AI News, Drone Wars Heat Up, but USAF Drones Sick with a Virus
Drone Wars Heat Up, but USAF Drones Sick with a Virus
Combat drones—aka remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs)—are now seen by U.S. combat commandersas one of their most valuable, if not the most valuable, military asset in theinventory.
That raises the possibility, at least, that secret data may have been captured by the keylogger and then transmitted over the public Internet to someone outside the military chain of command.'
Although these deviceswere banned from the DoD in 2008 because they were determinedto bea source of a successful cyberattack against the DoD, Wired says the operations at Creech were exempted from the decree.
For instance, anarticle in yesterday's New York Times discussed the 'coming' RPV arms race, although this is probably a misnomer since it appears the race is already long underway.
The Times article highlights the issue ofusing RPVs to conduct strikes against terrorists—or even American citizens who are seen as terrorists—in foreign countries, and how this use may be creating unintended and potentially fraught political and foreign policy consequences.
The Times article, for example, poses the question: 'If China, for instance, sends killer drones into Kazakhstan to hunt minority Uighur Muslims it accuses of plotting terrorism, what will the United States say?
In a 2009 interview thatI did with him for Spectrum, he said robotic technologies like RPVs: '...are revolutionary not only because of the incredible new capabilities they offer you but because of the incredible new questions they force you to ask—questions about what’s possible that was never possible before and also new questions about what’s proper, what’s right or wrong that you didn't have to think about before.'
Update (13 October 2011) The AP is reporting that the Air Force has admitted that a virus has infected its RPV ground systems but that it was 'not directed at the military systems, but was common malware used to steal log-ins and passwords used in online gaming.'
Israel's Ground Forces Want Their Own Air Power, Just Like the U.S. Army Has
Barak challenged the air forces (almost) total monopoly on everything that flies in the IDF, including the helicopters operated from the Ramat David air base in the north for the navy – though not including the small Skylark drones operated by the Artillery Corps Skyrider Unit and directly attached to combat ground forces.
The low-altitude air dimension holds important potential that, when realized, would enable the maneuvering forces of brigade combat teams to increase their operational effectiveness in all fields, Barak writes, referring to the joint infantry, armor, artillery and engineering units that would operate in Gaza or Lebanon.
Barak deliberately uses the term UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle, in what could be seen as an act of defiance against the air force, which calls its drones RPVs, remotely piloted vehicles.
As Barak puts it, during the 2014 Gaza war, the enemy identified as successes (from its perspective) its strikes on the ground forces while they waited in assembly areas, traversed essential crossing points or were deployed prior to an assault, among others.
Baraks third goal is the maximization of a new air combat dimension that includes UAVs and robotic autonomous drones for critical support roles such as combat logistical supply to the forces.
Assuming that Norkin continues Eshels policies without too serious a deviation, and with the arrival of the F-35 and other systems planned and budgeted over the next five years, the question from Baraks challenge is how important it is to the air force to insist on owning everything that flies, glides and hovers.
The property settlement between the divorced couple left the air defense troops (anti-aircraft guns and later ground-to-air missiles), along with light reconnaissance planes to direct artillery fire, with the ground forces.
At the same time the air arm, which espouses centralized command and control, owns all the planes and helicopters, the air defense forces (which were once part of the Artillery Corps), satellites, missiles (except for the ground forces rockets in the artillery), and pretty much everything else.
The idea is convincing, and it might even work in training exercises, but in real life every group looks out for itself, and the combat ground forces are shoved to the bottom of the food chain.
The combination of cooperation (in land and sea battles) with the helicopter group was one of Eshels initiatives as part of the air forces changes to its operational staff structure.
Baraks plan for a ground air force was published even before it went through the Via Dolorosa of staff work in the IDFs Planning Directorate, where it would collect the reservations of the air force, operations branches and command, control, computers and communications branch – and long before it was presented to Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.
Eisenkot isnt looking for new shocks in the IDF to pile on top of the Gideon multiyear plan, which is taking advantage of the lower Iranian nuclear threat and the agreement between the defense and finance ministries to set a multiyear budgetary framework for the IDF.
Rare Glimpse Inside a Predator Drone Control Station
Once closely guarded military secrets, remotely operated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are now widely known to play a vital role in modern wars.
TechNewsDaily was recently invited to take a rare behind-the-scenes tour of a UAS ground control station in Italy that is jointly shared by the Italian and U.S. air forces to demystify some of the operations of these robot warrior aircraft.
