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28 mars 2014 5 28 /03 /mars /2014 17:35
Australia announces funding for new future defence technology projects



28 March 2014 army-technology.com


The Australian Department of Defence is investing up to $13m for development of future defence technology under Round 18 of the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) programme.


Managed by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DTSO), the CTD programme enhances Australia's defence capabilities by offering local industry an opportunity to develop and demonstrate new technologies.


Australian Defence Minister Senator David Johnston said that seven technology proposals from Australian companies and universities have been selected to demonstrate possible defence applications in 2014.


"These proposals have the potential to advance defence capability, produce innovative products for defence and civilian use, and stimulate Australian industry growth," Johnston added.


The projects were submitted by GPSat Systems Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, CEA Technologies, Adelaide Research & Innovation (University of Adelaide), EM Solutions, BAE Systems Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia.


The proposals include a new technology for improved detection of interference sources affecting GPS, a portable fuel cell to boost energy support to forward operating bases, software for rapid submarine communications, and a sound deadener to improve submarine stealth through reduction in exhaust noise from diesel engines.


Other proposals include the development of a portable global wideband satellite communications terminal suitable for smaller ships, technology to improve the processing performance of maritime radars, as well as a miniature radio frequency kit for next generation decoys that protect Australian Defence Forces (ADF) platforms from missiles.


Australian Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert said the department has invested $263m in 112 projects since the beginning of the CTD programme, half of which were proposed by small-to-medium enterprises.


"Of these, 96 projects have provided successful demonstrations to date, with 15 having entered service," Robert added.


The new CTD projects are scheduled to start in mid-2014, subject to satisfactory contract negotiations.

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21 janvier 2014 2 21 /01 /janvier /2014 08:20
Pentagon Still Scaremongering on Budget Cuts


January 20, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued January 17, 2014)


Kendall: Military Technological Superiority Not Assured


WASHINGTON --- The decline in research and development brought on by budget cuts is contributing to the erosion of the U.S. military’s technological superiority at an alarming rate, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics said.


“Technological superiority is not assured,” Frank Kendall told a conference yesterday sponsored by the Center for a New American Society. “The United States came out of the Cold War, and demonstrated in the first Persian Gulf War, a very significant superiority in military technology and the application of those technologies. And we’ve sort of had an assumption [during] the last 20-plus years that that {American] technological superiority would be a fact of life in the world.”


The Defense Department has “a big part of sustaining the levels of [research and development] investment that I think we need,” Kendall added.


Despite the relief provided by a trillion dollar plus spending bill approved by Congress for 2014, Kendall said the department still faces heavy budget cuts.


“We’re still taking substantial cuts, and [2015] is much worse than ’14 is,” he said. “And then we don’t know what will happen to us after that.


“So with budgets heading in that direction,” he continued, “and all the uncertainty we’re dealing with, the Department of Defense has a very difficult planning problem.”


Part of that planning problem, according to Kendall, is the uncertainty of how much force structure DOD will be able to retain.


“There’s always a tendency to hang onto force structure in order to do to the things we need to do in the world,” he said. “But if we do hang onto that force structure, the consequence of that is R&D has to be cut,” in order to pay salaries and readiness.



“And that’s what you’re seeing even with the appropriations bill the Senate just passed,” Kendall said. “And it gets much worse as we go further out.”


Eventually, “if we know where the [budget] is going, we can get our force structure down to where we can get in balance between those different accounts that I mentioned,” he said.


The undersecretary laid out three points supporting his concern for the erosion of U.S. technological superiority.


“[Research and development] is not a variable cost. There’s a tendency in the Defense Department, when we cut budgets, to kind of cut everything.


“But what drives R&D is the rate of modernization that we desire,” Kendall continued. “[It] is really not dependent on the size of the force structure.”


Kendall’s second point is time is not a recoverable asset. R&D really buys that time in something of a race for technological superiority, he said.


“I can buy back readiness, I can increase force structure, but I don’t have any way to buy back the time it takes me to get a new product,” Kendall said.


That timeline in the acquisitions business is relatively long, Kendall said, noting how often he gets remarks about the length of an acquisitions process which hasn’t changed much over the years.


