Air Force Secretary Pursues Lasers, Hypersonic Weapons & Drones

In State of Air Force speech, Wilson said the service will prioritize lasers, hypersonic weapons and drone technologies

SECAF: This is about lethality and mission effectiveness

By Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published February 22, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson spoke about the importance
of innovation and research and development during her State of the Air Force speech at
the Air Force Association Innovation: The Warfighter’s Edge conference Feb. 22, 2018, in
Orlando, Florida. Air Force Statement HERE

“This is about lethality and mission effectiveness,” said Wilson. “Innovation has to be
part of the way the Air Force just does business.”

The Air Force leverages new and existing technologies to provide rapid and affordable
solutions. To that end, Wilson said, new science should be pursued relentlessly and
applied quickly to support airpower.

To aid in that support Wilson explained the Air Force will empower program managers,
strip away bureaucratic approval steps and move quickly.
“In a world where far more innovation is happening outside the government than inside
of it, connecting to that broader scientific enterprise is absolutely vital to our future,”
she said.

Last September Secretary Wilson announced the service was going to do a
comprehensive review of its science and technology strategy to help bridge the gap
between the Air Force, its industry partners and universities.

“The creativity, initiative and spirit of the American Airmen and American industry must
now be leveraged in new domains in more contexts to solve more problems faster,”
Wilson said.

The Air Force is investing in game-changing technologies such as autonomous systems,
unmanned systems, hypersonics, directed energy and nanotechnology. Wilson said long-term U.S.
military supremacy depends on our ability to rapidly innovate and be at the
cutting edge of science.

“Sharpening our competitive edge in this new age will require creative approaches,
innovation, resources and execution at the speed of relevance,” she said. “The
advantage will go to those who create the best technologies and who integrate and field
them in creative operational ways that provide military advantages.”

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