Senators Say MC-12 Switch Would Avoid Mission Duplication

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s move to transfer ownership of the Air Force’s MC-12W Liberty aircraft fleet to the Army came because these Senators believe that Liberty’s tactical intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance mission is best conducted by the land service, said a committee...

Debate Over Libya Heats Up

The House last week dealt a symbolic blow to the Obama Administration's military activities in Libya by overwhelmingly rejecting a resolution, H.J. Res. 68, that would have authorized the continued use of limited force there for the next year in support of the NATO-led operation. The June 24 vote was 295 to 123. However, the House lawmakers did not go as far as to strip funding from the intervention in Libya; they voted down a second measure, H.R.2278, that same day that would have allowed funding only for support activities like search and rescue and aerial refueling. That vote was 238 to 180. H.J. Res. 68 was based on similar legislation that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced last week in the Senate; that chamber has yet to vote on it. Some lawmakers continue to spar with the White House over the President's authority to continue hostilities in Libya under the War Powers resolution. (See New York Times political blog report and San Francisco Chronicle report.) (See also Fox News report.)

Wurster Passes AFSOC Guidon to Fiel

Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster relinquished command of Air Force Special Operations Command to Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel last week during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff, presided over the ceremony; Adm. Eric...

F-35 Partners Get Equal Stealth

Le Bourget, France—International partners on the F-35 will enjoy a stealth capability on the fighter equal to that of the US versions, according to F-35 program office officials. Maj. Gen. C.D. Moore, deputy director of the F-35 program office, gave...

First MC-12s Arrive at Beale

The first MC-12W Liberty Intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance aircraft have arrived at Beale AFB, Calif., their new home station, for beddown. Beale spokesman A1C Shawn Nickel told the Daily Report last week that four of the seven MC-12s expected by year’s end are...

The Rarest of Rarities: a Refund

Le Bourget, France—The 12-nation consortium that acquired three C-17s for international use can expect a partial refund on the airplanes, consortium leadership and a Boeing representative told the Daily Report here last week at the Paris Air Show. The NATO...

Changing Antonovs for Alenias

Under the supervision of NATO advisors, the Afghan air force officially retired its fleet of legacy Antonov An-32 medium transport aircraft with a last photo call at AAF’s base in Kabul. “Thirty years of war since these aircraft have come...

Missing World War II Airmen Identified

The Defense Department has identified the remains of five airmen missing in action since World War II and returned them to their families for burial with full military honors. They are: Capt. Leonard E. Orcutt of Alameda, Calif.; TSgt. Louis...

Adding Some ZEHST

Le Bourget, France—France and Japan are partnering to pursue a high-Mach craft that will evolve into a 50- to 100-seat airliner in the 2040-2050 timeframe, Jean Botti, EADS chief technology officer, said here last week during the Paris Air Show. The aircraft, called ZEHST, is meant to be suborbital, eventually making the Tokyo-Los Angeles run in less than two-and-a-half hours. Botti said, within 10 years, the team is expecting to have an unmanned demonstrator that could also compete for the Air Force's hypersonic weapon system. In less than 20 years, a three-man subscale test version is to fly, and passenger service could begin within 30 years. The chief difference from previous high-speed transports, Botti said, will be the "green" nature of the craft—it will use biofuels or non-polluting hydrogen fuel. The craft will have no less than three propulsion systems: a pair of turbofans to get to altitude, rockets to boost it to very high speeds, and ramjets to cruise until a high-speed gliding descent. Designers want the ZEHST to have minimal sonic boom, which would be confined to a small area behind the craft. (EADS' ZEHST brochure; caution, large-sized file.)