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SENATE PASSES FY18 DEFENSE POLICY BILL
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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Source: Martin Falbisoner


Source: Martin Falbisoner


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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate passed its version of the FY18 defense authorization bill on September 18 by a vote of 89-8. The legislation recommends a sizeable increase in military spending in FY18, but the Budget Control Act and continued congressional gridlock will prevent that increase from coming to fruition.

The Senate Arms Services Committee is calling for $700 billion in total national security spending, including $640 billion in the base budget and $60 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. The Pentagon's base budget accounts for approximately 95.7 percent of all national security spending. The $640 billion figure comprises $610.9 billion for the Pentagon, $21.2 billion for defense programs in the Department of Energy, and $7.9 billion for other defense-related activities. The combined national security spending exceeds BCA caps by $91 billion.

The SASC increased DoD acquisition coffers by nearly $28 billion in its markup. Unlike its counterpart in the House, the SASC included all of the additional funding in the base budget. The committee recommends procurement funding increases of $11.4 billion for the Navy, $6.7 billion for the Army, $5.7 billion for the Air Force, and $627.1 million for Defense-Wide agencies. RDT&E funding rises by a combined $3.3 billion in the Senate bill.

The House version of the defense policy bill recommends around $696 billion in total national security spending, comprising $667.4 billion for the Pentagon, $20.9 billion for the DoE, and $7.9 billion for other activities. The Pentagon funding includes $74.6 billion in the OCO account, which is not subject to spending caps.

House appropriators, meanwhile, included $658.1 billion for the Pentagon in their budget markup earlier this year, which includes $73.9 billion in the OCO account. Senate appropriators have not released their markup of the FY18 budget, but they have indicated that they will adhere to BCA spending limits. In the end, it is the appropriators who have the final say on defense spending, as they do not have to adhere to levels established in the authorization bills. Despite the fact that both armed services committees are calling for massive increases in FY18 spending, but final appropriations bill will likely fail to even approach those levels. In fact, the final FY18 appropriations bill may actually fall below the amount requested by the White House, depending on how negotiations over BCA spending limits proceed over the coming months.

Source:  Forecast International - International Military Markets
Associated URL: http://www.forecastinternational.com
Source Date: September 19, 2017
Author: S. McDougall, Defense Analyst 
Posted: 09/19/2017

 
 
SSL SELECTED TO HELP USAF TEST AND VALIDATE SCENARIOS FOR HOSTING PAYLOADS
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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SSL concept of GEO satellite with a hosted payload

Source: SSL


SSL concept of GEO satellite with a hosted payload

Source: SSL


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PALO ALTO, Calif. - SSL has been selected by Innoflight, Inc. to provide a high fidelity simulation environment for testing the security of hosted payloads on commercial satellites. The capability, which is being developed for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) as part of its Secure IP Payload Accommodation Demonstration Project, will enable SMC to demonstrate cybersecure payload hosting scenarios, concepts of operation, and cybersecurity controls.

The capability will also demonstrate advanced, secure internet protocol connections between a government payload operations center and the hosted payload using the existing satellite operator’s networking infrastructure, eliminating the high cost of specialized space to ground communication systems.

Under a hosted payload scheme, a government will pay a commercial satellite operator to install a government-developed payload on board a commercially operated satellite. Hosted payloads offer promise to both the military and commercial satellite operators by providing a low-cost way to get military payloads into orbit while providing satellite operators with a ready source of cash.

A few hosted payload contracts have been signed, such as one between the U.S. Air Force and SES for the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) and another between the Australian Defence Force and Intelsat for a UHF payload. However, hosted payloads have not caught on as quickly as some in the industry had hoped. The government needs to establish funding sources, standardize business practices, and coordinate military and commercial timetables before hosted payloads are likely to gain acceptance.

SSL will use its experience building satellites that include hosted payloads to demonstrate secure interface platforms. These secure platforms to communicate with the hosted payload are extremely important for the DoD to be able to use the payload.

Source:  MDA Corp
Associated URL: http://mdacorporation.com/corporate/news-archive?article=pr2017091901
Source Date: September 19, 2017
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 09/19/2017

 
 
AIR FORCE SECRETARY OUTLINES FORWARD-LOOKING CHANGES, PRIORITIES
Monday, September 18, 2017
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B-1B leaving Guam for South Korean airspace

Source: US Air Force


B-1B leaving Guam for South Korean airspace

Source: US Air Force


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WASHINGTON - Air Force Secretary Heather A. Wilson spoke September 18 at the Annual Air and Space Conference here, detailing changes designed to drive the Air Force forward and priorities that include restoring readiness and cost-effectively modernizing the force.

