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Report: New Hellfire Missile Variant Aims to Avoid Civilian Casualties

The U.S. government developed a variant of the Hellfire air-to-surface missile designed to target terrorists without explosion and reduce the risk of civilian casualties, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The modified Hellfire missile, also known as R9X, comes with a ring of six blades that can cut through vehicle roofs or buildings to home in on the target. U.S. officials said the Department of Defense used R9X six times in its operations in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. 

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Hanscom Air Force Base Unveils Prototype Combat Comms Tech

The Hanscom Air Force Base has started developing a prototype combat tool to allow voice, chat, video, command and control functions for partner countries. Conceptualized by Gen. David Goldfein, the Airborne Extensible Relay Over-Horizon Network will connect friendly units and deliver real-time location data and enemy movement to other allied forces, the U.S. Air Force said Thursday. AERONet has three different nodes that covers communications functions for airborne, ground and command teams. 

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Army Launching Efforts to Modify Commercial AI Tech for Military Use

The U.S. Army is working to apply and modify commercially available artificial intelligence technology to better suit military applications, Federal News Network reported Thursday. Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins, commander of the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, said the service branch seeks to develop AI capabilities that run on human-machine teaming technology for logistics and sustainment, situational awareness and adversary behavior analysis.

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Report: Federal IT Workforce Sees Decrease in Age Gap for 2018

The Office of Personnel Management found that the age-gap ratio of federal information technology workers has slightly decreased over the past year, Nextgov reported Thursday. Data from the OPM shows that federal agencies hired around 4.4 IT experts over the age of 60 for every individual below 30 years old, as of September 2018. The results represent a drop from the 4.5 figure recorded in 2017 and does not cover the recent government shutdown.

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DARPA Announces Dev’t of Autonomous Pilot Combat System

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to develop an autonomous platform to boost pilot capabilities using of human-machine collaboration. DARPA said Wednesday that it intends to develop an artificial intelligence tool in aerial combat principles via human training methods as part of the Air Combat Evolution initiative.

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Navy Moves Forward in Improving Access to Sailor Data

The U.S. Navy secured an Authorization to Operate for its Sea Warrior Program, allowing the service to employ new cloud technologies in the Authoritative Data Environment. ADE allows personnel in the field to analyze data in a development testing environment before sharing it to the fleet, the Navy said Tuesday. Sailors currently use multiple computer systems to transfer information, which has high risk of moving inconsistent data from one system to another during the process. 

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DOE Allots $89M for Manufacturing Technology R&D Projects

The Department of Energy is investing $89 million in research and development projects across three manufacturing-related topics. DOE said Tuesday that it aims to boost the country's global competitiveness in the manufacturing sector via technologies that reduce energy consumption in industrial processes. The department will select up to 55 recipients, with awards covering a maximum of three years. 

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GSA Eyes Civilian Version of DEOS Cloud Contract; Alan Thomas Quoted

The General Services Administration plans to develop a civilian counterpart of the potential $8 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions cloud contract, FCW reported Tuesday. Alan Thomas, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said the proposed Civilian Enterprise Office Solution contract is in the early phase of development and “won't be a carbon copy of DEOS.”

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NAVAIR: New Presidential Helicopter Production to Start Soon

The Naval Air Systems Command will begin production for the Sikorsky VH-92A helicopter aircraft, USNI News reported Monday. The command received three helicopter units and is slated to make a milestone decision at the end of May in line with the aircraft's production. The military service expects the aircraft to enter initial operational capability in 2020 and full-production efforts in 2023.

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Navy’s Future Fighter Jet Won’t Be a Joint Development Program With Air Force

Angie Knappenberger, a U.S. Navy official, said the service will not team with the U.S. Air Force to develop its next fighter aircraft, Defense One reported Monday. “I don’t necessarily foresee an exact sort of repeat of F-35 in a single solution set.” Knappenberger, deputy director of air warfare at the Navy, said Monday at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space conference in Maryland.

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