RPA Relief Plans

Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved dropping the number of combat air patrols flown from 65 to 60 as part of an overarching effort to rebalance operational demands on remotely piloted aircraft crews. Air Force leaders hope the “CAP reset” will...

X-37B Launched into Orbit Again

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., at 11:05 a.m. on May 20, carrying the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, according to a May 20 release. The launch marked the fourth time the unmanned...

Eager BUFFs

A pair of B-52s flew a more than 14,000-mile strike mission from Barksdale AFB, La., to Jordan, as part of US Central Command’s Exercise Eager Lion earlier this week, US Strategic Command announced. The flights were “specifically designed to ensure...

Dyess C-130J Airmen Hone New Tactics for Contested Scenarios

The 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Texas, has developed new tactics, techniques, and procedures for C-130J operations in contested, degraded, or operationally constrained environments that could inform operations across the mobility fleet, according to Dyess officials. Though the J-model...

Autonomous Horizons

The Air Force is a few weeks away from releasing “Autonomous Horizons,” a new technology forecast focused on how USAF will expand its use of systems that “require less human interaction” to perform missions, outgoing USAF chief scientist Mica Endsley...

Machine Team

The Air Force is exploring the use of “swarming” unmanned aerial vehicles for missions such as overwhelming enemy air defense systems, the outgoing service chief scientist said Wednesday. Specifically, USAF is looking at using “multiple small UAVs … like a...

RPA Cockpit, Mental Overhaul

Part of the reason Air Force’s remotely piloted aircraft operators are so stressed is because their “cockpit” equipment was rushed into service without the benefit of “human factors engineering,” outgoing chief scientist Mica Endsley said Wednesday. The configuration of the...

JHMCS for Stinger II

Air Force Special Operations Command’s AC-130W Stinger II gunships will be upgraded with Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, contractor Elbit Systems announced. “The JHMCS II system features the most innovative head-tracking technologies available, giving pilots increased situational awareness no matter...

First E-4B Rolls Through San Antonio

Boeing recently completed the first depot level maintenance of an E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft at its San Antonio, Texas, facility, the company announced. “Boeing’s ability to return this aircraft to service, ahead of schedule, benefits the men and...