House Armed Services Chair Raises Concerns about F-35—and NGAD

The services may want to pause buying the F-35 fighter until the Block 4 version is available and possibly curtail the program from reaching planned buys, House Armed Services chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told defense reporters. Meanwhile, lawmakers should take a hard look at the Next Generation Air Dominance system that's the next step in fighter technology, Smith said. The Air Force is poised to spend scores of billions on the two programs in the coming decade.
SiAW

New SiAW Seen as Modular, Pathfinder Weapon

The Stand-in Attack Weapon is to be a pathfinder system in two ways, industry and Air Force officials said. The SiAW will both open a corridor through enemy air defenses and potentially create a new way of buying weapons. The Air Force is looking for an operational capability in the 2026 timeframe, sources said, after a brief evaluation period of products generated during the development phase.
guam standoff

36th Munitions Squadron Readies Guam for Improved Stand-Off Weapons Capability

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam—Amid 4,400 acres of jungle terrain on the northern plateau of Guam, new construction is underway to add storage for standoff munitions and to better prepare the Air Force to meet the rising threat posed by China. The new standoff weapons complex under construction at the Air Force’s largest munitions depot in the world will cost $43.7 million and include 20 Hayman Igloos capable of storing 48 pre-loaded standoff weapons, plus a pre-load facility and a powered trailer capable of fully equipping bombs.

Radar Sweep

The US Overestimated Russia’s Military Might. Is It Underestimating China’s?

Politico

The U.S. failure to correctly predict how the Russian and Ukrainian militaries would perform in the early stages of their ongoing war is fueling fears in Washington that America may have major blindspots when it comes to the fighting force of an increasingly powerful adversary: China. The concerns rise as American spy agencies reexamine how they assess foreign militaries, and, according to a Biden administration official, are a key driver of a number of ongoing classified reviews.

DOD Software Deliveries Are Lagging Behind Industry Standards

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon is still struggling to deliver working software for its weapon systems in a timely manner, with programs lagging behind commercial standards that call for deliveries as frequently as every two weeks, according to a new watchdog report. In its annual Weapon System Annual Assessment, the Government Accountability Office surveyed 59 Major Defense Acquisition Projects (MDAPs) and Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) programs and found the department needs to rapidly increase delivery of software to a majority of those programs.

US Sending $1 Billion More Military Aid to Outgunned Ukraine

The Associated Press

The U.S. announced that it will send an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine as America and its allies provide longer-range weapons they say can make a difference in a fight where Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and outgunned by their Russian invaders. President Joe Biden and his top national security leaders said the U.S. is moving as fast as possible to get critical weapons to the fight, even as Ukrainian officials protest that they need more, faster, in order to survive.

Tomorrow’s Missile-Warning Satellites Will Join SBIRS, Not Replace Them: Space Systems Command

Defense One

A set of five planned U.S. missile-warning satellites are often described as “replacing” the Space-Based Infrared Systems satellites that currently keep an eye out for enemy launches. That’s not the case, a Space Systems Command leader said. Instead, the Pentagon’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared, or OPIR, satellites will be integrated with the existing SBIRS constellation.

Retired Four-Star General John Hyten Joins Blue Origin as Strategic Adviser

SpaceNews

Blue Origin announced that former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John E. Hyten will join Jeff Bezos’ space company as executive director of the firm’s Club for the Future foundation and as a strategic adviser. Hyten, who retired in November 2021 after 40 years in the Air Force, was the nation’s second-highest-ranking military officer. As vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he ran the Joint Requirements Oversight Council that oversees all military acquisitions. He previously served as commander of Air Force Space Command and U.S. Strategic Command.

‘Obsolete’ NATO Force Presence in Baltics Needs Upgrade, Estonian Defense Leader Says

Defense One

NATO must station more forces in the Baltic nations to provide a more credible deterrent after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Estonian defense secretary said. Kusti Salm, the permanent secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defense, said the number of NATO troops in Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia today, which is intended to act as a “tripwire” for Russian aggression, is too small to deter Russian aggression or quickly push back troops from Moscow.

Construction Has Begun of Airbase on Tinian Island in Case Guam Gets Knocked Out

The Drive

Satellite imagery shows major construction at Tinian International Airport that The Drive can say with near certainty is linked directly to plans to expand the facility's ability to act as a divert airfield for the U.S. military in a crisis. More than a decade in the making, the project is intended to provide a vital alternative operating location to the U.S. Air Force's massive Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam, just to the southwest of Tinian, should that base be put out of action for any reason.

AFWERX Moving Back to DC

Federal News Network

The Air Force’s innovation arm missed the Washington, D.C., metro area after all. AFWERX closed its offices in Arlington, Va., during the pandemic, figuring it would use its offices in Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, as places to recruit innovative companies. But like in "The Godfather Part III," AFWERX may have been screaming “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” to Washington, D.C.

VA Weighs Limiting Access to Outside Doctors to Curb Rising Costs

Military.com

The Department of Veterans Affairs may alter the rules for its community health care program, a system designed to help veterans see doctors outside of the VA system if they don’t have easy access to a VA medical facility, to stop that program’s growing spending from devouring its overall health care budget, according to VA Secretary Denis McDonough.

One More Thing

Space Force License Plates Coming to Colorado

Military.com

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bipartisan bill into law funding commemorative license plates for the Space Force, honoring the newest military service branch's heavy presence in the state. The introduction of the bill followed a Military.com story in February that California, Colorado, and Florida didn't offer commemorative plates for Guardians, despite housing Space Force bases in each of their states.

This Day in Airpower
Celebrating 75 Years of Air and Space Power