As I surfed the internet for military news, I came across so many reports of US military technology plans, deployments, and projects there’s no way they can even be listed here. The news is a kaleidoscope of massively expensive advanced technology and massive expense. Here are just a few news items:
We don’t want our military to be crippled by cyber attacks. Here is a “progress report” on the “Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)”, which is “an effort to secure the defense industrial base supply chain.” Those who build every part of every machine and piece of equipment will be required to be cybersecurity-certified by the DoD. A brief look at that site will tell you this is a complex and serious effort. Translation: security costs money and is inconvenient, but not nearly as expensive or inconvenient as a security breach
July 2nd: A while back I did an article on the importance of Artificial intelligence to the military. It is rapidly becoming reality: “How AI will help control the Army’s fighting vehicles:
“… We don’t want soldiers to be operating these remote-controlled vehicles with their heads down, constantly paying attention to the vehicle in order to control it. We want these [vehicle control] systems to be fully autonomous so that these soldiers can do their jobs and these autonomous systems can work as teammates and perform effectively in the battlefield … teams of Army robots conducted a ‘deep assault through a breach’ during an exercise last year … there ‘was not a single soldier in any vehicle’ conducting the initial breach …”
August 27th: The US Navy is also working to expand its current small ghost fleet” of AI ships. “The Navy’s current Ghost Fleet project is already demonstrating how groups of Unmanned Surface Vehicles can draw upon AI, computer automation and advanced networking to operate [without the need for human input] … The Navy is now moving quickly to acquire an entire fleet of … [Unmanned Surface Vehicles]. Concurrently, the Navy is also fast-tracking a new fleet of underwater drones …”
The Army is also working on laser weapons: “… laser weapons today are on the verge of entering wide-scale service … in the hands of infantry, mounted on trucks, armored vehicles, warships and even Air Force fighters … The Army hopes that ground-based lasers will provide an effective and cost-efficient means to defend against two major new threats which threaten to overwhelm existing air defenses: drones and surface-skimming cruise missiles … both were employed in a recent attack that knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil production—despite the facilities being covered by both short- and long-range air defense systems.”
“The Air Force will send its Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR) overseas this fall for operational field experiments, with Army warfighters in particular keen to get their hands on drone-killing systems. In fact, the Army has so much confidence in the Air Force’s microwave experiments that it’s decided to focus its own R&D dollars on lasers and let the Air Force take the lead developing microwave weapons that might be used by both services.” Full story here.
None too soon: “A day after firing warning missiles in the South China Sea, China’s Defense Ministry said that Beijing ‘opposes and does not fear the United States’ … Beijing also lodged ‘stern representations’ after a US spy plane was detected flying over a no-fly zone set up by PLA in the Bohai Sea.”
More on China: “The Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) plans to procure 1.4 million units of bullet proof vests worth 13 billion yuan ($1.85 billion) in the coming two years as it prepares for possible military conflicts against ‘Taiwan secessionists and US provocations.’ “
Although Japan seems to be re-focusing on offensive rather than defensive weapons systems , “… South Korea is still in the process of buying four block 30 Global Hawks, the first of which was delivered in April. Further south, Australia purchased six MQ-4C Tritons — the maritime version of the Global Hawk — with the first three to be delivered between 2023 and 2025 … the allies have started to build a powerful, long-endurance sensor layer, along with its attendant supply chain … That sort of capability would fit within plans the Indo-Pacific Command pitched to the Trump administration earlier this year to invest billions in joint infrastructure across the region.“
Funny, the US seems to be building an international coalition of allies, encouraging some and attempting to awe others into cooperation. Details here: “US allies will get their first hands-on taste of the new American way of war this fall during the annual Bold Quest multinational exercise led by the Joint Staff … service leaders — from Vice JCS Chair Gen. John Hyten to former Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein to Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of Air Forces Europe and Africa — have stressed the US will need to be able to incorporate allies into the future network.”
August 25th: The question arises as to how all these vastly expensive programs will be paid for. “… ‘the already excessive and unsustainable financial costs to maintain and modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal could soar even higher if the [START II] treaty expires in five months with nothing to replace it and the United States choses to increase the size of the arsenal’ … the need for transparency into each other’s nuclear force structure to serve as a brake on a run-away arms race was the entire reason behind the US-Soviet arms control treaties in the first place.”
And we haven’t even spoken about the cost of the new US Space Force. “The Trump administration’s $740.5 billion budget request for national defense in 2021 includes $15.4 billion for the U.S. Space Force, according to documents released by the Pentagon on Feb. 10.”
To all our Troops and Veterans, Have a safe and blessed RED Friday!