9 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

DoD must modernize infrastructure to support cutting-edge technology research

By: JihFen Lei

If you're reading this over the internet, you're using technology developed by the Department of Defense science and technology enterprise. For decades, the DoD has cultivated a wide-ranging ecosystem of technical professionals, research infrastructure and partnerships that has made vast contributions to U.S. national security and economic strength. From microchips to the GPS satellites that enabled a revolution in precision warfare, the department's S&T enterprise has been central to creating the security and prosperity our nation enjoys today.

Although technology dominance has long been central to the American way of war, U.S. military superiority is increasingly under threat. American adversaries are making rapid technological advancements and incorporating them into newly modernized forces. In response, the department has been working to aggressively position its S&T enterprise to meet the security needs of the 21st century.

Long-term success will require concentration in three fundamental areas: First, we must invest for the future while focusing on the present. This requires investing in foundational research that will create the next generation of military superiority. Second, we must cultivate a workforce of scientists and engineers ready to solve the DoD's hardest problems. Finally, we must create and maintain world-class defense laboratories and research facilities, enabling us to work with academic and industrial partners to quickly transition technology into capabilities. Each of these elements are critical to nurturing an innovation ecosystem optimized for the department's needs.

The road to the next great scientific or technological advance starts with basic science and research. Basic research is central to the DoD's long-term competitive strategy to create and maintain military superiority for the nation. The DoD has a long history of conducting and sponsoring basic research, focusing on understanding how and why things work at a fundamental scientific level.

Although basic research is often performed without obvious or immediate benefit and requires long timelines to realize its impact, the importance of continued investment cannot be overlooked. Without the department's basic research investments — made years ago — in the new areas of autonomy, quantum science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, or biotechnology, the DoD would not possess the innovative and advanced capabilities it does today.

Basic research enables the U.S. to create strategic surprise for its adversaries and insulates the nation from technological shocks driven by the advancements of others. Stable and healthy investment in basic research is not only good to have, it is a vital component of the nation's strategy to maintain a competitive advantage.

The DoD must use all of the tools at its disposal to develop a skilled, diverse workforce of technical professionals who are knowledgeable about the DoD's missions and capable of advising DoD leaders on technology decisions. This includes the scientists and engineers who will conduct research in DoD laboratories and engineering centers, our industry partners, and the academic research community with whom the department closely collaborates.

There is nothing more critical to the American military's ability to innovate than its people. For these reasons, the department relies on authorities provided by Congress to conduct flexible, direct hiring of technical professionals to work in DoD research institutions.

The department looks for the best technical professionals to join its ranks as researchers, engineers and trusted advisers to the DOD's senior leaders. When the department attempts to incorporate new knowledge from academia or new technologies from industry, the DoD's S&T workforce must be capable of making smart buying decisions based on sound technical judgment and an understanding of the DoD's unique mission needs.

At a time when other nations are prioritizing the recruitment of technology professionals to bolster their military strength, the department must view its S&T workforce as a strategic resource that is fundamental to long-term technological superiority.

Many capabilities found at DoD labs are unique national treasures and cannot be found elsewhere. On average, these laboratories, which span 63 locations across 22 states and the District of Columbia, are over 45 years old. As part of its strategy to recruit and retain a world-class S&T workforce, the department must modernize its technical infrastructure, laboratories and engineering centers. The DoD should invest wisely to modernize these outdated facilities and their equipment to support the modern, cutting-edge research that our national defense demands.

As the nation once again prepares to engage in long-term strategic competition, the DoD's S&T enterprise is the key to success. Sufficiently resourcing long-term research and technology development activities will ensure America avoids technology surprise while creating a disproportionate advantage for the war fighter. The department must make the investments necessary to educate, attract and retain the world's best talent. As the DoD's National Defense Strategy makes clear, advanced technologies will be central to America's ability to fight and win future wars.


