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McAleese & Associates: Will Roper on Hypersonics, Other USAF Tech Dev’t Programs

Jim McAleese

McAleese & Associates has released a report on a speech by Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, at the Defense Program Conference held Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Roper said the service is accelerating work on hypersonics and noted about Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) involvement in the development of the technology through several programs, Jim McAleese, founder and principal at McAleese & Associates and a 2019 Wash100 winner, wrote in the report.

Will Roper

Those programs include the Air Force’s Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon and the Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon system.

Roper, a 2019 Wash100 recipient, cited the military branch’s plan to achieve $15B in savings on the T-X trainer aircraft, UH-1N helicopter replacement project and the GPS III competition at the event hosted by McAleese and Credit Suisse.

According to the report, Roper is excited to use the “digital engineering design” process on the $63B Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program because of the approach’s capability to provide real-time design tradeoffs.

He also mentioned the Air Force’s implementation of the Agile DevOps process in software development; China’s potential adoption of a “spiral development” approach to next-generation air dominance; and the service’s Skyborg artificial intelligence-based aerial drone program, McAleese added.

The Air Force recently issued a request for information on the availability of autonomous unmanned combat vehicles as part of the Skyborg program.

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