The INSIDER - August 14, 2012
Inside the Army has the skinny on a not-yet-released study that looks at the service's science and technology capabilities:
Advisers: Army Losing Its Science Edge Even As Hi-Tech Requirements Soar
Compared with its sister services, the Army is falling behind in science and technology even as leadership in these areas is crucial to equipping the ground service for future threats, according to a yet-unreleased Army Science Board study.
To blame are shortfalls in Army-wide S&T management, a lack of competition in awarding research funds, and workforce policies not conducive to attracting top scientists, according to sources familiar with the study's results. Advisers also decry the absence of a strategic plan that would help sharpen the Army's S&T focus and determine which projects to retain in-house and which ones to leave to the commercial sector as funds become scarcer, according to these sources.
The study comes in the wake of two key assessments during recent years that touched on the problems of a significantly overstaffed Army materiel enterprise -- 18,000 excess government workers and contractors, according to an internal assessment from last year -- trying to develop and transition leading-edge technology to soldiers. Army Materiel Command plus the program executive offices under the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology make up what service officials call the "materiel enterprise."
Much more in the full story.
Inside the Navy's top story has coverage of last week's Huntington Ingalls Industries conference call with investors:
HII CEO: Shipbuilding Progress Could Help Company Handle Sequestration
Huntington Ingalls Industries' chief executive officer said last week the company hopes lawmakers can avoid impending defense cuts in 2013. That said, he added that the company is also well-positioned to weather those cuts despite its wide swath of naval shipbuilding programs given HII's progress during the second quarter.
HII President and CEO Mike Petters told investors Aug. 8 during a quarterly earnings call that the company had a strong quarter, which included the announcement of a $2.38 billion contract for detail design and construction of the Tripoli (LHA-7), the Navy's second enhanced-aviation amphibious assault ship. And the company kicked off this quarter with the July announcement of a $1.5 billion contract for detail design and construction of the last amphibious transport dock in the Navy's current shipbuilding plan, LPD-27, the last contract on its to-do list before the budget cuts hit.
Though anything could happen with sequestration -- the automatic budget cuts that will go into effect on Jan. 2, 2013, unless lawmakers can agree on an alternate deficit-reducing plan -- Petters said that he expects that "obligated prior year funds, the ships that are on contract today, are going to stay on contract."
A House lawmaker isn't too happy about the Army's canceling an autonomous navigation system:
Lawmaker Condemns Army Cancellation Of Autonomous Navigation System
In the wake of a report from the government's top auditing agency, a House lawmaker has criticized the Army's cancellation of the vehicle-mounted Autonomous Navigation System as a purely budget-driven decision that did not take the Defense Department's overarching strategy into account.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), the chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee, directed the Government Accountability Office in February to investigate the Army's decision from last fall to terminate ANS. General Dynamics Robotic Systems of Westminster, MD, was the Army's contractor for ANS and is based in Bartlett's congressional district.
"The GAO report validates what was obvious to me because I've followed very closely the history of the Autonomous Navigation System," Bartlett said in an Aug. 10 email. An Army "red team" report from 2011 justifying the cancellation "was an after the fact, cursory, unpersuasive attempt to mask that the Army's decision to terminate the ANS was purely budget-driven. It does not reflect the reality of continuing field requests for unmanned ground vehicles to counter [improvised explosive device] threats."
GAO Report On The Army's Cancellation Of The ANS Program
The Aug. 2, 2012, Government Accountability Office report examined the extent to which the Army demonstrated Autonomous Navigation System capabilities prior to the program's cancellation.
Inside the Navy got some news from a visit to Pax River last week:
Winter: Navy Will Re-Examine Unmanned Assets As They Reach Fleet
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The Navy will take a second look at the numerous unmanned assets that will soon fly missions for the Navy once they reach the field to determine whether the way they are used should be tweaked, the service's incoming head of unmanned aircraft said here recently.
Earlier this year, the Navy awarded MQ-8B Fire Scout manufacturer Northrop Grumman a $262.3 million contract to build eight MQ-8C unmanned aerial systems, which involved taking the avionics and sensors of a Fire Scout and putting them on a Bell 407 helicopter to improve its range and endurance. Rear Adm. Mat Winter, the new program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, told reporters July 31 that the MQ-8C was a rapid deployment capability meant to reach the fleet within 24 months, and "as that matures, our warfighter will then again see how that ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] capability fits into his operational plans."
More unmanned systems news:
Official: Navy To Examine Options For Maneuvering UCAS On Deck
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD -- The Navy will be testing ways to control the Unmanned Combat Air System when it starts testing aboard an aircraft carrier deck for the first time in 2013, Capt. Jaime Engdahl, UCAS program manager, told reporters here recently.
MCWL Developing Autonomous Vehicle Transported By Osprey
FT. PICKETT, VA -- The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab is creating an autonomous vehicle that an MV-22 can transport internally, with the goal of being ready to participate in an experiment in fiscal year 2014, according to a service official.
LEMV's Long-Awaited First Flight Called A Success By the Army
The Army last week completed a 90-minute test flight of the Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, a giant hybrid airship slated to carry a wide array of intelligence sensors when operational, according to a service announcement.
Navy Working With Pentagon, Industry To Improve UAS Data Exploitation
The Navy is participating in a variety of efforts to determine the best way to process the vast amounts of data flooding in with the proliferation of unmanned systems and sensors in general, according to the service.
More Top News.
The rest of Inside the Army's front page:
Officials: New Energy Life Cycle Calculation Will Impact GCV, JLTV
Officials from the Defense Department and the armored vehicle industry weighed in last week on how recent Pentagon guidance aimed at providing greater consistency in measuring energy use is expected to impact programs in development.
Army Mum On Request For More Aircraft Under Canceled Spy Plane Program
Army officials have declined to say what led to an apparent change of heart about the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System, raising questions as to who advocated for the construction of two additional aircraft under the already-canceled program.
. . . As well as the rest of Inside the Navy's front page:
ONR To Develop Common Guided Round For Conventional, Rail Guns
The Office of Naval Research is hoping to develop a hyper-velocity projectile capable of being shot out of both conventional guns and the electromagnetic rail gun, leveraging technology development from several other research programs to create a single product with a low total ownership cost.
Navy Exploring 'Additional Mission Objectives' For E-2D Radar
As the program undergoes initial operational test and evaluation, the Navy is exploring improvements to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft -- specifically, a non-rotating antenna with a 360-degree radar beam, according to a service spokesman.
An upcoming conference of note, this one on cyber issues:
Cyber Resilience For National Security
Defining the Future of the Internet for Measured Security in a Rapidly Advancing Environment
Event Date: 12-14 Sep 2012
Location: Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel, Arlington, VA, USA
From the conference description:
This event will focus on the latest prioritization efforts within the DoD’s cyber security efforts, while bringing together government and industry leaders to discuss the most challenging threats to national cyber security in both the public and private sector.
Our latest cyber-related coverage:
Navy Continues To Analyze Offensive, Defensive Cyber Operations
The Navy will publish a cyber manpower strategy for offensive cyber operations in December, while continuing to work on analyzing defensive cyber operations, according to Navy spokesman Joe Gradisher.
-- John Liang
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