Essentially, Kendall said, it takes about two years before the department can get a budget to spend serious money on an idea.


“Then we have two or three years to four years of risk reduction where we develop the technology to where we’re confident we can put it into a product,” he said. “Then we have five or six years of development of making the product ready for production.”


Combine that with the “few years of buying enough numbers to make a difference militarily,” Kendall said, and the timeline easily becomes 10 or 15 years.


“So for that reason as well, I’m concerned,” he said. “I’m trying to do a lot of things now to hedge against these [challenges] and make people aware of these things and do more about them.”


Kendall reiterated how important he believes research and development is to maintaining DOD’s edge in technological superiority.


“It’s critical to the department, it’s critical to our future,” he said. “It is not ‘the wolf closest to the sled’ right now, necessarily. But I think it is absolutely paramount that we keep our R&D budgets funded.”

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6 décembre 2013 5 06 /12 /décembre /2013 12:50
EU Defence Agency Research & Technology Conference 2013


Brussels - 05 December, 2013 European Defence Agency


Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Greek Minister for National Defence, Dimitris Avramopoulos, opened the EDA Research & Technology (R&T) Conference 2013 in Athens, Greece. Under the motto “Critical Defence Technologies – Exploring Innovation Together” the 2-day conference aims to collect advice from decision makers and experts across the European Union on more efficient and effective R&T for Security and Defence. Conference topics, presented by high level speakers and panellists from various domains, include strategic access and security of supply in defence-critical technologies, coordination with other EU institutions such as the European Commission on “dual-use” elements, improved joint exploitation of R&T investments and the “EURIDEA” competition on innovative proposals of R&T cooperation among EDA´s participating Member States. 


In her opening address Ms Arnould highlighted the importance of R&T and EDA´s responsibility within the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), especially in the light of the upcoming EU summit in December. EDA flagship programmes such as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Cyber Defence provide a clear indication of what can be achieved by improved synergies. Ms Arnould pointed out that this relies not only on shared technologies, but also on coordination among stakeholders, for example the improved use of EU funding instruments such as European Structural Funds (ESF) to boost innovation and contribute to industrial growth and creating jobs. 


More information

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 13:50
EDA Launches Streamlined Structure


Brussels | Nov 20, 2013 European Defence Agency


The European Defence Agency (EDA) will have a new structure in place as of 1 January 2014 better to support Member States in a rapidly evolving environment. The Agency will be organised in three operational directorates: Cooperation Planning & Support; Capability, Armaments & Technology; and European Synergies & Innovation. This will facilitate prioritisation of tasks and improve operational output, in particular on key activities such as Air-to-Air Refuelling, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Satellite Communications, Airworthiness, Certification, SESAR, and Energy & Environment.


The Defence and security environment is evolving rapidly. Defence cuts are leading to greater cooperation on programmes. In addition, many wider EU policies such as Single European Sky or Radio Spectrum have major implications for the defence community. The overall objective of the restructuring is to ensure that the Agency is properly equipped to: anticipate and react to developments; improve its operational output; facilitate the prioritisation of tasks; and serve the needs, expectations and interests of Member States effectively and efficiently.


Cooperation Planning & Support

The Cooperation Planning & Support directorate will focus on the early identification of requirements at European level and the through-life aspect of capabilities. It will be responsible for capability planning through the Capability Development Plan and the Cooperative Programme Database; and Pooling & Sharing including the Code of Conduct. It will deal with Defence & Industry analysis to complement the identification and development of capability demands. The directorate will also be responsible for key enablers to support defence cooperation and enhance interoperability: military airworthiness, standardisation and certification, and education and training. In addition, it will support CSDP operations and EU Battlegroups at the request of Member States.


Capability, Armaments & Technology

The Capability, Armaments & Technology directorate will prepare the programmes of tomorrow by maximising synergies between capabilities, armaments and Research & Technology. The directorate will bring together the Agency’s work in the areas of: Information Superiority (Communication & Information Systems, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Space, Cyber Defence); Air (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Air-to-Air Refuelling, airlift and aerial systems technologies); Land (Counter-IED, armoured systems, camp protection and land systems technologies); Maritime (Maritime Surveillance, Mine Counter Measures and naval systems technologies); and the Joint domain (mobility, transport, medical and Ammunition). Particular attention will be given to identifying future Critical Defence Technologies needed to support military capabilities.


