The Air Force hasn’t stopped cold on the Joint Unmanned Combat Aircraft System, which is being taken over exclusively by the Navy per the Quadrennial Defense Review and 2007 defense budget proposal. “The Air Force is completing its work on refueling unmanned vehicles,” noted Air Force Secretary Wynne on Wednesday. He added, “That’s really the area that makes it more interesting for us.” The Navy, he continued, likely will proceed to a competition between the X-45 and X-47 concepts and develop the winning aircraft. Wynne believes that if it works, “the Air Force could show back up on their doorstep” and buy some.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.