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28 May 20. Congress may unite on fighting China with $100bn tech industry boost. Congress would pump $100bn into the National Science Foundation for research into artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced communications, robotics and more under a bipartisan proposal led by the Senate’s top Democrat.
The Endless Frontier Act, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and announced Wednesday, would rename the National Science Foundation as the National Science and Technology Foundation and add a technology directorate with “DARPA-like authorities” to oversee research and make contract awards in select technology areas. The $100bn would be spread over five years.
A typically divided Congress is uniting in its anger against China: The House on Wednesday was poised to pass sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Muslim minorities, while the Senate was considering sanctions to punish China for its crackdown on Hong Kong.
Schumer’s bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. A House version is co-sponsored by two members of the House Armed Services Committee: Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.
“[A]t a time of historically low interest rates, we should work to pair federal investments in research and development with public- and private-partner investments in scientific and technical moonshots,” the four lawmakers said in an USA Today op-ed this month.
“We must also remain mindful that, as our nation recovers, China gains ground. Beijing‘s authoritarian leaders aim to capitalize on this moment with an eye toward outpacing the United States by investing in technological innovations essential to Americans’ future safety and prosperity.”
According to a bill summary, the proposed technology directorate would fund research in the following technology focus areas:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- High-performance computing, semiconductors and advanced computer hardware.
- Quantum computing and information systems.
- Robotics, automation and advanced manufacturing.
- Natural or anthropogenic disaster prevention.
- Advanced communications technology.
- Biotechnology, genomics and synthetic biology.
- Advanced energy technology.
- Cybersecurity, data storage and data-management technologies.
- Materials science, engineering and exploration relevant to the other focus areas.
Under the bill, an additional $10bn would be authorized to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs, which in turn would become “global centers for the research, development, and manufacturing of key technologies.”
When Schumer first floated the idea in November, as a tech “moon shot” against China, he said it had support from people close to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., but lacked “their full-throated support.”
According to a senior aide on Wednesday, the sponsors were working to include legislation in the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate is set to mark up its version of the bill in early June.
Last year, Schumer and Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican with hawkish views on China and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, were able to include the Fentanyl Sanctions Act in the NDAA. The bill is intended to hold foreign countries, like China, responsible for the spread of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
That time, the bill was introduced in April 2019 and included in the Senate version of the NDAA, which passed a month later. It remained in the fiscal 2020 NDAA that Congress passed in mid-December 2019.
Handicapping the bill is complicated. On the one hand, the bill’s price tag may turn off progressive Democrats already leery of the NDAA at $700bn as well as fiscally conservative Republicans, said one congressional aide. On the other hand, massive COVID-19 aid packages may be a sign Congress is open to spending more liberally.
“The numbers we’re talking about these days are in the range of a trillion or three trillion, so what’s an extra $100bn,” the aide said.
(Source: Defense News)
28 May 20. How Army Futures Command plans to grow soldiers’ artificial intelligence skills. With artificial intelligence expected to form the backbone of the U.S. military in the coming decades, the Army is launching a trio of new efforts to ensure it doesn’t get left behind, according to the head of Army Futures Command.
While speaking at an event Wednesday hosted by the Defense Writers Group, Gen. Mike Murray was asked about areas that need more attention as his command works to modernize the force.
Murray pointed to a change in how the service does long-term planning, as well as two personnel efforts that could pay off in the long run.
The first is something Murray has dubbed “Team Ignite,” which he described as “ad hoc, right now,” with a hope to formalize the process in the future. In essence, this means bringing in the teams that write the concept of operations for the military and having them work next to the technologists driving research and development efforts so that everything is incorporated early.
“It has occurred to me for a long time that when we prepare concepts about how we will fight in the future, they are usually not informed by scientists and what is potentially out there in terms of technology,” Murray said. “And when we invest in technologies, rarely do we consult the concept writers to understand what type of technology will fundamentally change the way we fight in the future.”