European Synergies & Innovation

This directorate will act as an interface between defence ministries and wider EU policies that have implications for defence. Its main tasks will be to promote and support innovation through innovative research in the areas such as: Components, Radio-Frequency & Optical Sensors, Materials and Structures, Energy, and CBRN protection. It will develop synergies and greater complementarity with EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and European Structural Funds. The directorate will also be the Agency’s focal point on Space Policy, on which it will have a close dialogue with the Commission and the European Space Agency. It will be responsible for Market & Industry policy, including SMEs, Security of Supply, the REACH regulation, market efficiency and global aspects of the defence market. The directorate will also deal with the military dimension of the Single European Sky, with a particular emphasis on the SESAR deployment phase, as well as the Agency’s activities in the areas of Green Energy.


More information:

Donwload here the new organogram of the Agency (as of 1 January 2014) (EDA Organogram_1 January 2014)

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18 octobre 2013 5 18 /10 /octobre /2013 11:50
EURidea for Novel Defence Research


Brussels | Oct 17, 2013 European Defence Agency


Innovation is at the core of defence technology. The European Defence Agency promotes European cooperation in innovative technologies. EURidea is your new forum to pitch novel ideas for defence research.


Research and innovation have a critical role to play in the creation of the next-generation of technologies that will underpin the capabilities for our armed forces. Europe benefits from a leverage effect when innovation is done with partners across the continent. Industry and academics can reduce risks and gain critical mass for innovation when work is conducted between trusted partners across sectors. It is a win-win situation when the best minds work together to tackle major challenges we are facing, now and in the future.


We invite you to propose ideas in critical areas that impact the following three technology areas: 


1. Materials and Nano technologies

The areas of material and particularly nanotechnologies is moving very quickly at the moment. Nano-scale technologies that exploit materials and electronic and optronic components for military but also civil applications (dual use) are of interest to EDA. Especially those technologies which are critical, key enabling or cutting-edge technologies. European supply chain deficiencies, technology dependency risks, standardisation needs or industrial production capabilities can be addressed. We are interested in ideas that are an evolution of the current state of the art but we are also open to ideas that look disruptive (ie not necessarily an evolution of current trends). These may be combinations of new technologies and could be applicable to any domain.


2. Energy

Achieving energy efficiency by novel energy supply technologies working alongside conventional and smart grids across all services (land, sea and air) covering all systems levels down to nano level. Focus areas: fossil fuel dependencies, renewable / alternative energy sources, energy / power storage, efficient distribution and conversion, energy management and efficiency components.


3. Unmanned systems and technologies, including sensor networks

All components or (sub)systems that can be of importance for the autonomy of a system. Unmanned System to be concerned: land, air, naval (surface and underwater). Technology or function to be concerned: high level order follow up, “auto-pilot”, guidance/control, obstacle detection, automatic sense & avoid and “back-home” mode, stress/health monitoring.


We invite ideas from Research Institutes, Universities, Industries, Laboratories and SMEs. 


You can pitch your new, creative and innovative solution to an audience of experts and governmental decision makers from Europe. 


If you like to participate, please submit the enclosed form. The EDA will select the best ideas to be presented at the EDA R&T conference on 5 and 6 December 2013, in Athens, Greece. You will be requested to present your idea in a 5 to 10 minutes speech.


How to participate?

1) Fill in the attached form (EURIDEA application form)

2) Send the form to the EUR-idea@eda.europa.eu by 19 November 2013

3) If your proposal is selected, you will present it during the 2013 R&T conference

4) Your proposal will also be forwarded to the relevant CapTechs


More information:

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8 octobre 2013 2 08 /10 /octobre /2013 12:20
Game changers: disruptive technology and US defence strategy

The X-51 hypersonic test vehicle beneath a B-52


07 October 2013 by ADIT - defenceWeb


This month, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a report focusing on the attractive although elusive concept of game changing technologies. The report is part of a larger project called NeXTech, led by the U.S Department of Defense’s (DoD) Rapid Reaction Technology Office.


