Ash Carter, Pentagon acquisition chief, said last week at a Washington conference that he recognizes USAF’s unique recapitalization challenges and continues to press on with a “family of systems” approach to handle long range strike and other critical missions to include intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance, electronic attack, penetrating attack, and more. “We’re working with the Air Force and over the next year we need to find our way ahead in all these areas,” Carter said, noting that not all the goals will be met, but many will have to be. Still, at a minimum, he aims to “provide an answer” in the coming year on the way forward for long range strike.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."