In Murray’s vision, this means soon there will be “a concept writer saying, ‘If only I could [do something we can’t do now], this would fundamentally change the way we would fight,’ and a scientist or technologist saying, ‘Well, actually we can, you know, another 10-15 years,’ and then vice versa,” he said. “Really using that to drive where we’re investing our science and technology dollars, so that in 10 or 15 years we actually can fundamentally change the way we’re going to fight.”
The Futures Command chief also laid out two new efforts to seed understanding of AI throughout the force, saying that “a key component of the Army moving more and more into the area of artificial intelligence is the talent that we’re going to need in the formation to do that.”
Murray described a ”recently approved” masters program to be run through Carnegie Mellon University, focusing on bringing in “young officers, noncommissioned officers and warrant officers” to teach them about artificial intelligence. The course features four to five months of actual learning in the classroom, followed by five or six months working for the Army’s AI Task Force. After that, the officers are sent back the force, bringing with them their AI experience.
Additionally, Murray is in the early stages of standing up what he described as a “software factory” to try and identify individual service members who have some computer skills, pull them out of their normal rotations and give them training on “basic coding skills” before sending them back to the force.
“We’re going to need a lot of these types of people. This is just [the] beginning, to seed the Army with the types of talent we’re going to need in the future if we’re going to take advantage of data, if we’re going to take advantage of artificial intelligence in the future,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
28 May 20. Outperforming The F-22 Raptor: Japan’s 6th Generation F-3 Fighter Will Rule The Skies. Despite buying the F-35, Japan wants its very own stealth fighter. Japan’s 2019 Mid-Term Defense review quietly revealed that after years of hesitation, Tokyo has decided to press ahead with development of its own domestically designed sixth-generation Mitsubishi F-3 air-superiority stealth fighter, rather than purchasing an additional foreign stealth design to supplement its growing fleet of F-35s.
In February 2019, the Japanese Ministry of Defense explicitly confirmed these intentions to Jane’s. Reportedly, F-3 performance requirements are set to be released in the 2020 budget, with development officially beginning in 2021 and a first flight targeted for 2030.
The new F-3 jets would then begin replacing Japan’s over one hundred home-built Mitsubishi F-2 single-engine fighters—heavily upgraded (and over-priced) F-16s—starting in the mid to late 2030s.
Later, a Japanese television feature in March 2018 revealed close-up footage of advanced high-thrust XF 9-1 turbofan engines and Active Electronically Scanned Array radars under development for the F-3 program. The special also revealed a projected program development cost of 5trn yen—equivalent to nearly $45 bn U.S. dollars. Cost per-plane could easily exceed earlier-cited figures of 20bn yen ($179m).
In 2016, Japan achieved a technological milestone when it flew its Advanced Technology Demonstrator, the X-2 Shinshin. In development since 2007, the ATD cost $350m and featured innovative composite ceramic/silicon carbide skin and powerful vector-thrust turbofans for extreme maneuverability and super-cruising flight speeds. The Shinshin, described in greater detail in this article, supposedly had a radar cross-section the size of a ‘giant beetle.’
But the ATD was a tech-demonstrator, not a prototype for an actual fully-equipped fighter plane. When Tokyo initially balked at the estimated $40bn, it froze further development and issued Requests For Information to foreign aviation firms.
The concept of a hybrid of the F-22 airframe with the F-35’s more advanced avionics seemed particularly attractive; but the bill for such a plane remained extremely high at an estimated $215m per aircraft. Japan also courted Grumman, which decades earlier developed an XF-23 ‘Black Widow’ stealth fighter, and BAE Systems, which is currently developing the Tempest stealth fighter.
Either option would have meant committing to build more fifth-generation fighters instead of looking ahead to sixth-generation designs such as the Tempest and European FCAS.
Furthermore, advanced military aviation industries are very difficult to start up again after lengthy interruption as experienced engineers retire, factories close and technologies become outdated. If Japan didn’t start developing a stealth fighter now, it might become impossible to do so in the future, sinking Tokyo’s hopes of breaking its long-standing dependence on U.S.-based defense companies.
