The Air Force released the request for proposals for the next phase of the Space Fence radar program: engineering and manufacturing development and production and deployment. Service acquisition officials want bids in by Nov. 14, according to the solicitation documents, which they posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website on Oct 4. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have been maturing their respective Space Fence designs under Air Force sponsorship. The RFP’s release comes about a week after the Air Force announced plans to base the first Space Fence site on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands, with initial operations commencing in Fiscal 2017. A subsequent second site is notionally planned for western Australia. The Space Fence will be part of the Air Force’s overall space surveillance network and will feature an S-band radar system that the service wants to be capable of detecting, tracking, identifying, and characterizing space objects in low and medium Earth orbits.
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.