More recently, they were dispatched to attack Gaddafi forces in Libya, and also played a vital role in Operation Neptune’s Spear in Pakistan, where they helped monitor Osama bin Laden’s compound prior to the Navy Seals raid that resulted in the al-Qaida leader’s death.
There are several types of remotely piloted vehicles in operation, but with a combat debut dating back to the ‘90s in the Balkans, and several years of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Libya, the General Atomics Predator has become the primary and most famous U.S. unmanned platform.
The Italian Air Force (ItAF) is also equipped with the first two of six ordered examples of the most advanced Predator B (known as the MQ-9 “Reaper” in the U.S.), which has an improved internal and external payload, is able to fly at higher altitudes and could soon be used to boost NATO ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities in Libya.
The Amendola airbase is home to the 28 Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32 Stormo (Wing), which manages the entire Italian UAS force and remotely controls drones of the Task Group “Astore” performing ISR missions, convoy escorts, and special operations in Afghanistan.
Encrypted live high-resolution Full Motion Video from the imaging sensors can be transmitted to both the main control station or to tactical hand-held receivers that soldiers in the field can use to improve their own situational awareness and reduce the risk of collateral damage or friendly fire.
Competition in Defense Acquisition: A Comparison of Perspectives
contrast of comparable programs involving fighter aircraft and unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) programs within the United States and Israel highlights the need for strategic agility in defense procurement.
We find that increased oversight of defense procurement tends to increase cost and time required to field capability, creating a need to balance the benefits and cost of oversight.
Still, familiar terms, such as competition, price, supply and demand, due to the unique nature of the defense industry often have different meanings than they do in a competitive market system (Driessnack
however, the defense industry is defined by firms offering differentiated products that share an ability to do business with a single customer—the government (Driessnack
A consistent focus of reform, by the end of the Cold War, the resulting system of laws, regulations and policies governing defense procurement comprised over 30,000 pages of regulations issued from 79 different offices (Gansler, 1986;
For example, the 2008 update of DoD Instruction 5000.2 Operation of the Defense Acquisition System corresponded with the document growing 116 percent (from 37 to 80 pages) to incorporate direction from six National Defense Authorization Acts (Systems Engineer, 2012).
The end result is that the current U.S. defense procurement process has evolved from a basic structure established following WWII into something a Pentagon policy chief described as bizarre (Shachtman, 2009).
However, the application of procurement oversight varies.1 The purpose of this paper is to compare the application of procurement practices and map their effect on outcomes, such as cost and time, in an effort to identify how to better manage defense procurement.
The F-22 program is an example of a program that started with ACAT I oversight with the result that it took longer and purchased fewer aircraft, and the MQ-1 involves a program that grew into an ACAT I program from an Advanced Concept Technical Demonstration (ACTD).
Next, we describe the U.S. and Israeli cases respectively.2 We then map the differences between the cases across the key dimensions of strategic agility and identify options for improving defense procurement outcomes.
In strategic management, it evokes staying nimble and flexible, open to new evidence and remaining open to new evidence to change direction in light of new developments (Doz
With this in mind, procurement practices evolved to protect the government from waste, fraud and abuse, and to ensure good stewardship of the taxpayer’s money (Taibl, 2008).
Government requirements are generally flowed down to all suppliers on defense programs, and this can represent a significant burden as modern contracts for a major defense program are typically hundreds of pages long and ripple across 1,000 suppliers (Kotz, 1988;
In August 1991, a competitive fly-off of the prototypes resulted in the award of the development contract to Lockheed3 who served as the prime contractor for the F-22—ten years after identifying the requirement (Schine, 1991;
By 1991, the DoD reduced the procurement quantities to 648 F-22 aircraft, but this was further reduced following a 1993 bottom up review (BUR) to 442 aircraft (Global Security, 2012).
The Clinton administration’s 1993 program cut contributed to cost increases that were magnified by Congressional budget cuts in 1993, 1994 and 1995 that created continued fluctuation in the F22 program (Global Security, 2012).
In 1996, a Joint Estimate Team review led to a program restructure after it recommended reduced production funding that was subsequently approved in a February 1997 Acquisition Decision Memorandum (GAO, 1998).
The first production representative F-22 took to the air from Lockheed’s Marietta, GA facility on 7 September 1997, or 74 months following the award of the development contract (Kandebo, 1997;
The impact of cuts in F-22 funding and quantities only put additional pressure on the program, as the large fixed cost of development resulted in the purchase of fewer, more expensive aircraft.
