Sponsored by Exensor
15 Oct 20. White House Releases National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies. The White House has released the “National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies,” which outlines how the United States will promote and protect our competitive edge in fields such as artificial intelligence, energy, quantum information science, communication and networking technologies, semiconductors, military, and space technologies. The strategy has two pillars: (I) Promote the National Security Innovation Base and (II) Protect Technology Advantage. The Critical and Emerging Technologies (C&ET) list reflects the 20 technology areas that United States Government Departments and Agencies identified to the National Security Council staff as priorities for their missions. The list will be reviewed and updated annually via the interagency process coordinated by the National Security Council staff. The technology areas are arranged alphabetically. See also Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ Statement on Commerce Actions Supporting Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies and Item 17 below.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/National-Strategy-for-CET.pdf (Source: glstrade.com)
15 Oct 20. Esper Discusses New Technologies Designed to Give Warfighters the Advantage. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke today about Army modernization efforts that harness new technologies that will benefit the warfighter. His remarks were given during the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.
“Today, emerging technologies are expanding the geometry of the battlefield and transforming how we think about, prepare and plan for
The reason for this transformation, he said, is because near-peer rivals China and Russia are seeking to erode America’s long-standing military advantages through cutting edge military innovation such as precision long-range fires, anti-access area denial systems, or A2AD, and other asymmetric capabilities designed to counter U.S. strengths.
“In space, Moscow and Beijing have weaponized a once-peaceful domain with killer satellites, directed energy weapons and more in an effort to seize the high ground and chip away at our military edge,” he said.
They also exploit cyberspace as a means to undermine U.S. advantages without confronting the Defense Department’s conventional strengths, he added. To remain ahead of these threats, the department must harness new technologies, Esper continued.
In the last several years, the Army has “ruthlessly redirected time, money and manpower to its highest priorities,” he said, noting hypersonic weapons are at the top of that list of priorities.
“As our competitors develop long-range fires to inhibit our freedom of maneuver, we’re increasing our investments in hypersonics over the next five years, so we can ramp up testing and develop these capabilities to the warfighter as quickly as possible,” he said.
In March, the Army and Navy reached an important milestone by jointly launching a successful test of a hypersonics glide body, he noted. The plan is to integrate this technology into an Army battery by 2023.
At the same time, the Army is investing in the interim maneuver, short-range air-defense platform to provide soldiers with 360-degree protection from unmanned aircraft systems and other low-altitude aerial threats, he said.
This system will most likely be integrated into four battalions in Europe in 2023, he added.
To bolster the department’s advantage in the land domain, the armored multi-purpose vehicle, the replacement for the Vietnam-era M113 armored personnel carrier, is currently rolling off the production line, he added, and it is being integrated into the armored brigade combat team.
These and other technologies and developments are building combat credible capabilities, allowing the DOD to target A2AD complexes and enable joint maneuvers across all domains, thanks in large part to industry partners who have persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic and kept supply chains open and delivery of systems on time, he mentioned.
Army Futures Command has been instrumental in helping to develop emerging technologies across all domains, Esper said.
The command recently conducted a live-fire simulation of unmanned to unmanned teaming with drones and satellites relaying target coordinates with ground artillery and artificial intelligence-enabled weapons systems, he said.
Another AFC initiative, Esper said, is Project Convergence 2021. As the name suggests, it is a multiplatform initiative being developed to merge joint force capabilities and keep pace with technological change in order to help the maneuver force operate more efficiently across the land, air, sea, space and cyberspace domains. He added that allies and partners will be included in this effort.
He also added that “Project Convergence will play an integral role in the department’s development of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, which will modernize how the military fights.”
The defense secretary then explained the importance of working with allies and partners by providing some examples.
In 2018, the Army stood up the Multi-Domain Task Force to synchronize modernization efforts of joint assets with partners in the Indo-Pacific region, he said. Next year, its efforts will be centered in Europe.
In Europe, Stryker units will increasingly deploy in continuous rotations in the easternmost edge of Europe, he said.
