US Military Technology

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Meet the new keywords: SM3-HAWK, HYVINT, Dart, Valkyrie Interceptor

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, is being awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract. The total value of this contract is $4,445,140. Under this new contract, the contractor will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled "SM3-HAWK". The work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2020. The performance period is from Sept 3, 2019 through May 2, 2020.

Hypersonic Defense Weapon System, white paper titled "HAWK - HQ0147-18-S-0001 - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities
Lockheed Martin Systems, Sunnyvale, California, is being awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract. The total value of this contract is $4.512,136. Under this new contract, the contractor will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled "Hypersonic Defense Weapon System Concept - Dart". The work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2020. The performance period is from of Sept 3, 2019 through May 2, 2020.

Broad Agency Announcement - Concept Definition for Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems - HQ0147-18-S-0001 - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, is being awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract. The total value of this contract is $4.441,998. Under this new contract, the contractor will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled "Valkyrie Interceptor Terminal Hypersonic Defense". The work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2020. The performance period is from Sept 3, 2019 through May 2, 2020.

Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition Valkyrie - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities
The Boeing Company, Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price contract. The total value of this contract is $4,356,864. Under this new contract, the contractor will further develop and refine their Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition White Paper titled "Hypervelocity Interceptor (HYVINT) Concept for Hypersonic Weapons". The work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2020. The performance period is from Sept 3, 2019 through May 2, 2020.

Hypersonic Defense Weapon Systems Concept Definition HYVINT - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities
 

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Let’s See If the SM-3 Block IIA Can Hit an ICBM | RealClearDefense

Let’s See If the SM-3 Block IIA Can Hit an ICBM
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Although the Trump Missile Defense Review (MDR) includes aspirations to significantly improve missile defense beyond the Obama administration's missile defense plans and programs, the budget request to Congress revealed few moves to turn aspirations to reality. But one such step was to test the SM-3 Block IIA against an intercontinental-range target. Doing so deserves the bipartisan support of Congress.

While designed to significantly increase the defended area and help Japanese defense against a North Korean attack from intermediate-range ballistic missiles, it has become increasingly clear that the SM-3 Block IIA has the potential to intercept longer-range missiles of intercontinental range. But the U.S. should test the IIA variant against that threat set to glean critical data and demonstrate what has only been seen in simulations and models. This is what the Department of Defense wishes to do, and what Congress, until recently, directed them to do.

When Republicans had control of the House of Representatives, the House passed the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that included a provision that requires the U.S. test an SM-3 Block IIA against a simple ICBM by December 31, 2020. But with a change of leadership, the Democrat-controlled House passed the FY20 NDAA and the House Defense Appropriations Bill. Both recent House bills prevent the Department from testing the SM-3 Block IIA against an ICBM target. This should not be a partisan matter. The final bills that Congress will send to President Trump’s desk for his signature should support the test.

If the U.S. could demonstrate the SM-3 Block IIA against an ICBM, it could help in a few ways.

The U.S. would have the option to deploy it on U.S. soil to bolster protection of areas that could use an added layer of protection. Notably, GMD can defend the U.S. from ICBMs launched from anywhere on the planet. The number of ground-based interceptors (GBIs) planned for deployment shows that it is scaled to defend against a handful of ICBMs, which means as it is currently constituted it is best suited to intercept the kinds of missile threats attacks that are most likely to come from rogue states like North Korea.

GMD has several unique qualities, including its vast swaths of coverage and its permanence which means it provides 24-7 coverage. Its most recent test demonstrated the greatest sophistication to date. Known by the initialism FTG-11 (Flight Test Ground-based Interceptor 11), this complex, first-ever salvo test resulted in two GBIs successfully destroying their target within minutes.

Adding different interceptors in certain parts of the country could complement the GMD system. The concept of deploying other interceptors originally designed to intercept missiles with less than ICBM range to layer with GMD is called the “underlay.” An underlay could, in the words of the Missile Defense Review (MDR) “ease the burden on the GBI system and provide continuous protection for the U.S. homeland against rogue states' long-range missile capabilities." The concept of the underlay, like several initiatives in the MDR, is still notional.

