Although the Air Force just finished a study across its intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance enterprise to assess its information-gathering needs in the next 10 years, it has a few more studies to do in order to get a solid handle on requirements, said Lt. Gen. Larry James, deputy chief of staff for ISR. Among the outstanding studies is how the Air Force will integrate “nontraditional ISR” into its force structure, he said at an Aviation Week conference on Wednesday. That term no longer simply applies to data collected by fighters and other platforms through Sniper pods and other targeting sensors, he said. It also increasingly refers to exploiting the enormous data “take” from the F-22 and F-35, which “may be the only penetrating assets we have” in future anti-access/area denial environments, said James. Air Combat Command is doing the NTISR study, and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board is looking at the issue in parallel, he said. ACC’s effort got under way just three weeks ago and is supposed to wrap up this summer, said James.
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.