Showing the Technology Flag

The process for creating and executing Air Force-level integrated technology demonstrations—known as flagship capability concepts—is “maturing well,” said Steven Walker, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for science, technology, and engineering. Already, the High Velocity Penetrating Weapon FCC has successfully completed its first ground-based test to assess the survivability of the weapon’s warhead design, Walker told the House Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities panel last week. In its Fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the Air Force has introduced a new FCC dealing with precision airdrop, said Walker. It aims to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of airdrops while minimizing the risk to aircrews, he noted. Service officials, he explained, “identified multiple technologies which may reduce the error associated with airdrops and put forward the most promising set.” They include a forced-exit delivery system, bundle tracking, more precise methods of wind sensing, and a humanitarian airdrop delivery system capable of delivering aid without harming the local population, said Walker. He noted that “due to current fiscal realities,” the Air Force has decommissioned the Responsive Reusable Boost for Space Access FCC. (Walker’s prepared testimony)