And the SM-3 Block IIA isn’t the only system that the U.S. could potentially utilize in the event of certain missile attacks. Nor is this the first time the U.S. has flirted with the surge idea. Back in 2009, amidst North Korean missile provocations, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the U.S. was beefing up its defenses including re-deploying THAAD to Hawaii. Fast forward to the Trump MDR, “For example, Patriot and THAAD systems, and multi-mission Aegis BMD-capable ships armed with the SM-3 Blk IIA interceptor will be moved into position quickly in a crisis to strengthen the defense of the homeland against rogue state missile threats.” The U.S. has options.

Timing-wise, it makes sense to demonstrate a renewed commitment to augmenting U.S. missile defenses. Despite the Trump administration’s efforts to mitigate the threat from North Korean nuclear missiles through negotiations, the North Koreans have not dismantled their nuclear program, have resumed short-range missile tests, and have ceased working-level negotiations.

As rightly stated in the Trump MDR, missile defense strengthens diplomacy. The more reliable the U.S. missile defense system is, the more empowered U.S. diplomats are to negotiate with the Kim regime. And as long as America's adversaries continue to improve, proliferate, and expand its missile forces, the United States must continually adapt, expand, and improve our defenses.

To intercept the highly sophisticated non-ballistic missile threats from China and Russia, the United States would have to leverage current technologies in new ways as well as build new interceptors and sensors altogether. But the threat from ballistic missiles from a variety of adversaries continues apace. The Pentagon has already invested $121 million in the SM-3 Block IIA program to evaluate its ability against an ICBM, as directed. It would be smart to see that that money is not wasted and that the clear opportunity to do good in the near term isn't either.
 

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General Robotics Improves its DOGO Robot for Close-Quarters Combat - Defense Update:

General Robotics Improves its DOGO Robot for Close-Quarters Combate Land Sy



General Robotics Improves its DOGO Robot for Close-Quarters Combat
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General Robotics brings the new Dogo Mk II tactical robot to DSEI 2019. The new robot is optimized to assist SWAT teams and close-quarters combat (CQB), inside buildings and underground. With a faster Point & Shoot interface, DOGO can accurately move, designate and use lethal or non-lethal means simply by clicking on the screen.


According to Shahar Gal, CEO of General Robotics, until now the robotics market was dominated by robots that were designed to handle explosives (EOD). “Technological advancements now make robots more responsive, accurate and lethal without compromising safety.”

According to Gal, DOGO is used by special forces and SWAT and close quarter combat (CQB) operators, as a means of surveillance and as a pioneer, sent into a fatal funnel to provide situational awareness and remote engagement capability thus increase the survivability of the entire team. Until DOGO, the only way to obtain such capabilities was to send a team member into the potentially deadly situation, risking them suffering enemy and friendly fire.

Weighing 12 kg, Dogo Mk II has two front extenders, enabling it to overcome obstacles and stairs, using a stair climbing mechanism. Photo: General Robotics
Designed with a friendly, ’Point & Shoot’ interface developed by General Robotics, managing the robot inside a building is simple and intuitive. I was able to control the robot across several rooms and corridors, spot and track targets and shoot, after a few minutes of training.

Weighing 12 kg, Dogo Mk II has two front extenders, enabling it to overcome obstacles and stairs, using a stair climbing mechanism. The robot includes eight video cameras that provide 360° live video and boresight views and can communicate in hostage situations. As an unmanned element spearheading the assault team Dogo Mk II can be equipped to carry both non-lethal pepper spray, or dazzling light module attachments, effective at a range of five to 10 meters.

DOGO MK II It also retains the integral pistol mount, enabling the user to engage targets with lethal fire. Photo: Defense-Update
It also retains its integral pistol mount, enabling the user to engage targets with lethal fire. DOGO also has a built-in loudspeaker and mike to enable the combat team to picket and negotiate with the suspect or hostages. The robot uses a laser designator and Near IR illumination to operate in dark or underground spaces.

According to Gal, DOGO Mark II has already been delivered to special forces among which are NATO members and has been pre-ordered by several other customers.

