hypersonics sled

Air Force Revives Sled Testing for Hypersonics Work

The Air Force has revived hypersonic sled testing, dormant for 18 years, in order to add another means to the limited portfolio of hypersonic test capabilities. Sled tests at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., demonstrated that hypersonic speeds can be achieved on a test track and the test vehicle recovered for further analysis. Frequently, the vehicle is lost for post-flight analysis.
GE Additive - inside a DMLM - laser - additive manufacturing machine

US Remains Leader in Emerging Technologies, But China Makes Some Gains, Study Finds

When it comes to key emerging technologies like additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and space, the U.S. remains the leader in innovation, according to a new study prepared for the Air Force. Analyzing hundreds of million of patent applications from across the world, the report from the RAND Corp. found that in six areas—Additive manufacturing, AI, space, quantum, ceramics, and sensors—where there have been surges in interest over the past few decades, U.S. inventors have typically been “first to file in areas of technological emergence, far more often than other countries,” the report states.
Redstone Arsenal gate

GAO Finds ‘Significant Shortfalls’ in Space Command HQ Process—But Lets Final Decision Stand

The Government Accountability Office identified “significant shortfalls” in the transparency and credibility of the Air Force process that led to the selection of Redstone Arsenal, Ala., as the preferred location for the headquarters of U.S. Space Command in 2020, but it did not identify any laws or policies that were violated, setting up the process to reach its final stages after months of limbo.

Five US Aircraft Left to Certify with KC-46 Tanker 

Just five U.S. aircraft remain to be certified with the KC-46 tanker for operational missions designated by U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command said. The new tanker is certified for some 97 percent of mission taskings now, but it's unclear when the next capability release will come. Six batches of aircraft were cleared with the Pegasus tanker since July, 2021.

Radar Sweep

Here’s How Tinker Air Force Base Cut Heavy Maintenance Time for F-35 Engines in Half

Air Force Times

A hiring wave, process overhauls, and new tools and equipment have helped a U.S. Air Force base cut by more than half the time it takes to repair and overhaul F-35 engines, from an average 244 days to 106. And the commander of the base’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex hopes that in two years, if it gets the necessary resources, Tinker Air Force Base will be able to repair anywhere from 105 to 120 F135 power modules per year. That would be more than double the 51 it handled in 2021, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey King said in a May 26 interview.

Meet the Guardsman Helping Ukrainians Blow Up Russian Tanks over the Phone


Sgt. 1st Class Chris Freymann never thought he'd have such a direct role in the fight against Russian forces invading Ukraine. But as the war raged, he became a kind of ad hoc, over-the-phone tech support for Ukrainians trying to use Javelin missiles while under fire. They messaged with questions; Freymann sent answers. In return, he got photos and videos of the Russian tanks they destroyed.

U.S. General Calls on West to Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine ‘As Soon as Possible'


The commanding general of the California National Guard is calling on U.S. and other Western officials to explore sending fighter jets to Ukraine “as soon as possible,” rekindling a longstanding request by Kyiv. In a statement to POLITICO on Friday, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, California National Guard adjutant general, also said sending Soviet-era MiG fighters in the near term is the best “immediate solution.”

The World’s Most Secretive 737 Just Migrated To Oklahoma

The Drive

The Air Force's wildly modified NT-43, better known by its callsign, 'RAT55,' just made a rare flight outside its usual highly-defined operational confines. You see, RAT55 isn't just the strangest 737 flying, it's also the shyest. It lives and works almost exclusively within the desolate air training ranges that take up large swathes of airspace over south-central California and southern Nevada, often disappearing into Area 51 or the Tonopah Test Range Airport.

How the U.S. Space Force Plans to Police Outer Space


Outer space is getting crowded, with both commercial endeavors and secretive military projects. And it’s going to be up to the newest United States military branch, the Space Force, to protect American interests there.

COMMENTARY: How Russia’s War with Ukraine has Changed the Face of Military Reconnaissance

Task & Purpose

“When a war is about to start, a military must first understand the battlefield. Advance Force Operations—tactical reconnaissance—is an old and common way of doing this. These days, modern military forces conduct such preparatory operations with satellite imagery and signals collection. Historically, this role had been performed by highly secretive special operations teams charged with intelligence collection, clandestine operations, source generation, and preparation for follow-on operations. As the Global War on Terror evolved into a long night of finding and finishing specific targets, these teams perfected the finish aspect, while the preparation fell by the wayside,” writes Ethan Brown, a senior fellow for defense studies at the Mike Rogers Center for Intelligence and Global Affairs.

China Fighter Pilots Raised Middle Finger at Canada Air Force Crew—Report


Chinese fighter jets repeatedly buzzed Canadian air force planes on a UN-sanctioned operation in international airspace, some coming so close as to make eye contact with pilots in the other cockpit, according to a report. Sources in the Canadian government told Global News that the close-quarters intercepts happened approximately 60 times since Christmas. "Those jets are frequently flying as close as 20 to 100 feet from the Canadian plane," the report said. Canadian pilots "sometimes see them raising their middle fingers."

Air Force Under Pressure as Airlift Capacity Falls (UPDATED)

National Defense Magazine

The Air Force’s fleet of airlifters — roughly half the size it was during the 1990s — has been operating at high tempo for two decades, wearing out airplanes with no near-term prospect of replacement and further cuts to the force planned, despite projected demand for airlift that will operate in increasingly contested environments.

One More Thing

Meet ‘Sticky McStickface,’ the New Official Mascot for an Air Force Innovation Team

Task & Purpose

Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, some don’t even have muscle definition, pants, or three dimensions. One such hero is Sticky McStickface, the new two-dimensional mascot for a group dedicated to making life easier and more efficient at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. “Sticky is the people’s champion,” said Chase Kohler, spokesperson for the 412th Test Wing, the host unit at Edwards. Kohler clarified that Sticky’s pronoun is they, “as a representation for everyone.”