The project has consisted of interviews with leading experts on leading edge technologies, as well as in war games involving the US Army War College, the US Naval Postgraduate School and the US Naval Academy. The simulations involved people from the US DoD as well as foreign militaries and civilians.


In this report, Ben FitzGerald and Shawn Brimley point out several key issues concerning disruptive technologies. To begin with, let’s have a look at the author’s definition of a “disruptive” or “game changing” technology. According to them, it is “a technology or a set of technologies applied to a relevant problem in a manner that radically alters the symmetry of military power between competitors. The use of this technology immediately outdates the policies, doctrines and organization of all actors.”


As we understand it, it is a shift from the prevailing paradigm. Such development gives headaches to strategist and military officers. The pace of technological innovations appears to have increased with the emergence of semiconductors. In this area, the “Moore’s law” states that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years. The authors note that “if Moore’s Law hold true the way it has for the past 40 years, it presents immense complexity. For instance, between the current review of the US defense strategy and the moment when the Quadrennial Defense Report will be published, we will see a doubling of the technological power and complexity of our processing chips, computer and all that is powered with them.” In that respect, let’s just notice that the DARPA regularly awards contracts as part of the Technology Advanced Research Network (STARnet), a “nationwide network of multi-university research centers “focused on discovering solutions to the intractable problems that are forecast to lie in the future of integrated circuit progress and to lay the foundations for microsystems innovations once the improvements associated with Moore's Law are exhausted” (sic).


A good example of disruptive technology was the proliferation of unmanned vehicles, ten years ago. With time they became “random” with 8,000 unmanned aerial vehicles and 12,000 unmanned ground vehicle present in the US armed forces.


However, CNAS’ experts insist on the fact that technological dominance “is a strategic choice.” During the cold war, it underlines that “the choice to optimize investments in fewer, better platforms eventually generated game changing capabilities.” The author warns that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, such strategic choice is now “a matter of presumption.” Without any serious rivals, the unmatched technological edge and military superiority is now perceived as being in the nature of the US armed forces.


Over the past decades, many countries have “emerged” as military technology players, including China. Globalization is also a factor in the proliferation of advanced technologies. The NeXTech project identified several technologies that could be game changers.


Additive manufacturing (AM), which is an industrial way of production consisting of creating items layer by layer using lasers, is one of them. AM dramatically cuts the time between prototyping and serial production. It is also more flexible, since production lines can be adapted more rapidly.


The second type of disruptive technologies is autonomous systems. According to the report, it could be used in a broader range of military operation as well as intelligence activities. Directed energy weapons are also envisioned as revolutionary. These consist of weapon systems based on millimetre waves, high power microwaves, lasers, and electromagnetic pulses. The main advantage of lasers is that there is no flight time between the shot and the target since the beam basically travels at the speed of light. Some serious limits exist though: bad weather (or humidity) considerably diminish the use of such technology, and it requires a considerable source of energy. It could be a powerful defensive tool against missiles.


The cyberspace was not forgotten since “as with most fame changing tech, cyber technology has blurred previously well understood boundaries, exposed vulnerabilities and created new threats and industry.” The last game changer could be HPM, an acronym standing for Human Performance Modification. It consists of using drugs, techniques, machines or genes to enhance or degrade human performance. Concrete applications could be improving IQs or developing natural night vision. It is to be noted that several technological fields, which appeared to many A&D sector analysts as “disruptive” are not mentioned in the CNAS report. Indeed, no mention is made of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, or about the possible implications of Boeing’s X-37 unmanned reusable spacecraft. In addition to those weapons of “outer space,” it appears that hypersonic missiles or aircraft would have deserved to be included in the report.


Those technological gaps will face various challenges: the decreasing level of R&D spending, the resistance of the military to new, unproven, revolutionary technologies. To be certain that the US will keep its No.1 seat, the authors recommend that the Secretary of Defense issues an annual report on the state of defense R&D coupled with temporary or permanent subcommittees of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees tasked with overseeing the defense R&D spending. To conclude they insist, once again, one the fact that “America’s privileged position in military technology is not an inherent right.”