The dazzler is effective particularly in a dark enclosure’ using high-intensity flashing light and noise to distract a target at distances up to 10 meters. Photo: Defense-Update
The pepper spray non-lethal effect module is effective to five meters. Photo: Defense-Update
 

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Senate bill includes $1B in new money for hypersonics

Senate bill includes $1B in new money for hypersonics
By: Nathan Strout   19 hours ago

4915
The initial Senate defense appropriations bill includes funding for key space programs and continues the debate between the House and Senate over funding for a next generation early warning missile defense system that will replace SBIRS. (Courtesy Lockheed Martin)
A spending bill making its way through the Senate includes at least $1 billion more for hypersonics and hypersonics defense than what the Pentagon requested in March.

While the formal language for the legislation, which was passed by the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense Sept. 10., has yet to be released, a summary distributed by the subcommittee claims that the bill sets aside extra funding to several hypersonic-related programs across the Department of Defense.

The bill also furthers the debate over how to pay for an early warning missile defense satellite system built to detect hypersonic weapons that has become a point of contention between the House and Senate. While the House has expressed concerns with the $1.4 billion the Pentagon requested for the program, the Senate bill bumps funding for the satellite system to nearly $2 billion.

“The bill includes significant investments in both basic research and future technologies such as hypersonics, 5G, artificial intelligence, missile defense, and cybersecurity. We must continue to make investments today that demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that our Armed Forces are well-trained, well-equipped and better prepared than any other around the world, and this bill does that,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee on defense, said in a statement.

The bill includes $108 million for the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, which is being developed by the Missile Defense Agency and is meant to bolster the United States’ ability to track hypersonic weapons. Military leaders believe the current missile defense infrastructure is ill-prepared for that threat. The MDA listed the space-based sensor among its 10 top unfunded priorities in a report to Congress earlier this year.

The subcommittee also included $237.8 million to fill the unfunded requirement of accelerating hypersonic defense programs.

On the other side of the hypersonic equation, the legislation provides $576 million for Air Force hypersonics prototyping and provides an additional $14 million for directed energy and hypersonic weapons prototyping programs. It also fully funds the Army’s request for $228 million for hypersonics and throws in an additional $150.6 million for development of a common hypersonic glide body.

The summary noted that the subcommittee recommends an additional $225.3 million for test and evaluation infrastructure for hypersonics, space, directed energy and cyber.

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While the summary doesn’t list appropriations for every satellite program, it does note that the legislation provides the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared program $536 million beyond the $1.4 billion requested by the Pentagon. The additional funding appears to be a response to recent reprogramming requests from the Air Force to drive more money to the program now so that the satellites are ready by 2025.

OPIR will succeed the Space Based Infrared System as the nation’s next generation early warning missile system. The Air Force has contracted with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin to build the satellites.

Funding for OPIR has been a point of contention between the Senate and the House versions of the National Defense Authorization Act, with the White House wading into the battle to argue for the full amount requested by the Pentagon. The Department of Defense initially requested $1.4 billion for OPIR in fiscal year 2020, but the House balked at the amount, which is a $459 million increase over what the Pentagon projected for their 2020 budget request a year earlier. While the Senate authorized full funding for the bill, the House authorized just $1 billion for the program ― $376.4 million less than the Pentagon requested ― arguing that the Pentagon had failed to explain the increase.

In a July 9 statement on the legislation, the White House weighed in, claiming that a failure to provide the full $1.4 billion would result in delays and increased costs in the long run.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the spending bill Sept. 12.
 

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GOA Science & Tech Spotlight: HYPERSONIC WEAPONS
 

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AFRL to Test a Drone-Swarm Killer HPM
US Air Force to Test Raytheon Phaser overseas, as part of an evaluation of HPM Counter-Drone techniques


The US Air Force Research Laboratory is investing US$16 million in further field assessment of Raytheon’s Phaser High Power Microwave System outside the continental U.S. The testing phase will span over 12 months in which the Phaser will engage simulated and real unmanned aerial systems threats. The evaluation will explore the effectiveness of Phaser’s counter-drone engagement without disrupting the necessary installation operations.

