In the era of great power competition, the speed at which competing militaries are capable to innovate and evolve could determine who would win in a war. In light of the need for speed, military innovation experts at the Defense News Conference tackled the question of whether the Department of Defense can still move quickly to develop new technologies and capabilities.
The New York Times offered a breathless take on China’s Navy, noting that its two-carrier fleet is now larger than the United States’ and poised to project power globally. This naval prowess, plus a new generation of accurate land-based anti-ship missiles, create a robust anti-access/area denial capability, which, the Times suggests, means China may “prevail” in a fight with the United States off its coast.
While size and power constraints are hindering the realization of militaries’ most ambitious Iron Man dreams, more modest exoskeleton suits are moving closer to real-world use. The U.S. Army is experimenting with two exoskeleton designs at the Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts. These won’t protect soldiers from enemy fire but they will help soldiers carry more stuff for longer. And they’ll likely be on the battlefield far sooner.
Lockheed Martin is quietly pitching the U.S. Air Force a new variant of the F-22 Raptor, equipped with the F-35’s more modern mission avionics and some structural changes, Defense One has learned. It is one of several options being shopped to the U.S. military and allies as Lockheed explores how it might upgrade its combat jets to counter Russian and Chinese threats...
In late June, the Pentagon announced the creation of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, or JAIC. Defense officials have not said how many people will be dedicated to the new program or where it will be based when it starts next month. It could have several offices around the country.
The Pentagon’s research arm is looking for teams to build an artificial intelligence tool that can automatically generate, test and refine its own scientific hypotheses. By essentially automating steps of the scientific process, the tool would let top decision-makers take discoveries from the lab and rapidly apply them to the real world, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
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.