There is no plan to retire the National Defense Service Medal, or NDSM, the military's most common decoration, even after U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan later this month. “The NDSM is reviewed annually to determine if the award is still merited,” Maj. Charlie Dietz, a Pentagon spokesperson, told Military.com in an email. “At this time, there are no plans to discontinue awarding the NDSM.”
“Success in future military conflicts will depend on which side can collect, process, and share information to make better decisions faster than their adversary. This is the fundamental imperative behind efforts such as DOD’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control strategy and the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System. A major step in turning these concepts into reality took place in late June when the Space Development Agency launched its first two satellite missions into orbit,” writes Lukas Autenried, senior analyst with the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Research Center.
BAE Systems has showcased for the first time the new large area display (LAD) cockpit it has developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. Shown publicly in early August at the Kaivopuisto Airshow 2021, where the Eurofighter was being displayed as part of its HX bid to the Finnish Air Force, the LAD has been developed as part of the multinational consortium's Long-Term Evolution plan that is designed to place the aircraft at the forefront of military capabilities for decades to come.
There’s a not-so-quiet race back to the moon underway, but the two largest factions, with China and Russia on one side, and the United States and its partners on the other, are not recognizing each others’ proposed rules on what’s allowed once they get there. Lawmakers and space policy analysts are concerned: How do you avoid conflict in space if the international laws and policies on Earth no longer apply?
At Russia’s premier expo for military aircraft in July, Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected a prototype jet that is designed to take on more than enemy fighters. The lightweight stealth plane also is meant to cause geopolitical headaches for the U.S. The LTS Checkmate would be the world’s second single-engine fighter plane to incorporate the most sophisticated radar-evasion and command systems. The only other plane in this category, the F-35, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp., is the most advanced plane in the U.S. arsenal.
During downtime while doing voiceovers for two other recruiting commercials, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. spoke with the director and recalled an interview he had previously done on diversity. “When I get in the airplane and I put my visor on and put my mask up, you don’t know if I’m African American, you don’t know who I am,” Brown said during an interview at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 6. “Earlier this year, at a women’s forum, I said essentially the same thing. The director said, ‘I think we want to take that.’”
Space weapons meant to target U.S. satellites are a growing concern for the U.S. military. Especially worrisome are electronic jamming devices designed to interfere with GPS signals. That threat is “real today and concerning,” the Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond told the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee during a hearing in May. Raymond pointed at China and Russia as the primary actors pursuing technologies aimed at “robust jamming of GPS and communications satellites.”
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, or SSCI, recently passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 on a unanimous vote. Among a range of priorities, the bill included provisions to significantly bolster the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force.
Nearly a year and a half of waiting with no response to “repeated” requests for information from the Defense Department is prompting lawmakers to press Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III for answers to questions about the January 2020 attack by al-Shabab militants in Manda Bay, Kenya, that took the lives of three Americans. “It is simply unacceptable for the Department to withhold information from Congress about a terrorist attack that killed three American citizens,” Rep. Steven Lynch, D-Mass., and Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., of the House Oversight Committee wrote to Austin.
Air Force Asks Raytheon to Build Batch of AMRAAM Radar-Guided Air-to-Air Missiles in $482.9 Million Order
Aircraft missile experts at Raytheon Technologies Corp. are gearing up to produce upgraded versions of the U.S. Air Force and Navy AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) that will extend the missile's lifetime well into the 2020s. Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., announced nearly a half-billion-dollar order late last month for a redesigned radar-guided AMRAAM missile with a new guidance section.
For more than 40 years, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has served as the backbone of the U.S. Air Force’s fighter fleet, but one year before the first F-16 entered service, the team behind its development had already developed a better F-16, in the F-16XL. The fighter was so capable, in fact, that it went from being nothing more than a technology demonstrator to serving as legitimate competition for the venerable F-15E in the Air Force’s Advanced Tactical Fighter program.