Looking for a Long-Range-Strike Fly Off?:

The Air Force plans to engage in a fly-off to narrow down the field of choices for the next long-range-strike platform. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told Senate defense appropriators last week that the service plans to put forth in its Fiscal 2008 budget request, “a hard plan to essentially offer a fly-before-buy option, so that we can, in fact, lock in 2017 initial operational capability.” The Quadrennial Defense Review canned USAF’s version of a Joint-Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, but officials say they will incorporate work on J-UCAS technologies into the LRS program. The platform search remains open to unmanned or manned systems, although the QDR calls for a future LRS force that is 45 percent unmanned.