Lockheed’s Marietta, GA plant was ultimately set up to build thirty-two F-22 aircraft a year—a rate that was subsequently not funded and contributed to higher fixed costs.
The result was increased oversight with the DoD establishing a set of specific goals for the F-22 program each calendar year that were set and reviewed by a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) twice a year.
In 2004, Program Budget Decision (PBD) 753 removed $10 billion in funding, or approximately one-third of the planned budget, and it lowered production quantities to 183 aircraft (Grant, 2008).
Later, funding was added for long lead items for four aircraft to enable the administration following the 2008 election to decide the F-22 program’s fate.
In 2009, F-22 Raptor production was ended by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a process that included DoD personnel signing non-disclosure agreements, the threat of a presidential veto if Congress reinstated F-22 funding, and implied cuts to Lockheed programs if the company fought the decision by lobbying Congress (Shachtman, 2009).
To put the turmoil in perspective, it took a decade from identifying the requirement to selecting a design, and another decade from Lockheed winning the development contract for the first production aircraft to be put on contract.
This pushed the full rate production decision to April 2005 causing concurrent development and production that resulted in ninety F22 aircraft being purchased under low-rate initial production.
This amounted to effectively half of F-22 aircraft being part of LRIP, when Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 5000.2 suggests LRIP quantities be minimized and rationale provided for exceeding 10 percent of the planned production (DAU, 2012).
While GA-ASI built the MQ-1 aircraft and ground support station and used equipment from L3 Communications for Ku-band SATCOM and line of site (LOS) datalinks (L-3 Communications, 2012), the sensor was provided from Raytheon as government furnished property.
In 1997, this funding covered the original program of thirteen systems with one system consisting of four air vehicles, sensors, communication links, and a ground control station.
In a thirteen month period between the completion of the ACTD in 1997 and the transfer of Predator to the Air Force in 1998, the government worked to create the foundation to support a small fleet of aircraft.
This endorsed Big Safari processes that shorten the timeline from developing to fielding systems by leveraging technology and reducing the number of program reviews, testing requirements, and documents typically required (Whittle, 2011).
An example of Big Safari’s responsiveness involved integrating laser designators on MQ-1 drones in two months from start to operational use (Whittle, 2011) and Hellfire missiles in a six month timeframe that bracketed September 11, 2001 (Frisbee, 2004).
The expectations were to “… use streamlined management tools to rapidly prototype, modify, and field Predators with increased combat capability, while at the same time, ensure core program activities…are normalized to meet the demands of large-fleet operations” (Grunwald, 2005).
When Predator transitioned to a dedicated program office and started to apply standard procurement processes, a clear shortcoming was the lack of engagement with Predator contractors about the accompanying changes.
For example, in the protection area, understanding the system’s vulnerabilities became critical after a computer virus infected the air vehicle’s network (Reuters, 2011).
Local production meant the creation of needed jobs, maintaining local aerospace capabilities, building high-technology offshoots and products for export, and lessening U.S. political influence over Israel.
from the Yom Kippur War (1973 Arab-Israeli war), when the Israeli Air Force (IAF) lost close to one-third of its frontline combat aircraft, motivated the planning of an aircraft specifically designed to attack ground targets (DeLoughry, 1990).
While their UAV initially attracted little attention, the Israeli military eventually became interested, and Tadiran and IAI went on to compete for a few years over defense contracts from the Ministry of Defense (Sanders, 2002).6 The first order from the Israeli Ministry of Defense arrived in September 1977, initiating concurrent development and production of Scout in parallel teams (Birnberg, 2003).
Mazlat teamed up with AAI Corp, which won the “Fly-Off” with the Pioneer, a derivative of the IAI’s Scout (airframe design) with an electronics package jointly developed by the Mazlat and AAI (Ford, 1990).7 AAI became the production agent in the U.S. and the collaboration proved a success with the first three systems delivered in 1986 for use in gunfire spotting that later expanded to include aerial reconnaissance (Newcome, 2004;
For example, during the Gulf War Iraqi soldiers called the Pioneer drones “vultures” and learned when they heard the sound of a Pioneer drone that shells weighing 2,000 pounds would soon start landing around them from U.S. battleships firing off shore, and in one case Iraqi soldiers waved bed sheets and undershirts to surrender to a drone (Singer, 2009).
The combination of requirements creep and development issues with budget pressures resulted in a perfect storm for the F-22 and Lavi programs that reduced the number of F-22 by over 70 percent and outright cancellation of the Lavi program.
