The fall of the Syrian government would not be good news for Israel. It could, among other perils, trigger another massive dump of arms—including ballistic and air defense missiles as well as chemical weapons of mass destruction—onto the black market.
“What will happen to Bashar [Assad, Syria's president] is very interesting to us, but it is also a great mystery,” says Col. Erez Viezel, a conceptual planner for Israeli Defense Intelligence (IDI). “We want to know how much control he has over the things that threaten us.”
Key portions of the U.S. Navy's most sophisticated electronic attack weapon are emerging from the laboratories. At least two candidate elements—a reduced-signature pod and an advanced power generating system from Northrop Grumman—are flying.
The $2 billion Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) program—that would allow combat aircraft to penetrate sophisticated air defenses—is expected to be awarded to a single contractor almost exactly a year from now.
The future of large aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) is undergoing a major change, with many older, tested designs shuffling toward retirement.
Replacing them are penetrating manned and unmanned combat aircraft—including F-22, F-35 and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) with enhanced, non-traditional ISR integrated with their attack capabilities. In addition, these designs will be linked with other stealth platforms on and under the sea and in space.
The specter of sequestration is not yet affecting either U.S. Air Force or Navy planning, nor is it slowing down the services' decision to enter contracts, say top commanders.
But it is undermining the defense industry and executives making long- range plans must consider whether to buy long-lead items for projects that could be at risk, military leaders contend. Those early decisions could affect the success and shape of new AirSea Battle plans.
After years of frustration in the development of cybertools, cyberpolicy and cybercommand and control, both the White House and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have new initiatives.
Plan X is Darpa's concept to improve cyberwarfare weaponry, define operational employment and deflect counterattacks. The program is expected to invest $110 million into research during the next five years to support offensive military operations.