Kendall NGAD

Kendall Dispenses With Roper’s Quick NGAD Rhythm; System is Too Complex

The crewed, central airplane in the Next Generation Air Dominance system won’t follow early timetables that called for new versions to be fielded about every five years because it’s simply too complex, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall revealed. And while the program has entered formal development, it is still in competition, he said. Speaking at an AFA “Leaders in Action” event, Kendall noted that the NGAD started in 2014 and got under contract the following year, with the goal of producing “X-planes—demonstrators.” That phase of the program was carried out “in a reasonable timeframe for that kind of program,” he said. But “the NGAD that we’re working on now … is going to take longer. It’s a more complicated operation to have a manned aircraft” that will be the follow-on to the F-22.

Kendall: ‘Unrealistic’ for Air Force to Fight Two Wars While Modernizing

As Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall looks to modernize the force, he is calling for tough decisions that will shrink the size of the fleet and make the waging of two simultaneous wars “unrealistic,” he said at an AFA Leaders in Action event. Kendall sat down with AFA's president, retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, for an in-person discussion attended by a hundred air power professionals and enthusiasts at the Air and Space Forces Association's headquarters in Arlington, Va. Kendall addressed topics ranging from threats posed by China and Russia to the ongoing congressional funding decisions that he said are necessary to keep pace with China’s heavy technological investments.

Shift to Air Defense War in Ukraine Prompts US to Rethink Aid

The attempt by Ukraine to hold the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk ended June 23 as the Biden administration announced another $450 million in military aid, including four additional HIMARS rocket systems, to help strike Russian artillery as unmanned aerial systems have grown ineffective against Russian air defenses. “Air defense is a key area that we're very much focused on,” a senior defense official said at a Pentagon press briefing meant to highlight new security assistance authorized by President Joe Biden.

Looser Marijuana Rules Added to House Panel’s NDAA—But No Changes to Vaccine Mandate

Service members facing potential discharges for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine received little relief from the House Armed Services Committee as it marked up the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, with a series of provisions challenging the vaccine mandate getting voted down. Troops hoping for changes to the Pentagon’s approach to marijuana, however, were buoyed by a pair of amendments included in the committee’s version of the NDAA that was approved in a bipartisan 57-1 vote.

Radar Sweep

'Doolies' Begin 6-Week Air Force Academy Basic Training

Colorado Springs Gazette

An Air Force Academy appointee walked up the steps to the Holaday Athletic Center, where her transformation from civilian to Academy Cadet would begin, and she paused for a moment. Behind her, sign-carrying upperclassmen were instructing her family to move their vehicle along to make room for the dozen or so cars that were queued behind it. The offloading process was efficient and abrupt. Tearful goodbyes were restricted to the space inside the car. “I wasn’t expecting that,” the freshman said before entering the building. Her day would get more frenetic, and much louder, very soon.

Air Force’s First Female Special Tactics Officer Earns Coveted Scarlet Beret

Air Force Times

An Air Force captain became the service’s first female special tactics officer, donning the elite red beret after completing a grueling three-month training course. Her journey to become a commando has sparked controversy over the past six months about how the Air Force enforces its most stringent training standards and whether she has enjoyed unfair flexibility while going through the pipeline.

‘Matter of National Security’: Democratic Veterans, Advocates Call for Codifying Right to Abortion

Defense One

One Army veteran running for Congress says the freedoms she fought for in Iraq are being “ripped away” by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Ashley Ehasz, a West Point grad and former Apache helicopter pilot who is seeking to unseat Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania, said the decision is “a matter of national security” because of the impact it will have on the women serving in uniform.

Parallel Paths for Space Sustainability


When Vice President Kamala Harris announced in an April 18 speech at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., that the United States would ban the testing of destructive, direct-ascent antisatellite (ASAT) weapons, it was not entirely surprising. The timing was linked to a United Nations meeting in May to discuss reducing space threats. The meeting is part of a long-term effort to agree on rules of the road to maintain safety in Earth orbit and to prevent runaway growth of debris. But the growing commercial users of space are not waiting on the U.N. to take action.

A Middle East NATO? A Missile Defense Network With Israel? Major Shifts Brewing in Region

Breaking Defense

The growing perception of Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, along with Washington’s desire to reduce Russian and Chinese influence in the oil-rich Gulf Arab states, has prompted intense bouts of diplomacy in recent months that could lead to major shifts in the political and military landscape. Many reports have surfaced in past weeks regarding significant developments in play that will likely come together during President Joe Biden’s expected visit to the region in July, according to analysts who spoke with Breaking Defense.

Raytheon, Northrop Grumman Advance in Competition to Develop Hypersonic Weapons Interceptor

Defense News

Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman have each won contracts to continue developing hypersonic weapons interceptors in a Missile Defense Agency-led competition. Each company was awarded a firm-fixed price modification to a previously awarded contract for rapid prototyping. Each modification is worth roughly $41.5 million, bringing the total contract value thus far to around $61 million each, according to the contract announcement.

Space Force Stands Up New Intel Center; Air Force’s NASIC Keeps Some Space-related Analysts

Breaking Defense

The Space Force stood up its new National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC), but its progenitor, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), will confusingly keep space in its name—and continue to be responsible for a good chunk of space-related analysis, according to sources. “It begs the question, I think, as to why did we need to stand up a National Space Intelligence Center? And the truth is that we needed a sharper focus on the space threat that is there today,” Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback, the Space Force’s head of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, said at the stand-up ceremony.

OPINION: Air Force A-10s Are Still Needed, and the Russia-Ukraine War Proves It

Task & Purpose

“Not all weapons are equally important in war. Their importance is unrelated to their cost. Simple tools are undeniably more important in combat than more expensive weapons. Camouflage, concealment, deception, and dispersal still matter. Whether hiding combat jets, trucks, or armor, these basics always apply. Hiding air bases from hypersonic weapons is impossible, therefore maintaining the Air Force’s austere field capability with either the A-10 or a future replacement attack aircraft shouldn’t be underestimated,” writes retired Lt. Col. Brian Boeding, a former A-10 instructor.

Boeing Wants More Money for New Air Force One, USAF Official Says

Defense One

Boeing is looking for contract loopholes to get the Pentagon to fork over more money for work on two new Air Force One jets, a project that has cost the planemaker billions of dollars, a top Air Force official said. The company and the Air Force are going back and forth over the terms of a 2018 contract, which stipulates that Boeing, not taxpayers, must pay for any cost overages.

One More Thing

Kicking Tires and Lighting Fires With Coyote From ‘Top Gun: Maverick’


“Top Gun: Maverick” premiered with a new, diverse cast of Naval aviators set to compete for spots at the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as TOPGUN. Actor Greg Tarzan Davis talked about carrier life, pulling G’s, and portraying Lt. Javy Machado, call sign “Coyote,” a fighter pilot with something to prove.

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