The effectiveness of Phaser against drones has already been demonstrated at the Army MFIX exercise in 2018, when the system eliminated 33 drones, 2-3 at a time. Currently mounted on a shipping container-like box, Raytheon plans to significantly reduce the size in future versions.

AFRL already evaluates two other HPM systems – the Tactical High-Power Operational Responder (THOR), that deploys as a means to provide base defense against drones, and ‘Counter-Electronic High-Power Microwave Extended-Range Air Base Air Defense’ system, or CHIMERA, designed to engage multiple targets over a larger area.


The Tactical High-Power Operational Responder (THOR) is designed to pursue multiple short-range targets. Photo: USAF
 

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2014

The U.S. Air Force is developing special versions of two smart munitions that track and attack sources of electronic warfare (EW) jamming directed to throw the weapons off from their intended targets.

Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., announced a $9.8 million contract late Wednesday to Scientific Applications & Research Associates Inc. (SARA) in Cypress, Calif., for a Home-on-Jam demonstration of smart weapons already in the Air Force inventory.

The weapons involved in the demonstration are the GPU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and the GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB). SARA engineers will integrate the company's Home-on-Jam seeker into the JDAM and SDB-I smart munitions.

StackPath
2015

On the precision-guided munition side, the US Air Force Research Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is studying a kind of seeker that directs bombs to detect and destroy GPS jammers, called home-on-GPS jam, or HOG-J.

Last year, the lab awarded Scientific Applications & Research Associates of Cypress, California, a $9.8 million contract to integrate the seeker into the JDAM and Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (SDB-I) weapons and demonstrate it in flight tests. The work, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, is expected to be completed by late 2016.

Alan Shaffer, deputy assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, said at a 2014 congressional hearing that, "HOG-J has had some preliminary successful tests and could be ready to enter the inventory in two to three years."

Guided-Bomb Makers Anticipate GPS Jammers
The makers of precision guided munitions no longer take for granted that a simple GPS will guide these bombs and that they will always work on their own. Jammers and spoofing equipment threaten to populate future battlefields; manufacturers have taken notice and answered the threat.
www.defensenews.com
2015, AJPGM Tech Demo

2018



Should an enemy strive to complicate the battlefield by stray or competitive RF energy, SARA’s HOJ subsystems can enable a host guided bomb or missile to engage it as the system or operator might prefer. HOJ is compact and 1/10th the production cost of prior-generation systems. HOJ uses solid state components and a common munition interface which provides rapid, low-cost integration.

https://navystp.com/vtm/open_file?type=brochure&id=N68335-17-C-0522
 

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Fire control radar interferometer test bed for Hypervelocity Terminal Defense Fire Control

Three receive antennas on vertices of a 10 meter baseline equilateral triangle provides measurement accuracy required to command guide gun launched projectile interceptors to direct hit-to- kill impact of incoming ballistic missile targets.

Technovative Applications | Technovative Applications
Technovative Applications develops radar interferometers for the United States Department of Defense and Homeland Security

www.tnov.com
 

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https://aviationweek.com/missile-de...siles-drive-us-air-force-adopt-new-technology

Flight-test infrastructure within the U.S. Air Force is evolving as a new generation of faster and longer-range air-launched weapons approach a four-year surge of flight-test activity. By 2023, the U.S. Air Force plans to introduce the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon and the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon—which boast double-digit Mach numbers and a maximum range measured in the thousands of miles.
 

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MIT scientists have figured out a way to tell if a nuclear weapon is real or fake — a crucial step toward reducing the number of nukes in the world

MIT scientists have figured out a way to tell if a nuclear weapon is real or fake — a crucial step toward reducing the number of nukes in the world


Aria Bendix

,
Business InsiderOctober 3, 2019



Iskander-m short-range ballistic missile
Russian Defense Ministry



  • A new technology developed by MIT researchers can tell whether a nuclear warhead is real or fake.
  • The technology encrypts its data, so any inspectors using it wouldn't have access to military secrets.
  • The tool could encourage Russia and the US to allow warheads to be inspected.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more.
Even in peaceful times, stockpiled warheads can pose a danger if they're accidentally set off or fall into the wrong hands. Plus, there's always a chance conflict could escalate, which is why many experts support dismantling nuclear warheads around the world.

But most arms-control treaties don't require warheads to be inspected, since the process could reveal military secrets. And even if inspections were required, nuclear experts worry that nations could try to fool inspectors by offering imitation warheads.

To eliminate the risk that countries would lie about this, two MIT researchers have come up with a novel way to verify that a warhead is authentic — all without revealing how the weapon was built.

The scientists describe the new technology in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications. Their method uses neutron beams: streams of neutrons that can plunge deep into a warhead and reveal its internal structure and composition, down to the atomic level.

The technology, if implemented, could encourage countries like Russia and US to allow their warheads to be inspected and verified as real before they get dismantled.

Nations typically don't inspect warheads
The US and Russia recently dissolved the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which kept both countries from possessing, producing, or testing thousands of land-based missiles. Shortly after, each nation conducted a missile test, stoking fears of a nuclear arms race similar to the Cold War.

During the Cold War era, the US and Russia built up their arsenals of nuclear warheads. By 1967, the US had acquired the most warheads in its history — around 30,000. The Soviet Union reached its peak warhead supply in 1986, when it had around 45,000.

When the Cold War ended in 1991, the nations agreed to dismantle some of these weapons, but they didn't allow each other to inspect the actual warheads. Instead, they showed proof that the devices that carried these warheads, such as missiles and aircrafts, had been torn apart — which meant that the warheads couldn't be deployed.
 

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Dynetics Planning First Gremlins Flight Test Despite Earthquake

Dynetics Planning First Gremlins Flight Test Despite Earthquake
10/7/2019

—RACHEL S. COHEN



Dynetics is designing new unmanned aerial vehicles for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Gremlins program, which aims to advance the concept of drone swarms in combat. Dynetics courtesy photo.

Dynetics is preparing to fly its new drone for the first time as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Gremlins program, taking another step to prove out the futuristic concept of unmanned swarms.

In the future, a host aircraft could launch and recover multiple Gremlins unmanned aerial vehicles that spread out for strike, intelligence, or other missions, and send information back to the user via radios and data links. Dynetics is in the last phase of its competitive DARPA program and has designed a docking device that comes down from an aircraft to retrieve the small drones after they fly a mission.

Recent earthquake damage to NAWS China Lake, Calif., set back the initial flight demonstration, which was slated for September, according to Tim Keeter, the Gremlins program manager at Dynetics. Instead, the test may move to the Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. Keeter said it could be rescheduled to happen by the end of the year.

“It’s limited range access. They’ve got a lot of damage that’s been done,” Keeter said of China Lake. “They've got a lot of things to take care of in terms of infrastructure before they can support a flight test … like this.”

A first flight will check that the unmanned aircraft works properly and vet its aerodynamics. But rescheduling the flight test requires multiple pieces to fall into place. A C-130 must be available to launch the drone and a range must have time to accommodate a new customer.

Dynetics will first launch and control the Gremlin from the back of the C-130 in flight, Keeter said.

“We’ll deploy our parachute and our airbags to have a … gentle ground recovery, hopefully,” he said.

The next step is to pair a Learjet and a C-130 to simulate the drone docking with the larger aircraft, since the Learjet acts as a testbed for the Gremlins avionics.

“That will allow us to further check our recovery system, docking system avionics, and our safety features associated with that, because that’s a high-risk part of the operation, is getting close to that manned aircraft,” Keeter said. “We want to do that in February.”

He believes the manned C-130 and Learjet test could happen at China Lake because it won’t require some infrastructure that an unmanned flight would need. Once those aspects are proven, Dynetics will attempt to dock as many Gremlins as it can. The program’s final demonstration for DARPA must show that the system can capture four drones in under 30 minutes. Dynetics has built five UAVs so far and expects the the last demo will come before summer 2020.

These tests won’t include specialized payloads because the program focuses on the concept of launch and recovery instead of what a swarm could do once deployed. After the current phase of the DARPA program ends, Dynetics is eyeing a simulated mission that would look at payloads and some autonomy as Gremlins works toward becoming a program of record with the Air Force and other interested customers.

Keeter suggested that in the future, each drone could gain the ability to carry out missions without human control, alone or in tandem with other UAVs, even if they can’t communicate with their users.

Figuring out how many UAVs a particular user needs to accomplish its goals is one challenge of transitioning the technology to a more permanent home. Keeter said the special-operations community may need only a few at a time to act as extra sensors, while Air Combat Command could need a few dozen at once for high-intensity conflict. Dynetics has drawn up concepts for how its recovery system could fit under larger or smaller aircraft, on pylons or in rotary launchers, and Keeter pointed to the B-52 as another potential Gremlins carrier.

“The greatest utility of this capability is going to be in an [anti-access/area-denial] environment where you want to maximize the effects of distributed airborne warfare to deliver lethality … and be able to refresh those [different technologies] in an hour,” he said.

He said moving toward a program of record in fiscal 2022 is a reasonable timeline, but that those conversations aren’t happening yet. The company is also eyeing the Air Force’s Skyborg program and argued it could also potentially act as a host aircraft for Gremlins.

“We've had lots of conversations with them,” Keeter said of the Air Force. “That whole concept of using an unmanned system to multiply the force and the capability of manned systems, that's right in line with what we mean by something that enables distributed airborne warfare. … We fully intend to make sure that we're moving in that direction.”
 
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Algorithmic Warfare: Army’s AI Task Force Making Strides

Algorithmic Warfare: Army’s AI Task Force Making Strides
10/8/2019
By Yasmin Tadjdeh



Illustration: Getty

Nestled alongside the Allegheny River is Pittsburgh’s famous Robotics Row — a grouping of tech companies focused on building and advancing autonomous systems. The location is also now the new home of the Army’s Artificial Intelligence Task Force.

Based out of Carnegie Mellon University — one of the world’s leading academic institutions in robotics — the task force has been humming since it was officially launched in February, said Col. Doug Matty, the organization’s deputy director.

The group — which was established under a directive signed by then-Secretary of the Army and now Secretary of Defense Mark Esper last October — was created with a two-fold mission in mind, Matty said.

One was to ensure that the Army is aligned in supporting the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, or JAIC, that was stood up last year as a way to coalesce the Pentagon’s disparate AI efforts, he said. The second was to serve as an integrator and synchronizer for the various science and technology and developmental engineering AI efforts across the Army, Matty told National Defense.

The task force has four main focus areas, he said.

“In the Army, the most important resource we have are our people,” he said. “It’s no surprise that the first task that they asked us to look at is how can we leverage either research and development that’s ongoing or existing capabilities in industry to help align our human resources and talent management.”

Matty’s organization will be working alongside the Army’s Talent Management Task Force to address that challenge, he said.

The next task is working collaboratively with the Joint AI Center, which broadly focuses its efforts on national mission initiatives and component mission initiatives.

“One of their ... national mission initiatives is predictive maintenance,” he said. “They asked if the Army would … take the lead as an executive agent-type role for the work on predictive maintenance.”

The Army selected the H-60 helicopter for the effort as it is a joint platform across the services, he said. Work is currently underway to see how AI can benefit the system.

The third focus area requires the team to work closely with Army Futures Command, which was stood up last year to get at the service’s top modernization priorities. The task force is specifically looking at ways to help with the No. 1 and No. 2 priorities, long-range precision fires and next-gen combat vehicle, respectively.

To do so, the organization is building on previous work done by the Pentagon, such as with Project Maven, which developed platforms to analyze drone footage, Matty said.

“As you can expect, there’s a lot of congruent types of efforts that they have that we could leverage,” he said.

The Army is working to apply AI to the entirety of the long-range precision fires challenge, he noted. “While the folks at Fort Sill, [Oklahoma], are predominantly focused on … the physics aspects of that mission thread, we’re also working the front-end piece in terms of finding and identifying and assessing and enhancing our situational awareness,” he said.

The fourth task is automated threat recognition to enhance the Army’s situational awareness while moving toward autonomous operational maneuver platforms, such as next-gen combat vehicles, Matty said.

The task force is benefitting greatly from working alongside researchers at Carnegie Mellon, he said. “They have both the breadth of technical expertise and depth in terms of capacity to conduct this type of research-and-development effort.”

The school’s Robotics Institute has nearly 1,000 researchers and faculty, Matty noted. Additionally, located within the institute is the National Robotics Engineering Center, which is also a helpful resource, Matty said.

While the task force was only stood up several months ago, Robotics Row academic institutions and companies have been working with the Pentagon for some time, he noted.

“The university and the surrounding ecosystem has been significantly engaged in supporting Department of Defense research-and-development initiatives for a number of years,” he said.

The task force — which is being led by Brig. Gen. Matthew Easley — is a blend of government officials and a cadre of individuals with technical expertise in AI. The organization has an authorization of 18 personnel and is looking to hire one more civilian before it is fully staffed, he added.

As the organization works to integrate AI into more weapon platforms, it knows that the technology is an enabler but not a silver bullet.

“When folks think about artificial intelligence, they tend to think explicitly about the magic algorithm or it’s some Voodoo-like thing that happens in the cloud,” Matty said.

But much like the Defense Department embraces the idea of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities, or DOTMLPF, to accomplish a mission, likewise the AI task force sees the need for a blending of different perspectives to generate a solution, he said.

To that end, the Army follows what it calls the “AI Stack,” a framework — which is popular at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon — that emphasizes the need to understand everything from the computing layer, the sensors, the data management, the algorithms as well as decision support, he said.

Ultimately, the Army’s approach for artificial intelligence is to enhance its soldiers, he said. “That covers the whole technology stack but also includes how much of that artificial intelligence is going to be … autonomy as well as the nuanced human-computer/human-machine interaction.” Guiding all of that will be ethical considerations, Matty noted.
 

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Raytheon confident SM-3 Block IIA can intercept ICBM warheads
Raytheon is “very confident” the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA -- a new ballistic missile interceptor developed with Japan to defeat medium- and intermediate-range threats -- can also knock down intercontinental ballistic missiles, delivering Washington and Tokyo more than they originally bargained for

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I have been reading and following the development of this system. It is indeed a fantastic concept and if successful can provide the best ever defence for forces anywhere in the world including a CBG from Chinese DF series missiles. India has gone for BMD which has separate components for each job, Russian S-500 is an evolution for a joint AD+BMD but it is too huge to be carried onboard ships. this SM-3 blk2 solves this problem and allows the same set of radars and missiles to do multiple jobs. In the end it will also prove to be highly cost effective. This system can also be cued by F-35 and other such aircraft to extend its interception envelope.
 

BMD

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Dec 4, 2017
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I have been reading and following the development of this system. It is indeed a fantastic concept and if successful can provide the best ever defence for forces anywhere in the world including a CBG from Chinese DF series missiles. India has gone for BMD which has separate components for each job, Russian S-500 is an evolution for a joint AD+BMD but it is too huge to be carried onboard ships. this SM-3 blk2 solves this problem and allows the same set of radars and missiles to do multiple jobs. In the end it will also prove to be highly cost effective. This system can also be cued by F-35 and other such aircraft to extend its interception envelope.
I was thinking they could perhaps be based in Taiwan...
 

vstol Jockey

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Dec 1, 2017
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I was thinking they could perhaps be based in Taiwan...
Land based assets can be targeted easily but ship based are difficult to target. I think that USN will deploy them in large numbers on their ships to provide area defence in any theatre of war as and when the need arises. China has land borders with much smaller countries and can't be reached from land by US led forces other than India. India is that big a country with a population which can assist NATO forces in any battle with China. Even during WW2, India was the base for supplies to chinese forces.
 
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BMD

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This needs to be seriously explored. F-16s to Taiwan won't complicate China's plan to invade Taiwan as much as something like SM-3 or THAAD can.
And some of these too.
1570636289107.png


This with a longer booster would probably fit in Aegis Ashore launch cells too.

1570636326484.png