Pentagon innovation unit wants space cargo solution operational 'within 2 years'

New Shepard Launch June16 blueOrigin e1688466680942

In application of the Marine Corps' EOBA doctrine , the Pentagon's innovation unit has launched a call for projects to implement a space cargo solution in order to project equipment and materials anywhere on the planet in the short term. .

With the multiplication of theaters of potential engagement, and the emergence of first-rate armed forces representing major potential adversaries for the American armies, logistics, and more generally the capacity for rapid projection of men and cargo, have become critical issues for the Pentagon.

Indeed, the strategy employed until now, notably during the Cold War, consisting of prepositioning a large stock of equipment and sometimes men near the probable areas of engagement, has today become very expensive due to material costs, and very complex to implement due to the HR constraints imposed on the US Armies as on all Western armies .

The combination of these constraints and the multiplication of probable theaters of engagement has led the Pentagon to want to equip itself with new means of force projection and logistical flows, so as to keep the majority of forces in the United States while by retaining means of short-term reactions wherever this may prove necessary.

This is how several programs have been launched in recent years in this area, such as the design of a logistics transport ekranoplane called Liberty Lifter , a reference to the Liberty ships of the Second World War, entrusted to General Atomics by DARPA.

Liberty Lift DARPA
The Ekranoplan Liberty Lifter logistics transport program managed by Darpa is particularly adapted to the constraints and challenges of the Pacific theater facing China

In the same area, and still to meet the specific needs of the Pacific theater facing China, the US Marines Corps has undertaken the design of Light Amphibious Warship light projection vessels , aiming to be the pivot of the new EOBA doctrine of distributed engagement, so as to project and logistically support small marine infantry units in the Pacific archipelagos.

But the most ambitious initiative, and undoubtedly the most innovative, is none other than the Rocket Cargo program, supervised by the Pentagon's innovation unit since 2018, and which has just reached a new decisive step with the publication of 'a solicitation of commercial offers from major American space transport operators , such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, VOX Space and Rocket Lab USA.

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