Under threat from China, Taiwan’s companies pivot to defense manufacturing : NPR

Po Sheng Lai, the founder of Shern Yeong Precise Optical, a company in the northern Taiwanese city of Yilan that makes high-end glass is pivoting to making defense products.

Emily Feng/NPR


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Emily Feng/NPR


Po Sheng Lai, the founder of Shern Yeong Precise Optical, a company in the northern Taiwanese city of Yilan that makes high-end glass is pivoting to making defense products.

Emily Feng/NPR

TAINAN, Taiwan — The technology behind the plastic injection mold machines that hum in a factory in this town in southern Taiwan were once used to make Buddhist temple decorations. A generation later, the company, Hwa Meei Optical, now makes recreational eyewear, such as ski goggles and sunglasses.

But it has ambitions to outfit soldiers.

“Every generation at Hwa Meei improves. Now we will have to see what the third generation will do,” says Lin Shunfu, a company vice president.

He is now shifting the company into the defense sector to manufacture and sell shatterproof, bullet-resistant eyewear for the military.

As China’s military might grows, the Asia Pacific region is in an arms race to both deter and prepare for war. Taiwan is no exception. It’s a self-governing island that China claims as its own territory, to be conquered by force if necessary. Taiwan has extended its mandatory military conscription period for men from four months to a year and is intensifying its own military drills. In July, the White House announced it would send Taiwan $345 million worth of weapons, taken directly from the U.S.’ own stockpile for the first time, as well as other defense services, such as training.

Now Taiwanese private companies are also pivoting into the defense sector and making weapons, and U.S. defense contractors are exploring ways to manufacture and design noncore components of their weapons systems in Taiwan.

To do so, they will need to work within the Taiwanese military’s rigid approach to reform and a historical preference to rely on government research institutes for equipment upgrades.

However, under pressure to match China’s accelerating military capacity, Taiwan’s military is looking for creative ways to boost its defense abilities in a short period of time, and it has been loosening once-strict procurement rules to allow private companies to develop dual-use technologies for its military — giving companies like Hwa Meei a chance.

“Every year Taiwan spends billions of dollars to buy American defense equipment. It is almost [like] we are paying the U.S. protection money. But if U.S. companies could support local businesses, some of the benefit would return to Taiwan and ensure we help each other,” Lin says.

3,000 drones by next year

Twice in the past year, China’s military has conducted military exercises simulating a full blockade of Taiwan. In a real conflict, such a blockade would make it impossible for the U.S., Japan or nearby countries to ship in any weapons or reinforcements not already stockpiled on the island.

That has led Taiwan’s manufacturers to ask: Why not build up defense supply chains

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Defense Innovation Unit highlights 2021 technologies changeover endeavours

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Office of Defense’s innovation hub transitioned 8 new technologies past year, which includes an artificial intelligence device the Missile Protection Company can use to acquire more accurate models of hypersonic missile trajectories.

The Defense Innovation Unit’s 2021 yearly report, produced Wednesday, highlights its technologies changeover level — a critical efficiency measure for the corporation, which is focused on working with marketplace to thrust business technology to navy end users.

Considering that fiscal 2016, DIU has served transition 35 prototypes into creation or assistance contracts with DoD and has a transition level of about 41%. Speaking last week at a Potomac Officers Club occasion, DIU Director Michael Brown reported that figure is up from about 30% a handful of yrs ago and he thinks a 50% to 60% changeover price is inside reach.

The 2021 hypersonic missile modeling project, which DIU awarded to C3.ai final 12 months less than a $1.2 million prototype other transaction authority agreement, resulted in a $2.5 million production deal with MDA “to simulate the actual-globe trajectories of non-ballistic and hypersonic missiles,” according to the report.

DIU also labored with 3 area start vendors — Rocket Lab, VOX Space and Astra Area — to develop a reduced-cost, on-demand responsive launch capability. The job resulted in an indefinite-shipping and delivery, indefinite-amount deal worth up to $968 million and supported by 11 distributors.

