In episode 36 of the Aerospace Advantage, Speed is Life: Agile Software in Air Combat, John Baum engages with Lt Col Mike Benitez, Director of Staff at the 53rd Wing; Dr. Jimmy “Rev” Jones, a fighter pilot-PhD; and Heather Penney of the Mitchell Institute to discuss a topic few of us consider—the “ones and zeros” of software that actually operate the jet. Fighter pilots have a saying that speed is life, and it applies to everything from the speed at which you enter a dogfight, fly a low-level ingress, shoot a missile, or exit a threat ring. And when trying to achieve a qualitative advantage over an adversary, we often think about how fast we can field a better jet, a more lethal missile, or a bigger bomb. But today, so many of our combat capabilities rely upon software. The advantage is in the algorithm. And software can change much faster than hardware – which means that the ability to change software to adapt to the ever-changing battlespace will be key to victory in future warfare.
Host: Lt Col John “Slick” Baum, USAF, ret.
Producer: Daniel C. Rice
Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey
Guest: Lt Col Mike Benitez, Director of Staff at the 53rd Wing, USAF
Guest: Lt Col (ret.) Dr. Jimmy “Rev” Jones, DARPA, USAF
Guest: Maj (ret.) Heather “Lucky” Penney, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies