The Pentagon has agreed to keep talking with industry about whether the defense industrial base should be a factor in Quadrennial Defense Review and national strategy deliberations, according to the Aerospace Industries Association. The AIA yesterday released a study urging that it should be, noting that the Defense Department may be counting on intellectual or production capabilities that simply won’t be there in the future if they’re neglected now. The study, titled “The Unseen Cost: Industrial Base Consequences of Defense Strategy Choices” has been in the works since January. Its six recommendations call for an “institutionalized” inclusion of industrial base issues in all strategy reviews, due to the fact that the industry has changed significantly in the last decade. Depending on “market forces”—as has been US policy—to answer all US military needs won’t work, AIA president Marion Blakey told reporters in Arlington, Va. “We have been concerned for a number of years” that the relationship between the Pentagon and its suppliers has atrophied, she said, and the new Administration may not be operating with up-to-date knowledge about the true capabilities of today’s contractors. Some of today’s Pentagon decision-makers may have been out of the defense orbit so long they may not be aware that some companies have diversified or exited the business altogether or that the pressure to prop up shareholder value may cause companies to exit unprofitable markets, AIA officials said. However, Blakey noted there have been talks with both Bill Lynn, deputy secretary of defense, and Pentagon acquisition, technology, and logistics czar Ashton Carter, who seem receptive to the AIA’s suggestions. The AIA president said defense know-how in the US is “perishable” and that, regardless of strategic choices, the areas of rotary-wing design, long-range strike, space power, and overall science and technology investment have “degraded” and those sectors may not be able to provide what the Pentagon wants within required timeframes.
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.