A base in interior Alaska has been chosen by the U.S. Air Force to receive its first nuclear microreactor. Eielson Air Force Base was selected in a project that began in 2019, when a National Defense Authorization Act requirement to identify potential sites for development and operation of a microreactor by 2027 began, Fairbanks television station KTVF reported.
The U.S. Air Force has indicated its intent to award Boeing a sole-source contract to study and analyze the E-7A Wedgetail aircraft configuration as the branch looks to replace its current E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system.
China is rapidly growing its nuclear arsenal in a way that should concern all Americans, according to the nominee tapped to be the top diplomat to Beijing. Nicholas Burns, who has been nominated to be ambassador to China, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 20 that he’s worried about Beijing’s exponential growth of nuclear capabilities both in terms of missile silos and advanced tools to deliver nuclear weapons.
The Colonial Pipeline hack should serve as a wake-up call for the U.S. military, which needs to move quickly to protect its logistics enterprise from cyberattacks, two top defense officials said today. In May, Russian-based hackers breached Colonial Pipeline’s networks, causing a gas shortage, skyrocketing fuel prices, and ultimately costing the company $5 million in ransom money—and all those hackers needed was one password, said Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, who spoke at the National Defense Transportation Association conference Oct. 18.
The Department of Defense is at an “inflection point” when it comes to cyberspace and cyber operations and must consider the role of the people behind cybersecurity systems, according to a top official. With adversaries increasingly using cyber operations to undermine national security, whether by stealing intellectual property or conducting influence campaigns to sow discord among the American public, the Defense Department has moved to a more offensive approach.
China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s-era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command published the photos of two Shenyang J-6s on its Weibo social media account during a post about the ceremony marking the start of the training cycle for the second half of 2021 for a training brigade.
The Defense Department has scuttled efforts to merge the Defense Commissary Agency and the military services' three separate exchange systems, finding that the plan would not result in the billions in savings originally projected in 2018.
Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan, the brand-new commander of Air Mobility Command, took nearly all of his 32 ribbons off his uniform for his most recent official service photo. Of those 32 ribbons, Minihan left only three on his chest, all of which were unit-based, rather than individual awards. One of Minihan’s public affairs officials said the general’s intent was to signal his commitment to team accomplishments over individual glory.
The United Kingdom's is the latest military to test a new directed energy weapon developed by Raytheon Technologies to destroy rogue drones. Raytheon will attach its high-energy laser weapon system, or HELWS, to one of the British army’s tactical support vehicles—the Wolfhound—for a six-month experimentation period to demonstrate its ability to take out unmanned systems. The armed forces need greater strength and accuracy to face the growing threat of cheap, highly customized unmanned aerial systems, said Jason Nelsen, senior regional director of Europe and the Americas at Raytheon Intelligence and Space.
“Nearly every child is taught when making a request to ‘say the magic word’: please. The U.S. Defense Department has recently been taught it too needs to say the magic word in every force, capability, or resource request. But the magic word isn’t please; it’s the phrase ‘strategic competition,’” writes Becca Wasser, a fellow in the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, and Stacie Pettyjohn, a senior fellow and director of the defense program at CNAS.
The U.S. Air Force has extended a research contract with startup Rhea Space Activity to develop a software tool to monitor and predict the trajectory of satellites in cislunar space, the company announced Oct. 20. RSA last year won a Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 award for a “lunar intelligence dashboard.” The new $697,000 Phase 2 award is to continue the project, which also is being funded by private investors.
The Air Force Museum Foundation and the National Aviation Hall of Fame will honor the legacy of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) Nov. 11 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, WASP pilots flew 60 million miles during World War II in a variety of military aircraft, including fighters and B-17 and B-29 bombers.