US navy eyes new tech to produce far-flung forces

WASHINGTON — If a warfare towards a significant adversary breaks out, it’s going to require the navy to resupply troops at a tempo it hasn’t seen in a very long time, Air Drive Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, head of U.S. Transportation Command, mentioned on Wednesday.

And to maintain up with that frenetic tempo, TRANSCOM goes to have to make use of machine studying and synthetic intelligence to streamline its logistics operations, Van Ovost mentioned in a web based dialog hosted by the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Research.

“We are able to’t afford to sift by way of reams and reams of knowledge” in a significant warfare, Van Ovost mentioned. “We actually do want to use machine studying and synthetic intelligence to show that information into information, for which we are able to make selections. Creating that call benefit goes to present us that point and area and choices for senior leaders to give you completely different choices to scale back threat, to extend effectiveness.”

Van Ovost mentioned American allies and companions, in addition to its potential rivals, are already making quick progress in these areas, and the U.S. should do the identical in any respect ranges to be more practical and environment friendly.

“That’s the coin of the realm,” Van Ovost mentioned. “If we introduced [data] all collectively, we’d completely have a greater image of what we have to do, particularly after we take into consideration being jammed and unable to speak. Having that information, and having the ability to make that call at each echelon is totally going to extend our effectiveness, and albeit the effectiveness of our allies and companions as effectively.”

Van Ovost expressed curiosity in latest work finding out the feasibility of utilizing rockets to quickly transfer massive cargo hundreds anyplace on the planet. TRANSCOM has signed analysis agreements with corporations equivalent to SpaceX and xArc to see how the expertise may work, together with cargo loading and figuring out flight frequency.

“I believe, ‘Why not?’” Van Ovost mentioned. “If one thing is that important, whether or not it’s meals or an digital half that you just completely need to have, why wouldn’t we use that chance?”

Area corporations are already attempting to kind out how you can ship rockets to Mars and safely land them, she mentioned, and safely touchdown them again on Earth wouldn’t be that completely different, other than barely better gravity.

“It’s slightly attention-grabbing to have the ability to suppose that you would fly a C-17′s price of stuff someplace all over the world in an hour,” Van Ovost mentioned. A C-17 can fly roughly 80 tons of cargo.

Van Ovost additionally prompt this might be a method to swiftly deploy provides for humanitarian missions shortly all over the world.

TRANSCOM signed cooperative analysis and growth agreements, or CRADAs, with SpaceX and xArc in spring 2020, and with Blue Origin final December.

Van Ovost additionally confused the necessity to modernize, and he or she mentioned TRANSCOM should recapitalize getting old and outdated belongings starting from steam ships to aerial refueling tankers.

“Our ships are 46 years previous within the reserve fleet,” Van Ovost mentioned. “We have now steam ships — you possibly can’t even discover engineers that work on steam ships, we’ve to maintain 60, 70-year-old engineers round to maintain operating them. We should recapitalize that.”

The KC-10 Extender can also be rising costlier to maintain within the air, Van Ovost mentioned, and the navy must more and more work on changing the KC-135 Stratotanker.

These tankers’ alternative, the KC-46 Pegasus, is a really succesful plane even past aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation and cargo, Van Ovost mentioned. She mentioned its Hyperlink 16 capabilities will enable it to look at the battlefield and transmit information to different parts of the navy.

“We may be an alternate C2 [command and control] node,” Van Ovost mentioned. “If we get lower off from major, can you could have an airplane on the market that does that work? And why not the refuelers?”

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter at Protection News. He beforehand reported for, protecting the Pentagon, particular operations and air warfare. Earlier than that, he coated U.S. Air Drive management, personnel and operations for Air Drive Instances.