U.S. lawmakers are fuming that the Biden administration nixed an offer to provide Ukraine with Soviet-era fighter jets but do not plan to try to force the administration's hand through legislation. Lawmakers in both parties are writing letters, going on television, and grilling officials at hearings after the administration rejected a Polish plan to give the United States its old MiG-29 fighter jets to deliver to Ukraine. But several senators mad about the ill-fated deal told Military.com late last week they have no plans for legislation, saying they are banking on the pressure campaign to change President Joe Biden's mind.
The Space Force is offering few details on its decision to delay the launch of its Wide-Field-of-View Testbed, which was set to lift off this spring. “National security space launches are incredibly complex and can be delayed for any number of reasons,” spokesperson Jim Spellman told C4ISRNET in an email. “All issues, concerns and questions must be satisfactorily resolved prior to moving forward.”
Thirty-five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in 21 different states would be closed or completely reconstructed under a nearly $2 trillion infrastructure overhaul unveiled by department leaders. In addition, 14 new major VA hospitals would be built along with 140 multi-specialty community-based outpatient clinics. The plan in total would add 80 new medical buildings to the department’s existing inventory of more than 1,200 across the country.
“The MiG-29 is the primary air defense aircraft in Ukraine’s air force inventory. Several of these Ukrainian fighters have been disabled or destroyed, and without resupply Ukraine is likely to run out of serviceable fighter aircraft before they run out of pilots to fly them. So, the Ukrainians need additional MiG-29s for the sustainment of their air force to continue their air defense against Russian aggression. Simply put, this is why the transfer of Mig-29s to Ukraine is so vital,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute of Aerospace Studies.
The newly passed defense spending bill for fiscal year 2022 gives the Pentagon $728.5 billion—$32.5 billion more than was appropriated for 2021. Military space programs got a big boost. Appropriators added nearly $1.3 billion for the Space Force and Space Development Agency projects above what the Biden administration requested.
“Many are calling for a ‘no-fly zone’ over Ukraine. Few appear to be grappling with the details required to make it an actual policy proposal. If you’re proposing an NFZ, here are some of the questions you need to answer first,” writes Peter W. Singer, a strategist and senior fellow at New America, a public policy think tank.
Over the last four years, the United States’ arms exports, led mostly by aircraft sales, were more than double those of Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. A new SIPRI report compares data from sales conducted between 2012 and 2016 against purchases from 2017 to 2021, showing a significant jump in U.S. sales between those periods.
The Pentagon has selected the founder of a Navy office focused on digital warfare, Margaret Palmieri, to be its deputy chief digital and artificial intelligence officer. The new office, which is led by DOD chief information officer John Sherman in an acting capacity, will be responsible for coordinating the Pentagon’s data and artificial intelligence effort.
U.S. Cyber Command is preparing to wield much greater budget control over major cyber programs, shifting funds away from the Army and Air Force programs that currently procure systems on behalf of the command and its forces. The fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act gave the commander of CYBERCOM responsibility for direct control and management of planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of the resources to maintain the cyber mission force, an authority known as enhanced budget control.
There are a ton of great air museums all over the world, from the Royal Air Force Museum in London to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona and the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington, D.C. There's a case to be made, however, that the best of them all is in Dayton, Ohio. There on the grounds of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has a massive collection of rare and important aircraft from the entire history of aviation.