Previews from the Dark Side

The secret, or “black” portion of the Air Force’s budget, although constrained, is producing useful capabilities, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in a recent interview. Offering a peek behind the curtain, Schwartz said that there are things in the surveillance areas, command and control, and intelligence “that I think are pretty exciting.” Based on his experience with classified programs, Schwartz said, “The classified areas of our budget are producing more product now than I have seen in the past.” He added, “We are delivering things that I think certainly will be meaningful to the joint team for quite a long time.” Speaking of black projects, the Air Force in December officially lifted the veil on the RQ-170 Sentinel, a stealth unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that has been operating from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.