Quantum key distribution (QKD) is an exciting application of quantum technologies that has exploded in the past decade. QKD is used to share encryption keys across an established optical link or network. QKD can be used to generate a secure, shared secret key between two users. This key is then used in an algorithm to encrypt message traffic. The big advantage QKD offers is that any attempt to read the information stored in the photons would destroy the message and be immediately detected. Quantum cryptography is fundamentally viable today in the laboratory and used in some high-end security applications, like banking and stock trading, that can rely on dedicated short distance physical fibers.
The Navy and Marine Corps recently released their long-awaited Unmanned Campaign Framework. This is a continuation of the drop-down documents spawned by the National Defense Strategy and meant to bolster the Naval Service’s commitment to shift their attention to “near-peer competitors”.
A new NIST program makes creative use of quantum technologies to deliver advanced measurement solutions to users in commerce, medicine, defense and academia. This delivery of measurement standards in a chip format is known as NIST on a CHIP (NOAC).
The time for leaders to think of how this may change your business model is now.
The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) currently uses an old system called the Modernized Intelligence Database (MIDB) to store and retrieve information on foreign intelligence – everything from Country order-of-battles (tanks, airplanes, etc.), infrastructures (runways, ports, etc.) to general foreign military capabilities. They will replace it with a system called the Machine-Assisted Analytic Rapid-Repository System (MARS). As they do, will they leverage the great capabilities of American industry or seek to code things themselves?
National Cyber Ranges: Virtual environments that enable government organizations to test their cyber capability
National cyber ranges are virtual environments that enable government organizations to test their cyber capability. It’s important to rehearse military operational plans and develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP’s) that can work in a contested cyber landscape. These ranges are distributed computing environments with technical experts that can support exercises and operational planning.
In January 2021, the Department of Navy released their Strategic Blueprint for a Blue Arctic. The document outlines their plan to prepare for an increasingly available and navigable Arctic Region. Signed by the Chief of Naval Operations, the Secretary of the Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, it looks forward twenty years and envisions the requirements to protect American interests in the Arctic.
The Navy is keenly interested in what is over the horizon or under the surface of the ocean. Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) have filled a critical role since the 1960’s. Through sonobouys and onboard sensors, these aircraft sweep the ocean (above and below) to find the enemy. To do this well, the Navy uses aircraft that have long endurance, and stuff them full of sensors and sonobouys that can collect information. The intelligence that is gleaned is directly fed into the National Intelligence Community. It’s a critical piece of the operational picture and situational awareness the warfighter depends on.
The annual Surface Navy Association Symposium is where BIG NAVY gathers together to contemplate high level fleet issues with top leadership. Thanks to COVID (never thought I’d say that!) this year’s conference was virtually available to anyone with a computer and a credit card. The Chief of Naval Operations started off the week and was followed by outstanding presentations from all the major Naval leaders. We capture some of the highlights here.
The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) is one of the many innovation programs that have sprung up in the past few years to create opportunities for academia and technology start-ups to help solve DoD problems. Any DoD customer can approach NSIN with a problem set and ask them to help create a network of non-traditional solution providers to look at the issues. Today, there are about 50 DoD civilians and contractors running NSIN full time, with offices in 8 universities and teaming with over 40.
CNO NAVPLAN 2021 was released by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), ADM GILDAY, on 11 JAN. This Navigation Plan is basically the execution plan of the Advantages at Sea Tri-Service Maritime Strategy released last month. The Navy examines their current challenges and lays out four focus priorities: readiness, capabilities, capacity and Sailors. It begins by setting a grim tone: “our collective security – and our way of life – are under threat”. It calls out China and Russia as “determined rivals” who’s flagrant disregard of international rules of conduct on the open seas indicate they will never become responsible partners. This plan supports the Naval Service’s mission to “deploy forward to defend America and our allies and protect freedom of the seas”.