Source: Dayton Daily News
A Wright-Patterson-led initiative will test “game-changing technologies” like directed energy and hypersonics to determine if the weapons can be fielded on future battlefields, its new leader says.
The Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Execution Office, with a staff of just 15 based at Wright-Patterson, will report its findings to the top Air Force general and the secretary of the Air Force, the top civilian leader, said Jack Blackhurst, the new office’s director.
“This is a new way of doing capability development for the Air Force,” Blackhurst said.
The Air Force included $400 million in its fiscal year 2017 budget request to Congress to fund the office for five years, he said. Congress OK’d a continuing resolution that avoided a partial federal government shutdown Friday, extending a deadline to pass spending legislation until Dec. 9.
The new field office will target Air Force-wide “strategic” requirements, rather than major command “tactical” needs, Blackhurst said.
The initiative will report on the results of experiments, war gaming, modeling and simulation research, and the feasibility of prototypes as future weapon systems, officials said. The new office is a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory headquartered at Wright-Patterson.