Plans are also underway to rotate the lead element of the Army’s new V Corps into Poland, once agreements are finalized, he noted.
The Army is strengthening alliances and partnerships, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, where it is also expanding training exercises that enhance interoperability, he said.
This year, the Army is stationing a company-sized Stryker vehicle training set in Thailand to support the Royal Thai Army as they build their own Stryker program, he said. The Army also plans to expand its International Military Education and Training Program and increase military school slots in support of their Stryker program.
Worldwide, the Army and the other services are employing a concept known as dynamic force employment, he said.
“The Army applied this to build rapid-power projection through dispersed, prepositioned equipment. This has enabled the department to become more nimble and less predictable and better capable of rapidly shifting to combat operations as needed,” he said.
All of these efforts prepare the department “for the high-end fight that we hope we must never have but must be prepared to win,” Esper concluded. (Source: US DoD)
15 Oct 20. US Army’s ground combat center is developing new methods, formations for the next war. The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence is reimagining formations such as brigade combat teams for the next war. The focus of the Army is ground combat and the way the Army fights is through fire and maneuver.
So, it makes sense that the job of figuring out where technological advances, doctrine and tactics meet would be at the epicenter of innovations in ground combat — the Maneuver Center of Excellence in Columbus, Ga.
To see how the center brings those ideas together in a fast-changing force, Army Times talked with Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe, commander of MCOE, ahead of this year’s virtual Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, which begins Oct. 13.
While tech gets the headlines and cool videos, it’s how that technology is implemented by the service that makes the difference, Donahoe argued.
Some of that can produce fairly large-scale changes, and so soldiers are likely to see a rethinking of formations, such as the brigade combat team, that have been around for a generation or more.
He pointed to the French and German militaries in the early days of World War II. By most measures, the French had a better tank, but they didn’t have the doctrine, organization or tactics to go with it.
Donahoe compares the period the service is in now to the 1970s, post-Vietnam, when the Army was coming out of a long counterinsurgency campaign and had combat-experienced leaders in the formation.
As recently as when he was serving at MCOE in 2013, captains were still being prepared for that COIN fight, as they had to be; they were headed out on deployments just five or six months later.
But since then, Army leaders have been looking more at regions like Crimea, the Donbass region of Ukraine and areas around China to determine what they’ll need for the next deployment, rather than Helmand province, Afghanistan or Baghdad, Iraq.
“We’re doing a real deep look at the BCT, as the Army moves from the BCT to the division as the unit of action,” Donahoe said. “We are in the process of developing the organization for the division cavalry squadron.”
“What does that look like from 2020 to 2028?” he said. “What capabilities and organization shape the battlefield against a near-peer competitor?”
In some ways, it could look like a mid-1990s cavalry squadron that Donahoe commanded as a young officer. But in many ways its capabilities will be vastly transformed.
That’s because autonomous devices mean a different kind of force that’s viable in combat.
“You take the model of the divisional cavalry squadron from the mid-90s and make it incredibly more lethal in its tasks,” he said.
That’s happening inside the BCT as well.
The Army began a process in 2018 to convert some Stryker brigade combat teams to armored BCTs and some infantry BCTs to SBCTS in an effort to get heavier for the big fight.
At the same time, those IBCTs will likely change, too.
The MCOE team and its partners are looking hard at a light BCT and developing concepts for a motorized IBCT in an effort to maximize the technologies the Army is bringing into its formations, he said.
None of these concepts are yet ready for prime time, but they’re being put through the intellectual paces as the force restructures.
Again, there’s history to draw from.
An Army chief of staff white paper published in 1984, “Light Infantry Divisions” had a similar effect.
Those formations were positioned to be half the size of mechanized divisions and could be quickly deployed to remote regions, bringing mostly combat arms troops with a lesser need for support personnel.
That also meant more machine guns, antitank weaponry, and lighter, more mobile artillery.
At that time, the Army had seven mechanized divisions, four armored divisions, two infantry divisions, one air assault division, one paratrooper division and one high-technology division — the 9th Division at Fort Lewis, Wash. — and an additional nine separate brigades.
