F-35 Turkey

Turkey’s Erdogan and Biden to Face Off Over F-16 and F-35 Debacle

President Joe Biden can help smooth tensions with Turkey and prevent the NATO ally from further defense purchases from Russia if he throws his support behind the acquisition of 40 F-16s and about 80 modernization kits at an expected meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome set for Oct. 30-31, experts believe. Kicked out of the F-35 program for acquiring the Russian S-400 air defense system, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to lobby for $1.4 billion in credit toward a $6 billion renovation of Turkey’s aging air force. The deal could also improve U.S. relations with the Black Sea NATO ally, which have been strained since the Trump administration and Congress blocked the transfer of six F-35s.

GE Secures $1.58 Billion Contract for F-15EX Engines

General Electric has secured a $1.58 billion contract with the Air Force to build up to 329 engines for the F-15EX, the Pentagon announced Oct. 29. The contract will begin with 29 F110-GE-129 engines followed by seven option lots to total a “most probable quantity” of 329 engines if all options are exercised. Work is expected to be completed by June 2031, the contract award states.

Richardson Takes Over SOUTHCOM, Only the 3rd Woman to Lead a Combatant Command

A Black Hawk pilot who commanded her assault helicopter battalion in Operation Iraqi Freedom took over U.S. Southern Command in a ceremony Oct. 29. Army Gen. Laura J. Richardson, who received her fourth star Oct.18, became the third woman to lead one of the U.S. military’s 11 unified combatant commands and the first to lead SOUTHCOM. She assumed command from Navy Adm. Craig S. Faller, who is retiring.
pentagon climate change

Pentagon Policy Office to Add ‘Senior Person’ to Handle Climate Change

The Defense Department’s policy team will be reorganized in the near future as the Pentagon continues its push to emphasize climate change as a national security threat. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin H. Kahl, speaking Oct. 29 at a virtual event hosted by the think tank New America, hinted at the coming reorganization in his office by saying there would be a “senior person” in charge of a range of climate-related issues, to be announced in the next few weeks.
artificial intelligence

In DOD Experiments, Target Identification Gets Faster, More Accurate With AI

Employing artificial intelligence to help identify targets in a simulated battle, “and then turning that into a solution"—whether it's kinetic or non-kinetic—has reportedly shortened the decision-making process from what might have taken as long as five hours to just one hour while also improving accuracy. Army Col. Joe O’Callaghan, 18th Airborne Corps fire support coordinator and artificial intelligence-enabled targeting lead, recapped aspects of the Army-led Scarlet Dragon bombing exercise this month that relied on satellite images, which he said included a “heavy investment” by the Air Force.

Radar Sweep

Training for the Future of Combat? Try Augmented Reality Headsets and Biometric Sensors


As militaries, like those of the United Kingdom and the United States, look toward conflicts of the 2020s, 2030s, and 2040s, it is likely they will want to train soldiers in the regular use of everything from coordinating with snipers and drones to reading intelligence beamed to chest-mounted tablets. Big real-world training exercises can offer practical experience, but actually pulling a drone for field surveillance means using an expensive tool to train grunts and, even then, only for the limited time it can participate in the exercise.

US Air Force Bomber Escorted by Israeli F-15s in Israel Flyover

Jerusalem Post

Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter jets escorted an American B-1 heavy bomber above Israeli airspace on Saturday, the Israeli Defense Forces reported. The U.S. Air Force bomber was headed toward the Persian Gulf. The IDF noted the flight is part of the joint strategic cooperation with U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Biden Tells Macron US ‘Clumsy’ in Australia Submarine Deal

The Associated Press

Working to patch things up with an old ally, President Joe Biden told French President Emmanuel Macron on Oct. 29 the U.S. had been “clumsy” in its handling of a secret U.S.-British submarine deal with Australia, an arrangement that left France in the lurch and rattled Europe’s faith in American loyalty.

Space Force Plans up to $2.3B in COMSATCOM Contracts

Breaking Defense

Beginning next month, the Space Force intends to issue a series of solicitations for commercial satellite communications bandwidth, equipment, and services—with up to $2.3 billion in awards to be issued between 2022 and 2023. The acquisition plan, outlined today in an industry briefing by Mike Nichols of the Commercial Satellite Communications Office, covers COMSATCOM bandwidth from L-band to Ku-band to X-band for a variety of U.S. military organizations, including combatant commands and the Space Force itself.

Air Force Boots 40 Recruits for Refusing the COVID-19 Vaccine


Forty would-be Airmen or Guardians have been separated from Air Force and Space Force recruit training after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. Recruits can opt to get the vaccine before they arrive for training or will be required to get their series at basic training. Air Force officials confirmed this week that 40 basic military and technical trainees have been discharged under entry-level separation characterizations for refusing the vaccine.

OPINION: Beyond B-52s: Use American Airpower Strategically in Afghanistan and Ethiopia


“When most people think of America’s strategic airpower, heavy bombers like the B-52, B-2, and B-1 come to mind, but the U.S. military also has an unmatched ability to conduct global logistics operations by air. Let’s use America’s airpower to deliver humanitarian aid directly to the desperate as an interim step to mitigate the horrific human catastrophes unfolding right now in Afghanistan and Ethiopia,” writes retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap Jr.

Vulnerabilities Grow as Utilities Link Control Systems to the Internet

Defense One

The global electric utility sector is facing an increasingly dangerous cyberthreat landscape, even though there hasn’t been a publicly witnessed disruptive attack over the past five years. Utilities worldwide have been strengthening their security against threats to their IT networks but have not paid enough attention to their industrial control systems, or ICS, and operational technology, or OT, systems.

PODCAST: Operation Enduring Freedom: A 20-Year Air Commander Retrospective, Part 1

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In episode 46 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, retired Gen. Buzz Moseley, retired Gen. Chuck Wald, retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, and retired Maj. Gen. Larry Stutzriem explore what it was like to plan and execute an air campaign like none other. Their efforts began hours after the 9/11 attacks, with combat operations commencing Oct. 7, 2001. In a matter of months, U.S. airpower, in conjunction with indigenous Afghan ground forces and a handful of U.S. special operations units, removed the Taliban from power and destroyed terrorist training camps. Wald, Moseley, Deptula, and Stutzriem were all air commanders at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history.

China’s Carrier-Capable Naval Stealth Fighter Has Flown

The Drive

Photos beginning to appear on social media apparently show, beyond little doubt, the carrier version of China’s Shenyang FC-31 stealth fighter, which is expected to play a vital role in the continued and impressive development of the People’s Liberation Army Navy carrier force. While we have previously seen an apparent mockup of the jet—the first stealthy carrier-capable fighter to be developed outside the United States—the new images show a prototype flying for what may well be the first time.

Subscription Required

Britain Drafts COP26 Deal on Global Aviation Emissions


Britain is asking countries to push for a global target to cut aviation emissions to levels compatible with the Paris Agreement under a deal due to be announced at the COP26 climate change summit, according to a draft document seen by Reuters. As COP26 host, Britain is rallying countries to join an "International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition" and agree to push the United Nations' aviation agency to set a long-term target to reduce emissions from international flights.

One More Thing

Step Inside the Clean Room Where a Revolutionary Satellite is Taking Shape


In a massive clean room in the middle of Denver, a giant satellite sits dormant, waiting for its journey into orbit. Engineers with Lockheed Martin's Space division move around its hulking body, indistinguishable from one another in their face masks and full-body protective suits. The GOES-T, a massive weather satellite Lockheed Martin Space is building for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, is destined to enter geostationary orbit, a bit more than 22,000 miles above Earth's surface, and collect huge amounts of data about weather here on Earth and in space.