The Worst Case Scenario

The Defense Department may have to terminate the F-35 strike fighter program, the Air Force’s new long-range bomber, and eliminate the ICBM leg of the nuclear triad, if the so-called congressional super committee fails to agree by Thanksgiving on at...

Massive Ordnance Penetrator Available for Combat

The Air Force’s new bunker-busting behemoth, the aptly named Massive Ordnance Penetrator, is now available for combat on the B-2 stealth bomber, according to service officials. Whiteman AFB, Mo., home of the B-2 fleet, received its first batch of MOPs...

Taking on Form

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has “reviewed and concurred with the ongoing development” of the Air Force-Navy AirSea Battle concept, an Office of the Secretary of Defense official told the Daily Report. That statement builds upon the more vague comments on...

Doomsday Projections

The Defense Department’s Fiscal 2013 budget would be slashed by 23 percent if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fails to reach an agreement on any deficit reduction measures by Thanksgiving and sequestration kicks in, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta...

Pilot Error Blamed in F-16 Taxiing Accident

Pilot error caused the collision of two F-16 fighters on the ground at Kunsan AB, South Korea, in July, according to Pacific Air Forces investigators. Their accident investigation board uncovered "clear and convincing evidence" that a "pilot's failure to properly monitor his aircraft's position relative to the aircraft in front of him" led to the July 29 mishap, according to the report of their findings, issued Tuesday. The report also cited a "breakdown in visual scan, task misprioritization, and channelized attention," as well as overconfidence and exuberance on the pilot's part as contributing factors. This pilot was fourth in line for takeoff during an operational readiness exercise. He ran into the fighter ahead of him—the third F-16 in line—after failing to notice that the other three aircraft had stopped for a routine pre-flight check. Neither pilot was injured, but the fourth aircraft sustained more than $2 million in damages and the third received damage totalling some $590,000. (PACAF release) (AIB executive summary)

Treating Two B-52s

Air Force and industry technicians joined forces to get two damaged B-52H bombers from Guam back to the United States for repair. Last fall, airmen discovered a crack in the rear spar terminal fitting of aircraft 61-003. This fitting is...

Nellis Gets Thunderbirds Display

After 18 months of restoration, an F-16C that formerly performed with the Air Force’s Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron now sits on permanent display outside the Thunderbirds Museum at Nellis AFB, Nev. The retired aircraft, tail number 87-0323, carries the Thunderbirds’...

Missile History Upgraded

The only former Minuteman ICBM site open to the public may soon get a permanent visitor's center, thanks to legislation introduced by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, located 70 miles east of Rapid City, S.D., became a historic landmark in 1999. Overseers currently run it from a temporary trailer and a second trailer serves as the visitor's center, reported Keloland.com. If approved, Johnson's measure, S.1478, would grant 25 acres of National Forest Service land to the Park Service to construct an 8,000 square-foot historical center, as well as separate parking and office space nearby. The measure last week cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with bipartisan support, moving to the full Senate, according to a Johnson release. The historic site's Delta-01 launch control facility and nearby Delta-09 silo were part of Ellsworth AFB, S.D., during the Cold War. The former 44th Missile Wing operated them. (S.1478 full text) (Minuteman Missile NHS webpage)