The light infantry division aimed to better position the Army to get into the contingency fight, able to deploy on short notice across the world in a variety of scenarios.
The 7th Infantry Division became the test bed for the new concept.
The move also allowed for the reactivation of 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., which had been deactivated in 1958. It has been the most deployed unit since 2001.
MCOE is in constant coordination with the other centers of excellence as it works through implementing new technology and tactics, Donahoe said, with the overarching goal of a fully capable multi-domain operations force.
The ultimate configuration of the brigade is not yet decided, but it will likely be smaller than it is today, as it divests some of what it now does to the division, he said. It will remain mobile.
A change soldiers should anticipate is that robotics and artificial intelligence will make first contact with the enemy unmanned, “whether robotic scouts or at the edge of a minefield,” he said.
That will then allow the soldiers in the force to better move outside of that contact into a position of dominance to exploit their advantages. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
14 Oct 20. Army to conduct thorough review of aviation fleet in FY23. As the Army looks to bring on two future helicopters by 2030, the service is planning to review its entire aviation fleet in fiscal 2023, Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette, the Army G-8, told Defense News in an Oct. 8 interview.
Over the past several years, the Army has said it is at “an inflection point” when it comes to prioritizing modernization in order to ensure soldiers can fight in a multidomain environment against near-peer adversaries. Part of that is ensuring the Army is balanced properly when it comes to making sure the current fleet is ready while funding the ambitious development of two new aircraft along with a number of other enablers like a digital backbone, air-launched effects and a new engine, to name a few.
In FY20, the Army took controversial steps to shift funding from the current fleet to the future one when it decided it would not buy Block II CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters for the active force, opting to procure the variant just for special operations.
Congress has pushed back on that decision in both its FY20 and FY21 defense bills, injecting funding into the program to keep the pump primed to build Block II Chinooks for the active component against the Army’s wishes.
So far the Army isn’t planning on backing down on its decision to scale down and only buy the Block II variant for special operations.
“The Army’s position has not changed. I mean, our position is we don’t have to make a decision,” Pasquarette said.
“It’s based on the age of the fleet and other factors,” Pasquarette said. “Our concern is that if Congress decides that we need to move down the Block II path here … that starts to push out dollars against our modernization priorities that we’re very concerned about.”
The Army “must develop” both the Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), he stressed.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy also signaled during an Oct. 8 interview with Defense News that tough decisions on the aviation fleet would have to be made as the FLRAA and FARA aircraft begin to fly.
The prototype aircraft for FARA are expected to start flying in the fourth quarter of FY22 and the engineering and manufacturing development phase is expected to begin in FY24.
FLRAA prototypes will be delivered in roughly the summer of 2026.
The last time the Army restructured its fleet was in 2013 to deal with impending budget cuts and reductions that would have been made through sequestration. The effort was a way to take control of what was cut rather than let every program across the board take salami-slice chops.
As a result, the service decided to retire its OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters and use AH-64E Apache attack helicopters paired with Shadow unmanned aircraft systems to fill the armed scout role until future aircraft could come online. (Source: Defense News)
14 Oct 20. New force generation model aims to regionally align Army units, give troops predictability. A new Army force generation model is being introduced to better balance demands across the globe with the transformational changes the service needs to prepare for a future fight against a peer adversary, said Lt. Gen. Charles A. Flynn, the deputy chief of staff for Army operations, plans and training.
The new plan, dubbed the “Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model,” will allocate Army units to different theaters in roughly one year, giving them expertise in the parts of the world to which they would deploy during an actual conflict and allowing them to stockpile the right equipment for those clashes.
The model also aims to provide soldiers more predictability, so formations have time in the near future to be outfitted with new equipment, hone doctrine and reorganize units if necessary.
“Modernization is a demand on the Army that we have to account for,” Flynn told Army Times. “So we are trying to create a model that provides units predictable windows to modernize. And that will be especially important with capabilities that begin to enter into the force.”
