Ukraine F-16s

Ukraine Says It Needs ‘Fast and Versatile’ Aircraft, Not the A-10

Ukraine’s air space has been contested for more than five months, replete with advanced Russian fighter jets and near-universal Russian surface-to-air missile coverage that make penetration by aging Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29s and Su-25s both risky and dangerous. For the duration of that time, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has asked the United States and international partners for Western combat jets and the training to fly them. U.S. officials have weighed in, but they may not be suggesting the right aircraft, a Ukrainian defense official told Air Force Magazine.
wedgetail modification

Boeing Says It’s Ready to Help USAF ‘Accelerate‘ Delivery of E-7 Ahead of 2027 Timeline

The Air Force’s aging E-3 Sentry fleet is on its last legs. The service has already asked in the 2023 budget to retire half the fleet, and its replacement, the E-7 Wedgetail, has been selected. But now, lawmakers and observers are asking a new question: How quickly can the Wedgetail actually be delivered? The Air Force has said the first prototypes will be delivered by 2027—but Boeing, the contractor behind the airframe, says it is ready to help accelerate that process.

Loyal Wingman or ‘Untethered’ Drone? Why Not Both, Industry Leaders Say

As the Air Force moves forward with plans to team manned and unmanned systems in the future, the service might be best served by pursuing platforms that can function on their own as uncrewed aircraft—but are still capable of working as “loyal wingmen” to manned systems. So said several executives of top defense contractors at the Farnborough International Airshow, emphasizing flexibility in how these new aircraft would be able to operate.
hypersonic

Successful HAWC Test Doesn’t End DARPA’s Hypersonic Scramjet Efforts

DARPA is going to keep working on its Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) missile, even though the program for which it’s meant to be a technology pathfinder is already in source selection. A HAWC demonstrator flew successfully this month. The next phase of the program would “develop, integrate, and demonstrate technologies to increase effectiveness and producibility of an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile,” according to the Pentagon's fiscal 2023 budget request.
SDA satellites

SDA Pushes Industry to Embrace ‘True Standards‘ for Satellites

As the Space Development Agency looks to capitalize on innovation from the fast-expanding commercial space market, the agency's leaders have said they want to constantly have open competitions for the tranches of new satellites projected for every two years. But the SDA’s approach isn’t just increasing competition. It’s also helping to shape common standards across satellites that are much needed and could have far-reaching effects, a top commercial space executive told Air Force Magazine.

Radar Sweep

Milley: China More Aggressive, Dangerous to US, Allies

The Associated Press

The Chinese military has become significantly more aggressive and dangerous over the past five years, the top U.S. military officer said during a trip to the Indo-Pacific that included a stop in Indonesia. Gen. E. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the number of intercepts by Chinese aircraft and ships in the Pacific region with U.S. and other partner forces has increased significantly over that time, and the number of unsafe interactions has risen by similar proportions.

The First Information Warfare Numbered Air Force Welcomes New Commander

Air Force release

16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), welcomed U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Kevin Kennedy while bidding farewell to its first commander, Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh. During his first address as the 16th Air Force commander, Kennedy emphasized the importance of the Numbered Air Force’s role in serving as a link between the Air Force, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and U.S. Space Command.

500-Plus Drones, Extra HIMARS Headed to Ukraine in Latest U.S. Package

Defense News

The White House will provide 580 Phoenix Ghost drones and five high-mobility artillery rocket systems to Ukraine as part of the latest security package to help in the fight against Russia, officials confirmed. White House national security council spokesperson John Kirby also acknowledged that U.S. officials have begun discussions on potential aircraft acquisition for Ukrainian pilots as part of long-term partnering with America. But he said that work is not likely to produce any short-term changes for Ukraine’s air forces.

The Newest Branch of the Military Is Taking a Different Approach to Fitness

NPR

A handful of Airmen gather on a six-lane track at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. They're about to start their one-and-a-half-mile run. Each Airman has to finish under a set time based on their age to pass this portion of the Air Force's fitness test. This once-a-year assessment is how the Air Force measures if its airmen are physically ready for what their service requires. But the Space Force has a different approach to fitness. Members won't have an annual test. Instead, they'll get a smart ring or other wearable fitness device that will keep track of their physical activity throughout the year.

Startup SCOUT Piques Space Force Interest With Space Data Software

Breaking Defense

Tiny startup SCOUT Space has caught the eye of the Space Force with its software for integrating space observation data taken from numerous satellite sensors, winning a demonstration contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s AFWERX technology accelerator. Under the Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award, announced today, SCOUT will work with AFRL’s Intelligence Systems Division and the Space Force’s Delta 2 responsible for space domain awareness.

Counterterrorism Still a Pressing Issue for Special Operations, Africa Command Nominees Say

Military Times

With the war in Afghanistan in the rear-view mirror, a pressing threat to Europe from Russia in the foreground and an ongoing competition for influence and military dominance with China, the generals tapped to lead U.S. Special Operations and Africa commands are set to have a lot on their plates. At their confirmation hearing, senators were eager to hear about how they plan to counter the ongoing threat of non-state terrorist groups, while balancing the main priorities in the current national defense strategy.

The Military May Be Required to Start Tracking Suicides by Job Assignments

Military Times

Defense Department officials would be required to better track whether certain military jobs lend themselves to higher incidents of mental health distress and suicide attempts under language inserted in the Senate’s annual defense authorization bill draft. The provision’s sponsor—Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) calls the idea a common-sense move to get as much information as possible to understand and prevent why some troops and veterans consider self harm.

Congress Increases Innovation Funding, Again

National Defense Magazine

The cat and mouse game between the White House and Congress over innovation funding in the annual defense budget continues. Here’s the gist of it: The administration presents its annual defense budget proposal. It touts the request for research, development, test and evaluation funding, and states it is a significant increase over the previous year’s request. Then, members dig into the proposal and chide the administration for requesting less science-and-technology funding than what Congress authorized and appropriated the previous year.

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A Progress Report on the USAF Secretary’s Top Priorities

Aviation Week

When U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall outlined his seven major priorities for shaping future Air Force operations, a first step was directly asking industry how they could help, with the aim of using this input to help form longer-term budget plans next year. Now that the service has collected and digested this industry feedback, Kendall says he has a clearer idea of what is possible and what programs are realistic in the near term, and that this type of industry input should be used more often in military planning.

Can GE Finally Break Through on the F-35 Engine at a ‘Critical Decision Point’?

Breaking Defense

Since the early days of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, General Electric has been trying to grab onto the global F-35 engine market but has been stymied at every turn. Something would happen with the plane’s Pratt & Whitney F135 design, and GE’s hopes would rise with talk of the need for a second engine, only to crash again after a few weeks. Now, over 20 years years after Lockheed Martin’s F-35 design was chosen by the Pentagon to be its fifth-generation fighter, GE is trying again with a new engine—and expressing cautious optimism about its XA100 design.

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