There’s probably a new fighter-like airplane in the Air Force’s future, but it won’t be the sole answer to achieving air superiority, senior service planners said Thursday. Speaking at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va., Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF’s strategic planner, revealed that a year-long “Air Superiority 2030” study concluded that a heavily networked and space-dependent “system of systems” approach is the way to go to keep ahead of adversaries who will soon have all the tricks and technologies USAF has now. The key element probably won’t be a successor to the F-22, though. In fact, Holmes and Col. Alex Grynkewich, who headed the study, said they discourage use of the term “sixth generation” to describe the new aircraft, lest people think of it as a mere successor to existing systems. It will be one element in a broader system that will feature cheap, quasi-disposable drones built and fielded in large numbers; enhancements of today’s “roll-back” and standoff capabilities aimed at penetrating heavily defended airspace; space systems delivering connectivity, navigation, and targeting; and rapid “prioritized technology insertion” into all existing systems. Grynkewich said the study indicated long-range and higher payloads will be key for a new platform. While something like the new B-21 bomber will be one alternative looked at for air superiority, he said “speed and agility” were found to “still have value” in air combat of the 2030s and beyond.
Feb. 28, 2021
In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.
Feb. 26, 2021
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Roth, NORAD’s Gen. VanHerck, U.S. Space Command’s Gen. Dickinson, Spark Tank, and more from Day 3 of the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.
Feb. 26, 2021
A crew chief and production superintendent from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took home the 3D-printed trophy in the Department of the Air Force’s Spark Tank innovation contest for a simple idea he predicts could “solve a lot of issues across the aircraft community.” Master Sgt. Justin Bauer pitched his…
The first flight of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile will happen within a week, experts reported Feb. 26 at AFA's virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon will fly soon after a failed attempt, which was apparently due to technical and procedural glitches not related to the missile's design.
Air Combat Command is trying to move forward with an experiment it hopes will pave the way for a larger overhaul of fighter pilot training, despite pandemic-era complications. The command is working through the contracting process for the resources it needs to test the “Reforge” idea, ACC boss Gen. Mark…
Feb. 26, 2021
Nearly 140 Air National Guard personnel from Texas and Kentucky have responded to parts of Texas that were devastated by Winter Storm Uri, ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh told reporters Feb. 26. The polar vortex ravaged Texas’ power grid and deprived many citizens of running water.
The head of Air Combat Command isn't sure the cost of operating the F-35 will hit the desired $25,000 per hour by 2025, and he's headed out to meetings to see what can be done to make it happen. He's also concerned that China will beat the U.S. to 6th-generation…
The Pentagon’s new Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military has 90 days to find ways to combat the problem within the ranks, and the group will consider all options to address an issue that has “shattered the dreams” of many service members who joined with optimism about…
Feb. 26, 2021
Air Education and Training Command has incorporated a focus on human performance optimization—which includes personal resilience, health, fitness, diet, and mental performance—into its Undergraduate Pilot Training 2.5 program, 19th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills said at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.