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Army Seeks Technological Breakthroughs

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U.S. Army
Friday, March 16, 2018

The Army hopes science and technology programs can deliver increased flexibility, adaptability and speedy responsiveness to known and unknown national security challenges, said Tom Russell, deputy assistant Army secretary for Research and Technology.

Testifying before Congress about the Army’s $2.3 billion science and technology budget for fiscal 2019, Russell said the focus is on current capability shortfalls and anticipated threats. The investment strategy seeks foundational developments that represent breakthroughs toward having a decisive combat advantage at affordable costs, Russell said.

About $1 billion of the funds have been directed toward the Army’s six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, networks, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality. This effort looks at more immediate land battle challenges based on near-peer threats, he said.

Areas of focus include directed energy, artificial intelligence, robotics, the “internet of things,” virtual reality, energetic materials and altered design materials, Russell said, noting the effort involves 12,000 scientists and engineers working for the Army, or who are industry or academic partners.