The Defense Department will develop offensive hypersonic weapons before focusing on defensive systems to combat hypersonics. "The defensive aspect, we're making significant investment in the underlying technologies and the knowledge necessary to move forward aggressively to build a system, and I suspect that's not very far behind," Mike White, Pentagon assistant director for hypersonics, says.
The Army is prioritizing the development of new missiles starting in 2020, including a future interceptor, a hypersonic missile and a mobile-capable medium-range missile.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Reactor on a Rocket program wants to create a nuclear thermal propulsion system that can be assembled in space. "The program will initially develop the use of additive manufacturing approaches to print NTP fuel elements," according to DARPA's budget proposal.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says the US needs to "grow our margin of dominance in space," touting the potential for the Space Force to accelerate the development of military space capabilities. He notes that China's program is advancing quickly and sent 38 rockets into orbit last year.
Germany and France's plan to jointly develop a fighter aircraft faces serious challenges, Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia says. "The first problem is a misalignment in foreign policies and arms-sales practices," he writes.
An ongoing rivalry between the US and China in space has serious military implications, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency. "For the US and China, space is clearly a frontier of strategic competition," Elsa Kania of the Center for New American Security says.
Strong cybersecurity starts with top-down support from the CEO and must be accompanied by investment, effective management and the right talent, says Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy. "Cyber-aware employees then become your best line of defense and a critical component of your organization's cyber resiliency," he says.
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