An additional 2021 transition work delivered defensive counter-unmanned aerial method engineering developed by Anduril to support partners at U.S. Southern Command, the Marine Corps, the Protection Menace Reduction Agency, Naval Air Systems Command, Customs and Border Command and U.S. Central Command. The venture resulted in a five-calendar year deal with a $100 million ceiling.

“Anduril brings together the most up-to-date in synthetic intelligence approaches with sensor technological innovation to greatly enhance actual physical safety via automated detection, identification and defeat of objects of curiosity though decreasing manpower needs,” the report says.

The report also highlights two cyber initiatives: a cyber deception job that can detect and inform consumers to threats and an asset stock administration method. CounterCraft, a cyber and counterintelligence corporation dependent in Spain, made the cyber deception prototype process that resulted in a sole-source contract with a $30 million ceiling.

For the cyber asset administration procedure, IntelliPeak Remedies — a Virginia-centered facts technological innovation company — created a system to integrate DoD-large information and characterize belongings as perfectly as software and firmware. The Protection Facts Safety Company and the Joint Services Supplier estimate the ensuing manufacturing deal, valued at up to $164 million, will preserve much more than $400,000 for every year and 3 decades of improvement time.

The ultimate 2021 transition project reviewed in the report includes a commercial threat intelligence database developed by LookingGlass Cyber Options. The company’s prototype delivers a modeling setting that increases cyber intelligence and assessment for end users, in this situation U.S. Cyber Command. The firm acquired a manufacturing other transaction authority arrangement past yr well worth up to $14 million.

As

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Defense organizations let practical experience inform scheduling and programming

Consumer practical experience has enhanced far quicker in the non-public sector and for individuals than in the federal federal government, permit on your own in the navy. But a pandemic-reworked earth presents prime opportunities for Protection companies to element consumer expertise into scheduling and programming.

At the Defense Data Systems Company, staff members are applying plan administration equipment and principles to monitor and keep track of ideas internally. Jason Martin, executive director of Component Acquisitions in the Electronic Capabilities & Safety Center at DISA, mentioned he still has to abide by the DoD Instruction 5000 sequence for acquisition but the company has designed acquisition procedures and dates to be certain consistent application management practices and governance throughout the board. Around the past couple of months, Martin mentioned he has talked over what is effective and what does not with all 130 software professionals in the company, which led to some “really interesting” revelations about personnel, personnel administration, funding and in general procedures.

“What I found was, we had various degrees of abilities, information, and info sharing heading on. So what we did is we established up and sort of retooled the way we ended up doing in-development assessments, or director progress assessments … we resolved to glow a little bit various light with the new director inbound with incredibly minor expertise of our current plans, and give him a actual deep dive on each software,” Martin mentioned for the duration of a webinar hosted by FedInsider this week. “And we did that in a standard sort, numerous sorts guiding the scenes that we never generate outwardly, but from an interior tracking mechanism so we’re all on the exact same webpage, and the director realized particularly what the GS — decide your most loved GS grade — at any supplied contractors on a challenge.”

He explained standardization was the intention, and this way his workforce could assess in a stoplight-type chart structure what was operating in cost, general performance or scheduling. Above the summer time, his workplace combed by every portfolio to build a baseline setting, and now they can work in a routine maintenance manner.

The have to have to get diverse companies shifting in the exact direction is just one Colt Whittall understands as well. As main expertise officer for the Air Pressure — a position made to put larger aim on bettering user experience IT in the provider — Whittall stated 1 way to achieve that is receiving anyone to glimpse at the very same info and metrics. Whether or not that knowledge is overall performance-situation-relevant or user-practical experience-related, he reported that commences to force alignment on what needles have to move.

On the other hand, to do that, the applications getting employed for setting up and programming have to be very well built and uncomplicated to use, he reported.

As agencies try out to enhance consumer expertise the two internally and externally, DISA for a person has laid out a transformation system, but the desires are

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