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9 juillet 2013 2 09 /07 /juillet /2013 07:55
Face aux «nouveaux risques», Valls veut une industrie de la sécurité plus structurée

8 juillet 2013 Liberation.fr (AFP)


Face aux «nouveaux risques» liés aux technologies, le ministre de l’Intérieur Manuel Valls a plaidé lundi pour une filière de la sécurité plus structurée, aux «enjeux de compétitivité considérables», lors de sa visite au forum Technologies contre le crime, à Lyon.


Le ministre a annoncé l’installation à l’automne par le Premier ministre du comité de filière de l’industrie de la sécurité, dont la création était prévue dans le récent Livre blanc de la défense et de la sécurité nationale.


Les industries de la sécurité génèrent en France un chiffre d’affaires estimé à 10 milliards d’euros - en croissance annuelle de 7% - et emploient 50.000 personnes dans des PME et des grandes entreprises travaillant principalement à l’export, a précisé M. Valls lors de son discours d’ouverture de ce premier forum mondial dédié aux technologies de la sécurité qui se déroule jusqu’à mardi.


Contrairement aux industries de l’aéronautique et de la défense, la filière industrielle de la sécurité, disséminée, souffre d’une «insuffisante structuration», a jugé le ministre de l’Intérieur, assurant que les «enjeux de compétitivité et de sécurité sont considérables».


«Les technologies font, en effet, naître de nouveaux risques», a-t-il affirmé en citant la cybercriminalité, le détournement des identités, la diffusion de messages de haine...


Faute de dialogue entre pouvoirs publics, organismes de recherche et entreprises, les industriels ont une «visibilité insuffisante (...) sur les besoins des acteurs de la sécurité», a-t-il ensuite expliqué lors d’un point de presse, estimant qu'«il y a une certaine réticence de la part des industriels à se lancer dans des projets».


En ce qui concerne la police et la gendarmerie, M. Valls a identifié «trois défis majeurs pour les prochaines années»: modernisation des radiocommunications avec la transmission d’images à haut débit, nouvelle génération de vidéoprotection intégrant l’intelligence artificielle, et modernisation des équipements de protection des forces de sécurité qui pourront être dotés de capteurs intelligents.


Le premier Forum Tac (Technology against crime), sous l’égide d’Interpol et du ministère de l’Intérieur, réunit institutions, représentants d’Etats, PME innovantes et industriels de poids tels que EADS, Safran et Thalès, avec l’ambition de devenir un «Davos de la sécurité».


à suivre @ForumTAC

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16 juin 2013 7 16 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Does Competitive Defense Contracting Make Sense?

June 14, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Lexington Institute; issued June 13, 2013)


Competitive Defense Contracting: When It Makes Sense (and When It Doesn't)

Competition has become the mantra of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) acquisition corps. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, Mr. Frank Kendall has gone on record saying “I think that nothing, nothing, works better than competition to drive cost down.” DoD has established metrics for competition, sort of like a quota system. Many more prime contracts are being competed. The idea is to the greatest extent possible to replicate the commercial marketplace.

Unfortunately, the defense marketplace does not resemble the ideal free market where competition produces optimal market efficiency. Indeed, there are reasons to believe that the competition goals set by DoD and the policies implemented to encourage competition are not contributing to acquisition cost savings. A recent study of the defense industrial base by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments concluded that efforts to increase competition based on the presumption “that the defense industry operates like a normal free market is not only unlikely to improve efficiency, but have often made things worse.”

The defense sector is really a state monopoly and should be treated as such. There are approaches to improving performance and reducing costs such as performance-based contracts. But to pretend that this sector can be a mirror of the commercial marketplace is wrong and ultimately counterproductive to the goals of reducing costs for defense goods.

There is a natural place for competition in the defense marketplace. In the early phases of a major program – concept definition, technology development and risk reduction – there is value in competition. DoD has experimented with continuing a second contractor through later program stages, including into full-rate production, with mixed results. Also, there are a range of goods and services that are commoditized and can be treated the same in the defense market as they are in the commercial world. Hence, the defense customer can use competition to achieve reduced price for a specified level of performance. This kind of competition is inherent in the products themselves and in their use. It is natural.