F-35 versus F-3
Many analysts predicted the F-3’s demise after Tokyo announced its intention to purchase 105 more F-35As and F-35B Lightning stealth jets in addition to the 42 already ordered. Tokyo may even procure some of the F-35s more quickly and cheaply from U.S. factories instead of producing them in Japan.
However, the F-35 is designed foremost as an air-to-air capable strike plane rather than air superiority fighter in the vein of the F-22 Raptor, which is no longer in production.
While the JASDF is building up its surface strike capability, defensive air patrols are by far its primary mission. In 2018, the JASDF dispatched fighters to intercept approaching Russian and Chinese military aircraft on average nearly three times per day. The PLA Air Force outnumbers Japan’s six-to-one, and its latest fighters like the J-11D and J-20 come close to matching Japan’s historical qualitative advantage.
Characteristics desirable in air defense fighter are long range/endurance for lengthy patrols; high speed to swiftly engage incoming aircraft before they release their weapons; and maneuverability to defeat opposing fighters in within-visual-range dogfights. In all of these old-school characteristics, Japan’s forty-year-old F-15J Eagle fighters out-perform the F-35.
Nonetheless, the F-35’s stealthy radar-cross section and powerful networked sensors make it more survivable and dangerous than an F-15 that can be detected from dozens of miles away. But Japan would still prefer a fighter that was both stealthy and a dedicated air-to-air combat machine.
When Jane’s asked a Japanese official what the top five priorities were for the F-3, he listed “capability for future air superiority” first.
The other qualities included capacity for upgrades, domestic technological ownership, and affordability. Japan may hope it could lower costs by exporting abroad, as Japan’s parliament legalized arms sales in 2014. However, Japan’s military hardware tends to be quite pricey and it has yet to have much export success. Stealth fighters, though, remain high in demand and difficult to acquire, with only the F-35 having been exported so far.
All that’s certain is that the F-3 will be a twin-engine fighter capable of mounting six internal weapons. Beyond that, highly divergent concept sketches released by Japanese engineers indicate a final design is far from being selected.
However, there is more information available of various technologies Japanese engineers are eager to incorporate in the F-3.
In 2019, Japan began testing XF-9-1 low-bypass turbofans developed by Ishikawa Heavy Industries. These can reportedly generate 11-12 tons dry thrust, or 15-16.5 tons ‘wet’ (dumping fuel into the afterburners) and tolerate 1,800 degrees Celsius of heat. While the F-22’s two F119 turbofans generate 13 tons dry and 17.5 wet thrust, the XF-9 is a half-meter shorter and 30 centimeters slimmer than the F-119, leaving more room for internal weapons.
Separately, Japan’s defense ministry has been researching three-dimensional thrust-vectoring nozzles which redirect the engine’s thrust up to twenty degrees in any direction. If these can be implemented without compromising radar-cross section (difficult), this suggests Japan wants the F-3 to rank amongst the world’s most maneuverable modern jet fighters alongside the F-22 and Su-35, enhancing its ability to evade missiles and out maneuvers adversaries in within-visual range combat.
Each XF-9 can generate an extraordinary 180 kilowatts of electricity, which could be potentially be used to power directed-energy weapons such as lasers or especially radar-based microwave weapons that could fry circuitry in ballistic missiles streaking towards Japanese islands.
Japan has also studied turning the F-3’s airframe skin into a huge ‘conformal’ radar antenna using composite smart-skin sensors, and tested an electromagnetic ESM sensor that not only helps detect adversaries, but which can minimize or distort a stealth fighter’s own radio-frequency emissions for self-defense.
For cockpit instrumentation, Japanese scientists are considering ditching the traditional ‘Head’s Up Display in favor of an F-35 style Helmet Mounted Display system combined with a single large liquid-crystal display. An artificial-intelligence using man-machine interface is also being developed to optimize data flow to the situation and lighten pilot taskloads.