The Army’s modernization projects are expected to start arriving to tactical formations in 2022 and will continue through 2030. Some units, like rocket batteries, may have to reorganize as part of modernization. New equipment will also require retraining, new leader development strategies and new doctrine.
“We’re trying to prepare the force, the Army, and all the components to make adjustments when these advanced capabilities arrive,” Flynn added. “Because it’s not just a new thing. It’s also a new organization.”
From a planning standpoint, 2022 is right around the corner, Flynn said. But the Army doesn’t have the luxury of shedding global responsibilities while reshaping the force.
Roughly 60 percent of combatant command needs across the world are filled by soldiers. Brigades are constantly rotating to Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, manning outposts in Africa and the Middle East, and responding to spikes in tensions with North Korea and Iran.
Units currently operate in an environment of “unpredictability, and arguably, even instability,” said Army Forces Command deputy boss Lt. Gen. Leopoldo A. Quintas Jr. during the Association of the United States Army conference Wednesday.
“Units are placed on rotational missions based on their availability,” Quintas said. “And these missions vary in location, length, manning, readiness requirements and equipment. Modernization today occurs when we can find a window to fit it in. Every week, month and year is filled with, not only constant change, but also high tempo.”
Regionally aligning units will create predictability for units, soldiers and their families, but it will also provide expertise, according to Flynn.
“It’s going to enhance our ability to compete and respond to crises or conflict, because [soldiers are] going to know the environment,” Flynn said. “And they’re going to know the conditions that they’re more likely to operate in.”
The 25th Infantry Division, for instance, would most likely be tapped for contingencies that could arise in the Indo-Pacific, so it makes sense to give those soldiers a better understanding of that part of the world. Regionally aligning forces will also help the Army better arrange pre-positioned stocks, Flynn noted.
“So the threats across Europe, while some are similar to the Indo-Pacific, some are very different. So the material solutions and the equipment configurations are likely going to be different,” Flynn said. “For example, we might not need a lot of watercraft in Europe, but we’re going to need a lot out in the Indo-Pacific.”
Elements of the new force generation model are still being worked through. But the general idea is to place units into “mission lines,” Flynn said.
“We’re going to have a number of units, by type, that are focused on a particular region,” Flynn explained. “We intend to have them focused on those regions so that they can exercise in that region.”
“It doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t go to a war somewhere else on the globe,” he added. “It just means that if we call you, because the crisis is in that theater, you’re going to go first because your equipment is tailored for that, you understand the environment, you know the conditions, you know the allies and partners, you know the adversary [and] you know the plan.”
Flynn’s team has been running simulations and war games pertaining to the new force generation model “for the better part of two years,” he said. Later this month, they will do another rehearsal of concept, or ROC drill, to walk through vignettes.
The service hopes the new force generation model will prevent the Army from having to figure out “all the variables” when a crisis arrives, said Flynn, and will help flex forces into a conflict rapidly so delays don’t create vulnerabilities. (Source: Defense News)
13 Oct 20. US Army pegs 2023 as tipping point for ending old weapons. The Army will see a significant shift in funding from its current fleet to new and modern capability designed to fight in multidomain operations in fiscal 2023, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told Defense News in an Oct. 8 interview.
The service has conducted several rounds of “night court” reviews already, a deep dive across the Army’s portfolios to determine whether money is in the right place to ensure modernization priorities are getting what they need to progress.
In FY18 and FY19, the Army focused on the science and technology portfolio, but in FY20 ramped up the process finding north of $25bn to apply to modernization priorities across the next five years.
The FY21 and FY22 process was similar and still resulted in a substantial amount of funding that was redirected, according to McCarthy.
“We’re basically lining ourselves up for the ’23 program where you will see a much more aggressive effort like you saw in FY20,” McCarthy said. “The choices are going to get bigger and tougher, but that’s necessary” as modernized programs begin to be fielded, he said. “That will force us to make harder calls with legacy systems that will have to be forced to end their service life.”
The FY22 night court review has wrapped up, and the number of canceled, reduced or delayed programs is less than in previous years.
