美空军将“核武现代化”列为头号装备优先重点项目(英文)

2020-11-20  智邦网

编译 致远

据defensenews网11月17日报道

美空军每年花费数百亿美元采购飞机,如 F-35战机、 KC-46 加油机、 T-7A 教练机,但这些武器装备并未列入空军最优先采购清单的前三位。

11月12日,美空军参谋长查尔斯·布朗表示:“飞机不是我关注的重点,能力才是关键”,“未来冲突中,作战方式越来越多样化。我曾认为网络没那么重要,太空环境是安全友好的,但如今已彻底改变。”

为此,布朗提出空军武器装备现代化的三大优先重点。

1.核武现代化

布朗将空军核武器及运载系统力量重塑与资本结构调整列为现代化优先重点之首,称“核武现代化是首要重点”,计划部署新型洲际弹道导弹,开发新型隐身轰炸机,推进地基战略威慑与B-21“突袭机”(Raider)项目,均已进入关键阶段。

2.先进作战管理系统

综合采用云计算、AI算法和智能设备,促进从射手到传感器系统与联合部队数据共享,实现“一体化联合全域指挥控制”( CJADC2)概念。

3.先进采办法

通过持续不断地改进创新采办方法,快捷有效采购价廉物美新武器装备,采用数字工程、先进制造技术促进快速研发,通过数字世纪系列计划加快“下一代空中主宰”(NGAD)战机研制采购进程

US Air Force chief’s top modernization priorities aren’t what you think they are

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force is spending tens of billions of dollars every year to buy new aircraft, including F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, KC-46 tankers, the T-7A trainer jet and more. But none of those platforms makes the list of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown’s top three modernization priorities.

“In some cases, I’m not so much enamored with airplanes, although, you know, I flew airplanes,” Brown said during a Nov. 12 interview where Defense News asked him to list his top three weapons priorities for the Air Force.

“It’s really the capability” that matters, he said. “And as we look at, you know, future conflicts, we may be fighting differently. I don’t know that for a fact. But when I came in, cyber wasn’t a thing. Now it is. Space was a benign environment. Now, not as much.

Here’s what Brown put on his list:

1. Nuclear modernization

Brown pointed to the recapitalization of the Air Force’s nuclear weapons and delivery systems as his No. 1 modernization priority.

“Nuclear modernization is there at the top,” Brown said. “That’s important.”

The Air Force plans to field new ICBMs and develop a new stealth bomber, almost concurrently, through the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent and B-21 Raider programs. During Brown’s four years as chief of staff, both efforts will hit critical milestones.

The B-21 program is further along, having completed a critical design review in 2018. The first B-21 bomber is currently under construction by Northrop Grumman at the company’s facilities in Palmdale, California. In August, Maj. Gen. Mark Weatherington, commander of Eighth Air Force, said the aircraft would fly in 2022.

The Air Force plans to buy at least 100 B-21s, though it is considering a larger program of record.

Meanwhile, the Air Force awarded Northrop a $13 billion contract for the GBSD program in September. Although the legacy Minuteman III ICBMs won’t begin to be retired and replaced until 2029, it will be Brown’s job to ensure the program stays on track and gets the funding it needs during the pivotal early days of its engineering and manufacturing development stage.

An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launches during an operational test at on Oct. 29, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force)

An unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launches during an operational test at on Oct. 29, 2020, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force)

Aside from major delivery systems, the Air Force is also pursuing a dual-capable air-launched cruise missile: the Long Range Standoff Missile.

The Air Force is responsible for two legs of the nuclear triad — intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombers — with the Navy responsible for ballistic missile submarines. With the Navy currently replacing its current Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines with the Columbia class, all of the nation’s major nuclear modernization bills will be coming to a head around the same time.

That may create pressure on the Air Force’s and the Navy’s budgets in the coming years, especially as spending is projected to flatten. But the services have contended there is no time to waste when it comes to nuclear modernization — all programs must stay on schedule.

2. Advanced Battle Management System

Like his predecessor, now-retired Gen. Dave Goldfein, Brown wants the Air Force’s shooters and sensors to be able to instantaneously share data with the joint force — a concept the military has termed Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

Brown’s second priority, the Advanced Battle Management System, is the Air Force’s effort to field a series of technologies that will make CJADC2 a reality.

