Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the B-21, the Air Force would like to move faster. So it was always curious that the Air Force’s original first-flight date for the B-21 was set more than six years after contract award. And the schedule delay to mid-2022, as reported first by Air Force Magazine, puts the start of flight testing nearly seven years after Northrop Grumman won the Long-Range Strike-Bomber competition. So what gives? On Jan. 19, the day before Will Roper resigned as assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, he spoke to Aviation Week and explained some of the mystery over the length of the interval between contract award and first flight of the B-21.
The stars of the new space age include not only famous entrepreneurs but a rising generation of dreamers and doers. Small companies, developing states and even high schools now loft spacecraft into orbit. But Beijing is intent on dominating the democratized space age. It is building ground-based lasers that can zap spacecraft and rehearsing cyberattacks meant to sever the Pentagon from its orbital fleets. Seven years ago, Washington seized on a new strategy for strengthening the U.S. military’s hand in a potential space war. The plan evolved during the Obama and Trump administrations and, it is expected to intensify under President Joe Biden.
“As DFE [dynamic force employment] becomes the preferred engagement option, shouldn’t it also inspire an evolution in our existing AEW [air expeditionary wing] deployment model? AEWs of the future, which may resemble AEWs of the past, need to become more agile, adaptable, and perhaps be deployed episodically. Remember the importance of operational unpredictability? Our adversaries do. The Air Force Chief of Staff continues to challenge Airmen to ‘accelerate change or lose.’ The Chief’s mandate certainly applies to how we generate combat airpower and deploy the force. Consequently, rethinking how we deploy AEWs should also be on the table. I’m confident there’s a better model for AEWs in the minds of our young Airmen, one that balances readiness with the increasing demands of great power competition. Making that model a reality will help secure our future,” writes Brig. Gen. Larry R. Broadwell, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.
A strategy shift focused on China and Russia—and stumbles in developing newer bombers—persuade Air Force to put new electronics in an old plane and make it last until 2050
Innovation has always been a hallmark of the U.S. Air Force. But with the accelerating pace of technology development, the service needs a new approach to modern design to make the latest technologies profoundly more accessible.
The year-old initiative is intended to give CENTCOM “more options” in a fight, general reveals.
Israel has said openly that it will attack Iran if the U.S eases sanctions against the Shiite regime and agrees to go back to the nuclear agreement the Jewish state claims is “the biggest hoax in recent history.” “Israel needs to know — and fast — whether Washington plans to stop Iran’s race to the bomb or take some action to do this,” a source told BD.
The Army's top modernization official said Monday that the Pentagon may have to relax its rules on human control over artificial intelligent combat systems to defeat swarms of enemy drones that often move too fast for soldiers to track. All branches of the U.S. military have expressed interest in using artificial intelligence, or AI, for faster target recognition; however, the Defense Department until now has stressed that humans, not machines, will always make the decision to fire deadly weapons.
On Jan. 24 at 10:01 a.m. EST, SpaceX launched another 10 Starlink satellites into orbit, making the company's globe-spanning "internet broadband from space" satellite constellation the largest one in orbit by a factor of five. And that's the least significant bit of today's news. Adding Starlink satellites to orbit, you see, was only a small part of Sunday's mission. The larger part was reducing the cost of putting satellites in space—dramatically—with the first successful demonstration of SpaceX's Smallsat Rideshare Program ... and setting a new record for most satellites put in orbit by a single rocket.
Retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power, provides insight on what Austin can expect as he begins in his post.
In a few short months, the Air Force will say goodbye to one of its stranger fashion choices: the tiger stripe-patterned Airman Battle Uniform (ABU), which was the branch’s official uniform from 2011 to 2018. From its grey-blue stripes to its stiff material and baggy look, there was a lot not to like about the ABUs, and many airmen celebrated their branch’s decision to switch over to the woodsy Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform in 2018. Still, as the last day of the ABU approaches on March 31, one airman, Master Sgt. Mike Smith of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, Tenn., took the time to ask his peers for their memories of the uniform, both good and bad. The results are pretty great.