But for platforms, major weapons systems and networks, products that are likely to be in the force for decades and undergo repeated upgrades, certainty, reliability, quality and effectiveness must be the considered. Beyond a rather obvious point, competition for this set of goods and services is not natural but forced.

Click here to download the full study as PDF (24 pages)

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3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 07:35
China to train Lankan army, to provide military technology

Jun 01, 2013 brahmand.com


BEIJING (PTI): Firming up its ties with Sri Lanka, China has granted fresh development loan worth USD 2.2 billion for infrastructure projects and agreed to provide defence technology as well as training to the island nation's army.


Both sides agreed to further deepen defence cooperation and maintain exchanges between the two defence ministries and would continue to carry out cooperating in defence technology, personal training and other fields, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told media briefing here on Friday.


He was replying to questions on the just concluded visit by Sri Lankan President Mahenda Rajapaksa during which both the nations signed a defence agreement besides a host of deals to beef up infrastructure projects in the country, deepening China's foothold there.


Hong did not disclose the details of the agreements including the one related to development of Colombo port and read out some of the highlights from joint statement issued by both the countries.


According to Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris, China has offered USD 2.2 billion worth of new loans.


The countries agreed on USD 1.5 billion investment of private sector in the northern express highway linking Kandy in the central part of Sri Lanka to Jaffna in the north, he earlier told the media here.


The two sides agreed on the extension of a railway, the southern highway and the development of the port of Colombo, Peiris said.


This is in addition to the construction of Hambantota Port with the multibillion dollar assistance of China.


According to reports in Sri Lankan media, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Rjapaksa during their meeting that China will explore the possibility of establishing an industrial zone in Hambantota.


China will support Sri Lanka to develop capabilities in satellite communication, space technology and maritime industries, he said.


Hong said China has become major development partner of Sri Lanka and has played very important role in recent years.


Both sides agreed that terrorism, separatism and extremism have posed severe threat to regional security and would carry out practical cooperation to jointly tackle the three forces, he said.


"In a nutshell President Rajapaksa's visit has elevated our bilateral strategic partnership. This kind of partnership will promote bilateral political mutual trust and common development and will maintain regional peace and stability," Hong said.


"This kind of cooperation is not targeting against a third country," he said when asked about concerns in India that the deepening cooperation between the two countries was aimed at containing India.


Hong also recalled Li's recent "successful" visits to India and Pakistan which showed that China is actively involved in friendly cooperation with the South Asian countries.


"This cooperation will give rigorous boost to regional peace stability and development and will bring benefit to people of China and South Asian countries," he said.

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19 avril 2013 5 19 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
Science, Technology Remain Critical, DoD Official Says

April 17, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Air Force; issued April 17, 2013)


Science, Technology Remain Critical, Official Says


WASHINGTON --- Despite fiscal uncertainty, science and technology remain critical elements in mitigating emerging threats against the United States, a Defense Department official told Congress yesterday.


Alan Shaffer, the acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, pledged to continue a focus on programs such as electronic warfare, counter-space, cyber, and counter-weapons of mass destruction to meet U.S. national security goals.


"The challenge is clear. The president and the secretary of defense depend on defense research and engineering to make key contributions to the defense of our nation," Shaffer told the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on intelligence, emerging threats and capabilities.


Science and technology should mitigate new and emerging capabilities that could degrade U.S. security, he said, while enabling new or extended capabilities in existing military platforms and systems.


Defense Department science and technology researchers, systems engineers and developmental test and evaluation personnel also strive to develop "technology surprise" through science and engineering applications to military problems, Shaffer said.


"Together, the professional scientists and engineers conceive, develop and mature systems early in the acquisition process," he added.


The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and allied personnel work with industry and international partners, academia and other government agencies to provide unmatched, operational advantage to the warfighter, Shaffer said.


"When we look at the capabilities developed and delivered by these people during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I contend the nation has received good return on investment," he said. Notable successes, he added, include mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, persistent threat-detection systems and use of multispectral imagery to remotely detect explosives.


"These three alone greatly increased the safety of our deployed force," Shaffer said. "We met the demands of an armed force at war."


But as the drawdown in Afghanistan continues, uncertainty looms in national security and budget environments, creating reductions that will rattle some programs, Shaffer said.


