Pentagon chief seeks to woo Silicon Valley, eyes tech innovation

Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived in California's Silicon Valley on Wednesday at the start of a three-day trip aiming to draw in America's tech innovators despite major challenges, including making the Pentagon attractive to cyber-savvy youth. Carter plans to make several announcements during the visit, defense officials say, including establishing an outreach office in Silicon Valley focused on scouting new and emerging breakthrough technologies and building industry ties to the Pentagon.

US Navy Pursues High-Tech Submarine Upgrades

U.S. Navy leaders say the service is making progress developing new technologies to ensure the U.S. retains its technological edge in the undersea domain – as countries like China continue rapid military modernization and construction of new submarines. The innovations, which emerged from the Navy's R&D program, include quieting technologies for the engine room to make the submarine harder to detect, a new large vertical array and additional coating materials for the hull.

Meet the largest aircraft on earth

A U.S. Army mega aircraft – a hybrid of plane, helicopter, hovercraft and airship- is going civilian. Designed by British design company Hybrid Air Vehicles for the U.S. military, this massive piece of next-gen tech can travel through the air at nearly 100 miles per hour. At 302 feet, the Airlander 10 is bigger than a Boeing 747 and its new big brother in development will be bigger than a football field.

McMaster outlines innovation, potential risks

When it comes to the challenge of finding ways to innovate the Army to win in a complex world, Army leaders must be in tune with the risks and fallacies that could lead to undermining their own efforts. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, deputy commander, futures/director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, Training and Doctrine Command, addressed attendees of the 2015 AUSA Global Force Symposium on “Army Innovation Under Force 2025 and Beyond” March 31.

Navy to launch new cyber strategy

Kevin Cooley, executive director and command information officer for Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet, suggested that the service is gearing up for the possibility that the White House will order offensive cyberattacks. "You don't win a knife fight without swinging a knife," Cooley said at a C4ISR & Networks conference in Arlington, Va., on Tuesday. "We're spending time making sure we're ready to execute should those options be considered appropriate by national command authority to do that.”

Pentagon kick-starts program to maintain superiority of US technology

When it comes to the Pentagon’s technology-buying strategy, the Defense Department wants to focus more on research and development that will spur innovation. Its updated acquisition plan will also streamline how those purchases are made. The DoD ordered the implementation of the latest update to its acquisitions program, called ‘Better Buying Power 3.0’, on Thursday afternoon.

US military worries about losing hi-tech edge

The US military is in danger of losing its technological advantage unless it invests in research and finds ways to build innovative weapons much faster, top officials said Thursday. The Pentagon unveiled an initiative to streamline its bureaucracy and tap into technological breakthroughs in the private sector amid growing anxiety that American forces' longtime hi-tech edge is slipping away.

F-35 pilots to wear $400,000 helmets that can see through the plane

Pilots who climb into the cockpit of the F-35 stealth fighter to fly the costliest military plane ever built, will be wearing a helmet straight out of a science fiction movie. These pilots, flying at Mach-1 at 50,000 feet, will have the ability to essentially look through the floor of the plane and see the ground, The Washington Post reported in its series on military advancements called The Arsenal.

Pentagon S&T Workforce - Smaller Older

The United States has seen its technological edge erode as other nations caught up while the U.S. was preoccupied with counter-insurgency. Of equal concern to Alan Shaffer, the Pentagon's principal deputy assistant secretary for research and engineering, is that "the DoD has lost 10,000 scientists and engineers since 2011." Also, beginning in 2013, the average age of DoD S&Es started to climb. See his and other R&D officials testimony.

Source: Department of Defense congressional testimony.

SpaceX sees U.S. approval for rocket launches by June

Space Exploration Technologies expects the U.S. Air Force to certify it to compete to launch national security satellites by June, President Gwynne Shotwell told Reuters on Friday. Air Force and Pentagon officials credit SpaceX with energizing the government rocket launch market and pushing ULA to lower its prices, even before the privately held company has been certified to compete for rocket launches.

U.S. Air Force eyes 28 launches, shared investment for next rockets

The U.S. Air Force may kick off a multibillion-dollar competition for 28 launches of government satellites this spring to help end U.S. reliance on Russian-built rocket engines, according to an Air Force document seen by Reuters on Friday.

Newport News Shipbuilding Engineer Aims To Encourage Female Students

Jennifer Boykin is vice president for engineering and design at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, where nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines are built for the Navy. With just 13 percent of the engineers in her own workforce women, she wants to encourage young women and girls to start breaking molds themselves.

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Chief: U.S. Next Generation Fighters Need Stealth

The Navy and the Air Force both are conducting early developmental work into each service’s next fighters past their latest crop – the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the F-22 Raptor. Those new fighters – Navy’s F/A-XX and the Air Force’s F-X – will need stealth, Rob Weiss said during the Lockheed Martin Media Day. “Stealth is and will remain foundational to any new airplane design and I will assert that based on the threat analysis we’ve done the technology assessments that we’re making,” he said.

The Five Most Deadly Drone Powers in the World

The United States remains, by far, the world’s leader in drone technology.  A decade of extensive operational work with drones has given the U.S. military tremendous experience with the architecture, design, and employment of UAV technology.  Although inter-service and inter-agency conflicts slowed the development of drones in the latter half of the Cold War, the need for airpower in the Wars on Terror has prompted a massive wave of innovation.

SpaceX signs landing pad agreement with US Air Force

Cape Canaveral has seen decades of rockets lifting into space, and now it will act as home to the world's first space landing pad. Brigadier General Nina Armagno, commander of the US Air Force 45th Space Wing, signed an agreement with SpaceX; giving the company a five-year lease on Launch Complex 13 (LC-13) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, which will be converted to receive returning boosters and spacecraft making powered soft landings.


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