Skeptics of the Air Force’s assertion that it can field an impressive new long-range bomber in 2018 are misinformed, the Air Force’s top uniformed officer said Feb. 28. “The ability to field a system by 2018, if you integrate existing technologies, is doable,” Gen. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff, said during a meeting with defense writers in Washington, D.C. “Those that say the technologies don’t exist likely don’t understand flying machines and building flying machines.” Moseley said the Air Force has been clear with industry that it wants them to utilize existing engines, sensors, weapons, weapons bays, etc., and integrate them into a platform that provides the range, payload, and persistence that USAF wants. “So people who say, ‘You can’t get there because of the technology,’ are either thinking about a 2035-and-beyond hypersonic exoatmospheric platform [for] which the technologies don’t exist,” he said. “Or they are denying the fact that we can actually integrate existing technologies and build an airplane with that range and payload and persistence.”
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.