Japan has also been researching high-speed datalinks that could network sensors and exchange targeting data with friendly forces. These are specifically intended to counter numerically superior enemy adversaries as well as stealth aircraft like China’s J-20 stealth fighter or forthcoming H-20 stealth bomber.
Technologies tested in the X-2 that could reappear in the F-3 include EMP-resistant fiber-optic fly-by-wire avionics, and ‘self-repairing’ flight systems that detect and automatically compensate for damage to an aircraft’s control-surfaces.
Japanese defense ministry also clearly is inviting technology transfers and assistance from firms like Lockheed, Boeing or BAE to ease the project’s completion, despite the lead taken by domestic firms.
The above technologies check off many characteristics of conceptual sixth-generation fighter jets—(though optional-manning and drone-control have yet to be mentioned), and are individually pretty impressive. However, integrating them into a capable flying platform poses a much greater challenge, as does mass-producing them in a cost-efficient manner. The U.S. F-35, for example, suffered many delays and cost overruns due to difficulties integrating its many new technologies under concurrent development. Thus Japanese engineers have their work cut out for them as they seek to realize the fifteen-year development goal. (Source: News Now/https://nationalinterest.org)
28 May 20. Inzpire Limited’s GECO Mission Support System used by 845 Naval Air Squadron in Caribbean Deployment. Inzpire Limited has delivered its GECO Mission Support System to 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), part of the Commando Helicopter Force. Their Merlin Mk4 helicopters have been equipped with the system, which was delivered within two working days of the request being placed. In this short turnaround, Inzpire’s mission systems experts also delivered training to the end users.
Based at RNAS Yeovilton, 845 NAS are currently deployed in the Caribbean, with RFA Argus, as part of the UK’s standing commitment to its Overseas Territories. One of the first missions flown by the crews on their recent arrival in the area was to conduct reconnaissance sorties over Bermuda. The sorties identified landing sites where humanitarian aid could be brought ashore, if required during the upcoming hurricane season.
Inzpire’s GECO Mission Support System will assist these reconnaissance sorties by providing the deployed aircrew with the most up-to-date mapping and aviation information. Inzpire’s experts are also providing tailored data to the aircrew, ensuring that the system remains fully supported with the most recent Aeronautical Information Regulation and Control Data, while the aircraft are embarked on RFA Argus.
Jonny Smith, head of Inzpire’s products operational business unit said: “the Inzpire team was delighted to be able to respond to this request to support the Commando Helicopter Force. It is testament to the versatility of the GECO System and the supporting team that we were able to fulfil the requirement in such short order. We wish the Merlin Force the very best of luck for its operations in the Caribbean”.
Inzpire’s GECO System
Inzpire’s GECO System is designed to enhance the safety of missions through its suite of safety and aircrew assistance applications. The system increases mission effectiveness through the provision of situational awareness and decision assistance applications, while offering outstanding value for money through the use of commercial off-the-shelf hardware solutions where appropriate. There are over 400 GECO Systems in service with the Royal Navy, Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force. Inzpire’s overseas customers include the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
Inzpire’s Mission Systems Division
Inzpire’s Mission Systems Division produces some of the most innovative and highly-regarded Mission Systems available for the air environment. Our products are in frontline operational use with UK and international armed forces, delivering mission planning, situational awareness, safety of flight and many mission enhancing capabilities across helicopter, fixed wing and multi-engine platforms.
27 May 20. ITT Matrix Composites’ HiRPM® Technology Adopted into Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning Program. HiRPM® ultra-precision closed molding technology will also be used for component manufacturing in all future F-35 aircraft. Matrix Composites, an ITT Inc. (NYSE: ITT) company, announced that its trademarked closed molding process, Hot Isostatic Resin Pressure Molding (HiRPM®), is qualified on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 lighting program. In addition, HiRPM® is now the established manufacturing process for all future F-35 aircraft and is used on select parts within the aircraft’s horizontal tail assembly. Airframe components produced with this innovative process flew for the first time in 2019.
