Significant Adjustments in S&T

Significant Adjustments in S&T: The Air Force made “significant adjustments” in its science and technology portfolio in Fiscal 2013 to target investments in the most promising areas in line with the new national defense strategy, said Steven Walker, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for science, technology, and engineering. The “most dramatic adjustment” is a $55 million increase in propulsion research to support overcoming anti-access, area-denial environments as well as saving energy, he told House defense appropriators last week. “We are all over the A2/AD area in the Air Force,” said Walker. This includes continued investment in adaptive technologies for turbine engines and hypersonics and supersonic activity, he said. The Air Force also is increasing its investment in autonomy and wants to find better ways to fuse data so that fewer people will be required to analyze the myriad information gathered by overhead intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance platforms, said Walker. He noted that the Air Force reduced investments in airborne active denial, strategic relay mirrors, high-speed laser communications, laser threat warning, and small remotely piloted aircraft. The service decided to divest its investment in deployed airbase technology, some thermal sciences technologies, and some plug-‘n’-play activity for small satellites, he noted. (Walker’s prepared testimony)