President Trump is unveiling a new national security strategy that focuses on ensuring U.S. economic prosperity, defending the homeland and posturing the nation to compete against rising technological powers. In the strategy, the administration coins the phrase, “national security innovation base,” to describe a key asset that the United States must protect.
Department of Defense officials are working to shift focus onto research and development that fosters U.S. military dominance in emerging areas, such as hardened micro-electronics, hypersonics, and offensive and defensive cyber.
America’s military-technological advantage, an aspect of its strategic power since the end of the Cold War, is eroding. In response, the Pentagon launched the third offset strategy in 2014--a department-wide effort to find new ways, both technological and institutional, to leap ahead of its competitors.
A long-held military maxim is to take the high ground and hold it. That may be outdated in today’s electronic and high-tech battlefields, but that notion still holds true for scientific research and engineering. Research is the foundation for engineering invention, and that leadership in engineering underpins our national security and economy. Retaining the high ground in research and engineering is necessary to deter future conflicts, win future wars and maintain our standard of living.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter talks about innovation and the rapid acquisition of technology to support DoD, at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Boston, July 27, 2016.
While the U.S. Navy has long enjoyed freedom of action throughout the world’s oceans, the days of its unchallenged primacy may be coming to a close. In recent years, a number of countries, including China, Russia, and Iran, have accelerated investments in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD)capabilities such as advanced air defense systems, anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles, submarines, and aircraft carriers. These capabilities are likely to proliferate in the coming years, placing greater constraints on U.S. carrier operations than ever before.
Boeing’s Compact Laser Weapons System harnesses directed energy on its targets. The system recently reached a milestone at an exercise at Point Mugu, Calif. by tracking and disabling a moving, untethered unmanned aerial vehicle. The Compact Laser Weapons System is portable sets up quickly.