Matrix Composites’ HiPRM® technology is a state-of-the-art molding process for advanced composite materials and offers very specific benefits over more traditional autoclave manufacturing typically used in aerospace and defense. HiPRM® is designed for composite manufacturers of smaller and more intricate structures like critical edges, spars, and control surfaces. The company’s past performance on the F-22 Raptor and 26-year heritage in specialized composite processing led Lockheed Martin to select Matrix Composites to field closed molding technologies on the F-35 program.
“Our process is ideally suited for small intricate parts requiring high dimensional accuracy. We’re proud to help Lockheed Martin deliver a more effective and efficiently engineered F-35 aircraft,” said David Nesbitt, Executive Director Business Development, Matrix Composites.
As a key supplier to the F-35 program, the Matrix Composite team worked with Lockheed Martin to create the company’s variant of a controlled-volume-molding (CVM) process.
Benefits of the HiRPM® process include:
- High part-to-part dimensional repeatability
- Reduced manufacturing cycle times with increased production yield
- Reduces the need for expensive post-machining and other next-level assembly operations and recurring manufacturing costs
“At ITT, we stand as a committed partner in moving the aviation industry forward. Our strategic alignment of brands and products offers aerospace and defense customers a deep portfolio of innovative connect and control solutions,” said Farrokh Batliwala, President of ITT’s Connect and Control Technologies business. “We’re proud to partner with Lockheed Martin to improve the performance and affordability of the F-35 program.”
To learn more about the HiRPM® technology from Matrix Composites, please visit www.matrixcomp.com.
26 May 20. Five burn-in’ questions on ‘the real robotic revolution.’ A future where artificial intelligence controls Washington D.C. may not be far off, according to a new book from Peter Singer and August Cole: “Burn-In, a Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution.”
Like the authors’ previous book, “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War,” “Burn-In” is a blend of fiction and facts that explore how technology will shape the future. The science fiction thriller showcases over 300 technological trends that the authors believe will push the United States into a new industrial revolution. The story revolves around an FBI agent and its robot partner working to stop a cyber-terrorist who has taken control over the nation’s capital.
Singer, a strategist and senior fellow at the non-partisan think tank New America, spoke with Chiara Vercellone about what inspired the book, the response from officials how the duo researched it.
This interview has been edited for brevity.
C4ISRNET: This novel blends fictional characters with extensive research on what technology might be like in the future. You show how AI might have an effect on everything, from politics and economy to our society. Why is this realistic in such a short amount of time?
SINGER: We conducted research on everything from compiling the reports on which jobs will be automated, to Amazon patent applications, to interviews with AI scientists, but also people who worked on the water system of Washington D.C. We even did site visits to inside the White House.
We used that to essentially project forward not just how AI and robotics are going to be used in your city, your business and your home, but also some of the, frankly, scary new vulnerabilities and trends that they are going to introduce. What are some of the security threats that we’re going to be wrestling with, whether it’s in your home or how you think about it for an entire city?
C4ISRNET: The book is set 20 years from now. Is that the right time frame for the development of all encompassing AI?
SINGER: We had a “no vaporware” rule. Every single technology, every single trend, every single scene in the book had to be pulled from a technology project that is already in motion right now: A technology that already exists or a research project that is already happening, a cyberattack that may not have happened in the U.S. but has happened somewhere else, or has been something that researchers have proved is possible. And, honestly, that kind of grounding, frankly, makes it even more compelling and scarier.
C4ISRNET: As artificial intelligence can be used for good to help defend against cyberattacks, it can also be used to carry out these attacks. As the book shows, the FBI uses AI to solve cases more efficiently but D.C. has been taken hostage by a cyberterrorist using the same technology. Are there any risks that officials are taking today in funding the development of this technology?
SINGER: I think of when we got computers and they’ve move to a point where we don’t even kind of notice them around us anymore. When you go into your kitchen, there are tons of little red lights of different things that are computerized, but we don’t think of them as computers anymore.
