Until this week, U.S. Defense Department leaders had publicly described their technology race against China and Russia mostly as a bullet list of research priorities. Now a top research-and-engineering official has added detail about efforts to surmount key technical and physical challenges.
Lockheed Martin is raking in billions of dollars for advanced weapons sought by the Pentagon -- this week scoring deals for missile-warning satellites and hypersonic missiles. In the past four months, the firm has won three Air Force contracts totaling up to $4.3 billion:
Last month the Army kicked off a pilot program with Uptake, a Chicago-based industrial technology startup, to test whether the company’s AI-powered platform can predict when components on the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle will break down. If the program is successful, the Army could ultimately scale the technology to the thousands of Bradleys it operates across the globe.
The satellite communications that ships, planes and the military use to connect to the internet are vulnerable to hackers that, in the worst-case scenario, could carry out “cyber-physical attacks”, turning satellite antennas into weapons that operate, essentially, like microwave ovens.
Anduril Industries Chairman Trae Stephens on the U.S. tech sector pushing back against the Pentagon.
The current plan for reorganizing the Pentagon’s space acquisition efforts and operations U.S. consists of four components: (1) forming a new combatant command, (2) pulling together a new warfighting community for space operations from all the other service branches, (3) creating a new joint agency to procure satellites for the military, and if everything goes well, ask Congress to (4) stand up “an entirely new branch of the military with services a
Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, the office charged with bringing Silicon Valley tech to the Pentagon, will now be known as Defense Innovation Unit, the department announced Thursday. The name change reflects military leaders’ “commitment to the importance of its mission” and signifies the permanence of the group within the country’s defense apparatus, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
The Pentagon is in the final stages of preparing a report to lawmakers laying out the groundwork for the change, including initial steps they can make without Congress. But the final step--officially creating a new service branch—will require legislative authorization. And it is Senate Republicans who could stand in the way of Trump’s so-called Space Force; the House has already signaled its support for the move.
Space Force is getting closer to reality. As early as this week, the Pentagon is expected to announce various steps to reorganize the military’s space-related procurement and operations, culminating in a planned request for congressional action to authorize the creation of a separate service branch for space.
In coming months, Defense Department leaders plan to stand up three of the four components of the new Space Force: a new combatant command for space, a new joint agency to buy satellites for the military, and a new warfighting community that draws space operators from all service branches.