The Army still had to make some hard decisions, Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette, the Army G-8, told Defense News in a separate Oct. 8 interview, but there were fewer. “It did still result in dozens of reductions and eliminations, but smaller, much smaller than in the past.”
In FY20, for example, the Army canceled, delayed or reduced 186 programs. In FY21 that number was roughly 80.
“I feel better now than I did on the front end of this thing a year ago,” Pasquarette said, “and how we were going to make ends meet.”
Pasquarette, who manages the night court process, said a year ago that after two deep dives he was concerned there wouldn’t be enough low-hanging fruit to move over to fund modernization at the levels needed in the coming years.
But since the Army has already found $37bn total from the previous night courts and no major changes have been made to the strategy or what is being prioritized, less needs to move around because everything is in the right place, according to Pasquarette.
Yet in FY23 some big programs will begin to go out to units such as the Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense System (M-SHORAD), next-generation squad weapons, enhanced night-vision goggles, the Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) systems, the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and ground-launched hypersonic weapons.
“So in our fires community, massive changeover,” McCarthy said, “so units will be taking on new weapon systems, changing their task organizations, so you have to start divesting legacy weapon systems at a much greater rate of speed. … Then as you get towards the back end of the [five-year defense plan] FYDP, in ’25 and ’26, here come the helicopters.”
In FY23, McCarthy said, the Army will also make trades in order to invest in logistics to accommodate new weapons. Questions center on determining whether there are appropriate hangars, maintenance facilities and ranges that accommodate greater lethality and range for things like the Long-Range Precision Fires capabilities.
More difficult decisions could be around the corner should the defense budget face cuts in the future. Some are projecting numbers as high as a 20 percent cut in military spending if there is a change in the administration.
“If we see a reduced top line, I do wonder what would be the impact to some of the things that we put in place,” Lt. Gen. Thomas Horlander, the Army’s comptroller, told Defense News earlier this month. “How will things like our modernization plan become pressurized? And so definitely a reduced top line will pressurize some of the programs and we’ll be making some tough decisions.”
Should the Army face cuts, McCarthy said, “we’ll have a hard look at our readiness portfolio.”
The Army has “been very blessed” to have 27 or 28 brigades at the highest levels of readiness, he added. “So you look at your readiness portfolio and are there ways to do it more efficiently? Do you need that many ready at any given point in time? Can you make an adjustment to that large bucket of funding in the readiness portfolio?” McCarthy asked.
On the modernization side, the Army will have to continue to divest legacy platforms, according to McCarthy. “But you also need to take a very hard look” at priority programs to ensure they are correctly lined up, he said.
As for quality of life, the Army “will not take much risk there,” McCarthy said. “We’re very concerned that we spent over a decade at deficit spending on that side and we’ve made some pretty substantial moves. We’re going to make some more here in the next week or two that you’ll hear about ways that we’re working to improve upon that.”
The Army will do what it can to manage the balance sheet “as efficiently as possible,” McCarthy said. “If the cuts come, they will come. You have to face that down. The fiscal posture of the country has been challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re going to do the best we can with the budgets we are granted.” (Source: Defense News)
09 Oct 20. Menendez, Reed on National Security Implications of Trump Administration’s Rushed Sale of F-35 Jets to UAE. Senator Bob Menendez, (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today are calling on the Trump Administration to explain in detail how it will deal with specific national security risks inherent in the Administration’s proposed sale of the F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates.
“There are numerous questions as to how the national security interests of both the U.S. and Israel will be served, or undermined, by such a sale. We fear that the Trump Administration’s recklessly accelerated timeline will preclude sufficient and comprehensive consideration of these issues by the national security professionals in the Departments of State and Defense, as well as by the Congress.” wrote the Senators in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. “U.S. national security and the safety of American troops could be seriously compromised by this sale. The F-35 is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world, giving the United States and its allies and partners a tremendous military advantage. This therefore creates an immense counterintelligence threat against this aircraft.”
