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Over the next decade, the Pentagon plans to launch satellites that offer a revolutionary leap in surveillance technology by persistently staring at targets from space for long periods of time, an official said.

Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers gave the estimate at a defense conference this week in Washington, D.C.

The Defense Department is at a “pivotal moment for intelligence” due to the rapid technological and geopolitical change underway throughout the world, he said. Adapting to the environment requires both short– and long-term investments, he said. [Continue reading…]

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MSF13-0082The Navy is beginning to work on a a next-generation carrier-launched fighter jet to replace the existing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Growler aircraft by 2030 and supplement the F-35C the Pentagon is still developing, service officials said.

The Navy effort, called the F/A-XX study, includes early work on the desired technological capabilities for the new aircraft. The idea is to have a new aircraft ready and producible by the time existing F/A-18s reach their end-of-service dates. Navy officials emphasize that the early work is in the very early stages and purely a conceptual effort to explore alternatives.

The Navy is analyzing industry proposals on the F/A-XX it started collecting two years ago. Navy officials are trying to pick out what they like and study potential ideas. [Continue reading…]

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U.S. Special Operations Command wants its operators to be able to drain intelligence from enemy computers, so they don’t have to lug them off the battlefield.

Intelligence gathering is a critical part of special-ops missions to capture or kill high-value targets such as the SEAL Team 6 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Operators grab as much hardware as they can carry off of an objective. Now SOCOM is looking for a better way.

The command is inviting the defense industry to participate in an “assessment event for the next generation of document and media exploitation devices in March of 2015 at Fort Bragg, NC. All hardware/equipment submitted for testing shall be production models and capable of executing document and media extraction from a variety of electronic media devices,” according to a request for information posted on FedBizOpps​.gov.

[Continue reading…]

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The primary goal of the pioneering spacecraft that landed on a comet last week is to search for clues about the composition of the early solar system.

But the European Space Agency’s historic Rosetta mission might also have a futuristic defense application. It adds weight to the idea that small spacecraft may be able to protect Earth from big objects like asteroids and comets using gravitational force alone.

The concept, known as a gravity tractor, has been around for almost a decade. Now, Rosetta could bring more data to the science. [Continue reading…]

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F-35 and F-22 fly training missions together

This is what Air Force generals have envisioned for decades. Two sets of fifth generation fighters flew side-by-side earlier this month to practice offensive counter air, defensive counter air and interdiction missions together over Florida out of Eglin Air Force Base.

It as the first time the F-35 and F-22 flew operational training missions together, Air Force officials said.

Both fighters have had a turbulent development and the F-35 is far from complete, but this was the vision. The F-35 and F-22 teaming up to combat a first world air force like China or Russia. [Continue reading…]

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