20 mai 2022 | International, Aérospatial

Rafael unveils Aerospike missile for close-air support

The Aerospike is based on the Spike LR II, which has a ground-launched range of 5.5 kilometers and an air-launched range of 10 kilometers.


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  • Congress freezes $349 million for Army’s next generation goggles

    23 mars 2022 | International, Terrestre

    Congress freezes $349 million for Army’s next generation goggles

    Asked about the cuts March 9, Doug Bush, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said: “We’re working through that.”

  • Silicon Valley investors to DoD: Dual-use tech is a bad strategy

    31 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Silicon Valley investors to DoD: Dual-use tech is a bad strategy

    By: Jill Aitoro  SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Dual-use technology — that is, tech that can be adapted from the commercial market to serve the needs of the military — is core to the U.S. Department of Defense’s innovation strategy. But those willing to put money toward big ideas argue it’s the wrong approach. “In terms of how to build a startup and how to scale really fast, you can’t have two missions,” said Katherine Boyle, an investor with venture capital firm General Catalyst, during a Defense News roundtable in California. “You can’t be a 10-person startup saying: ‘OK, we’re going to sell to the DoD, but we’re also going to sell to these commercial customers, and it’s just going to work out magically.'" For the second year in a row, Defense News hosted the roundtable to dig into Pentagon’s efforts to engage with the commercial tech community — this year digging into the challenges and opportunities that come with investment in defense development.   To the Pentagon, dual-use technology offers an attractive means of drawing new players into the military fold, while also leveraging the more rapid development that happens on the commercial side. But the model is evolving, said Mike Madsen, director of strategic engagement with the government’s Silicon Valley outreach hub Defense Innovation Unit. With DoD, “it takes two years to get to a ‘yes,’ when a lot of companies need a ‘no’ in 30 days because they don’t have the capital,” he said. “So we flipped it. Now we start with the DoD problem set and take it out to industry. And we’ve lowered a lot of the barriers to entry — we negotiate [intellectual property] for each contract, we negotiate auditability, we move quickly. We look to award prototype contracts in 60 to 90 days.” The approach also attempts to rebalance the gradual shift in research and development investments in the last couple of decades. As noted by Tom Foldesi, DIU’s commercial engagement director, one-third of worldwide R&D was tied to the Department of Defense in the 1960s. That percentage has since tanked to 3.7 percent. A separate business line allows R&D to continue to iterate to the next generation of technology so the DoD can “go back to the cookie jar” and tap into the technology to solve future problems, Foldesi said. But to Trey Stephens, a partner at venture capital firm Founders Fund and a co-founder and executive chairman of Anduril Industries, the model ensures the large, traditional defense contractors continue to dominate as the small businesses only “dabble in defense.” It also means the DoD won’t bear sole responsibility for the economic growth of these small tech startups. “Where I’m not on board is where a traditional defense company is being asked by the government to integrate dual-use capabilities as a way to prevent that oligopoly from being shaken,” he said. “We have to break this oligopoly. We can only do it if we find companies that are willing to own their responsibility for execution on programs.” To be clear, Stephens acknowledged cases where commercial technology companies can be primes. Lawsuit aside, he’s “on board” with awarding the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to a commercial business — Microsoft — “because the capability is similar enough.” Microsoft was awarded the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud contract, but Amazon Web Services has asked a federal court to block the department and the company from beginning work on the project, according to a Jan. 13 court filing. In terms of new capabilities, Stephens advocates for turning the model on its ear: Enable startups to first development a solution to a problem faced within the DoD, then turn that around and sell it to commercial industries. “The commercial industry is oftentimes looking to the government for aspirational solutions to some of its hardest problems, whereas the inverse doesn’t really work,” he said. General Catalyst, which counts The Honest Company, Snapchat and Airbnb among its portfolio of companies, has invested in two pure-play defense companies: Anduril, and Palo Alto machine-learning company Vannevar Labs. The latter is developing a product that would bring natural language-processing technologies to support counterterrorism missions. “We actually think this is a better model,” Boyle said. “If you’re scaling rapidly, you have to be very focused on your customer set. And if you’re going to have to sacrifice a customer, even if you’re a multibillion-dollar company, you’re going to sacrifice the one who’s moving the slowest. And that’s usually the government.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/smr/cultural-clash/2020/01/30/silicon-valley-investors-to-dod-dual-use-tech-is-a-bad-strategy/