Citing the need for the Trump Administration to be more forthcoming in responding to their questions and concerns for the accelerated push to approve the sale, the Senators listed sixteen questions for Secretaries Pompeo and Esper to ensure sufficient consideration by national security professionals in the Departments of State and Defense, as well as by the Congress.
“The Administration appears to be ignoring long-standing, deliberative, internal U.S. processes for considering whether selling such a sophisticated and mission-critical military system abroad could compromise the United States’ national security interests – and in this case Israel’s – and instead is rushing to meet a political deadline” wrote the Senators.
A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found below.
Dear Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Esper:
We write today to seek clarity on public reporting and mixed messaging from the Administration on a proposed sale of the F-35 aircraft to the United Arab Emirates. As you well know, Congress has statutory authority over foreign arms sales, but it appears that the Administration is trying to rush through a precedent-setting sale of the United States’ most advanced fighter aircraft to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts.
The Administration appears to be ignoring long-standing, deliberative, internal U.S. processes for considering whether selling such a sophisticated and mission-critical military system abroad could compromise the United States’ national security interests – and in this case Israel’s – and instead is rushing to meet a political deadline.
There are numerous questions as to how the national security interests of both the U.S. and Israel will be served, or undermined, by such a sale. We fear that the Trump Administration’s recklessly accelerated timeline will preclude sufficient and comprehensive consideration of these issues by the national security professionals in the Departments of State and Defense, as well as by the Congress.
Emirati officials have publicly and privately declared that their decision to normalize relations with Israel was not dependent on getting the F-35; however, the Administration’s attempt to move at breakneck speed so close to this announcement would give the appearance that it was. Additionally, this sale seems more tied to the American political calendar than to a sober deliberation about regional security.
U.S. national security and the safety of American troops could be seriously compromised by this sale. The F-35 is one of the most advanced aircraft in the world, giving the United States and its allies and partners a tremendous military advantage. This therefore creates an immense counterintelligence threat against this aircraft. Indeed, assessing the risk to our own military advantage is a critical part of the internal deliberations we must make before agreeing to provide this aircraft, including any recipient country’s history of use of U.S. origin weapons and its capacity and willingness to protect critical U.S. technology. Indeed, given that the F-35 has been financed, developed, produced, and sold to our security partners as part of an international consortium, the sale has the risk of undermining their security as well.
In light of these concerns, we have listed below a series of vital questions that must be fully answered before this sale is sent to Congress for review, as required by statute.
1) What precisely has the U.S. agreed to in terms of selling the F-35 and other aircraft to the UAE?
— How many?
— On what timeline for delivery?
— Has the U.S. received a formal Letter of Request from the UAE for these aircraft?
2) Would the Emiratis have signed the Abraham Accords if not for the promise of this sale? Were F-35s or any other military sales discussed as part of deliberations related to the Abraham Accords?
3) Has the UAE articulated a military threat necessitating the acquisition of F-35 aircraft?
— How would the UAE employ F-35s against that threat?
— Are there other military or other means that could also counter this threat or threats?
4) It has been reported that the U.S. and the UAE have agreed to conclude a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the aircraft by December 2nd. This is an extremely accelerated schedule for interagency review, consultation with Congress, and preparation of the LOA and negotiation on its terms with the UAE – a process that can take months, if not longer.
— Is this deadline correct?
— If so, why did the Administration agree to this arbitrary deadline in concluding an LOA?
— How would such an accelerated timeline affect the Congressional review and approval process?
5) It has traditionally taken months for a complete and comprehensive interagency review of a proposed sale of this importance and sensitivity.
— Has the U.S. interagency reviewed and determined what variant of the aircraft would be best to sell, in terms of protecting the aircraft’s technology and in terms of protecting Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME)?
— If not, when will that review commence and how long might it take?
6) Has a determination been made that the sale of this aircraft to the UAE will not jeopardize Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge?
— If so, upon what basis was that determination made?
7) Will any aircraft sold to the UAE be reduced in capabilities compared to comparable U.S. aircraft?
— If so, how much less capable will these aircraft be compared to Israeli and U.S. F-35 aircraft and other aircraft?
