• Rear Adm. Boris Becker, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, speaks during a panel at West 2019. Photo by Michael Carpenter
     Rear Adm. Boris Becker, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, speaks during a panel at West 2019. Photo by Michael Carpenter
  • Panelists at West 2019 discuss information warfare. Photo by Michael Carpenter
     Panelists at West 2019 discuss information warfare. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Lethality of Software

February 15, 2019
By George I. Seffers
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Information is the common denominator for advanced technologies.


Artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced manufacturing, blockchain, 5G, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, data science, cloud computing and cybersecurity all have one thing in common: information.

Rear Adm. Boris Becker, USN, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, made that point during a panel session at the AFCEA-USNI West 2019 Conference in San Diego. “It’s information in warfare and information as warfare,” he added.

The Navy is working to develop many of those technologies to become more lethal in combat operations. To do so, it has built a specialized network for science and technology research known formally as the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Network but informally as “the nerdy net,” Adm. Becker reported.

The network allows the research and development in a DevOps environment, which refers to agile software development, usually in a cloud computing environment. “To deliver lethal capabilities,” Adm. Becker said. “Yeah, lethal capabilities in our software. I’m talking about the ability to command and control the fight. I’m talking about the ability to sense the environment. I’m talking about the ability to direct fires and integrate fires. That’s information at warfare.”

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