Discover ‘Weapons & Platforms,’ Air Force Magazine’s New Digital Database

Ever wondered when the B-52 bomber made its first flight? What armaments are on the F-35 fighter? Just how many thousands of pounds a C-17 transport can haul? Authoritative answers are now a few clicks away. Air Force Magazine’s new Weapons & Platforms database builds on our annual Air Force & Space Force Almanac and combines that with recent and relevant news coverage of the systems in a new digital format, creating a valuable resource that Airmen and Guardians, as well as content researchers and aviation enthusiasts, can leverage. You'll find the database on the main navigation bar on every page of this website.
State Partnership Program

New Hampshire Guard Selected as U.S. State Partner to Republic of Cabo Verde

The New Hampshire National Guard was chosen to be the state partner for the Republic of Cabo Verde, an archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa, after a “highly competitive” months-long selection process, the Guard announced Oct. 21. The State Partnership Program launched in 1993, just after the end of the Cold War, when many militaries wanted to retool and reform. The Latvian government, which wanted to step away from its former Soviet-style military, sought U.S. help as it looked to move toward a citizen-soldier model, similar to the U.S. National Guard. The program has grown significantly since then and now includes one-third of the world's countries.

Radar Sweep

Cancers Strike US Fighter Pilots, Crews at Higher Rates, Air Force Finds

Defense One

U.S. Air Force fighter pilots and crew members are far more likely to be diagnosed with certain types of cancers than their fellow Airmen, according to the most comprehensive military study to date. The study is the first confirmation of a connection long suspected by fighter aviators who saw their peers contracting some cancers at concerning rates. Earlier, less comprehensive studies had proven inconclusive.

US Intel Warns China Could Dominate Advanced Technologies

The Associated Press

U.S. officials issued new warnings Oct. 22 about China’s ambitions in artificial intelligence and a range of advanced technologies that could eventually give Beijing a decisive military edge and possible dominance over health care and other essential sectors in America. The warnings include a renewed effort to inform business executives, academics, and local and state government officials about the risks of accepting Chinese investment or expertise in key industries, officials at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center said.

Israel to Request America’s New GBU-72 Bunker Buster Bomb

Breaking Defense

In the coming months, Israel plans to ask the U.S. to sell its new 5,000-pound GBU-72 bomb to the Israeli Defense Forces, sources say, with the goal of using it against Hamas’ subterranean bases. Already, Israeli planners have shared operational lessons from their use of the GBU-28 bomb with the U.S. Air Force in order to help develop operational profiles for the GBU-72. In turn, Israeli military officials hope Washington will OK the eventual sale of the GBU-72 once it enters full use in the U.S. Air Force.

One of Four Boosters Fails in Rapid-Fire Hypersonic Tests

Defense One

Just days after news broke that a Chinese hypersonic test vehicle had reached orbit, the U.S. Navy and Army launched several test rockets as part of their own effort to develop maneuverable high-speed missiles. One failed. “Yesterday, three launches that reached hypersonic speeds were conducted to inform our development of hypersonic capabilities,” Navy spokesman Lt. Lewis Aldridge said in a statement. But another planned test—a “data collection” experiment for hypersonic technology development in Kodiak, Alaska—was scuttled Oct. 21 when the rocket’s booster failed.

KAI Unveils Electric Basic Trainer

Defense News

Korea Aerospace Industries showcased a concept model of an electrically powered basic trainer aircraft during the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2021 at an air base in Seongnam, just south of Seoul. Nicknamed “Black Kite,” the twin-seat concept aircraft features an electric propulsion system powering a total of four propellers mounted on the wings. It is expected to replace the KT-1 basic trainer in service with the South Korean Air Force.

Navy Follows Air Force in Wanting Another Jet Trainer Variant for Aggressor and Support Roles

The Drive

Major changes to advanced jet training are currently in vogue within the Department of Defense, and the latest requirement has now been drafted by the Navy, which is seeking a “Tactical Surrogate Aircraft.” It is described as a two-seat “fighter type” jet that the service will be able to use as a companion trainer and as an adversary. The latest Sources Sought Notice has many parallels with the Navy’s plans to introduce a new Undergraduate Jet Training System as well as with the Air Force’s recent Advanced Tactical Trainer proposal, both of which could be considered revolutionary, for better or worse.

ANALYSIS: Space Force Endorsement Not Enough to Incentivize Debris Removal Industry


U.S. Space Force generals made headlines recently calling for the development of commercial services to clean up orbital debris. These statements convey a sense of urgency about the risk of collisions in space, but the government’s indecision about how to manage this problem is delaying private investments and efforts to develop space cleanup businesses, says an industry analyst.

The Air Force Partners With Twelve, Proves It’s Possible to Make Jet Fuel Out of Thin Air

Air Force release

What if you could access fuel from anywhere on the planet, at any time, no tanker required? The Air Force thinks it’s possible with ground-breaking carbon transformation technology. Not the same as carbon capture and storage, or carbon utilization, carbon transformation can turn carbon dioxide from the air into nearly any chemical, material, or fuel, including jet fuel.

Lockheed Martin Plans to Build Starlab Commercial Space Station by 2027

New Atlas

Lockheed Martin, Nanoracks, and Voyager Space have entered into a partnership to launch a permanently crewed commercial space station by 2027. Called Starlab, the semi-inflatable platform will be available to the U.S. government and private industry. With the International Space Station slated for retirement and disposal by 2030, the United States is looking to private companies to provide replacements before that date under NASA's Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Destination project. One of these stations is Starlab, which could be the first free flying commercial space station.

Why This Air Force Commando Who Fought With a Shot Lung Doesn’t Count Deployments

Task and Purpose

Senior Master Sgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr., an Air Force combat controller, received the Air Force Cross after a desperate firefight in Afghanistan in 2009 where he continued to fight and call in airstrikes despite being shot through his lung. Gutierrez is a rock star in the Air Force Combat Control community, whose members set up landing zones and call in airstrikes alongside Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and other special operators. But you wouldn’t know that from hearing him talk. In fact, in a video about Gutierrez posted on the Air Force Special Tactics Facebook page, he refused to even say how many deployments he’s been on.

One More Thing

Air Force Veteran Reunited With Medals After They Were Sold in an Auction

40/29 News

A U.S. Air Force veteran got his missing wings and medals back from a good Samaritan who found them. They were returned after a woman found the sacred memorabilia in an auction. The medals and wings were returned to Lt. Col. Steven Tarochione on Oct. 19 in Fayetteville, Ark. “How can you explain something that was so much part of your life … you treasure it,” Tarochione said.