Air Frame: Year in Review, February 2011: The Air Force on Feb. 24, 2011, selected Boeing’s 767-based NewGen Tanker, shown here in an artist’s rendering, to replace the service’s oldest KC-135s starting late in this decade. The new tanker is now designated the KC-46A. Also in February, the New START agreement entered into force with Russia, with the goal of reducing US and Russian strategic nuclear forces to unprecedented levels. In mid month, President Obama asked Congress to provide $671 billion for the Defense Department in Fiscal 2012. The Air Force portion, including plans to field a new bomber in the mid 2020s, amounted to $166.3 billion. The Pentagon also released a new National Military Strategy and new National Security Space Strategy. The C-17 became the Air Force’s first platform certified to operate unconstrained on fuel blends containing biofuels. Boeing illustration
Whether the F-35 fighter will get new engines from the Air Force’s cutting-edge Adaptive Engine Transition Program is a question that needs to be resolved at the Defense Department level, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told lawmakers May 17—and he anticipates an answer in the 2024 budget.