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Air Force Issues Call to Arms for New Cyber Warfare Technology

Written by on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Have you invented an EMP gun that can shred electronics? Have you spent your spare time developing a mega computer virus that will shut down the Internet for weeks? Have you figured out a way to hack nuclear missile launch codes?

If you have then I’ve got good news for you. In the past, being able to pull off that type of stuff would earn you a one-way ticket to prison. Nowadays, the government is more interested in handing you a big, fat paycheck for your hard work. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) recently posted an announcement asking all contractors to submit their idea for the next best thing in cyber warfare.

We’ve all heard about how Albert Einstein and a bunch of other genius scientists collaborated to develop the nuclear bomb for the Manhattan Project. It’s the same thing here, except the next big weapon they want to create runs on a long string of zeros and ones rather than weapons-grade uranium.

What makes this new call to action so interesting is that the AFLCMC has been incredibly broad with the requirements. We’re accustomed to highly demanding specifications when the Air Force looks for a military contractor — they want a plane that can take off within 300 feet, be able to carry 10,000 lbs of munitions, have a cruise speed of Mach 0.8, and so on. For this new digital weapon, the Air Force doesn’t really care how it works — they just care that it works. They want something that can “destroy, deny, cheap cialis generic degrade, disrupt, deceive, corrupt, or usurp” opponents’ abilities to use cyberspace to their advantage.

Most readers out there won’t be able to cash in on this new business opportunity — well, unless Bill Gates or CEOs from Lockheed Martin tend to frequent this blog. Regardless, this is still big news for civilians. First of all, this is a rare instance when the government has pulled back the curtains to give us a glimpse of how they operate and what they’re looking for in digital technology.

The second (and more interesting) thing to focus on is that the Air Force is creating a perfect storm for innovation and invention. Digital technology is progressing at break-neck speeds, and we’re all waiting for the next biggest innovation to revolutionize the web. Military technology often trickles down into the consumer market to improve the lives of everyday people, and this has the potential to do the same. Any advances that contractors make could very well improve or fundamentally alter cyberspace.

It’s impossible to guess what contracts will do with near-unlimited funding and nebulous requirements. Could they find a way to short-circuit enemy missiles as they cruise across the Ocean? Shut down power to enemy cities at the push of the button? Fortify the World Wide Web by revolutionizing the way data is moved and stored? All we can do is speculate — the one thing we can certain of, though, is that technological geniuses have already hit the drawing boards in the hopes of getting a slice of that government pie.

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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