by Dale Atkinson and Eric Edwards
MORE NEW FACES AT JASPO
JASPO is pleased to welcome two new Deputy Program Managers (DPMs) to the team: Mr. Jeremy Ross and Mr. Zachary Watson.
Jeremy is the new Navy Representative DPM, taking over for the retiring Robert Lyons. He has 2½ decades of experience in the defense business, including 15 years of acquisition program support for the Combat Survivability Division (CSD) of the Naval Air System’s Command (NAVAIR). He’s worked with numerous program offices and technologies as a survivability/vulnerability engineer, including the PMA-275 V22 Joint Program Office and PMA-272 Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Office, where he was involved with radio frequency and infrared countermeasures. He’s also supported Headquarters Marine Corps and the Joint Combat Assessment Team, performing combat assessments and developing Marine Survivability Posture Briefs regarding all Navy airborne platforms. In addition, he’s helped develop future technologies for the PMA-259 Air-to-Air Missile Program, and he’s served as the Mission Effectiveness Simulation and Analysis Lead and the Electronic Attack Mechanization Capability Lead for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office’s Mission Effectiveness Team.
As a contractor, Jeremy worked for Eagle-Picher Technologies, designing battery management systems (and leading an effort to redesign the Hubble telescope battery). He also supported the F-18 fighter program, working as a flight test engineer and test conductor for Boeing and as a radar cross section analyst for L-3 Technologies. Jeremy holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri – Rolla and has taken coursework at the Warfighter School, New Technologies Training – RADAR, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.
Zach Watson has taken over as the new Modeling and Simulation DPM for Andy Kurpik, who recently moved to a new position at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. Zach has more than a decade of defense engineering experience as both a government civilian and contractor, specializing in rotary-wing aircraft vulnerability and susceptibility. As a government civilian, he served for 4 years as the lead aircraft survivability engineer supporting the HH-60W program office. Prior to that, he worked for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation as a survivability engineer for numerous rotary-wing platforms, including the HH-60W, CH-53K, H-60, Combat Tempered Platform Demonstration (CTPD), S-97, and MH-148. Zach holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Penn State.
Welcome to the JASP team, Jeremy and Zach!
NEW SURVIVABILITY-RELATED PUBLICATIONS RELEASED
Over the past year, the Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC) has published several State-of- the-Art Reports (SOARS) and monographs related to current aircraft survivability domains and issues. These reports, which are in-depth analyses of pertinent technologies and research within DSIAC’s technical focus areas, include the following titles:
- “High-Power, Radio Frequency/Microwave, Directed Energy Weapons Models and Simulations,” by John Tatum (May 2023)
- “Fighting Vehicle Armor and Antiarmor Munitions,” by Graham Silsby and Andrew Dietrich (April 2023)
- “State of Machine Learning for Optimization of Additive Manufacturing to Support Military Applications,” by Satish Rajaram and Doyle Motes (December 2022)
- “Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Weapons Systems,” by Sam Chakour (October 2022).
In addition, in May, the Vertical Flight Society published a report entitled “One-Way Attack Drones: Loitering Munitions of Past and Present.” The 100-page study by Dan Gettinger provides an in-depth look at the origins, history, characteristics/capabilities, and current status and trends of one-way attack (OWA) drones—also known as expendable armed or “kamikaze” drones. The publication also contains an extensive bibliography, comprising nearly 400 references on the subject.
For more information about the SOARs or to request a copy or subscribe to receive email notifications when a new SOAR is published, please visit the DSIAC website at https://dsiac.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Likewise, for more information about the OWA drone study or to download a copy of the report (or the aircraft dataset on which the analysis was based), please visit the Vertical Flight Society website at www.vtol.org/drone-report.
AIR FORCE MUSEUM TURNS 100
In May, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, celebrated its 100th anniversary. During its century of operation, which began during what is considered the Golden Age of Aviation, the museum has grown from just a small collection of World War I aircraft and engineering artifacts to the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. Today, the facility houses more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles (approximately 20 acres of them under roof) and hosts more than a million visitors annually.
The museum’s collection comprises a veritable “hall of fame” of the country’s most important military aircraft, including such historic planes as the Wright 1909 Flyer (replica), the B-29 Superfortress Bockscar (which dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki to end World War II), the B-17 Memphis Belle, one of four surviving Convair B-36 Peacemakers, the Apollo 15 Command Module Endeavor (which orbited the Moon 74 times), the only surviving XB-70 Valkyrie research plane, and SAM 26000, the Air Force One VC-137 that served 8 U.S. Presidents over 3 decades and was the site of the impromptu swearing-in ceremony of President Lyndon Johnson after President Kennedy’s assassination. Also,on display are at least one of every U.S. fighter and bomber currently in the Air Force inventory, as well as numerous limited-access aircraft in the museum’s Presidential and Research & Development galleries.
FIRST SUCCESSFUL AI-PILOTED FIGHTER JET FLIGHT TESTS CONDUCTED
Could the human fighter pilot one day be obsolete? Some people think so. In December 2022, a team of DoD researchers successfully used artificial intelligence (AI) agents to takeoff, fly, and land a specially configured F-16D fighter jet and autonomously perform advanced tactical maneuvers for more than 17 hours at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. This first successful flight test of an AI-piloted tactical aircraft was part of a collaborative research program being conducted by the U.S. Air Force Test Center (AFTC), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
For the testing, a full-scale F-16D X-62A Variable Stability In-Flight Simulator Test Aircraft (VISTA) was equipped with integrated AI agents and advanced algorithms to perform autonomous one-on-one beyond-visual-range (BVR) engagements against a simulated adversary, as well as within-visual- range maneuvering (i.e., dogfighting) against constructive AI red-team agents, while maintaining real-world airspace boundaries and optimizing aircraft performance. Researchers believe that the cutting-edge technologies and capabilities demonstrated in these tests promise to rapidly mature AI and autonomous capabilities for uncrewed tactical and other air platforms on the future battlefield.
For more details on the AI fighter testing visit: https://www.afrl.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/3297364/dodartificial-intelligence-agents-successfully-pilot-fighter-jet/, https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/darpa-vista-test-ai-software/, or https://www.darpa.mil/news- events/2023-02-13.