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Technology Cost and Complexity Killing U.S.

July 23, 2014
By George I. Seffers

DARPA director describes a global shift in the technology environment that poses a national threat.

U.S. Navy's UCLASS System Comes Under Fire

July 18, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Navy's pet project for a carrier-launched unmanned aerial vehicle came under fire by experts this week, who told a congressional subcommittee that the sea service’s proposal is redundant, already obsolete and will leave naval forces with a vulnerable platform.

Identifying Malaysian Airline Shootdown Source May Be Difficult

July 17, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The missile system claimed by a Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser to be responsible for the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine is manufactured in Ukraine and is in use by both Ukrainian and Russian military forces. If the missile system is confirmed as the cause of the crash, determining which side fired it could be difficult.

Defense Department IG Launches Campaign on Whistleblower Rights for Contractors

July 17, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General launched Thursday a social media and poster campaign to spread the word of whistleblower protections afforded to defense contractors and subcontractors.

U.S. Marines Assess Robotic Systems in Jungle Environment

July 16, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab wraps up experiments testing multiple systems, including robots, radios and ship-to-shore transporters in Hawaii.

Software Programs Aid Intelligence Analysts In Hunt for the Enemy

July 16, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Where human analysis might fail in the intelligence community, technological solutions are at the ready to fill the void. Companies are ginning up software programs that can prove to be key for intelligence analysts as they track the bad guys—be they insider threats or an outside enemy.

Army, Navy Hardware Influence Air Force Satellite Links

July 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

When the U.S. Air Force needed a new secure satellite communications system, one company was able to show up at the starting line with an 80 percent solution based on an existing product line serving the Army and the Navy.

How the Marine Corps Uses Predictive Analysis and Modeling

August 1, 2014
By James Smerchansky

Q: How does the Marine Corps use predictive analysis and modeling to identify affordable technical alternatives throughout a program's life cycle?

A: The Marine Corps is using a model-based systems approach and a variety of technologies to improve the entire acquisition process.

Defense Department weapon systems typically have a large number of requirements with different and competing relationships. These relationships are often difficult to identify and may remain unknown before system development and integration. Modeling tools provide the department with the capability to better understand the relationships between cost, schedule, risk and performance before requirements are finalized and major costs are incurred. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), as the Department of the Navy’s systems command for Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology system programs, is transitioning from a document-based, sequential systems-engineering approach to a model-based engineering approach to better understand and inform requirements prior to major milestones and contract awards. The foundation for this transformation has been the implementation of model-based systems engineering based on the application of the Systems Modeling Language (SysML). MCSC developed a unique SysML-based tool, the Framework for Assessing Cost and Technology (FACT), which allows concurrent tradespace analysis and incorporates the technological advantages of a model-based engineering approach to acquisition.

FACT is a government-owned, Web-based tool that provides the framework to integrate disparate data and models into a single-decision support environment that permits concurrent engineering and cost analysis. It allows for near real-time first- and second-order assessments of the impacts on cost of requirements, design and performance changes.

We Really Have a Failure to Communicate

August 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

Recent reverses in Iraq and Afghanistan have led some experts, both appointed and self-designated, to complain that the facts on the ground may be bad enough—and they are—but far worse is the ignorance of the U.S. citizenry on what supposedly is really at stake in sand-blasted Mesopotamia or on the stony heights of the Hindu Kush.

The Future of Modeling and Simulation for U.S. Army Tactical Networks


August 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center has created a system to streamline testing, rid unneeded and redundant analysis and even eliminate duplicative spending. The new system addresses the challenge of how technological advances to some Army tactical equipment have outpaced improvements program managers can use to test changes to equipment before fielding.

It is all part of the up-and-coming Modeling, Emulation, Simulation Tool for Analysis (MODESTA), touted by Army officials as a holistic tactical modeling and simulation program used to test the functionality and compatibility of future technologies either with each other or with legacy systems. It provides a large-scale, tactical network analysis environment so engineers and analysts can conduct realistic, operational scenarios on live hardware, such as tactical radios, routers or satellite dishes. “As all of these network nodes are moving around on the battlespace, it becomes quite complex,” says Dan Duvak, the division chief at the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). “So a system-of-systems approach, and an early systems engineering approach to tackling new technologies and how they work with existing technologies in the field, is really what we’re getting after.”

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