By Amaani Lyle, DoD News, Defense Media Activity / Published January 16, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In dual remarks during the State of the Air Force press briefing here Jan. 15, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and the Air Force chief of staff announced plans to bring the service’s research, science and technology ideas to the Defense Innovation Initiative, led by Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work.
Gen. Mark Welsh III, the chief of staff, said the overall vision realized will help the Air Force and each of the services reduce costs, maintain a technological edge and enhance the procurement process.
“Under the secretary’s guidance, we’re now putting together a new strategic master plan that includes an annex that is purely science and technology, prioritization, ideas for the future (and) technology we can use to change the way we do business,” Welsh said.
Some of the standard ideas, Welsh noted, include hypersonic technology, directed energy and quantum computing.
“The new advanced engine technology demonstrator is a great example of a place where we could not only get better performance but save maybe as much as 25 percent of fuel costs,” Welsh said. “If we can prove that, we need to get that fuel on as many airplanes as we can afford over a reasonable timeline because that’s a game-changer in cost with the number of hours that we fly airplanes around the world.”
The general said the Air Force should also build on successful efforts in other services such as the Navy.
“We should be looking at laser defense against air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles, we should be exploiting laser communications,” Welsh said. “There are a number of ways that we should be moving forward … this is a great opportunity in my mind (and) the possibilities here are just endless.”