Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF’s intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance boss, told Washington-based defense reporters Thursday he wants to ensure that the Air Force’s ISR community is involved in developing the concept of operations for space radar. “The system is still in the concept development phase with respect to how we’re actually going to use it,” he explained. According to Deptula, space radar, with its “superb resolution,” will be unique because of its capability as well as capacity for delivering what is needed to the operational and intelligence communities. The radar also will be specifically beneficial because of its ability to provide surveillance coverage of an enormous area and its “rapid re-visit times,” he added. Despite the system’s obvious potential, some lawmakers believe the program is beyond repair at this point, prompting a call for termination.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.