Relative to AI, so much of the attention has been on this revolt of the robots. But one of the things that we play with in the book is that we’re seeing all these applications, but we’re also not preparing our economy and our society for these changes that will come. Industrial revolutions are really traumatic: We’re going to see everything from job displacement to new political ideologies, even extremist ones, and we’re not preparing for that. Even more directly related to the development of AI, we’re recreating almost all the mistakes that we made with the regular Internet a generation ago. Even if the internet brought a lot of incredible things, we didn’t think about security and the development of it, and that created a lot of consequences. And we’re doing the very same thing right now, as we wire up our cities, our homes, into what is now an Internet of Things and an increasingly AI-fueled Internet of Things.
C4ISRNET: You and August Cole have been invited to brief the book’s lessons to officials at the White House, Congress, CIA and at the Pentagon. What were those conversations like?
SINGER: For our past book, “Ghost Fleet,” we got to do everything from White House briefings to go to the Joint Chiefs conference room inside the Pentagon, and the Navy now has a $3bn shipbuilding program that’s called Ghost Fleet. And the same thing has happened with “Burn-In.” Even before it was published, we were able to brief some of its lessons to groups like the Joint Special Operations Command to the NSA and Cyber Command and as you and I are speaking right now, there’s a new government report called the Cyber Solarium Commission. It’s a bipartisan commission, and they issued a major report of ways to reset U.S. cybersecurity strategy for the future. And it actually begins with a scene written by August Cole and I. So, in many ways, Congress has taken the world of “Burn-In” and moved it into official government reports. They wanted a way to share real cyberthreats, and what they didn’t want to happen is what happened to the various reports before 9/11 that warned about the attack but that nobody listened to until after the fact. So, they asked us to help with visualizing that world with the idea that it might emotionally compel them to not make the same mistake.
C4ISRNET: What was the process of deciding which technology was developed enough to think it could become a threat in the future?
SINGER: We would first build up a baseline of understanding and try and draw upon the wisdom of the crowd. For example, when we were looking at the question of which jobs are likely to be automated, we actually built, as far as I’m aware, the first data set that brought together every job prediction report, around 13 different predictions in total. It included everything from what the World Bank says to what consulting companies say. That gives you that factual grounding, and then you have to put your fiction hat on and you say, “okay, of all of these, which ones are not just the most important to talk about, but are the most interesting and compelling to talk about.” So the husband of the main character is a way that we use to illustrate that many people when they think about automation, they think about a factory worker or losing their job or maybe a truck driver, something blue collar but the data shows that it cuts across not just blue collar, but also white collar. So, we chose to make the character, a contract lawyer who’s been automated, and that’s not just to show that white collar jobs are at risk here, but it allows you to have that character hit some more compelling human themes.
t’s really interesting what happens when you read the reports and plans but also talk to not just the Silicon Valley engineers, but all the way up to the billionaires, is there’s this incredible and rightful excitement at the world that they’re creating. But there’s also sometimes a failure to appreciate that their Utopian visions can sometimes seem very dystopian to other parts of society. And you can see this for example, with facial recognition, where they’ll talk excitingly about how you’re going to use it in a restaurant and use it in a train station, and all the money that’s going to be made. And then you pull back and think through everything, from how will the government use this? How do people with a different point of view that the police think about mass scale of face recognition? How does this change on our personal relationships? You think it’s great that the greeter to the store will have automated face recognition, and that they’ll be able to call me by name as I enter. But how am I going to think about that person? Am I going to think of them as friendlier or is it just the fact that I know the computer gave them my name? The visions of the future can be Utopian, but it can also feel really creepy in other ways.
C4ISRNET: How long has this book been in the works?
SINGER: The timeline from when you provide the final version of the book to the publisher, and then when it actually comes out in the stores is about nine months. So, we turned in “Burn-In” in fall of 2019 and it’s coming out in summer 2020, and that’s just the way the book business works.