“I look at ABMS [as critical] because that’s going to help us enable our decision-making and how we contribute to Joint All-Domain Command and Control,” Brown said. (The “C” in the concept’s name was recently added.)

However, Brown acknowledged the service has more work to do to convince lawmakers of the viability of the ABMS program. The Air Force envisions ABMS as a family of systems — think everything from cloud computing technologies, artificial intelligence algorithms and smart devices alongside traditional communications gear like radios.

Instead of issuing exact requirements, the service wants to test what industry has available in a series of “on ramp” exercises, eventually buying what works after technologies are customized to meet user needs.

Jiren Parikh, Ghost Robotics CEO, briefs service members on the capabilities of the Robodogs during the Advanced Battle Management System demonstration at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Dec. 18, 2019. (Tech. Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia/U.S. Air Force)

Jiren Parikh, Ghost Robotics CEO, briefs service members on the capabilities of the Robodogs during the Advanced Battle Management System demonstration at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Dec. 18, 2019. (Tech. Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia/U.S. Air Force)

Congress, however, has been skeptical. While the Air Force requested $302 million for the program in fiscal 2021, the House and Senate Appropriations committees would subtract anywhere from $50 million to almost $100 million from that sum, citing concerns about the service’s acquisition strategy and lack of detailed requirements.

“That’s feedback to me, feedback to the Air Force that something is maybe being lost in the translation,” Brown said. “We’re doing this a bit different than we have done a traditional acquisition program. … And for us, for the Hill, it is a bit different. I think it’s an area that we, as an Air Force, do need to do a little bit better job of how we talk it up.”

3. Cutting-edge acquisition methods

Brown’s third modernization priority isn’t a program at all: He wants to see continued advancements in new acquisition methods that allow the Air Force to more quickly buy new equipment at lower prices.

Currently, “by the time [new technology] gets to the hands of the war fighter, the software that’s in it is a decade or two decades or 15 years old. How are we able to do things a bit faster in that regard?” Brown said.

He pointed to advanced manufacturing processes like digital engineering, which employs detailed data and models during the design of a product, and simulates how it will be manufactured, tested, operated and sustained throughout its life cycle.

Air Force acquisition executive Will Roper has heralded techniques like digital engineering for enabling the rapid development and recent first flight of a full-scale demonstrator aircraft,which was tested as part of the service’s Next Generation Air Dominance program. Roper told Defense News in September that it will be up to Brown and other Air Force leaders to decide whether it’s worth buying into the Digital Century Series plan for NGAD, which would involve the service more rapidly purchasing small batches of aircraft from various manufacturers.

While Brown didn’t comment on whether the Air Force has committed to the Digital Century Series model for purchasing future combat jets, he cited the approach as one that could potentially speed up the fielding of new technologies.

“If we keep doing the same approach we have since I’ve been in the Air Force and expect a different result, then we’re not going to do very well,” Brown said.

“We have to change our approach. And this drives change in our thinking, change about how we think about acquisition, it changes how we as an Air Force engage with and collaborate with [the Office of the Secretary of Defense], with [the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office], with the Hill, with industry. And, you know, I think we’ve gotten some traction in certain areas, but it’s going to require constant dialogue and collaboration and transparency.”


相关信息

2025年全球军用机器人市场增至242亿美元(英文)

2025年全球5G军用市场将达13亿美元(英文)

美陆军新建士兵和班组生命体征研究所(英文)

英国出台国家安全与国防工业保护新法规(英文)

美国防部启动“防务系统升级”云现代化计划(英文)

美太空作战司令部明确五大优先重点(英文)

美海军开发自主供应链管理系统(英文)

美军联合人工智能中心新主任谈AI赋能与业务变革(英文)

美空军启动新的太空实验室(英文)

欧盟呼吁对欧洲防务进行自上而下根本性变革(英文)

美国防部设立反无人机联合培训学院(英文)

DARPA分布式作战管理系统用于美陆军“项目融合”计划(英文)

英国防部颁布新科技战略  聚焦五大领域(英文)

美国防部颁布《电磁频谱优先战略》(英文)

美国发布《国家关键与新兴技术战略》(英文)