Forging the bonds of business



$98 Billion Expected for Military Drone Market (

Global spending on unmanned aerial vehicles is poised for a major expansion in the coming decade as militaries invest about $98 billion in new intelligence gathering and strike capabilities, experts say.

The Teal Group, an aerospace and defense industry market analysis firm, expects worldwide research-and-development and procurement spending on drones to rise from a projected $11.1 billion in 2020 to $14.3 billion by 2029 — nearly a 30 percent increase. R&D spending is forecasted to grow from $3.2 billion in 2020 to $4 billion in 2029, and procurement funding is projected to ramp up from $7.9 billion in 2020 to about $10.3 billion by the end of the decade.

“UAVs remains one of the most dynamic sectors” in the defense market, said senior analyst Steve Zaloga, co-author of the Teal Group’s recently released … (read more)


The Navy will build tactical cyber teams (

The Navy will create tactical cyber teams in early 2020 as part of an order from the service’s top officer.

In a new strategy document released Dec. 4, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said he wanted the service to develop a plan to field small tactical cyber teams by February 2020. He directed the Information Warfare Type Command and Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet to make it happen.

“I want to give tactical cyber teams, small tactical cyber teams to fleet commanders so that we can confuse the enemy and put ourselves in a … (read more)


Pentagon Eyeing More Advanced Virtual, Augmented Reality Headwear (

Technology improvements driven by the commercial sector are expected to yield virtual and augmented reality goggles that solve many of the problems associated with the headsets being used by the U.S. military today, experts say.

Virtual reality, or VR, immerses users in a computer generated environment, such as video gaming. Augmented reality, or AR, transposes data or other digitally created images on top of a real-world field of view, such as the yellow first-down marker or the orange strike zone box that TV viewers see when watching football or baseball games.

VR and AR headgear can improve the way troops train for high-end fights against advanced adversaries by providing digitally created enemy forces or other environmental factors that they might … (read more)


Textron publicly unveils Next Generation Squad Weapon prototypes (

Diversified manufacturer Textron showcased prototypes of the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) in public for the first time during the 2019 Maneuver Warfighter Conference at the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

The revolutionary weapon system was introduced in two high-performance versions, the 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapon – Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR) and Next Generation Squad Weapon – Rifle (NGSW-R). The NGSW-AR will replace the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, in the Automatic Rifleman Role, and the NGSW-R will replace the M4/M41 Carbine in Brigade Combat Teams.

The goal of NGSW is to improve lethality, mobility and situational awareness of … (read more)


Future wars will be won with open mission systems (

When Apple debuted its revolutionary iPad in 2010, the company made a decision that would have profound effects on technology development. Apple wisely chose to have an open-door policy for all kinds of apps, unleashing the creative brilliance of companies large and small to build everything from Google Earth to Skype.

The genius of today’s tablet and smartphone technology is that they are portable newspapers, shopping carts, TVs and many other things. The engineering and business lessons are important for the military. For too many decades we have purchased weapons that could not be further removed from the iPad and today’s ever-evolving, interconnected tech world.

Metaphorically speaking, the military services have been in the hardware-buying business for too long. For decades we have purchased weapons that … (read more)


The data challenge of space-based hypersonics defense (

Managing data is the biggest challenge to developing a new space-based sensor layer that would help detect hypersonic weapons, the director of the Missile Defense Agency said Oct. 7.

The agency is working toward building the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor, a layer of sensors on orbit that would be capable of detecting and tracking hypersonic weapons that the nation’s current missile defense architecture was not designed to handle. The new system will be built into the Space Development Agency’s constellation of … (read more)


Active protection systems demo hits dead end for Stryker; US Army evaluates next steps (

WASHINGTON — After evaluating two active protection systems in a demonstration late last fall and determining neither were the right fit for the Stryker, the U.S. Army is now evaluating how to protect one of its critical combat vehicles.

“Unfortunately for Stryker, we have not found a system that is suitable for the platform,” Col. Glenn Dean, Stryker project manager told Defense News, said in a June 7 interview.

The Army has found interim APS for both its Abrams tank and Bradley infantry fighting vehicle but has struggled to find one for the Stryker. The service moved quickly to … (read more)


Army Charts New Path for Air and Missile Defense (

To counter new and evolving weapons on the battlefield, the Army has created a new roadmap aimed at beefing up its air-and-missile defense force.

The document — released in March — outlines the service’s vision for its systems and soldiers from now through 2028 to help prepare it for multi-domain operations. The last time the Army released such a blueprint was about four years ago, Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general of Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, told reporters.

“The operational environment has definitely changed and become more complex,” he said. Additionally, there is “more of a great power competition,” he noted at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

In support of the 2018 national defense strategy, the Army must have air-and-missile defense forces that can … (read more)


Coming soon to the US Army: Combat-capable hypersonic and laser weapons (

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army will field a hypersonic weapon and a directed-energy weapon in less than four years, with the Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office leading the charge, according to the RCCTO director.

The office will deliver a battery of combat-capable long-range hypersonic weapons to soldiers by 2023, and it will field a battery of Stryker combat vehicles with 50-kilowatt lasers by late FY22, Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood told reporters during a media roundtable at the Pentagon on June 4.

Thurgood is the director of hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, where he oversees the development of … (read more)


Marine and Army squads could get this new 40 mm laser guided grenade round (

Marines and soldiers will no longer need to use “Kentucky windage” to put 40 mm grenades on target if the two branches field Raytheon’s laser guided Pike munition.

The new 40 mm round is guided by semi-active laser designators, meaning the munition will home in on a target that has been lased and destroy it with precision, according to Townsend Blanchard, a senior manager with Raytheon’s land warfare systems.

The Pike is an anti-personnel and anti-light skinned vehicle precision munition that boasts an extended range of nearly 2 km — far surpassing the roughly 300–400 meter range of … (read more)