"It is not possible to discuss the (fiscal 2013 and 2014) budgets without addressing the impact of the sequester," he said, noting cuts of about 9 percent from each of DOD's programs and program lines.


The president's fiscal 2014 budget request for Defense Department science and technology is $12 billion, a nominal increase from the $11.9 billion requested in 2013, he added.


"This reduction will result in delay or termination of efforts," Shaffer said. "We will reduce awards."


For instance, he said, DOD will reduce university grants this year by roughly $200 million, and potentially could reduce the number of new science, mathematics and research for transformation, or SMART, scholarships in fiscal 2013 to zero.


"Because of the way the sequester was implemented, we will be very limited in hiring new scientists this year," he said. "Each of these actions will have a negative, long-term impact on the department and national security."


Budgetary pressures exist, as do new challenges, Shaffer said, adding that DOD leadership has made a strategic choice to protect science and technology where possible.


"We did this to provide options for the future as well as meet new challenges that have technological dimensions," he said.


The challenges, he added, include instability in nations such as Syria, which has weapons of mass destruction that could fall out of state control. He also cited persistent concerns over North Korean nuclear weapons with the means to deliver them, and the emergence of sophisticated anti-access, area-denial capabilities in a number of nations.


Emerging threats, he said, also include cyber exploitation and attack and the increased sophistication of advanced electronic attack capabilities of potential adversaries.


"The department's research and engineering program is faced with the same challenges as the rest of the DOD," Shaffer said.

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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 17:48
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2 février 2012 4 02 /02 /février /2012 08:25
Thales welcomes pragmatic Defence & Security White Paper

01 February 2012 Thales UK

In an era when Government funding is in decline, technologies are evolving at record speeds and Britain aspires to maintain its leading international role, it’s clear that the UK approach to acquisition and technology needs to be brought up to date.

We therefore welcome the clarity that the White Paper brings, and support the use of competition and ‘off the shelf’ acquisition, which is a pragmatic recognition of the approach that Thales has taken on many of its UK programmes. Critical to the delivery of this approach is the Government’s recognition of the importance of UK-based systems integration skills and key technologies that provide the battle-winning edge.

On the ground in Afghanistan, both the military and the Exchequer have benefited from Thales UK’s ability to fit ‘military off the shelf’ solutions to UK forces’ needs. Whether in Armoured Vehicles such as Mastiff or UAVs like the Hermes 450 (which has flown over 50,000 hours in support of operations in theatre) recent experience demonstrates the feasibility of combining an international supply chain with domestic integration skills to deliver battle-winning capability. What matters to the soldier on the ground is not where a piece of kit was manufactured, but whether it delivers the capability he needs.

UK Armed Forces must have unique capabilities which give them an edge in the field, on the seas, in the air and in cyberspace. The challenge going forward, however, is that the specific circumstances of each capability area vary wildly, frustrating one-size-fits-all approaches. We therefore look forward to working with Government to understand how the high level strategy laid out in this Paper will carefully be put into effect in a timely manner in each case.

The Paper also confirms the need to make special arrangements for a specific set of ‘strategic’ technologies, and the inclusion of capabilities like electronic warfare and cryptography highlights how C4ISR technologies are central to delivering ‘operational advantage’ in the 21st century.

Research and Technology underpins all of the UK’s Defence goals – responding to fast-changing threats in an agile way, improving export market share and performance, convergence with Security capabilities, and reorienting the economy towards advanced technology skills and manufacturing. Whilst the White Paper’s commitment to a consistent level of funding provides certainty, it is clear that this level will need to rise significantly above current levels if the UK is to achieve its broader goals.

Exports and strategic relationships are clearly critical in developing future capability and creating economies of scale, and Thales welcomes the commitment to Anglo-French collaboration as a key contributor in realising the UK’s ambitions at a time of constrained budgets.

Similarly, Government’s emphasis on the use of service-based solutions is an effective and pragmatic response to the decline in military headcount. This recognises the benefits generated through Contractor Support to Operations in recent years, and looks forward to the emerging Whole Force Concept where reservists and industry play greater roles supporting the military force.

Victor Chavez
Chief Executive
Thales UK

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