— Exactly which systems, software, and components will be reduced in terms of operational capability in comparison with Israeli and U.S. aircraft, and to what degree and with what effect? Please provide a detailed written and graphic comparison.
8) What anti-tamper measures will be incorporated into the F-35 and other aircraft sold to the UAE to ensure that critical or sensitive military technology and components within such aircraft are not compromised, either in operation or in terms of revealing classified information about such technology and components?
9) Will the UAE be required to enter into binding commitments not to employ such aircraft in situations that might expose them to technological intelligence collection efforts, such as exposure to advanced anti-aircraft radar systems?
10) What secondary security measures will be put in place to protect critical U.S. technology inherent in the F-35?
— Will the U.S. require continuous U.S presence on base to monitor the security of the aircraft?
— Will the U.S. be made aware of any proposed third-party nationals to visit the base(s) where the F-35 aircraft are based?
— Will the U.S. be able to veto any physical presence of such nationals if, in the opinion of U.S. personnel present in the U.S. Embassy or in Washington, the close physical proximity of such third-party nationals could constitute an intelligence threat to sensitive technology in or of these aircraft?
— Will any automatic electronic security measures be employed to protect U.S.-origin aircraft, manuals, and related documents?
— Will the maintenance and servicing of these aircraft be performed solely by U.S. personnel, or in concert with Emirati personnel?
11) What measures will be taken to counteract any reduction in Israel’s QME?
— Will the U.S. shift from a Qualitative Military Edge measurement to a Quantitative one, selling or providing more aircraft and munitions meant to overwhelm the heightened military threat to Israel?
— If so, how will these additional arms to Israel be financed? Will the U.S. need to increase Foreign Military Finance levels in order to offset this sale to the UAE?
12) The UAE has taken an active role in supporting Khalifa Haftar, who has continued a brutal military campaign in Libya against the internationally recognized Libyan government. According to recent reports, the UAE may even have violated the U.N. arms embargo on Libya.
— What will prevent the UAE from using F-35 aircraft in conflicts where the United States and its allies are pressing for a diplomatic solution?
— Will the United States require any commitments from the UAE that it will not employ such aircraft to the detriment of Israel’s security interests or the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States, as determined by the Israel and the U.S. respectively?
13) To what extent would this sale stimulate an arms race in the region, both among the Gulf States and with Iran? With the arms embargo against Iran in danger of expiring, would this sale provide greater encouragement to China and Russia to sell Tehran advanced fighter aircraft and advanced air defense systems, in numbers and under more favorable financial terms than would otherwise be the case?
14) In 2017, the UAE and Russia signed an agreement to develop a fifth-generation fighter jet, along with a separate UAE purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters. In addition, after being rebuffed in its attempts to purchase armed drones from the United States, the UAE reportedly purchased Chinese surveillance drones and outfitted them with targeting systems. Other reports indicate that expatriates from countries aligned with China operate some of the UAE’s weapons systems.
— What is the status of the UAE’s cooperation with Russia? Would these efforts present security and counterintelligence threats to the F-35?
— What assurances and commitments, if any, has the UAE made to the United States to safeguard U.S. technology from Russian and Chinese personnel that may be involved in either of these programs?
— Has the UAE agreed to terminate all such cooperation and purchases from Russia and China?
15) What are the Administration’s thoughts regarding other sales of the F-35 in the region?
16) Have you, or will you, consult with our partners about these risks and their views of this potential sale to the UAE concluding the sale?
— Will you take their concerns into account during the interagency review process to address their concerns?
We look forward to your immediate response.
Bob Menendez / Jack Reed
Ranking Member / Ranking Member
(Source: defense-aerospace.com/Senators Bob Menendez and Jack Reed)
08 Oct 20. Pentagon Debuts Yet Another Plan to Speed Up Weapons Buys. The latest plan to overhaul the Defense Department’s hidebound systems for procuring weapons, goods and services is underway — with an emphasis on speed from design to fielding, as well as cutting maintenance costs, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
The new plan, called the Adaptive Acquisition Framework, or AAF, is intended to bring about the “most transformational change to acquisition policy in years, perhaps decades,” said Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.
