3D Printing? How about 3D Forecasting.
- Booz & Co’s strategy + business magazine has “A Skeptic’s Guide to 3D Printing“, which applies the time-tested forecasting approach Wright developed at the Curtiss Aeroplane Company. We’re fans of Additive Manufacturing – my next set of glasses are being made this way. Even so, USNI’s April 2013 “Print Me a Cruiser!” article demonstrates that Wright’s analytical tools aren’t as widespread as they need to be within the military professions.
- For more in-depth insight into this specific field, we recommend IDA’s 2012 report, “Emerging Global Trends in Advanced Manufacturing.”
The Potential of Drones
- Sensors & Systems offer answers to “What are the top ten civilian uses of drones that don’t impinge privacy?” (Hat Tip: AeroVironment). #1 is agriculture. Tell that to the American farmers who were seriously unhappy about the US Environmental Protection Agency’s use of drones. There are issues to ponder that go deeper than privacy. And don’t forget to consider Theodore P. Wright’s learning curve. Learning plays a very underrated role in economies – something Bain has known for a long time.
- Meanwhile, the US Navy has learned something. They’ve learned how to launch a UAV from an underwater submarine.
US Budget impasse
- US House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon [R-CA] hasn’t decided about retirement yet, and thinks there’s a chance to get the stalled Defense appropriation bill passed before the end of the year – but it will take an unconventional move by Harry Reid’s Senate.
A friend in need is… wait, no we’re not
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai really has worn out his welcome. Senate Armed Service Committee Chair Carl Levin [D-MI] has been pushing hard for an agreement with Afghanistan’s government – but now he’s openly suggesting that the USA should wait until Karzai leaves office in 2014. “The next Afghan president, whoever he is, is also likely to be more reliable than President Karzai, and there would be greater confidence in his sticking with an agreement he has signed.” The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is also feeling less urgency these days.
- Kongsberg Defence has signed a 6-year Framework Agreement to support all company systems aboard Norway’s Nansen class Aegis frigates, Skjold class corvettes, MCM vessels, Ula class submarines, other vessels, and Training centers through their life time. The agreement strengthens their presence at Haakonsvern Naval Base, and offers a solid foundation for more advanced support arrangements later on.
- Northrop Grumman has begun production of NATO’s first RQ-4B Block 40 Global Hawk HALE UAV for NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance system. Initial Operational Capability for the 15-country UAV pool isn’t expected until 2016.
Helping hand needed
- End coming for the commissary system on US military bases? That will have an economic impact on families there, who benefit from their low prices. Can that be replaced? Maybe. What’s certain is that replacing that value should be part of any effort.
- Cincinnati Reds all-star baseball player Joey Votto has launched the Joey Votto Foundation with a laser-specifc focus: to help military veterans, active service members, and their families who cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Cincinnati, OH and his hometown of Toronto, Canada. If you’re a veteran who can’t or won’t go to existing programs, or found they haven’t helped you, we recommend checking this out.
Truth to Power, Power to Truth
- We’re not afraid to be blunt here at DID, but we can’t hold a candle to the satirical Duffel Blog. The Pentagon’s main Twitter account has wisely begun following the site, which is an excellent source of intel and a reality check for military leaders. It is too bad about that MR2D2 lightsaber program, though…
Video: MOIRE Folding Space Telescope
What would you do with a folding space telescope? Aside from, say, hunting mobile ballistic missile launchers, successfully, from space? Meet DARPA’s MOIRE project.