U.S. Air Force Releases Science and Technology Strategy that Seeks to Maintain Global Technological Leadership

Apr 25, 2019

The United States Air Force recently released its new Science and Technology Strategy. The overall goal of the strategy is to establish the foundation for a “an Air Force that dominates time, space, and complexity in future conflict across all operating domains to project power and defend the homeland.”

The strategy is broken down into three objectives: Develop and Deliver Transformational Strategic Capabilities; Reform the Way Science and Technology is Led and Managed; and Deepen and Expand the Scientific and Technical Enterprise. These objectives have been created through the restructuring of the Air Force’s science and technology portfolio to assist in the achievement of five strategic capabilities also laid out in the document.

As the document explains, “The globalization of technology now allows potential adversaries access to cutting-edge science and technology research and the best science and technology talent. As they work toward reaching technological parity, they also push to erode our military’s technological superiority.”
The five strategic capabilities around which the new Science and Technology strategy are aligned are designed to aid in the ongoing oversight of national security, as well as spur innovation. These capabilities are:

  • Global persistent awareness which may include advances in “multimodal sensing” and developing new laser and multistatic radars;
  • Resilient information sharing, which may include developing mesh networks and “agile systems with real-time spectrum awareness”;
  • Rapid, effective decision-making which may include advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive data analytics;
  • Complexity, unpredictability, and mass, which may include upgrades to multi-domain command and control, developing low-cost air and space platforms and other advances, and;
  • Speed and reach of disruption and lethality, which may include hypersonic flight, scramjet propulsion and a new generation of smart munitions and tools for cyberwarfare.

The strategy also calls for the establishment of a new senior position that will guide strategic scientific and technical decisions, and liaise across all branches of the armed forces to maximize the innovations coming out of this renewed interest in science and technological funding.

To view the strategy document in full, click here: https://afresearchlab.