Joe Bogosian, president & CEO of Safran Optics 1, showcases the company’s new Ultralight Sensor that weighs less than 4.5 grams and has color day and thermal cameras for micro unmanned aircraft applications at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 conference and tradeshow in Washington, DC.
Author Vago Muradian
John Shade, the executive vice president for business development and future programs at Rolls-Royce Defense, with a walk-around of the company’s AE 1107F engine for Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 conference and tradeshow in Washington, DC. The V-280 is competing for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft competition.
Henrik Knape, product manager and head of sales for the ARCHER mobile 155mm howitzer at BAE Systems Bofors, with a walk around of the company’s novel artillery system at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 conference and tradeshow in Washington, DC. ARCHER, which is now in service with the Swedish Army, can be ready for action, fire at its target, and get back on the move in less than a 90 seconds. Using smart munitions such as the Excalibur, ARCHER is capable of hitting targets 60 kilometers away and is competing for the US Army contract to replace the service’s towed 155mm artillery pieces.
The most important element of the agreement, however, isn’t about subs, but how quickly three allies can move to address capability shortfalls.
For many around the world, however, the events of the last week have reinforced the perception that the United States is simply not ready for prime time, whether in launching — and dragging allies into — costly, destabilizing and ultimately pointless wars, embracing questionable financial practices that plunged the world into an economic crisis, or proving unable fight a devastating pandemic that’s killed more 620,000 Americans. The world, rightly, expects the United States to do big things well, whether in crafting strategy, meaningful capabilities, starting wars or ending them.
A nation where leaders and a large chunk of the population either can’t tell fact from fiction — or deliberately won’t — can be exploited, whether internally by opportunists or externally by adversaries. This was the weakness Russia manipulated to tip the 2016 election in Trump’s favor with a disinformation campaign that cost about $100 million, the price of a single F-35 stealth fighter.
America has two years to field the capabilities needed to continue deterring an every more emboldened and capable China. Biden’s defense team will have to move fast make long-overdue changes to field new capabilities and operational concepts to maintain the nation’s deterrent edge.
Navy Secretary Ken Braithwaite was on the mark by naming the latest Virginia-class submarine for Barb in memory of Gene Fluckey’s legendary World War II boat. It’s time the Navy continues this tradition and brings back other historic names to the submarine force. Those who served aboard nuclear submarines named for their illustrious World War II predecessors all note the pride what that heritage represented. Each of those boats carried aboard them the flags their namesakes flew in battle, tangible touchstones that instilled pride and esprit de corps in their crews.
The Trump administration’s plan to cut 12,000 US troops from Germany will hurt NATO, undermine America’s global reputation, help Russia by reducing US troops in Germany by a third and stoking discord among key alliance members, and waste time and money.
Whoever wins the presidency in November must take a cue from President Eisenhower to craft a similar long-term approach toward China — as well as Russia — and shape a force needed to deter, and if necessary, defeat both, but on a budget.