The Air Force released Global Horizons, a science and technology study providing a blueprint for how the service can sustain and enhance its core functions in air, space, and cyberspace as these domains become increasingly complex, congested, competitive, and contested, according to a service release. The work—the last project led by former Air Force Chief Scientist Mark Maybury—articulates near-term (out to Fiscal 2017), mid-term (Fiscal 2018 to Fiscal 2022), and far-term (Fiscal 2023 to Fiscal 2027) approaches to S&T. “The study succeeded in quantitatively forecasting the future out to 2050 in terms of changes that influence global stability, such as global population and prosperity, climate changes, and competition for natural resources . . . as well as forecasting technology and military trends that might undermine freedom of maneuver in global domains,” said Maybury in the July 2 release. Global Horizons also identifies specific investments by allied and partner nations—such as hypersonics in Australia, biofuels in Brazil, and robotics in Japan and South Korea—that the Air Force could leverage to help decrease the cost and accelerate the acquisition of its new capabilities. Mica Endsley replaced Maybury as chief scientist in June. (Global Horizons full document; caution, large-sized file.) (Washington, D.C, report by Ed Gulick)
Three types of U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft participated in air-to-air refueling with a commercial tanker for the first time last month, coinciding with a bilateral exercise between the U.S. and Singapore that concluded Nov. 24.