A number of advanced unmanned aircraft systems are poised to enter service with military forces across Europe. This is the result of a continentwide investment in robotic aerial vehicles representing advances in current vehicles and new platforms. The aircraft all share a modular design approach for rapid mission customization and versatility.
A major U.S. Defense Department research program is developing lightweight, miniaturized, low-power radios for dismounted infantry and support equipment. The program, which is part of an initiative to replace the current generation of military radios, has drawn competing design teams from across the defense industry.
Interoperability is a key issue in the move toward advanced software definable radio systems. Lessons learned from operation Desert Storm indicated a need for greater communications between the services during combat, necessitating the development of radios sharing common waveforms usable by all the services and that can be rapidly reprogrammed in the field.
In the near future, U.S. Army units will benefit from high-speed, high-capacity data networks that will connect every unit, from individual infantrymen to headquarters units. However, to realize this vision, hurdles such as managing mobile ad hoc networks and providing beyond-line-of-sight communications in a fluid combat environment must be addressed.
The changing composition of the semiconductor industry, combined with foreign government action that has leveraged market forces, has resulted in the shift of chip manufacturing from the United States to offshore locations, particularly China and East Asia. This migration has substantial national security ramifications, as the transformation of this nation's military into a network-centric force requires high-end semiconductor chips to provide the processing power for numerous defense applications.
By Ray Miller, Regional Vice President, Virginia Region
Being an AFCEAN for many years gives one a unique perspective on what makes AFCEA International so successful. As with any good organization, AFCEA comprises several elements that work well together. And, as for any organization that has continued to thrive over several decades, an examination of AFCEA's successes should help pinpoint areas to make the association as a whole even stronger.
With the Pacific Command's area of responsibility covering 51 percent of the Earth's surface, making information technology work to break the distance barrier is essential to the security of the Asia-Pacific region. This fact was emphasized to more than 3,000 attendees throughout AFCEA's TechNet Asia-Pacific 2003 Conference and Exposition. Held November 4-6 in Honolulu, the 18th annual event examined topics such as getting timely information to the correct person; sharing information; information security; policy, strategy, doctrine and organizational transformation; and the government/military/industry team. Senior military speakers and panelists discussed these themes as the requirements necessary to defeat "the tyranny of distance."
It's time for us to admit that operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom both were victories for the command and control capability provided by the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA. The military's communications provider rose to the occasion and served up a platter of bandwidth to information-hungry network-centric forces. The result was two overwhelming victories that reinforced the concept of information as the linchpin for U.S. military supremacy.
Shrinking military budgets and stagnating sales are placing pressure on European defense firms to survive by merging. Companies seeking to do business on the Continent must be especially enterprising to find opportunities in this tight market.
Future warfighters will benefit from enhanced information technology infrastructure and hardware as well as support services being developed by the U.S. Defense Department. As a part of its ongoing transformation efforts, the military is changing established cultural and business practices to meet the computing needs of widely dispersed U.S. forces.
The first satellite of a long-awaited U.S. Defense Department surveillance and early warning system is back on track to orbit in less than three years. The spacecraft, with sophisticated infrared sensors to detect, track and analyze missiles in flight, is part of a new generation of highly capable spacecraft poised to form the core of the United States' future global surveillance and early warning architecture.
Space is the watchtower of modern nations, and reconnaissance and observation platforms are the sentries. Designed to support national and theater ballistic missile defense systems, the new satellites will enhance warfighters' global and regional situational awareness.