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Weapons Innovation - October 15, 2020

Esper Discusses New Technologies Designed to Give Warfighters the Advantage – Department of Defense

Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke today about Army modernization efforts that harness new technologies that will benefit the warfighter. His remarks were given during the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.

“Today, emerging technologies are expanding the geometry of the battlefield and transforming how we think about, prepare and plan for war,” he said.

The reason for this transformation, he said, is because near-peer rivals China and Russia are seeking to erode America’s long-standing military advantages through cutting edge military innovation such as precision long-range fires, anti-access area denial systems, or A2AD, and other asymmetric capabilities designed to counter U.S. strengths.

“In space, Moscow and Beijing have weaponized a once-peaceful domain with killer satellites, directed energy weapons and more in an effort to seize the high ground and chip away at our military edge,” he said.

They also exploit cyberspace as a means to undermine U.S. advantages without confronting the Defense Department’s conventional strengths, he added.

To remain ahead of these threats, the department must harness new technologies, Esper continued.

In the last several years, the Army has “ruthlessly redirected time, money and manpower to its highest priorities,” he said, noting hypersonic weapons are at the top of that list of priorities.

“As our competitors develop long-range fires to inhibit our freedom of maneuver, we’re increasing our investments in hypersonics over the next five years, so we can ramp up testing and develop these capabilities to the warfighter as quickly as possible,” he said. 

In March, the
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