At the conference, sponsored by the Air Force Association, Wilson outlined the state of the force.

"Now that I've been here in this seat for four months ... there are some things we've done to drive forward the U.S. Air Force," Wilson said.

The Air Force has put forward a budget that begins to restore the force’s readiness so it can win any fight, any time, she added.

"We're moving forward with the modernization of our strategic nuclear deterrent with the KC-46 [Pegasus] tanker, the B-21 [Raider] bomber [and] the F-35 [Lightning II] fighter so that we can increase the lethality of the force, and we’ve established a new deputy chief of staff for space," Wilson said.

"We have a live-fly experiment with four light-attack aircraft ... and we've started to simplify Air Force instructions and policies so that we stop telling airmen how to do everything," she said to a burst of applause, " ... and tell them what to do and let them surprise us with their ingenuity."

The Air Force also recently hosted a workforce summit to chart a course for developing exceptional leaders who will lead the world's most powerful teams, Wilson said, and it has raised incentive pay for officers and enlisted aircrew and expanded the aviation bonus program.

"We're off to a good start but there's much more to do," the former Air Force pilot added.

Air Force Priorities

The Air Force has established priorities driven by the needs of the nation, she said, among them restoring readiness to win any fight, any time.

"Readiness is first and foremost about people," Wilson added. "We've got to be bigger in order to meet the demands of the missions we've been given. The chief and I will work on steadily increasing our end strength in order to defend the nation."

Readiness is also about training, she said.

Air crews must get the time they need for training in contested environments and for the high-end fights and nuclear deterrence missions the force will be testing them on, Wilson said.

Training and exercises must continue to challenge Air Force men and women across the range of operations, she said, "which means we have to get larger in order for them to be ready for that fight."

And readiness includes restocking the decreasing supply of munitions, she added.

"While the precision of our weapons is unparalleled, we are using critical munitions faster than we are producing them," Wilson said, " ... The Air Force has expended more than 54,000 precision munitions against [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] since 2014."

Precision weapons have changed the way the U.S. military fights, she said, and these weapons and "exquisite intelligence allow us to destroy our enemies while minimizing casualties. We will continue to work closely with our industry partners to manage production."

Effective Modernization

Wilson said another priority for the Air Force is to modernize -- cost-effectively -- to increase the lethality of the force.

"The average age of our aircraft is 28 years old. We have to be able to evolve faster, to respond faster than our potential adversaries. We’ve got a bow wave of modernization coming across the board for the Air Force over the next 10 years -- it's bombers, it's fighters, it's tankers, it's satellites, it's helicopters and it's our nuclear deterrent," she said.

Such modernization must start with getting acquisition right -- being a good buyer for what warfighters need, she added.

"The first squadron of fully capable F-35s is activating this month at Hill Air Force Base [in Utah]. ... That squadron has the full range of weapons and sensors and is ready to go when the nation calls," Wilson said.

Next year, she added, the Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire will be the first unit to get the new KC-46 tanker.

"The long-range B-21 bomber is another step forward ... it supports the nuclear triad, it's designed to penetrate enemy air defenses in a high-end fight and it has an open architecture go support new technologies long term. It has completed its preliminary design review and is developing on track," she said.

Space Operations

Wilson also is focused on space. The Air Force has been the lead service for space since 1954, she said.

"As the principal Defense Department advisor with respect to space," Wilson added, "I will continue to advocate for space capability for all of our services and in particular the Air Force."

This year the Air Force established a new three-star deputy chief of staff for space operations, she said, who will "bring a voice to the space warfighter in every conversation in headquarters Air Force."

She added, "The chief and I expect this position to quickly identify requirements, to streamline operations and to meet the demands of space as a war-fighting domain."

Spacefaring nations like the United States must seek to ensure that space capabilities are protected, Wilson said.

"The 2018 president's budget proposes a 20 percent increase to Air Force space systems," she said. "We will continue to accelerate space capabilities so that America will continue to own the high ground."

Science & Technology Strategy

From time to time it is important to refresh the service’s science and technology strategy, the secretary said, to project ahead 10 or 20 years into the future to see what kind of Air Force might exist at that time.

"Today I am announcing a 12-month effort to conduct a broad review and revision of our science and technology strategy," Wilson said.

The Air Force Research Laboratory will lead this effort with input from the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

"We will listen broadly and engage those who are on the cutting edge of science so that we can focus our research efforts on the pathways that are vital to our future as a service," Wilson said.

Source:  US Air Force
Associated URL: af.mil
Source Date: September 18, 2017
Author: Cheryl Pellerin DoD News 
Posted: 09/19/2017

 

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