Report: New Stealth Aircraft and Capabilities in China’s Air Arms Eroding U.S. Advantages

The Chinese air force is developing new stealth aircraft and expanding the weapons-carrying capacity of its J-20 stealth fighter, the Pentagon said in its annual report on Chinese military power, issued Nov. 3. The Pentagon said U.S. advantages in the air domain are “eroding” as China’s air and naval air forces shift from a defensive mode to power-projection and long-range attack. Quoting an internal Chinese white paper, the Pentagon said the Chinese air forces are transitioning from strictly air defense to “offensive and defensive operations,” toward building a “strategic” air force capable of projecting power at long range.
China J16 fighter

China Military Power Report Highlights Concern over ‘Taiwan Contingency’

The Pentagon’s new report on Chinese military power released Nov. 3 highlights a 2027 military modernization milestone that positions China for “credible military operations” against Taiwan. “They’re preparing every contingency to unify by force,” noted a senior defense official briefing journalists ahead of the report’s release. The official said the defense analysis of China’s military strength in 2020 found a range of ways the country is preparing for a “Taiwan contingency,” including a newly defined 2027 military development milestone.
AI Accelerator

Airmen and Guardians are Accelerating AI From the Campus of MIT

Airmen and Guardians working side by side with researchers in the field of artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are part of a unique military unit that’s helping to steer some of the research studies while also attempting to guide the Air Force’s and Space Force’s wider adoption of AI. Under the new research partnership, the Department of the Air Force and university jointly decided on 10 research projects to focus on, a departure from the typical top-down style in which the department advertises grant-funded topics, said Col. Tucker Hamilton, the Air Force’s director of the DAF-MIT AI Accelerator. Started in January 2020, when projects got underway, the accelerator also differs because it doesn’t focus solely on developing a military capability—it also benefits “the public good,” Hamilton said.

Google Is ‘Excited’ to Compete for DOD’s New Cloud, DIU Director Says

The head of the Defense Department’s Silicon Valley innovation hub addressed news of Google’s interest in competing for a pending DOD cloud contract. Defense Innovation Unit Director Michael Brown said Google’s managers are “excited” to be back in the hunt for DOD contracts. Speaking during the 2021 Aspen Security Forum on Nov. 4, Brown attributed to the Pentagon, in part, past protests by the software maker’s employees that ended its participation. 

Radar Sweep

CSAF Delivers New C-37B to JB Andrews

Air Force release

The Air Force’s top military leader flew the first of two new C-37B aircraft from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., delivering it to Joint Base Andrews, Md., on Nov. 3. The new C-37B’s tail number is 1941, in honor of the year the Tuskegee Airmen were founded. “I’m humbled to not only be asked to deliver this aircraft, but to be a red jacket wearer and now to be a red tail flyer,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., who is also an honorary Tuskegee Airman.

The Air Force’s Next Jet Drone Will Be a New Robot Wingman

Popular Science

If the Off-Boarding Sensing Station, or OBSS, can be delivered as promised, it will offer a complement to the existing Air Force fighter wings. This drone is not a rival to the F-35 but instead billed as a force multiplier, allowing the robotic escort to carry additional weapons and sensors and, importantly, to take on some of the risk from the fight itself. One way to think of the OBSS is as a tool connected with a fighter, which receives orders from the pilot and can share what its sensors see.

Space Force Launches ‘Orbital Prime’ Program to Spur Market for On-Orbit Services


The Space Force is kicking off a new initiative to fund commercially developed technologies for orbital operations. The program known as Orbital Prime will focus on the emerging market sector known as OSAM, short for on-orbit servicing, assembly, and manufacturing. This includes a broad range of technologies to repair and refuel existing satellites, remove orbital debris, and create new capabilities in space.

PODCAST: Growing Data Skills in the Air Force With USAF CDO Eileen Vidrine

The Daily Scoop Podcast

A two-part interview with Air Force Chief Data Officer Eileen Vidrine explains how the Air Force is standing up a data innovation lab and how the force is growing data skills for Airmen. More discussion covers cloud agreements with Larry Allen from Allen Federal Business Partners.

FCC Approves Boeing Satellites, Rejecting SpaceX’s Interference Claims

Ars Technica

The Federal Communications Commission today gave Boeing permission to launch 147 broadband satellites. While that's a fraction of the number of satellites approved for other low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations, the decision allows Boeing to compete in the emerging LEO satellite broadband market. "As detailed in its FCC application, Boeing plans to provide broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and professional users in the United States and globally," the FCC said in its announcement approving the license.

One More Thing

Air Force Looks to Claim CIC Trophy in Texas

Fox 21 News

With a win in Annapolis this September, Air Force football is one win away from hoisting up the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy when it takes on Army this weekend.