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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
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A

Statement of Task

BACKGROUND

The increasing demands for performance of Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) systems have led to the adoption of ever more sophisticated devices for sensing, computing, control, and other critical functions. U.S. aircraft, missiles, ships, and ground vehicles, as well as radars and other sensors, depend on access to electronics components that are known to be reliable and to perform as designed. Many of the technologies critical to national security are dependent on leading-edge semiconductors and microelectronic devices that, in many cases, do not have a commercial market. Due to the high cost of maintaining fabrication facilities for the sole purpose of producing trusted components, government systems are relying more and more on products produced in the commercial sector. The Air Force has requested a classified study from the Air Force Studies Board (AFSB) to further examine the implications of these developments.

ORIGIN

In 2012, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), section 818, outlined new requirements for industry to serve as the lead in averting counterfeits in the defense supply chain.1 Subsequently, the House Armed Services Committee, in its

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1 P.L. 112-81, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, see https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-112publ81/pdf/PLAW-112publ81.pdf.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
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report on the Fiscal Year 2016 NDAA, noted that the pending sale of a U.S.-owned company in the Trusted Foundry Program created uncertainty about future access of the United States to trusted microelectronic components and directed the Comptroller General to assess DoD’s actions and measures to address this threat.2 In this context, in January 2016 the Air Force requested that the AFSB convene a workshop to facilitate an open and unclassified dialogue with leading industry, academic, and government experts to: (1) define the current technological and policy challenges with maintaining a reliable and secure source of microelectronic components; (2) review the current state of acquisition processes within the Air Force for acquiring reliable and secure microelectronic components; and (3) explore options for possible business models within the national security complex that would be relevant for the Air Force acquisition community. The workshop was held on March 16-18, 2016, in Washington, D.C., and brought together experts from government, industry, and academia to address these issues. The committee-authored workshop report included a number of key themes that arose during the workshop, including: (1) the recognition by the DoD acquisition community of the need for increased supply-chain risk management policies and processes; (2) the increasing sophistication of component counterfeiters; (3) uncertainty in the pace and scale of technological change; (4) recognition that previous business models of establishing and maintaining trusted fabrication facilities for sensitive electronic components is no longer feasible due to costs; and (5) that new manufacturing capabilities may allow for new approaches for acquiring electronic components for sensitive government systems.

STATEMENT OF TASK

Following the release of the workshop report in August 2016, the Air Force requested that the AFSB undertake a study to address many of the questions raised during the workshop. In response to this request, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint an ad hoc committee to conduct a study in accordance with institutional procedures. The committee will then:

  1. In the context of Air Force missions, identify and describe Air Force capabilities requiring secure and reliable microelectronic components and rank their criticality in relation to compromising the Air Force mission.
  2. Identify and describe the current and forecasted (on a 5-year horizon) range of threats to the supply chain. Provide illustrative examples of potential sce-

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2 Report of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives on the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2016. See https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/114th-congress/house-report/102/1.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
×
  1. narios regarding the consequences and impact of compromised electronic components.

  2. Identify and describe acceptable levels of trust required for those Air Force capabilities identified as requiring secure and reliable microelectronic components.
  3. Review and describe current Air Force acquisition policies and requirements for secure and reliable microelectronic components. Compare these with approaches used by other Services, the intelligence community, and industry and address possible risk mitigation strategies.
  4. Recommend ways to optimize and mitigate risks in the future Air Force acquisition strategy for secure and reliable microelectronic components.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
×
Page 57
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
×
Page 58
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. The Growing Threat to Air Force Mission-Critical Electronics: Lethality at Risk: Unclassified Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25475.
×
Page 59
Next: Appendix B: Summary from the Workshop Proceedings »
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High-performance electronics are key to the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF’s) ability to deliver lethal effects at the time and location of their choosing. Additionally, these electronic systems must be able to withstand not only the rigors of the battlefield but be able to perform the needed mission while under cyber and electronic warfare (EW) attack. This requires a high degree of assurance that they are both physically reliable and resistant to adversary actions throughout their life cycle from design to sustainment.

In 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop titled Optimizing the Air Force Acquisition Strategy of Secure and Reliable Electronic Components, and released a summary of the workshop. This publication serves as a follow-on to provide recommendations to the USAF acquisition community.

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