Log on the Web
By Kirsten Ashbaugh
Innovative Battery System Lightens the Load for Troops
“Commanders in Afghanistan issued a plea for the weight of essential power sources for radios and other communications equipment used on front line patrols to be reduced.
“And, just months later, a team of energy experts at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and the Integrated Soldier Systems Executive (ISSE) at Abbey Wood have come up with an ingenious solution tailor-made for operations.
“The Soldier Portable Charger (SPC) harvests energy from used batteries, solar panels and even vehicles and transfers it into a soldier’s spares….” Read more.
Northrop Grumman Will Turn Global Hawk into Refueling Tanker
“Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded a $33-million Pentagon contract to transform its unmanned, long-range spy plane into a roving robotic aerial refueling tanker.
“The plane, dubbed the Global Hawk, is used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions over Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. military. Northrop plans to retrofit the plane so it can carry 1,000 gallons of jet fuel in its fuselage and demonstrate it can autonomously refuel another Global Hawk in midair by next year….” Read more.
General James Mattis Chosen to Head Central Command
“Marine Gen. James Mattis, currently commander of Joint Forces Command, will replace Gen. David Petraeus as the next commander of Central Command. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the announcement at an afternoon Pentagon press conference. the move suyprised some observers, who believed Mattis had shown himself to be too outspoken as JFCom leader.
“If confirmed by the Senate, the blunt-speaking Mattis will bring considerable regional experience to his new post. He served as a battalion commander during 1991’s Desert Storm, commanded Marine forces in Afghanistan in 2001 and commanded the Marines in Iraq during the invasion in 2003 and during the bloody fight for Fallujah during 2004….” Read more.
BAE Systems Unveils New UAV Stealth Aircraft
“A high-tech British roboplane capable of attacking targets as far away as Afghanistan was unveiled by defense contractor BAE Systems in the U.K. Monday.
“The prototype roboplane, named Taranis after the Celtic god of thunder, took four years to build and cost £143 million ($215 million).
“The plane is unique in that it can fly itself, without piloting from the ground. It is equipped with two internal bomb bays to carry a wide range of weapons….” Read more.
U.S. Plans “Cyber Shield” for Private Companies, Utilities
“The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed “Perfect Citizen” to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.
“The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government’s chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn’t persistently monitor the whole system, these people said….” Read more.
Major Cyber Security Conference Scheduled for Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore
“Singapore will host the first Regional Collaboration in Cyber Security conference from July 13-14 at the Shangri-La Hotel. The conference will cover cyber terrorism, information operations, cyber warfare, wireless hacking and cyber crime.
“The U.S. National Defense University (NDU) Information Resources Management College (NDU iCollege) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Institute of Systems Science (ISS) are jointly hosting the conference….” Read more.
U.S. Contractor Use in Iraq Must Rise as U.S. Military Withdraws
“As the U.S. military pulls troops and equipment out of Iraq, the State Department will have to rely increasingly on contractors to perform such services as flying rescue helicopters and disarming roadside bombs, a congressional commission warned.
“That is not an ideal solution but none other seems available, members of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan said during a July 12 hearing.
“While the Defense Department works to reduce its dependence on contractors, the State Department will have to greatly increase its use of hired help….” Read more.
U.S. Defense Budget Predictions By Lou Crenshaw, Vice Admiral U.S. Navy (Retired)
“After a sustained period of sizable increases, growth in the DoD budget is expected to slow considerably starting in 2011. Defense discretionary spending is likely to be constrained by built-in budget pressures, both external and internal to the department. Mandatory non-military spending (such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) as well as new administration initiatives, will limit the total amount of budgetary authority given to DoD by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)….” Read more.
***Posted on July 14th, 2010