Publications

Digital Engineering: Accelerating the Defense Acquisition & Development Cycle in an Era of Strategic Competition

Arlington, VA | May 22, 2024 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Digital Engineering: Accelerating the Defense Acquisition & Development Cycle in an Era of Strategic Competition by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow, with Brian Morra, Non-Resident Visiting Fellow. Today’s Department of the Air Force is in crisis and faces severe capability and capacity shortfalls across nearly every mission area. Despite the need to

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The Quantum Advantage: Why it Matters and Essential Next Steps

Arlington, VA | January 30, 2024 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is proud to announce three new Policy Papers in a series on quantum capabilities for national security applications by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow. Quantum information science and technology (QIST) is a major focus of defense innovation, yet few in the defense community really understand what is needed to mature these technologies into valuable warfighter capabilities. U.S. policymakers often jump to

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Scale, Scope, Speed & Survivability: Winning the Kill Chain Competition

Arlington, VA | May 3, 2023 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Scale, Scope, Speed & Survivability: Winning the Kill Chain Competition by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute.  In this report, Penney explains how the “kill chain” is an enduring framework for the process of securing battlespace effects. Often, this means putting a bomb or missile on target,

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Five Imperatives for Developing Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Teaming Operations

Arlington, VA | October 6, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Five Imperatives for Developing Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Teaming Operations by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The Air Force lacks the force capacity, lethality, and survivability needed to fight a peer-level conflict with China. To address these shortfalls, Air Force leaders are

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Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms

Arlington, VA | April 18, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute. At a time when the American public is demanding to know what more we can do to help forces in Ukraine resist the invasion of Russia, we

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Beyond Pixie Dust: A Framework for Understanding and Developing Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft

ARLINGTON, VA | February 10, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new Research Study, Beyond Pixie Dust: A Framework for Understanding and Developing Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft, by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute, and Maj Christopher Olsen, USAF, with Foreword by Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.). Nearly every vision, strategy, and flight plan the U.S. Air Force has released over the past decade identified

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