The challenge of this blend is that there are so many things that that were happening, that are actually a scene or a moment from the book. We would start tweeting them out, calling him a #BurnInbookmoment. And sometimes they were something that was cool and exciting maybe a robot that we write about in the book actually being deployed. But sometimes it was something rather scary, a certain kind of attack that had been researched now actually starting to happen.
In the longer term, there might be a problem with the technology in the book. I’ll give you a an example: In one of the scenes, there is a drone, and it’s pretty clear it’s an Amazon drone that flies overhead but we don’t name if by company, but we describe it and it has a footnote it’s Amazon’s patent for the drone. We didn’t dream up that it had this number of rotors, but this is Amazon’s literal plan for it. Now, five to ten years from now, Amazon might change that plan, and they may plan for it to be a six-rotor trial and it turns out it’s a four-rotor trial or something. That’s where the technology could be thrown off in time, but we were pretty careful. (Source: Defense News)
26 May 20. Russia starts building its first stealth bomber – TASS. Russia has begun building a prototype of its first stealth bomber which should be completed next year, the state-controlled TASS news agency reported on Tuesday, citing two sources in the military-industrial complex.
When completed and operational, the new plane will be able to carry an array of advanced missiles and bombs, including hypersonic weapons, TASS said.
The aircraft, known as the PAK DA, will compete with the U.S. B-2 strategic stealth bomber which entered service in 1997. China is also developing its own stealth bomber – the Xian H-20. Russia has already developed its own stealth fighter, the Sukhoi-57. It first flew in 2010 but has yet to be manufactured in large numbers. (Source: Reuters)
25 May 20. Uni collaboration MoU to develop defence AI capability. The University of South Australia and University of Wollongong have signed a collaborative research arrangement set to boost Australian defence industry research, focusing on each university’s strengths in data analytics and artificial intelligence.
UniSA and UOW signed a memorandum of understanding this week to underpin the collaboration to deliver Australian Department of Defence (DoD) capability and explore wider engagement across other disciplines.
The collaboration will enable new advances using AI and data analytics in the area of informed decision making and the development of goal-oriented autonomous systems.
UniSA director, defence and space, Matt Opie said combining the expertise of both organisations will improve the quality, depth and scope of the research delivered to Defence.
“UniSA has key research capabilities in information ecosystems, data analytics and the internet of military things to support a range of defence force requirements from battlefield decision making to military intelligence support systems,” Opie said.
“Matched with what UOW can provide, we will be able to deliver a formidable research asset to the DoD and allied industries.”
UniSA’s research team lead by Professor Markus Stumptner includes mathematicians, statisticians, engineers and software scientists with expertise in software interoperability, software architecture, Federated Analytics Platform, autonomous systems, and cyber security by design.
Research from the universities will focus on:
- high-level interactions between defence systems to support battlefield decision making;
- autonomous systems that can think for themselves and operate in support of mission goals;
- information ecosystems that allow the integrated management of digital twins across the defence asset life cycle;
- Software and cyber-physical systems that are self-aware and able to autonomously assess mission alternatives and support high pressure, rapid decision making;
- Artificial intelligence to support data analysis, to assess for example the location and behavioural patterns of terrorist cells or adversary forces.
The team also has expertise and research experience in data fusion, optimisations, mining, and trustworthiness and in sensor systems, digital twin/asset life cycle management, overarching Digital Models + Digital Systems, and predictive maintenance.
Artificial intelligence research lead at UOW, and director of the decision systems laboratory, Professor Aditya Ghose said his group works in a field called knowledge representation and reasoning.
UOW defence strategy leader Dr Paul Di Pietro said each partner brings unique Defence capabilities to the table.
“Both universities have a proud history of contributing to Australia’s security through strong partnership with the Australian DoD and defence industries and a willingness to work on finding tangible solutions and relevant innovations for our industry partners,” Dr Di Pietro said.
UniSA and UOW also plan to work with the Defence Science and Technology Group to assess where their combined AI capability can be applied to the newly released STaR (Science Technology and Research) Shots technology areas outlined in the More, Together 2030 strategy document. (Source: Defence Connect)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities