• Pentagon budget 2018: US Air Force to keep U-2 spy plane

    Key Points USAF decides against retiring U-2 spy plane Service said it has enough money to keep U-2 and Global Hawk UAV The US Air Force (USAF) is keeping the U-2 Dragon Lady manned high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft after years of attempting to retire it,

  • Pentagon budget 2018: USN feeling effects from 'over subscription'

    Key Points Insufficient resource and high operational tempo has driven USN readiness and capability gaps Shortfalls and burnout will take multiple years of predictable funding to relieve The US Navy (USN) described the effect of insufficient resources, the high operational tempo over the past 15

  • Pentagon Budget 2018: USN to spend USD4.2 million on prototypes, advanced components

    Key Points Funding is to support rapid acquisition of previously unfielded technology Results are to inform CONOPS and leadership decision among other deliverables The US Navy (USN) requested USD4.2 million in fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018) for prototypes and advanced component development on 23

  • AFRL seeks wearable electronics boost with liquid metals

    The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is exploring the feasibility of liquid metals to increase the reliability of wearable electronics. The inherent 'flow-ability' of liquid metals such as Gallium can be compressed or extended without losing conductivity even as the wearer is moving and stretching,

  • Pentagon Budget 2018: MDA to procure new radar for Hawaii by end of 2017

    Key Points MDA expects to award a contract for the HLD-H radar in FY 2018 MDA requests USD524 million to support current land and sea based radars The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is seeking USD26 million in its fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget to conduct a study to determine if there is a need to

  • Pentagon budget 2018: OCO to decline slightly, assuming no troop increases or budget gimmicks

    The Pentagon's fiscal year 2018 budget request calls for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding to fall from USD69.7 billion in 2017 to USD65 billion as part of the 2018 budget request, working with the assumption that US levels remain unchanged in the fight against the Islamic State group

  • Pentagon budget 2018: Procurement ticks upward along with wave of RDT&E funding

    The Pentagon's fiscal year 2018 budget request calls for a 5% increase in procurement funding above 2017 congressional appropriations, but a 19% increase in Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) funding, according to materials released by the US Department of Defense on 23 May.

  • Pentagon budget 2018: Renewed fight against budget caps, request for BRAC

    The Pentagon renewed its fight on 23 May against budget caps created by the Budget Control Act, as well as asking Congress for the authority to investigate a new round of Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) reductions. The requests come as part of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2018 budget

  • US Air Force pursues GPS upgrades

    At a time when the US Department of Defense (DoD) has numerous efforts underway to find a replacement for the ubiquitous global positioning system (GPS), the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is looking to improve upon the decades of old technology. The ability to jam or degrade GPS signals, thus

  • Lockheed Martin launches new exoskeleton system

    Lockheed Martin has developed an exoskeleton system that is designed to provide wearers with greater endurance and load carrying capacity. Launched under the company's FORTIS brand, the Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD) is a powered exoskeleton that has been developed for use by the military and

  • Defence spending, counter-terrorism to dominate short-and-sharp NATO summit

    NATO leaders will stage one of their briefest summits ever - barely 120 minutes - when US president Donald Trump meets his allied counterparts for dinner in Brussels on 25 May before flying on that evening to a G7 meeting in Sicily. Two items are planned for discussion: defence spending and

  • AFRL explores the use of liquid metal to reconfigure radar

    The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is building antennas using liquid metal to enable changes to the size, shape, and functionality of the electrical wiring. Currently, the research effort is using gallium, which is known for its use in radars (gallium arsenide and gallium nitride types) and

  • AFRL plans AgilePod multi-INT pod flight test on MQ-9 Reaper

    The US Air Force (USAF) has disclosed details of a prototype platform-agnostic modular, reconfigurable, multi-sensor payload pod planned for flight testing on an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in late 2017. Known as AgilePod, the multi-intelligence (multi-INT) pod system has been

  • Anti-gang programme contributes to declining murder rate in Colombia's Cali, but theft and criminal violence remain common

    Key Points An expanding demobilisation programme for gang members appears to be driving security improvements in Cali. Despite a sustained decline in the murder rate, numbers of violent deaths will remain far above Colombia's national average over the 12-month outlook. The focus on tackling

  • Boeing expects third and final multiyear Osprey contract by end of 2017

    Boeing hopes to sign for its third multiyear (MY3) procurement contract for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft before the end of the year, a company representative told reporters on 18 May. Speaking at the site of the production facility in Philadelphia where Boeing builds the V-22 fuselages to be

  • Embraer enters critical phase in KC-390 programme, analyst says

    Key Points Embraer has many letters of intent it hasn't processed into firm orders Firm orders would give programme a boost Embraer is entering a critical period for its KC-390 tanker transport aircraft as the programme could use a shot-in-the-arm from converting letters of interest (LOI) into

  • NATO's C2 and communications networks poised to enter the cloud

    NATO has signed off on a second tranche of its EUR185 million (USD207 million) budget to upgrade the alliance's information technology (IT) networks, communications nodes, and digital devices. Part of NATO's new initiative known as the IT Modernisation (ITM) programme, the work will eventually

  • North Korea declares Pukkuksong-2 MRBM ready for operational deployment

    North Korea has confirmed that it successfully test-fired a Pukkuksong-2 (also spelled Pukguksong-2) medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) on 21 May, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declaring the weapon system ready for operational deployment and mass production. The missile was fired in an

  • NRL developing transparent, biomimetic armour

    The US Navy (USN) Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is developing transparent polymer armour suitable for tri-service applications that reduces the weight of the armour while retaining ballistic integrity. The USN and US Marine Corps (USMC) documented a need for 10% reduction in armour weight in the

  • Pentagon budget 2018 analysis: Significant non-defence cuts imperil funding plan

    For those most interested in the US national defence budget, the details of the budget itself - though instructive - may become subservient to wider political debate regarding the overall fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018) President's Budget Request. In short, this year's request may be more of a starting