les années 1970, la France et l'Allemagne sont passées à côté de ce symbole de réconciliation. La troisième fois devrait être la bonne. Le conseil franco-allemand qui se tient mardi à Meseberg doit permettre de sceller une nouvelle avancée significative dans la coopération entre les deux pays en matière de défense. En misant sur deux programmes... https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/0301839563239-defense-un-programme-franco-allemand-ambitieux-2185084.php

All news