skip to main content

AUSA 2021: Pentagon eyes new ‘rapid fielding' experimentation series for 2023

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is plotting to begin a series of technology experiments in fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023) to consider a variety of rapid fielding projects, and is seeking FY 2022 funding to get the effort started, according to the Pentagon's chief technology officer.

Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defence for research and engineering (OUSD(R&E)), said on 12 October that her office has mapped capability gaps and plans a set of experiments intended to inform which prototypes might move ahead.

OUSD(R&E) worked with the Joint Staff to define the capability gaps, then worked with the US combatant commands on the scenarios driving those gaps, then asked the military services what products they had that could fill those gaps, Shyu told reporters during the annual Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, DC.

In five weeks her office received 203 White Papers ranging from ‘unclassified' to ‘top secret - special access'. From these, Shyu said she recommended the top 32 projects that could have the greatest payoff, and briefed them to the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and military services.

The Pentagon is now looking for funding to get the effort moving before the actual experimentation towards the end of FY 2023. “It's the operators that are going to evaluate if there's utility in this particular product; if there's utility let's head towards rapid fielding,” she said.

If it requires some added capability, then the product could enter the following cycle with updates. At first the Pentagon would do this experimentation every year, and aim for maybe two per year if the funding is available, Shyu said.

Participants will include both internally funded industry products and contracted products bought by the services, she told Janes.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...