  • NATO advances in its new operational domain: cyberspace

    6 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    NATO advances in its new operational domain: cyberspace

    By: Sorin Ducaru As NATO prepares for its annual summit, to be held July 11-12 in Brussels, media attention has been focused on whether member states will boost their defense spending and readiness across the traditional operational domains of land, air and sea. This reflects a needed focus on important, but frankly longstanding alliance priorities. What many NATO-watchers are missing, however, is NATO’s full embrace of its newest operational domain: cyberspace. Just two years ago, at the Warsaw Summit, allied nations recognized cyberspace as a new “operational domain in which NATO must defend itself as effectively as it does in the air, on land and at sea.” Since the Warsaw Summit, NATO has developed an ambitious roadmap to implement the cyber operational domain approach, with profound implications along lines of effort, such as: training, capability development, organizational construct, operational planning, training, exercises and strategic communications. Work in these areas is conducted with the aim to augment the cyber resilience and achieve mission success, in a cyber environment that is increasingly contested by adversaries. This is in line with the alliance’s cyber pledge to prioritize investment in cyber skills and capabilities. Furthermore, the recognition of cyberspace as an operational domain opens the way for the integration of voluntary sovereign national cyber contributions into NATO operations and missions. Keeping in line with the other operational domains, NATO itself will not acquire offensive capabilities, but will rely on the contributions of its member nations. Already, the United Kingdom has led the efforts. In a Chatham House address last year, Sir Michael Fallon, former U.K. defense secretary, announced publicly that “the United Kingdom is ready to become one of the first NATO members to publicly offer such support to NATO operations as and when required.” At the NATO defense ministers’ meeting last November, allies agreed on a framework of political and legal principles to guide the integration of voluntary cyber contributions from member nations. The framework ensures that any allied engagement in cyberspace will abide by NATO’s defensive mandate, political oversight and compliance with international law. This is also in line with allies’ support for the development of norms and confidence building measures, for security and stability in cyberspace. This year, allies’ defense ministers agreed to establish a Cyber Operations Centre as part of the new NATO command structure, the first cyber-dedicated entity within NATO’s command structure. This is the first step toward integrating cyber capabilities into NATO planning and operations, but specific considerations should be kept in mind. In the physical domains of land, air and sea, operational planning refers to of the physical forces or capabilities provided. In the cyber domain, integration will focus on the effects generated by the voluntary national cyber contributions, rather than the capabilities themselves, given that most cyber tools are unique and discrete. Within NATO, there has been a growing emphasis on developing the “digital IQ” of the allied military. In Portugal, a NATO Cyber and Communication-Information Systems Academy is being set-up, while cyber resilience is now featured in coordinated training curricula in every NATO member state. Cyber has been also streamlined across all NATO exercises. The NATO Cyber Center of Excellence in Estonia organizes two annual cyber-dedicated exercises. The first, “Cyber Coalition,” is testing the alliances readiness and response procedures and policies in situations of wide-reaching, persistent cyberattacks. The second exercise, under the Locked Shields banner, tests the skills of cyber experts in red-team/blue-team war games scenarios. This year, NATO’s blue team won the exercises, signaling the growing interest of member nations to strengthen NATO’s new operational domain. “All crises today have a cyber dimension,” noted Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier this month. Soon after in London, Stoltenberg hinted that the July NATO summit will “take decisions on integrating national cyber capabilities into NATO operations.” This reflects a game-changing approach in terms of mainstreaming cyber across strategy and tactics, training and exercises, as well as military planning in all operational domains. This is consistent with the recent U.S. Department of Defense strategy, which aims to “invest in cyber defense, resilience and the continued integration of cyber capabilities into the full spectrum of military operations.” It is no secret that, in cyberspace, we are under attack as we speak. As the threat landscape expands, so does NATO’s commitment to the new cyber operational domain. Ambassador Sorin Ducaru is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Between September 2013 and November 2017, he was NATO assistant secretary general and chair of NATO’s Cyber Defense Committee and Cyber Defense Management Board, having a leading role in NATO’s cyber policy development and implementation. He is also a special advisor of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. https://www.fifthdomain.com/opinion/2018/07/05/nato-advances-in-its-new-operational-domain-cyberspace

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