The Missile Defense Agency director says he’d like to see the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system—which currently requires significant permanent infrastructure—become a less complex and more mobile asset. The U.S. has had a fully operational Aegis Ashore site in Deveselu, Romania, since 2016, but has struggled to build a second fixed site in Redzikowo, Poland. This location was supposed to be in operation by August 2018, but will likely not be up and running until fiscal 2022 at the earliest.
Maj. Daniel Walker says he has always felt the sting of racial bias since he joined the Air Force. Walker is an F-22 pilot, and he said he believes he has always been treated differently than White pilots. “The way you stand, the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you speak. In what is supposed to be an objective field, [they] are subjectively rating you to others in the sort of unofficial grapevine of evaluation,” Walker explained.
The U.S. Space Force expanded its University Partnership Program at the University of Colorado during a Memorandum of Understanding signing event Aug. 20. Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson joined University of Colorado President Todd Saliman on the UC Colorado Springs campus to sign the MOU. “The state of Colorado and community of Colorado Springs have long been key members and supporters of the national security space enterprise, so it’s fitting for the Space Force to establish a formal partnership between the University of Colorado and the Space Force,” Thompson said.
U.S. military has turned to a little-used arrangement with commercial airlines and charter companies, through which it can compel them to provide aircraft to support various operational requirements in a crisis, to support the ongoing evacuations out of Afghanistan. Some two dozen companies are part of this Civil Reserve Air Fleet and agree to provide aircraft and crews in as little as 24 hours, if needed. In this case, the planes will not fly directly to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan's capital Kabul, which is the nexus of the evacuation mission, but will instead help ferry evacuees who have been brought to intermediate locations to more permanent destinations.
In episode 36 of the Aerospace Advantage, John Baum engages with Lt. Col. Mike Benitez, Director of Staff at the 53rd Wing; Dr. Jimmy “Rev” Jones, a fighter pilot-PhD; and Heather Penney of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies to discuss a topic few of us consider—the “ones and zeros” of software that actually operate the jet.
The pace of technological innovation in the space business has long been dictated by government-funded programs of record. But as the private sector increasingly drives innovation, government buyers are trying to figure out their role in the new space era. The implications of this shift are significant, particularly for the Defense Department. What’s happening in space today is similar to the transition that took place in the semiconductor industry where the U.S. government invested twice that of private industry 40 years ago but is now outspent by a factor of 23 to 1, says a report from the market research firm Quilty Analytics.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a national-security threat that requires both a domestic and global effort to confront: it has disrupted military operations at all levels and left more than 621,000 people dead in America alone. The U.S. military has proved invaluable in the fight, which is far from over. But it is not too early to begin thinking about how we can better prepare the military to handle a next pandemic,” writes Lt. Col. Adam Scher, former military adviser to the U.S. Defense Secretary’s COVID Senior Advisor.
Cloud technologies are accelerating change at every level of the Air Force—and the Space Force. Whether it's pure computational power to enable autonomy or advanced encryption to ensure mission-grade security, the future of IT is here and now.
As China seeks to use the American withdrawal from Afghanistan to drive a wedge between America and its allies, leaders in Jerusalem are considering their future relationship with Beijing. Israeli defense officials believe China will seek to fill the political, economic and, potentially, military vacuum left behind by the U.S. not just in Afghanistan but in the region. But for Israel, which remains locked in with the U.S. military, that could mean a boost to adversarial nations.
Pierre Sprey, a 1960s Pentagon “whiz kid” who was a formidable intellectual force in military analysis and weapons development, often tangling with top defense officials to improve U.S. military readiness and weapons development, died Aug. 5 at his home in Glenn Dale, Md. He was 83. The cause appeared to be a sudden heart attack, said his son, John Sprey.
A fighter jet with the U.S.-led coalition shot down a drone in eastern Syria on Aug. 21 after the unmanned aircraft was deemed a threat, the U.S. military said. “Coalition aircraft successfully engaged and defeated a UAS through air to air engagement in the vicinity of Mission Support Site Green Village,” said coalition spokesperson U.S. Army Colonel Wayne Marotto.
Back in December last year, Japan's Nikkei newspaper unveiled tantalizing details of what could potentially become Japan's sixth-generation fighter. The aircraft will be domestically developed and is currently penciled in to cost around 5 trillion yen (about $48 billion). The aircraft, dubbed the F-X or F-3, has been deemed necessary in order to keep up with, and hopefully surpass, the air capabilities of many of its neighbor's cutting-edge aerial assets—especially China or Russia.