McAleese & Associates: Michael Griffin on Space-Based Sensor Layer, Other Defense Tech Priorities

Jim McAleese

Consulting firm McAleese & Associates has released a report that outlines some of the technology priorities of Michael Griffin, undersecretary for research and engineering at the Defense Department.

One of the priorities is the need to accelerate the deployment of a space-based sensor layer to defend against hypersonic threats as mandated in the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

“We need space sensors to…acquire, track, and provide fire-control, but the ability to knock it down is not best achieved from space,” Griffin noted.

Griffin said DoD is also eyeing high-power microwaves, kinetic space-based-interceptors and space-based neutron particle beam to intercept ballistic missiles.

DoD has started to ramp up research on quantum science, specifically in “quantum clocks” with plans to advance work on quantum inertial sensors for assured positioning, navigation and timing and encrypted communications, Jim McAleese, founder and principal at McAleese & Associates, wrote in the report.

Griffin noted that he will meet with Ellen Lord, DoD undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, and the office of the cost assessment and program evaluation, on a monthly basis to assess rapid prototyping and fielding projects submitted under the Section 804 authority of fiscal 2016 NDAA.

“Unless we object to a given program being done under Section 804 authority, it will be so done,” Griffin said.

“The slowing-down will be done by exception, rather than routinely…We all have different things that we think are important, but we are all completely-aligned on the need for speed,” he added.

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