Read Next: Turkey Reportedly Used S-400 System Against US-Made F-16s, and Congress Wants Answers
Existing procurement methods “rarely enabled speed” and resulted in a process that could take up to eight years from design to delivery, she said at a Pentagon briefing.
In adopting “best practices” from industry, the AAF is meant to bridge gaps between design and fielding to “deliver capability to our warfighters faster,” Lord added.
She stressed the urgency of acquisition reform to complement the National Defense Strategy and maintain the military’s edge in the transition from the counterterror wars of the post-9/11 years to the new era of great power competition with Russia and China.
Under AAF, contractors and DoD program managers will be given more flexibility along several pathways, to include programs for urgent operational needs, major capabilities, and defense business systems.
Lord said that a major emphasis will be on cutting long-term maintenance costs. Currently, about 80 cents of every defense dollar for a new ship, aircraft or other weapons system goes to sustainment, she explained.
The AAF is intended to make the acquisitions process “move at the speed of relevance,” she said, although the DoD has a dismal track record in reforming how it buys and maintains weapons.
Defense secretaries going back to the Nixon administration have all adopted the “better business practices” mantra on acquisitions while dealing with Congresses that can be for or against change.
In 2010, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates instituted the “Better Buying Power” initiative to improve efficiencies in the acquisition processes as defense budgets were squeezed.
Defense spending has rapidly expanded under the Trump administration to a proposed record budget in the range of $740bn for fiscal 2021. But Lord said the DoD is still saddled with an acquisitions process that has become “an impediment rather than an enabler.” (Source: glstrade.com/military.com)
12 Oct 20. COVID-19 to impact military programme annulations in 2020-2021: Poll. Military programme annulations provide business development opportunities and help in procuring orders. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of several events across the world as international travel remains restricted.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on military programme annulations in 2020-2021.
Analysis of the poll results shows that the pandemic is expected to have a major impact on military programme annulations, as voted by 47% of the respondents.
Approximately 27% of respondents voted that the pandemic will not have any impact on military programme annulations in 2020-2021, while 26% of respondents opined that the pandemic may have an impact on annulations.
The analysis is based on 375 responses received from the readers of Verdict’s defence sites Airforce Technology, Army Technology and Naval Technology between 26 July and 29 September 2020.
COVID-19 impact on military programme annulations
Military programme annulations or defence exhibitions play a key role in helping companies showcase their products and strengthen their business connections. High-value procurement orders are often finalised at such events. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has led to either cancellation or postponement of such arms fairs including the DSEI in London and Eurosatory in Paris.
Annulations are especially important for small and medium-size enterprises to display their new technologies. Eurosatory, for example, is considered as one of the biggest events in the defence industry attracting 10,000 people and 1,800 exhibitors. The event has been postponed to 2022, while the event space where DSEI and other events are held has been converted into an NHS hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.
Defence firms have now become reliant on technology to conduct meetings through teleconferencing, which, however, may not serve as an alternative to exhibitions where final decisions are made. Firms will need to find alternative ways to trade fairs such as increasing their digital presence through social media platforms apart from conducting virtual events and webinars. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
Founded in 1987, Exensor Technology is a world leading supplier of Networked Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) Systems providing tailored sensor solutions to customers all over the world. From our Headquarters in Lund Sweden, our centre of expertise in Network Communications at Communications Research Lab in Kalmar Sweden and our Production site outside of Basingstoke UK, we design, develop and produce latest state of the art rugged UGS solutions at the highest quality to meet the most stringent demands of our customers. Our systems are in operation and used in a wide number of Military as well as Home land Security applications worldwide. The modular nature of the system ensures any external sensor can be integrated, providing the user with a fully meshed “silent” network capable of self-healing. Exensor Technology will continue to lead the field in UGS technology, provide our customers with excellent customer service and a bespoke package able to meet every need. A CNIM Group Company