A commonality across the programs is that competition had a minimal impact on how the programs evolved after award of the initial development contract, suggesting competition is more important early in a program.8 The comparison also highlights differences in requirements, oversight, and schedule.
Perhaps the most significant difference with the UAV programs is not starting with the traditional “pull” of a military requirement and the associated bureaucratic burden, but more from a “push” that demonstrated available technology that quickly found applications.
Responsiveness was consistently demonstrated during the Predator program’s history with an operational deployment during its initial demonstration and incorporation of laser designators and Hellfire missiles within weeks and months respectively.
In reviewing the Lavi program’s fate, Sanders (1991) focused on three questions: 1) did Israel have the technical know-how and capabilities to build and maintain major defense industrial complexes, with cutting-edge technology, 2) did Israel have the physical, human, and financial resources such a project would require, and 3) did the U.S. have a valid and long-term interest in enabling this venture?
While Israeli engineers had managed to build two prototypes that flew, they had to rely a great deal on technology from the U.S.9 Further, while Israel had the physical and human capital to complete Lavi, it lacked the necessary financial resources with the U.S. again providing support.
As the Lavi’s design became more capable, the U.S. was less willing to support a program that could compete with U.S. programs in international markets.10 The geo-political environment also impacted the F-22 Raptor and MQ-1 Predator programs as the first often viewed as a Cold War relic and the second met increased sensitivities about U.S. casualties and increased demand following 9/11 (Singer, 2009).
While Israeli engineers had managed to build two prototypes that flew, they had to rely a great deal on technology from the U.S. The second aspect of strategic agility relates to nimble decision making from a deep understanding of an organization’s capabilities.
With over ninety ACAT I programs to review (OSD, 2012) it is unlikely that OSD can achieve the same level of familiarity with a given program as those with day-to-day management and coordination of any decision simply drives additional time.
In the case of the F-22, the program experienced multiple challenges, and resolution of these challenges with increased oversight delayed the program’s schedule, increased costs, and reduced available funding.
While the last aircraft were delivered roughly a year apart in (2011 for Predator and 2012 for Raptor), the MQ-1 had only 25 percent of required ACAT I documentation, and the F-22 program’s oversight and associated documentation exceeded ACAT I requirements.
For example, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently required the submission of plans to accelerate fielding of a backup oxygen system, and Congress is requiring a selected acquisition report on F-22 modernization (U.S.
A supportive geopolitical environment enabled GA-ASI to produce MQ-1 aircraft at risk and the government to have funding available to respond to emerging needs, such as laser designation and Hellfire integration.
When resources were changed on the F-22 program, funding was largely cut and quantities decreased resulting in slower deliveries that encouraged further costly changes.
Meanwhile, shared responsibility for integration on the MQ-1 enabled greater variation.11 For example, there are more versions of MQ-1 aircraft and ground control stations (i.e., dozens) than F-22 configurations (i.e., handful) though comparable numbers of aircraft were produced.
While cost played a role with one F-22 costing several times more than a Predator (Singer, 2009), factors beyond cost impacted the success of these complex and technologically sophisticated programs.
America is at a unique moment in history where greater strategic agility is required to confront a less stable, multi-polar world than Cold War era procurement processes allow.
The underlying structural problems are reminiscent of warnings by President Eisenhower in his farewell address to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex” (Beck, 1980: 703).
During the 1980s, 12 to 15 years were needed for a program to complete the defense procurement system (Gansler, 1986), and subsequent procurement reforms seem to have only increased the time required to field programs (Green, King
In a recent article, Herman (2011) suggests the Israeli perspective may be interesting point of reference, and he argues: “The Israeli way of doing defense business is changing the shape of the military-industrial complex.
For example, Sierra Nevada is suing the U.S. Air Force to reinstate a $354 million contract for light attack aircraft for use in Afghanistan after the initial contract award was set aside over concerns with documentation (Hegeman, 2012).
After accounting for a lower protest limit, the number of defense protests to the GAO grew over seventeen percent between 2007 and 2008, and the number of protests upheld grew from sixteen percent in 2002 to over twenty-five percent in 2006 and 2007 (Darcy, 2009;
The number of protests upheld is likely directly correlated to the inability of roughly 90 percent of programs to meet procurement standards (Singer, 2009).
A clear drawback of a separate defense industry specializing in doing business with the government is that major defense firms limit competition and a greater focus on politics than programs.
