New Threats Demand Nuclear Modernization

Deterrence isn't what it used to be, and the U.S. will be in trouble against an array of new nuclear weapons not covered by treaty if it doesn't move ahead with nuclear weapon modernization, senior U.S. military leaders warned at AFA's virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.
Fighter jets simulate strikes in southeastern Syria

BAE Systems Begins F-15 EPAWSS Low-Rate Production

Low-rate initial production of the EPAWSS electronic warfare suite for the F-15 has begun, under a $58 million contract from Boeing, BAE Systems reported. The system is designed to buy the F-15 more survivability in and near contested airspace. It will equip F-15C/D and F-15E aircraft in service, as well as F-15EX fighters, the first of which is to be delivered in the next couple of weeks.

USAF Proves Strike Eagles Can Carry 15 JDAMs

The Air Force is testing new ways to use the F-15E Strike Eagle to deliver bombs. The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron recently flew an F-15E with six Joint Direct Attack Munitions on a single side, potentially expanding the number of the bombs the aircraft can carry to 15. Expanding the number of JDAMS the Strike Eagle can carrying, means an F-15E could deliver bombs to a forward location, instead of breaking them down and shipping them on mobility aircraft, according to a 53rd Wing release.
clark testimony

USAFA Boss Defends School’s Discipline Approach Amid Cheating Investigation

The head of the U.S. Air Force Academy on March 2 defended the school’s disciplinary program for students who violate the honor code, as House lawmakers questioned service academy superintendents on a recent spate of cheating scandals. “We have a very robust honor education system that starts from the day that they walk into the academy,” USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark said. “We’ve had a 95 percent success rate, meaning cadets who get into that probationary status, they never have another incident or issue with the honor code.” The academy is dealing with nearly 250 cadets suspected of cheating last spring.

Air Force Finalizes New PT Uniform

The Air Force Uniform Office has finished redesigning the service’s physical training uniform, and Airmen will be able to buy it beginning next year, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center announced March 2. More than 150 service members helped test the new outfit, which includes a jacket, t-shirt, pants, and two types of shorts. It is the service’s first PT uniform change in nearly two decades.

Air Force OKs Shorts for Maintainers, New Sock Colors, and More Starting March 15

Maintainers will soon be allowed to wear shorts, under new rules based on feedback from Airmen and Guardians. The Department of the Air Force on March 15 will publish a “change to Air Force Instruction 36-2903”—which governs dress and appearance for USAF and Space Force troops. “These options came directly from feedback from the field through the virtual uniform board and feedback from commands in the field,” said Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel, and Readiness Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly in a release. In addition to shorts for maintainers, the upcoming changes include duty identifier patches for troops in all job specialties, more sock color options for physical training, and more.

Radar Sweep

New Mitchell Policy Paper: Aerospace Vectors for the Incoming Biden Defense Team

Mitchell Institute policy paper

President Joe Biden’s defense team faces a number of challenges around the globe, but they also have significant opportunities to bolster America’s national security for decades to come. The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power’s new policy paper offers expert recommendations to achieve this.

Smarter Software Could Help Air Force Cut Fuel Bills By a Million Gallons Per Week

Federal News Network

The Air Force, the government’s largest fuel consumer, wants to use its market power to help spur the development of new innovations like ultra-efficient airplanes and new types of fuel. But if those energy-saving investments pan out, they’re likely to take a while. In the much nearer term, officials see big promise in software, where the service is finding ways to save hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel each week, with more on the way.

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Hard Look at $246 Billion for New ICBMs Pledged by a Top Senator


The new chairman of the Senate panel that controls military spending says he’s open to arguments against developing a new $246 billion system of land-based intercontinental missiles even though he represents one of three U.S. states with ICBM installations.

INDOPACOM Commander Delivers $27 Billion Plan to Congress

Breaking Defense

The report, delivered to Capitol Hill on March 1, sketches out the ask for the 2022 budget and in the years out to 2027, envisioning a long-range plan that U.S. Indo-Pacific Command boss Navy Adm. Philip S. Davidson first introduced last year.

Austin Holds First Meeting with DOD China Task Force

Inside Defense

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III held his first meeting with members of the Pentagon's new China Task Force. President Joe Biden announced the creation of the task force, intended to review the U.S. military's strategy for countering Beijing, in February during his first official visit to the Pentagon.

Boeing Loyal Wingman Uncrewed Aircraft Completes First Flight

Boeing release

Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force have successfully completed the first test flight of the Loyal Wingman uncrewed aircraft. The flight of the first military aircraft to be designed and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years flew under the supervision of a Boeing test pilot monitoring the aircraft from a ground control station at the Woomera Range Complex.

One More Thing

‘Top Gun: Maverick’—Official Trailer in LEGO

Onbeatman on YouTube

“This was created 100 percent independently out of my love for Top Gun, cinema, and LEGO,” wrote YouTube user Onbeatman of his frame-by-frame recreation of the film’s trailer.