Picking Tomorrow’s Most Important Technology

Hypersonic and autonomous flight, directed energy weapons, and fuel efficient engines were top priorities in the Air Force’s Fiscal 2015 research budget request, said David Walker, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for science, technology, and engineering. “Our budget request has rebalanced our basic research as part of our overall portfolio,” Walker told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel on Wednesday. The $2.3 billion science and technology request focused on these “game changing technologies,” with an intentional emphasis on technology demonstrations, he explained. “I firmly believe maintaining and even expanding our technological advantage is vital to assuring our assured access and freedom of action in the air, space, and cyberspace,” which has suffered due to budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty, he added. “As a result of sequestration in FY ‘13 we canceled or rescheduled over 100 contracts … ultimately delaying improved capabilities for the warfighter,” he stressed.