Systems in the Pipeline Offer Innovative Effects

January 30, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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A handful of military technologies could have revolutionary effects on the force beyond those already anticipated, according to a panel of experts. Speaking to the audience at AFCEA/USNI West 2013 in San Diego, these military and civilian officials emphasized the need for innovation for the force in times of fiscal shortfalls.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., USMC, Marine Corps representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review, offered that the MV-22 Osprey “will have profound effects in the Pacific.” This aircraft is changing the way that Marines operate from the sea, and more changes will come.

The F-35b fighter aircraft also will be a game changer. Having a vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft will introduce a vital capability, the general offered.

Systems that enable better management of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) may be key to warfighting, said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, USN, commander, Navy Warfare Development Command. The ability to manage ISR is all the more important “when the first person who sees the other will have a significant advantage,” he allowed.

The Navy remains open to innovation, said Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, USN, chief of naval research/director, innovation, technology requirements and test and evaluation. “We know there is no golden bb,” he said, “but if you bring me that secret sauce [innovative item], I’ve got time for that.

“A large portion of my budget is seed corn, and I throw that everywhere,” he declared.

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