DoD Seeks Future Technology Via Development Plan
DoD Seeks Future Technology
Via Development Plan
By Amaani Lyle, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – December 3, 2014 – The Defense Department seeks technology and
innovative ideas as part of its Long Range Research Development Plan within the
Defense Innovation Initiative, a broad effort that examines future capabilities,
dominance and strategy, a senior DoD official said Nov. 24.
The newly-released LRRDP Request for Information will provide
a way for DoD technology scouts to collaborate with industry, academia, and the
general public to explore topics and ideas to better identify the “art of the
possible,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering
Stephen P. Welby.
“We’re interested in getting the broadest set of folks, the
brightest minds we can find, to come help us on this effort,” Welby said. “We’re
hoping that by casting this wide net, we’ll be able to harness the creativity
and innovation going on in the broader ecosystem and help us think about the
future department in a new way.”
Domains of Interest
Specific military domains of interest, he said, include space,
undersea technologies, affordable protective systems against precision-guided
munitions threats, air dominance and strike capability possibilities,
ecologically and biologically inspired ideas and human-computer interaction.
“We expect the topics and ideas that come back will inform
our science and technology planning and we’re mining that whole space,” Welby
He described a “small, agile team” of bright government
officials who’ve been charged to engage industry, academia, not-for-profits,
small businesses and the general public to help the department explore future
possibilities. Inputs will also be accepted from allies and international
partners who may have unique perspectives or contributions to the effort.
Officials expect the seven-month study to yield results in
time to brief the defense secretary by mid-2015 and influence future budget and
offset technology decisions, Welby said.
“The key opportunity out of this whole effort is to start a
discussion,” he said. “We’re asking questions about people, business practices,
but particularly … about technology, what we need to drive the future of the
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work will oversee the
program as part of the overall effort to explore how technology can be
incorporated with future DoD strategy and capabilities.
Pentagon officials noted a justified urgency in reviewing the
future systems and architectures to maintain dominance over competing
investments around the globe.
“There is no better time to look at the long-range strategy
we’re taking to invest in technologies that will make a difference,” Welby said.
Capability Breakthrough in the 1980s
During the 1980s, Welby said, DoD found itself facing the
Soviets and recognized there was a better way to confront the issue rather than
a “tank-versus-tank” military buildup.
“The big breakthrough in that time period was introduction of
precision weapons … and technology that allowed us to replace quantity with very
precise technology-driven capabilities,” Welby said.
That, he said, has been the key driver in the way the nation
has conducted itself in the national security environment for more than 40 years.
“People have understood our playbook,” Welby said.
“Adversaries are now building systems that look to blunt particular United
States’ advantages and we’d like to revisit that.”
Efforts in 1973 included the original Long-Range Research and
Development Plan, which ushered in nascent digital technologies, early
iterations of global positioning systems and the beginnings of the future
Today, he said, DoD faces challenges posed by globalization
and technologies driven by both the military and commercial sectors.
“We’re now asking broader questions like, ‘How does the
United States maintain its … lead against the entire path of technology and
innovation going on globally?’” Welby said.
Maintaining a compelling U.S. advantage in technology is
critical, he said.
DoD’s long-range plan, Welby said, will focus on “near-peer
competitors,” state actors and a broader scope of conventional deterrence,
namely key technologies that will enable the protection of U.S. interests and
freedom of movement, and deter future aggression into the 2025 timeframe.
(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleDODNews)
Stephen P. Welby
DoD Research & Engineering Enterprise
Links to Key Long-range Research and Development Plan Information and Request
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