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U.S. TRANSFORMATION CHIEF: USES OPEN SOFTWARE

05 Dec 05. GOPAL RATNAM, Defense News, NEW YORK reported that in 2005, the Pentagon will spend nearly $17 billion to integrate systems that involve proprietary software — nearly one-fifth of the total acquisition budget, said Terry Pudas, the acting director of the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation.

Upgrading such weapons takes extra time and money. For example, it takes about 60 weeks to upgrade an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Pudas said Dec. 6 in New York, at the annual Aviation Week-CSFB conference on the aerospace and defense industry.

“One way to get rid of this [cost and time] is to get rid of proprietary software,” he said. “That will allow us to mass customize” — tailor a mass-produced product for individual needs.

Pudas encouraged defense contractors to move toward more common and open systems architecture, and noted that nearly 80 European and U.S. defense contractors have joined the year-old open-software Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium.

Pudas has been acting director of the four-year-old Transformation Office since retired Vice Adm. Art Cebrowski stepped down in January. Cebrowski died Nov. 12.He said the Transformation Office, often viewed as the Pentagon’s think tank, is also a “do-tank.” He cited Project Sheriff, which fits armored vehicles with nonlethal weapons to strike at insurgents hiding among civilians, and with infrared and other means to find and kill snipers. He said the office is also helping develop a high-speed M80 Stiletto boat, which uses a novel hull form.
Despite the high-profile attention the office gets from being closely associated with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s interests, Pudas said there were “issues of regret”: ideas that are not being vigorously pursued by the military, including non-lethal weapons, directed and redirected energy, sea-basing concepts, vertical battlefield mobility, protection systems for urban operations, and joint interdependency and interoperability

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