So That’s What “Offboard” Means

Given the apparent new confidence of the intelligence community in the Space Radar—which promises fine-grained, all-weather imagery, as well as surface moving target information—the Air Force’s decision to keep an elaborate intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance suite off of its future penetrating bomber makes a little more sense. Top USAF officials have insisted that, to keep costs down, the new bomber will rely on “offboard” sensor systems resident on other aircraft and satellites. If the Space Radar will truly provide persistent coverage with high granularity, the bomber could well rely on such information for targeting and situational awareness, assuming an enemy doesn’t employ anti-satellite weapons.