The RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone’s days are numbered, as the Air Force plans to phase out all remaining air vehicles by fiscal 2027. Breaking Defense obtained a letter from an Air Force Life Cycle Management Center contracting officer informing prime contractor Northrop Grumman of the sunset date for the Global Hawk Block 40—the most modern version of the RQ-4 used by the service to collect surveillance and track ground targets.
Air Force Prepares for Newly Approved Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, a New Option for Unvaccinated Airmen, Guardians
The Air Force will soon have the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine available after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized it for emergency use and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed it as another primary series option for adults ages 18 and older. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available in the coming weeks, is a two-dose vaccine that presents a new option for those who have been hesitant to receive the FDA fully licensed and approved mRNA vaccines.
The U.S. military is now offering medical care to wounded Ukrainian troops at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the premier American hospital in Europe, Military Times learned. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III signed guidance allowing Landstuhl to treat up to 18 Ukrainian service members at a time, according to a Joint Staff memo.
When Ukrainian fighters surrendered Mauripol’s sprawling steel plant to Russian forces after a months-long siege, the consequences were widespread. Russia not only notched a victory over the 500 Ukrainians fighting to maintain control, but it also knocked out a plant central to Ukraine’s position as a powerhouse in global neon gas exports. Those exports are key to manufacturing the very weapons the United States is sending to Kyiv to defend against Moscow’s invasion.
It’s been more than a year since the Defense Department launched an offensive against extremism in the services, including a daylong standdown for the entire department and an updated policy against extremist activity. But the services aren’t interested in fielding a new Uniform Code of Military Justice article that would specifically outlaw that activity. Instead, DOD would like to give its previous efforts time to percolate before taking any more steps.
Lawmakers who worry that the United States cannot ward off the kind of cruise missiles that Russia is lobbing at Ukraine should know that the Pentagon does have a plan to do so—in a few years. But the command in charge of that defense needs new technologies and updated guidance from higher-ups. The largely classified plan focuses on 2025 and beyond. A big part of it is prioritizing defense around the targets that an adversary would most likely attack with cruise missiles, said Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, the head of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The various efforts the military services are undertaking to achieve a more connected way of warfare are disjointed and need more guidance, according to a top Air Force adviser and other observers. The Pentagon’s joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) concept seeks to connect sensors and shooters and provide battlefield commanders with the right information to make faster decisions. But each of the military departments has its own JADC2 initiative.
The country’s largest National Guard Bureau-sponsored military exercise, Northern Strike 22-2, is scheduled to take place Aug. 6-20 across northern Michigan’s National All-Domain Warfighting Center. The NADWC is centered around the Camp Grayling Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center. Approximately 7,400 participants from 19 states and several coalition countries will participate in one of the state’s largest-ever iterations of Northern Strike.
Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz confirmed that Russian forces opened fire on Israeli jets in May using advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, at the end of an Israeli Air Force attack on targets in northwestern Syria. “Our jets weren’t even in the area,” Gantz added, confirming the original report, which claimed that the S-300 radar did not manage to lock onto the Israeli jets that were leaving the area, and thus did not pose a serious threat to the pilots.
The American-made Phoenix Ghost loitering munition is being used to great effect in the Ukraine-Russia war, U.S. officials say, but the head of the service that developed the weapon is being tight-lipped about its capabilities and the Pentagon’s plans for employing the system for its own use.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has established a new personnel training program, and its first batch of pilots, trained on the J-10 medium-weight, single-engine, multirole combat aircraft, graduated from the Shijiazhuang Flight Academy, the Chinese state-owned media outlet Global Times reported. The pilots that have passed out of this new program have an average age of 23 and were selected from pilot cadets who trained with CJ-6 trainer aircraft at the Aviation University of Air Force, following which they trained on JL-10 advanced trainer jets and then switched to train on J-10s in July 2021.
Sierra Space has created a group of former government officials, including a retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a NASA deputy administrator, to advise the company as it seeks to win national security business. The eight-person committee will advise the company on national security threats and technology trends and potential solutions it could offer.
The Taiwanese Air Force, also known as the Republic of China Air Force, has uncharacteristically released photos of weapons loading operations that were carried out in the highly fortified underground cave-like complex connected to Chiashan Air Force Base. The photos offer a very rare look inside the subterranean tunnel network that houses some of the ROCAF’s most capable fighter jets, including the recently upgraded F-16V Viper that can be seen in the images being armed with Harpoon anti-ship missiles.