Three R’s of Development

Air Force Materiel Command is pursuing new capabilities insertion based on the “three R’s,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, AFRL chief, in remarks to reporters at the Pentagon’s first lab day on Thursday. The pursuits are “revolutionary, relevant, and responsive,” with a time horizon of “decades before we see systems fielded” for revolutionary systems, “years” for relevant technologies, and “getting technologies into the field to respond to real-world, time-critical gaps and requirements … six months to no more than a year” away in the “responsive” category. Although he put hypersonics in the “revolutionary” category, he did say that it is likely to be ready in time to be an option for the next-generation air dominance system, which the Air Force wants in the 2030s. Much more near-term, he said, would be a hypersonic missile. The necessary scramjet technology “is mature enough to take it to the next step,” he said, which is to “integrate the warhead [and] a terminal seeker.”