The 356th Fighter Squadron made history as the first F-35A Lightning II unit in the Pacific Air Forces to participate in an air-to-air weapons evaluation Oct. 8-23. This is the second fifth-generation platform to be evaluated on live-fire air-to-air weapons employment in support of National Defense Strategy objectives.
If the Air Force decides to buy the E-7A Wedgetail to replace the aging E-3 Sentry and is successful in gaining the congressional authority and funding necessary, “the Pentagon will need a plan to field the E-7A and divest the E-3 that does not create capability and capacity gaps just when Chinese and Russian airborne threats are growing more formidable. Given the poor condition of the E-3, the constrained Air Force budget, and rapidly emerging threats, managing the transition well is easier said than done,” write Bradley Bowman and Mark Montgomery of the Foundation for Defense Democracies.
The U.S. Air Force’s 40-year-old B-1 bombers don’t have much time left. Worn out by the air campaigns over Iraq and Afghanistan, the B-1s are in line for replacement as the USAF’s new B-21 stealth bombers enter service over the next decade. But it’s clear what the B-1s will be doing in their final years—hauling stealthy anti-ship missiles to threaten enemy fleets. Dramatic exercises over the Black Sea in recent years have underscored the swing-wing bomber’s new maritime strike role.
Weeks after the Air Force’s first chief software officer resigned in frustration, a top military official says Nicholas Chaillan was wrong to assert that China is gaining advantage while the Pentagon moves too slowly to develop software. “I think that there’s no one that can match the United States military in the amount of tactical innovation, that tactical pre-decision making” use of AI, said Lt. Gen. Michael S. Groen, who leads the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.
A federal watchdog on Wednesday blasted the “broken culture” at the Veterans Health Administration in regards to patient safety and said major reforms are needed to protect the lives of vulnerable individuals who rely on the medical system.
The F-35′s atomic ambitions are a piece of the country’s nuclear modernization plan—slated to cost $634 billion from 2021 to 2030 alone—that flies under the radar. America’s nuclear stockpile is typically referred to as the “nuclear triad” of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, air-launched cruise missiles and gravity bombs, and submarine-fired missiles. But that’s only part of the larger picture.
The Air Force has confirmed Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska as the facility planned to host its first small nuclear power plant. A microreactor could be operational there as soon as 2027, according to Eielson.
A junior enlisted airman is donating his uniform top to a museum after a famous photo showed an Afghan child using it as a blanket while sleeping on the floor of a C-17 Globemaster III transport jet.