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Michael Brown: Pentagon’s ‘Hedge Strategy’ Could Help Speed Up Commercial Tech Adoption

1 min read

Michael Brown, director of the Defense Innovation Unit and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, said the Department of Defense’s “hedge strategy” could help establish an “element of surprise” to future fight by accelerating the adoption of commercial technologies to complement its high-profile weapons systems, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

The ‘hedge’ is really recognizing the fact that we really would benefit by making a part of our strategy explicitly the development of other capabilities, complementary capabilities, those that can provide some surprise,” Brown said at a virtual event Thursday.

Why do we need a surprise here? Because our adversaries in some cases have stolen designs for large weapons platforms, China in particular, and then our adversaries…have studied our tactics, techniques, procedures, our way of fighting for years,” he added.

Brown worked with Navy Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, chief of naval research, to develop the hedge strategy, which covers three elements including an architecture that advances resiliency through the adoption of SUMS or small, unmanned, many and smart technologies.

“We’ve developed an acronym called SUMS — ‘small,’ ‘unmanned’ for the autonomous capability, ‘many’ to emphasize the resiliency we need because we can’t assume in a conflict with peer-level adversaries that we’re not going to lose some capability…and ‘smart weapons,’ which really means embedded sensors,” Brown said.

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