Sur le même sujet

  • Raytheon Provides Cybersecurity for Global Hawk UAS

    24 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    Raytheon Provides Cybersecurity for Global Hawk UAS

    Mike Rees Raytheon Company has announced that it will deploy sustainment and cybersecurity experts around the world to support the ground control systems and onboard sensors used by the U.S. Air Force fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services will perform the work, which includes providing software upgrades to defend against cyber threats, as part of a $65 million subcontract from the aircraft manufacturer, Northrop Grumman. “Raytheon will help these unmanned aircraft meet tomorrow's threats,” said Todd Probert, vice president of Mission Support and Modernization at Raytheon IIS. “We have been improving the Global Hawk fleet's capabilities for 20 years by modernizing their ground and sensor systems and will now ensure their resiliency in the face of cyber threats.” Raytheon previously announced a $104 million effort to modernize the Global Hawk ground segment, moving payload and aircraft operators into mission control buildings. These new stations replace mission control, and launch and recovery elements previously housed in shelters. https://www.unmannedsystemstechnology.com/2019/01/raytheon-provides-cybersecurity-for-global-hawk-uas/

  • How DARPA is tackling long-term microelectronics challenges

    10 septembre 2023 | International, C4ISR

    How DARPA is tackling long-term microelectronics challenges

    The Pentagon’s hub for high-risk, high-reward research wants to help the U.S. make the next big microelectronics manufacturing breakthrough.

  • IM-SHORAD delayed by pandemic, but first unit equip date remains in place

    29 mai 2020 | International, Terrestre

    IM-SHORAD delayed by pandemic, but first unit equip date remains in place

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army's newest short-range air defense system is one of several projects that are facing delays due to COVID-19, but top officials insist that all major acquisition programs remain on track for their planned delivery dates to the field. For programs in the two largest categories of acquisition programs, “we remain on track for first unit equipped for all the programs,” Bruce Jette, the Army acquisition head, said Wednesday. However, “that doesn't mean that some of the programs aren't having adjustments to delivery schedules or adjustments to milestone. We're making adjustments as necessary, and then working with the companies to try and catch up.” One of the programs to fall behind is the Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) system, which had been scheduled to wrap up developmental testing by June. Last week, Janes reported that there were software issues with integrating the weapons package onto the Stryker combat vehicle-based system used for the IM-SHORAD design. The Army plans to procure 144 of the systems, which would be deployed in Europe. “I think we flipped a few months to the right, based upon some software issues,” said Gen. Mike Murray, the head of Army Futures Command. “And matter of fact, I was just talking to the CEO today on the software issues, and we're jumping on that and they got an update yesterday and we're making great progress, but we did slide that a little bit to the right.” In addition to the software challenge, Murray said the need for COVID-19 safety measures was causing a delay in testing, as well. “When you're working tests like that, the run up like that for the test, it's almost impossible to maintain the 6 feet of social distancing. So it was getting the right [personal protective equipment] in place, and then the software issues we had,” Murray said. The general declined to say which CEO he had discussions with on the program. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is the lead integrator for the program, with a mission equipment package designed by Leonardo DRS. That mission equipment package includes Raytheon's Stinger vehicle missile launcher. The two officials appeared on a call hosted by the Defense Writers' Group. Jette said there is only one program that has had to make a “significant” change to its schedule, but described that program as an ACAT 3 level effort — the smallest acquisition category — with the delay a direct result of the small size of the company. “The greatest sensitivities tend to be down in those programs which have connectivity to small companies, as their major source of technology, delivery services, etc. Because if one person gets sick in the company, you often end up with the entire company being in quarantine for 14 days. And then if they do it again, it gets worse,” Jette said. “So with only one program having a major slip, and that being a small one, I think that's a pretty good success and tells you a little bit about how hard industry is working to try and stay on track,” he added. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/05/27/im-shorad-delayed-by-pandemic-but-first-unit-equip-date-remains-in-place/

Toutes les nouvelles