The Fix Is In

The Space Radar, contracts for which were canceled in 2008, and which has been a very quiet topic since then, is apparently a healthy though highly classified program, and may even have some operational components. Bruce Carlson, National Reconnaissance Office...

Congress Passes Fiscal 2011 Spending Bill

With the current fiscal year already more than half over, Congress on Thursday was finally able to approve a spending bill to cover government operations for Fiscal 2011, sending the legislation to President Obama’s desk for signature. Included in the...

Space Radar Facts

With zero fanfare, the Air Force recently revised its fact sheet on the Space Radar, which became defunct in 2008, at least to the public eye. The revised fact sheet states that the program is envisioned as a constellation of nine satellites "providing worldwide coverage" and yielding five kinds of surveillance products: synthetic aperture radar imagery; surface moving target indication—both ground and ocean target movement detection and identification; open-ocean surveillance to detect ships; high-resolution terrain information, yielding 3-D topographic maps; and "advanced products" in the realm of geospatial intelligence. The Space Radar will "profoundly change the nature of global persistent ISR" and provide enhanced global deterrence "through the mere threat of observation," states the document, posted in late February.

So That’s What “Offboard” Means

Given the apparent new confidence of the intelligence community in the Space Radar—which promises fine-grained, all-weather imagery, as well as surface moving target information—the Air Force’s decision to keep an elaborate intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance suite off of its future penetrating bomber makes...

The Joint Team

The United States is going to continue to be a world leader and the US military will continue to protect America’s interests when and where required. But the Defense Department’s ability to widely rollback its adversaries’ anti-access and area-denial capabilities...

AirSea Battle Plan Just the First Step

The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps need to conduct more joint exercises to make sure they can work together seamlessly and efficiently in the future fight, said Gen. Philip Breedlove, Air Force vice chief of staff. “The Marine and...

Remembering Operation Eldorado Canyon

Twenty-five years ago on April 15, Air Force and Navy strike aircraft dealt a blow to Libyan dictator Muammar’ Qaddafi’s arrogance and overt support of terrorism. While a force of F-111s from RAF Lakenheath, Britain, (taking off on April 14,...

In the Green Spotlight

The Air Force produced or procured nearly 7 percent of the total energy used to run its facilities in Fiscal 2010 from renewable sources, exceeding its goal, said Terry Yonkers, USAF’s assistant secretary for installations, environment, and logistics. It also...

Schriever Welcomes GPS Ground Upgrades

The 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, Colo., on Thursday accepted two Global Positioning System ground element upgrades during a ceremony. "Today is the culmination of years of tireless effort between the GPS Directorate, 50th Space Wing, and our industry partners," said Col. Wayne Monteith, 50th SW commander. The first upgrade involved the $1.1 billion Architectural Evolution Plan that has incrementally transformed the original GPS master control station into a modern, distributed architecture capable of supporting the newest GPS satellite configurations. The second upgrade, valued at $100 million, improved the command and control system for the 2nd Space Operations Squadron’s GPS Launch/Early Orbit, Anomaly Resolution, and Disposal Operations, or LADO, mission. These changes bolster the GPS ground element until the Air Force fields the next-generation operational control segment, known as OCX, in 2015. (Schriever release)

Airborne Sensors Eyed for Missile Defense Role

The Missile Defense Agency is planning to conduct an experiment next fiscal year to demonstrate the ability of an infrared sensor fitted on an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft to support the shootdown of a ballistic missile, said Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, MDA director. This demo will occur under the auspices of the agency's nascent Airborne Infrared, or ABIR, program, he told Senate lawmakers in testimony Wednesday. Initially, ABIR will entail integrating a sensor from Raytheon's Multi-spectral Targeting System family onto an MQ-9. MDA will use the mated pair to validate that forward-based airborne assets can cue the Aegis sea-based ballistic missile defense system so that it may engage a threat missile in flight—and do so at greater distances than what otherwise would be possible, he said. The longer term objective is to integrate the ABIR sensor into a pod that can be attached universally to the wing of many types of aircraft, said O'Reilly. (O'Reilly prepared remarks)