Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 7, 2015

Posts in "Technology"

February 6, 2015

Weekly Recap: National Security Strategy, Jordan & Guantanamo

It was almost all about the fiscal 2016 budget proposal and the nomination hearings for a new Defense secretary this week. Almost. Full story

DARPA Video: Jet Space Launch Concept

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been trying to figure out how to make space launches of satellites cheaper. The spaceplane idea is one. The Airborne Launch Assist Space Access idea is another, related one. Full story

January 28, 2015

Military Technology, Enforcement: Answer to White House Drone?

(via U.S. Secret Service)

(via U.S. Secret Service)

This week, a drone landed on the White House lawn thanks to a reportedly drunken pilot, causing a mild security panic. It got President Obama himself talking about the need to regulate drones in civilian airspace. And most everybody agrees that the behind-schedule Federal Aviation Administration regulations in the works would at least clarify some things, if the lawn crash doesn’t slow them down even more. But it might not be the best answer to the security threat posed by civilian drones. Full story

January 23, 2015

Friday Five By Five Q&A: Michael Kugelman on the Obama India Trip

michael-KugelmanThis weekend, President Obama leaves for a major trip to India, following on new Indian President Narendra Modi‘s successful trip to the United States.

Michael Kugelman is the senior program associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He spoke with Five By Five about the defense and security implications of the Obama India trip. Full story

January 9, 2015

Weekly Recap: F-35, Ashton Carter, Republican Presidential Candidates

It was a week of Batman references, Yoda and ray guns at Five By Five, yet also a week of grown-up things, like the military budget. Full story

January 8, 2015

Pew Pew Pew: Video of Military Ray Gun

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEhmFp-Gvyc

The Active Denial System has been sort of touring U.S. military bases, Camp Pendleton most recently last month. The above footage, posted by Gung Ho Videos Tuesday, is typical: People get hit by the radiation weapon, then they run. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 7:15 a.m.
Technology

January 7, 2015

Navy Official on Needs: Fewer Acquisition Regulations, More Cyber Capabilities

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies above an Indonesian navy helicopter Bell-420 (on the ground) as Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko (unseen) visits during search and transfer operations for bodies of passengers of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun on Jan. 6. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies above an Indonesian navy helicopter Bell-420 (on the ground) as Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko (unseen) visits during search and transfer operations for bodies of passengers of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun on Jan. 6. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

The Navy’s top acquisition and R&D official on Wednesday outlined his needs, which included: no new acquisition regulations from Congress, and, in fact, fewer; more spending on cyber and electronic warfare and offensive surface warfare; and the end of the across-the-board cuts of sequestration (what Defense official doesn’t say that one in every speech?). Full story

January 6, 2015

Lockheed Martin on F-35: No Gun Software Glitch; Sensor Upgrades Expected

An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts its first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) on Nov. 3, 2014 at sea in the Pacific Ocean. (Kelly M. Agee/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts its first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) on Nov. 3, 2014 at sea in the Pacific Ocean. (Kelly M. Agee/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

On Monday we shared some bad news stories about the F-35’s gun and its sensor system. Contractor Lockheed Martin, which had not responded publicly at the time, offered this response: Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:36 a.m.
Navy, Procurement, Technology

January 5, 2015

Does 3-D Printing Threaten the Defense Industry?

A replica of the skeleton of King Richard III, created using 3-D printing, is displayed in the new visitor's centre on the site where his remains were discovered, in Leicester, central England, in July, 2014. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

A replica of the skeleton of King Richard III, created using 3-D printing, is displayed in the new visitor’s centre on the site where his remains were discovered, in Leicester, central England, in July, 2014. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

3-D printing is good for more than just creating amazing Batman costume replicas. It could “revolutionize” the defense industry. And if you’re a defense contractor, that might not be such a great thing. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 8:21 a.m.
Personnel, Technology

December 29, 2014

National Security in the New Year

New Year's Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

New Year’s Eve numerals arrive in Times Square prior to installation atop One Times Square, at Times Square on Dec. 16. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

There are big changes afoot in 2015: a new Congress, a new Pentagon chief, an evolving battlefield. Here’s a look ahead to some of the developments you can expect, as covered here in 2014 by Five By Five. Full story

December 18, 2014

A-10 Goes to War Against ISIS in Iraq, After Winning War in Congress

A U.S. flight technician checks the body of a A-10 Thunderbolt parked on the tarmac at the Namest air force base near Brno where it is taking part in joint NATO military exercises in 2012.  (Radek Mica/AFP/GettyImages)

A U.S. flight technician checks the body of a A-10 Thunderbolt parked on the tarmac at the Namest air force base near Brno where it is taking part in joint NATO military exercises in 2012.
(Radek Mica/AFP/GettyImages)

The A-10 was one of the biggest and most controversial weapons systems on the chopping block in Obama’s budget, and Congress refused to do the chopping last week. Now, the close air support plane commonly known as the Warthog is firing at ISIS in Iraq. Full story

December 17, 2014

Spy Blimp Opens New Front in Security Vs. Privacy Debate

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QEozkZNIdo

The argument gets tiresome because it’s not necessarily either/or, of course, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t sometimes a conflict: “Security vs. privacy” is back at it with the media getting a peak Wednesday in Maryland at the new spy blimp (technically, aerostat) meant to detect incoming cruise missiles on the East Coast. Full story

December 16, 2014

The Army’s Future is in Leadership, Technology, McMaster Says

The Army of 10 years from now is, most of all, going to need leaders, according to any Army official charged with examining the future of the service. It’s going to need to be prepared for threats from countries, like Russia and North Korea, and non-state actors, like ISIS. It’s going to need to keep improving its technology and integrating it, and adjusting to the fact the enemy is getting better technologically, too.

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster kept returning to the “leadership” part Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. McMaster’s title is “Director, Army Capabilities and Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.” He also happens to be one of Time‘s 100 most influential people this year.

“What we’re working on, really, is ways we can develop in leaders naturalistic decision-making,” he said.

And: “Once you give up land force capability, it’s not super-easy to regenerate it,” he said. And: “To grow an Army, you can grow privates fast,” he said, but above that, would-be leaders get formative experiences in combat “that give them the knowledge and the confidence to lead soldiers into battle. You can’t have that overnight.”

On technology, McMaster said adversaries are learning to counter U.S. technological advantages with such tools as cyber attacks or GPS jamming. They’re also “emulating our capabilities,” such as by obtaining access to technology with cyber theft. That means the Army needs to keep innovating, and one area of potential, McMaster said, is the ongoing growth of “autonomous and semi-autonomous systems,” beyond just weapons and into things like logistics. (That said, he’s warned of over-reliance on tech before.)

December 15, 2014

Navy Tests Underwater Spy Fish Drone

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLRd-iy7STA

It’s called Ghostswimmer (or Project Silent Nemo) and it wiggles in the water like a fish.  It is pretty realistic, that Navy spy fish drone. Full story

December 12, 2014

Weekly Recap: Torture Report Times Infinity, Laser Cannon, ISIS

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REHt44BuASk

It was a bonkers week in the national security world. We had the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Bush administration-era detention and interrogation practices dominating the news to such a degree that the mammoth “cromnibus” spending bill for the Defense Department and other agencies was overshadowed. Even a video of a real life laser cannon – a laser cannon!!!! – couldn’t steal much of the spotlight. Full story

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