Cyber programs and prototyping will keep DoD intellectual capital strong during budget cuts

Cutting duplicative research while developing advanced prototyping and cyber capabilities is part of the Defense Department’s plan to keep science and research initiatives viable.

“(Scientists and researchers) will be doing prototyping in things like very advanced electronic warfare systems and…cyber capabilities,” Alan Shaffer, acting assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, as reported in an article published by the American Forces Press Service. “It’s where we have to address new and emerging capabilities.”

To that end, Shaffer told the senators that he is consolidating a number of programs in cyber, communications, electronic warfare and materiel.

“I took five or six of my old programs and collapsed them into a single program element to be able to fund good ideas competitively across the department in the cross-cutting areas that everybody has (science and technology) programs in,” he was quoted as saying by the American Forces Press Service, adding that Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall asked him to look more closely at late-development prototyping and demonstration.

“So we will do some prototyping to make sure that we keep the national intellectual capital viable for when we need the next set of systems,” said Shaffer in the article. “It’s a new way of thinking about how we’re going to get more bang for the buck by funding…internally, competitively proposed projects in those certain cross-cutting areas.”

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