Deregulating the U.S. defense industry will increase the number of firms available for defense work and increase competition.12 For example, the 2007 proposal for the first U.S. Army aircraft attracted 41 bids (Sokolow
Second, Israel (while spending more on defense as a percentage of GDP) has approximately dramatically less overhead with 300 people providing oversight to its defense programs compared to over 30,000 U.S. personnel spread across dozens of offices and organizations (Herman, 2011;
For example, oversight contributed to an average of 75 change orders a week on the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship (Lehmann, 2009) and changes increase program costs by forty-five percent on average (Gansler 1980).
The first step in fixing this problem is to explicitly recognize the 5000 series as a guideline and not an all-encompassing checklist that drives 90 percent of programs not to be in compliance (Singer, 2009;
Aquila began in 1979 and by 1987 it was cancelled after spending over $1 billion and only building a few prototypes as oversight and additional requirements delayed the program and drove up costs (Singer, 2009).
Reliance on industry to lead development and production in a decentralized process has roots in how America became the arsenal of democracy in World War II (Herman, 2012) and comparisons to today in NASA’s outsourcing of space launch to SpaceX (Pasztor, 2012).
This would enable a competition of ideas versus a focus on getting more firms to compete for the same contract.13 The research design involves a multiple case study design matching patterns between historical events and theoretical concepts (Campbell, 1975;
For example, oversight of U.S. defense programs varies by acquisition category (ACAT I through III) that provide greater oversight to higher dollar value ACAT I programs (DoDI 5000.2, 2008).
Seven home remedies for shortness of breath
The following exercises can help treat breathlessness at home: Breathing in deeply through the abdomen can help someone manage their breathlessness.
To try pursed-lip breathing at home, a person should: People can try this exercise any time they feel short of breath, and repeat it throughout the day until they feel better.
The following positions can relieve pressure on a person's airways and improve their breathing: Research found that using a handheld fan to blow air across the nose and face could reduce the sensation of breathlessness.
The treatment was found to be effective in reducing the sensation of breathlessness Researchers did not find that the use of a fan actually improved symptoms when they were caused by an underlying condition, however.
To try steam inhalation at home, a person should: It is important to make sure that the water is left to cool slightly if it has just boiled.
Drinking black coffee may help to treat breathlessness, as the caffeine in it can reduce tiredness in the muscles in a person's airway.
Some research has found that caffeine's effects slightly improve the way the airway functions in people with asthma.
Eating fresh ginger, or adding some to hot water as a drink, may help reduce shortness of breath caused by a respiratory infection.
Shortness of breath that happens every now and then can be caused by: Regular shortness of breath may be caused by a more serious condition that affects the heart or lungs.
Underlying conditions that affect the heart and lungs and can cause shortness of breath include: There are also some causes of acute or sudden shortness of breath that indicate a medical emergency.
Infected US drones: rather embarrassing but (probably) no big deal
Even though the news that a computer virus has infected US Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ keystroke during their missions over Afghanistan, Libya and other warzones (Yemen?), spread like fire thanks to the exclusive article published by Wired’s Danger Room on Oct. 7, the fact that today and tomorrow’s war robots have been targeted by a computer virus is far from being surprising.
They were dispatched to attack Gaddafi forces in Libya, played a vital role in Operation Neptune’s Spear in Pakistan (where they helped monitor Osama bin Laden’s compound prior to the Navy Seals raid that resulted in the al-Qaida leader’s death) and, more recently “an American drone killed top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki — part of an escalating unmanned air assault in the Horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula”.
Both have five workstations, each one equipped with two or more screens providing all the information required by the specific operator’s tasks: from the pilot’s view with the proper flight symbology, to the moving map showing the aircraft position and the regions “covered” by the UAS sensors, to the live video feed.
There are also some telephones: in fact, even if the Predator A+ and B are equipped with secure radios, a fixed telephone line can be used to contact air traffic control units in case of radio failure: a clear advantage over conventional planes.
Curiously the [Predator] virus showed to be very resistant to digital vaccines, and after several attempts to remove it with standard procedures (following removal instructions posted on the website of the Kaspersky security firm), the only safe method to clean it was to wipe the infected hard drives and rebuild them from scratch: a time consuming operations.
As to say: sophisticated military weapons and technologies suffer the same issues than civil users (how many Windows installations from scratch after a malware infection), on the other hand the drone virus was detected by the military’s Host-Based Security System, a flexible, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based application.