The three-year old Cyber Resiliency Office for Weapons Systems, known as CROWS, created by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, has set about making cyber resiliency a part of the U.S. Air Force. As a problem solver for the service, the organization is elevating the cybersecurity of weapons systems, improving the Air Force’s training in cyber and adding cyber resiliency components where uniquely needed, Joseph Bradley, SES, director of CROWS, told SIGNAL Magazine in an interview. Bradley also serves as the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-Hanscom’s Engineering and Technical Management associate director.
On top of other defenses, the U.S. Air Force is turning to a persistent cybersecurity model to guard its major weapon systems. Led by the Air Combat Command, which took on the service’s Cyber Mission from the Air Force Space Command last year, the service’s integration of cybersecurity includes deploying protective crews to its key airborne platforms and infrastructure.
Raytheon, Tucson, Arizona, is awarded $246,495,123 for an undefinitized contract action, performance-based logistics requirements contract for repair, upgrade, or replacement, required availability, required reliability, configuration management, inventory management and obsolescence management in support of the Close-In Weapon System, Land-based Phalanx Weapon System, Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) and SeaRAM. This contract includes a two-year base period with one three-year option, which if exercised, will bring the contract ceiling value to $466,395,931. Work will be performed in Louisville, Kentucky, and work is expected to be completed by August 2021; if the option is exercised, work will be completed by August 2024.
The Boeing Co., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has been awarded a $14,314,300,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the modification, modernization, engineering, sustainment and test of the B-1/B-52 weapons systems. This B-1/B-52 Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment contract provides for the upcoming modernization and sustainment efforts to increase lethality, enhance survivability, improve supportability, and increase responsiveness. Work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is expected to be complete by April 11, 2029. Fiscal year 2019 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,215,568 are being obligated on the first task order at the time of award.
Advances in automated cyber weapons are fueling the fires of war in cyberspace and enabling criminals and malicious nation-states to launch devastating attacks against thinly stretched human defenses. Allied forces must collaborate and deploy best-of-breed evaluation, validation and remediation technologies just to remain even in an escalating cyber arms race.
Cyber right now is the the cat’s meow—a notion sure to keep funding flowing for technological solutions, at least in the near term, to counter the emerging threats, according to Col. Gary Salmans, USAF, senior materiel leader of the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division within the Air Force Materiel Command.