National Defense

National Defense is a magazine specializing in Defense topics.

Articles from Vol. 99, No. 730, September

3-D Printed Rocket Engines Increase Production Capability
A rocket engine made entirely with additive manufacturing could enable Aerojet Rocketdyne Co. to increase its production from 12 to 100 engines per year. Aerojet Rocketdyne is one of many companies in the defense and aerospace industry that is employing...
Air Force Seeking Greater Balance between Active, Reserve Components
The politically damaging public battles between the Air Force and its reserve components over funding and personnel seem to have subsided after a wave of budget compromises, integration initiatives and a report to Congress. Even though the dust...
As F-35 Ramps Up, Legacy Fighters Face Existential Threat
Assuming that Lockheed Martin's F-35 eventually dominates foreign military markets, most fourth generation fighters will be pushed out of production. After 2018, the F-35 is likely to capture over a 50 percent share of the global fighter jet market,...
As Technology Matures, New Roles Emerge for Underwater Drones
When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in March, navies and governments from across the globe scrambled to analyze satellite data and search for debris fields over the expansive and deep Indian Ocean. So far, the search for the Boeing 777...
Attorney-Client Privilege in Fraud Suits at Risk
Government contractors typically maintain ethics compliance programs, which are mandated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation and are part of the industry's best practices. Central to these programs are internal investigations to detect and determine...
Augmented Reality Can Better Inform Troops
U.S. troops have access to a mind-bending wealth of information during combat, from video taken by drones overhead to GPS positioning and satellite communications. But soldiers on the ground often feel overwhelmed with too much information, and...
Budget Control Act Fallout Still Unclear
* Three years since the law was enacted on August 2, 2011, it is fair to say that Washington has officially given up hope.The law - which brought to an end a debt-ceiling showdown that had threatened to lead the United States into default and set strict...
Budget Fights
I read your article, "On Third Anniversary of Budget Control Act, Fallout Still Unclear," (National Defense blog, July 29). There are always more good ideas for spending other people's money. For every one of the military chiefs' priorities, the secretary...
Company Developing Wind Measurement Technology to Improve Cargo Airdrops
When the Air Force conducts an airdrop mission today, pilots must fly planes over a drop zone multiple times in order to calculate wind conditions. A new system under development by Lockheed Martin could increase the precision of airdrops and cut down...
Congress, Federal Agencies Decline to Help Coast Guard Fund New Polar Icebreaker
The Coast Guard needs $1 billion to build a new polar icebreaker. Members of Congress at a recent hearing said the service wasn't going to get it. At least not from them. Although a Navy representative and officials from other federal agencies testified...
Contractors Could Face Growing Number of 'False Claims' Suits
Under a recent court decision by the Fourth Circuit, a federal government contractor may suddenly find itself facing potentially massive liability based solely on the number of invoices submitted in previous years, even if every one of those invoices...
DARPA Program Aims to Reduce Cost of Electronic Antenna Systems
Electronic antenna systems, which are used on aircraft and other military platforms for radar, communications and electronic warfare, are notoriously costly to both develop, maintain and upgrade. A Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program...
Defense Strategy in a Square Corner
In fighter pilot parlance, a "square corner" is an impossible tactical situation, a maneuver that is completely undoable. As aircraft turns are curvilinear, it is not possible to execute an exact right angle, 90-degree turn. A square corner is an...
Dhs Still Faces Committee Overkill
When the 9/11 commission released its report 10 years ago, one of its recommendations was for Congress to sharply reduce the number of committees and subcommittees that have jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security and its 22 components....
Elusive 'Grand Bargain' on Military Benefits
Few issues in Washington are as politically toxic as meddling with military pay and benefits. That was clearly the lesson from the January 2014 Murray-Ryan budget deal that proposed to reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment by one percentage...
F-35 Looks to Move Past Recent Setbacks
Even in the infamously troubled history of the F-35 joint strike fighter, recent months have been particularly inauspicious for the most expensive weapon system development program in U.S. history. The entire U.S. fleet of F-35s had its wings clipped...
Facing Tough Times, Air Force Unveils Blueprint for Change
Air Force leaders warn that difficult times lie ahead for the U.S. Air Force. Steep force reductions loom, there will be continuing budget battles with Congress, and troubled weapon acquisition programs are not out of the woods. With crises flaring...
Fifth-Generation Fighters Will Determine Air Dominance in Future Conflicts
In August 2013, South Korea chose Boeing's F-15SE as its next-generation fighter aircraft over Lockheed Martin's F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon. Months later, the South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration reversed course in favor...
Navy Program at Center of Drone Survivability Debate
U.S. military unmanned aircraft for the past decade have carried out reconnaissance and strike missions in "friendly," or permissive, skies. The drone age began as the nation fought in lands without modern air defense systems, which could easily...
New Simulators Amp Up Training for First Responders
Disaster response planners and first responders are the beneficiaries of some new modeling and simulation programs. The Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center recently released a tool called the real time evacuation planning model (RtePM)....
Once Troubled C-17 Program Provides Acquisitions Lessons for Today
Imagine a time when war is ending, large-scale security requirements are receding, and defense budgets are declining. Add to this a push for acquisition reform and arms-length relationships with the defense industrial base. If this sounds similar to...
Problems in DOD Acquisitions
IN In reference to your article, "Pentagon's Strained Relationship With Vendors Getting Worse," (National Defense Blog, July 16), I was thinking that many of what the government considers "overcharging" is the direct result of inept purchasing personnel...
Readers' Forum
Problems in DoD Acquisitions* In reference to your article, "Pentagon's Strained Relationship With Vendors Getting Worse," (National Defense Blog, July 16), I was thinking that many of what the government considers "overcharging" is the direct result...
Top Secret Air Force Bomber Program Moves Forward
It is a program shrouded in secrecy. Air Force officials over the past few years have been happy to talk publicly about how much they need a new long-range strike bomber, but have given it a "secret" classification and share few other derails. ...
VA Modernizing Electronic Health Record System
The Department of Veterans Affairs is upgrading its electronic health care system in the hope that increased interoperability will improve patient care. ASM Research was awarded a three-year contract to modernize the Veterans Health Information...
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