New ISR Aircraft and ABL Fall Prey to QDR:

The Air Force will be limited to just one E-10 next-generation intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance airplane to test new technology, notably new radars. Senior service officials believe any idea of taking the program operational is kaput. (Read our article on battlespace awareness here and how the E-10 program demise evolved here.) There is discussion of the Air Force hitching a ride on the Navy’s new 737-derived multimission maritime reconnaissance aircraft, instead. USAF’s Airborne Laser attack aircraft—currently being managed by the Missile Defense Agency—also will be put on a back burner, remaining, at most, a technology demonstrator. (Read our 2003 article here for background; a defense of the program here; and current comments here.)