Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said the Department of Defense is set to kick off the first round of experiments in 2023 as part of the Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, an initiative that seeks to address capability gaps and speed up the delivery of emerging technologies to warfighters, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.
The department “last year spent a lot of time planning out the details of the exercise,” Shyu, a 2023 Wash100 winner, said at a conference on Wednesday.
“And this year, we finally got the money. We’re going to be off and running, literally demonstrating these prototypes in a contested environment. So it…can’t just work in a lab. It’s got to work in a real environment. And that’s exactly what we’re focusing on,” she added.
The Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal year 2024 includes $687 million for RDER, which Shyu introduced as an experimentation campaign in 2021. She noted that her office has carried out three sprints with a focus on joint command and control and resilient communications.
Shyu will serve as one of the keynote speakers at the Potomac Officers Club’s 9th Annual Defense Research and Development Summit. Click here to register for the in-person event on March 23 to learn more about DOD’s critical technologies, R&D priorities, mission needs and global defense concerns.