A U.S. special operations unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan to train military forces there, U.S. officials said, part of efforts to shore up the island’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression mounts.
Pratt & Whitney, the company that manufactures the engine for the F-35 stealth fighter, has a big, costly problem—and no easy solution in sight. In the mid-2020s—just as the Pentagon expects to see a sharp decrease in F-35 sustainment costs—the first F135 engines used by the jet will hit 2,000 hours and will be sent to the depot for a scheduled overhaul.
CIA Director William Burns announced a series of organizational changes intended to hone the agency's focus on key national security challenges, including the launch of two new mission centers, one focused on China and another dedicated to transnational and technological threats. The China Mission Center "will further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government," Burns said in a statement.
Two live GBU-32 bombs were dropped on range targets selected by an artificial intelligence tool on Oct. 7, part of a U.S. Army effort to see how AI might soon be used on the battlefield. The F-35 strikes are part of the fourth iteration of the XVIII Airborne Corps’s Scarlet Dragon exercise, which aims to test whether applying AI to multiple data streams can speed up finding and hitting pre-invasion targets. The test will be run by operators with the XVIII Airborne Corps out of Fort Bragg, N.C.
More than 92 percent of Active-duty troops have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as service deadlines for getting the jab approach. But roughly 103,000 service members haven't even gotten their first shot despite deadlines for being fully immunized. That includes roughly 48,600 Army Soldiers, 7,000 Navy Sailors, 15,500 Air Force Airmen and Space Force Guardians, and 26,800 Marines, according to statistics released by the services.
The final vestiges of legal disputes surrounding the Pentagon’s JEDI Cloud contract faded away this week when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Oracle’s challenge to how the contract was structured. Meanwhile, DOD is closing in on a key decision on the contract that will replace JEDI.
“The new space economy is being driven by more than billionaires and tourists wishing to go to the great beyond, or governments seeking to commercialize space missions. Capital is rapidly flowing to space companies—through special-purpose acquisition companies, initial public offerings, and venture capital funding based on the potential for new markets and value creation. But what specific advances in space technology can justify this accelerated infusion of capital? The answer is a revolution in automation, enabled by artificial intelligence,” write Sita Sonty, Troy Thomas, and Cameron Scott, top defense analysts at Boston Consulting Group.
Challenging Western sanctions, NATO ally Turkey has pledged to further its defense industry cooperation with Russia, including fighter jet and aircraft engine technologies, a second batch of S-400 air defense systems, and submarines.
Improving how the service acquires software and IT systems, while making DevSecOps the norm, ranks among the top priorities for the Biden administration's pick to be the Air Force's chief weapons buyer. “There is a clear need today to adapt our processes to enable better software acquisition and cybersecurity,” Andrew Hunter, the White House nominee to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics, told senators in responses to policy questions for his Oct. 5 confirmation hearing, testifying that “cybersecurity works best when you make it part of the design.”
The SR-71 Blackbird remains the fastest operational military aircraft in history to this day, despite leaving service more than two decades ago, but its Lockheed predecessor in the A-12 was actually faster. The A-12 would ultimately lead to the missile-packing Mach 3 interceptor YF-12. The missile-defeating legend that is the SR-71 first took to the skies in 1962 under the CIA’s banner in what was dubbed Project Oxcart.