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25 Jan 07. DoD Engineering Chief Wants Earlier Prototyping of Weapons. The Pentagon’s research and engineering chief wants to change the military’s weapon-development process to force services to build more and earlier prototypes, a move he said would likely tighten schedules and reduce costs. “We need to go back to prototyping more systems … to take some of the risk out” of programs’ system design and demonstration (SDD) phase, John Young, the Pentagon’s director of defense research and engineering, said during a Jan. 24
industry conference in Washington. Young said this would force program managers to bring “more mature technologies” to milestone B reviews, which determine whether a system is ready to enter its design phase. It would also move platforms through the SDD phase quicker and at less cost. The idea is widely viewed as wise, but the proposal faces several political hurdles. For one, the change would delay giving industry a guarantee on contracts, postponing the start of production. Essentially, “even though it’s a good idea, the problem is the building having enough spine to do it … because it would drive the program managers and Congress nuts,” the former aide said. “Giving speeches is easy,” he noted. “Actually doing it would amount to bureaucratic warfare.” Young also said the cost of major military systems often skyrockets past initial projections because “we set the requirements bar to the point of the unattainable.” (Source: Defense News)

31 Jan 07. Aonix(r), a provider of solutions for safety- and mission-critical applications, announced a new “zero-cost” license model for its ObjectAda for Linux product. Recognizing the expectations of the Linux community, Aonix has introduced pricing for ObjectAda 8.2 for Linux that emulates what is used for its industry-leading PERC product line. This price model focuses on customer service packs rather than development licenses. ObjectAda 8.2 for Linux provides a full complement of mature Ada technologies with an integrated Eclipse-based environment for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora Core and most equivalent x86 Linux distributions. In conforming ObjectAda for Linux to the new Aonix service-pack model, Aonix has chosen to extend the zero-cost licensing of its best-selling PERC product line used by real-time Java developers-to Aonix Ada developers working on the Linux platform. ObjectAda for Linux provides a robust development environment that includes a fully validated optimizing compiler, library manager, runtime, configuration management integrations, life-cycle tools, and a productivity toolset that includes an editor, browser, and debugger. Both a traditional Aonix IDE and the AonixADT plug-in set for Eclipse are provided. With this new pricing, Linux developers are able to choose a service-pack or a traditional user-based model. (Source: ASD Network)

31 Jan 07. Rafi Yoeli has an unconventional solution to saving people from burning high-rises or rescuing soldiers trapped behind enemy lines: a flying car. Yoeli already has gotten a rudimentary vehicle off the ground — about three feet — and hopes to see a marketable version of his X-Hawk flying car by 2010. Although his dream might seem far-fetched, Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopters is taking a serious look, teaming with Yoeli’s privately held Urban Aeronautics to explore X-Hawk’s potential. Think of the people trapped in the World Trade Center. Think of ground patrols in Iraq blown up by roadside bombs. Think of New Orleans residents stranded on rooftops after Hurricane Katrina. X-Hawk and its smaller version, Mule, might one day offer the same capabilities as helicopters, but without the serious operating limitations — like exposed rotors — that helicopters face in urban terrain.

16 Jan 07. Pandur II in profile: Steyr’s 8×8 digitised warfare platform is gathering speed. The first example of Steyr-Daimler-Puch’s Pa

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