Russian ASAT

New Analysis of Russian ASAT Provides Clues to Weapon’s Trajectory, Says Risk From Debris Could Grow

The Space Force won’t speculate publicly on details about Russia’s debris-generating test of an anti-satellite weapon in low Earth orbit in November. Outside experts, on the other hand, suspect that the weapon approached the target satellite from behind and below and broke it up into relatively fewer, but more massive, fragments for a satellite its size. New fragments from the Russian ASAT test have already resulted in hundreds of close encounters with pre-existing objects, and while half of those conjunctions were with operational satellites, the other half—with derelict objects such as old rocket bodies—were of the type that could pose a greater hazard over time.
African chiefs

African Air Chiefs Meeting Connects Partners Where U.S. Presence Is Limited

AFRICAN AIR CHIEFS SYMPOSIUM, KIGALI, Rwanda—The 10-hour flight on a U.S. Air Force Gulfstream III from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to Kigali, Rwanda, reminded U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa chief Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian that even a small investment in Africa goes a long way toward advancing American security and building partnerships on the continent. “I was reminded, as I flew from Germany down here, the size and scope of the continent,” said Harrigian at the African Air Chiefs Symposium attended by 32 of Africa’s 54 nations. “You may not be able to see it in big platforms and those kinds of things. But you see it in the relationships.”
Lockheed Martin plans to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne for $5 billion, the company announced on Dec. 21, 2020. Lockheed Martin graphic.

FTC Blocks Merger of Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne

The Federal Trade Commission is suing to stop the planned Lockheed Martin/Aerojet Rocketdyne merger, saying the deal would give Lockheed Martin unfair advantages while harming competition and innovation. Lockheed Martin has 30 days to decide whether to defend the merger in court or drop the effort. A court date of June 22 is set if it fights.
First KC-46A Pegasus lands at Seymour Johnson

March ARB Named Preferred Location for New KC-46 Tankers

The Air Force selected March Air Reserve Base in California as the preferred location to host the next Air Force Reserve KC-46 tankers. A final basing decision is expected in the fall of 2023 after completion of an environmental impact analysis. If approved, the Air Force will replace March’s KC-135 Stratotankers with 12 new tankers. 

Radar Sweep

Guard Troops Can Unionize on State Active Duty, DOJ Says

Air Force Times

National Guard troops can legally organize and form unions while serving on state Active-duty orders, the Justice Department said in a court filing. DOJ lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by state employee unions in Connecticut. A federal law prohibiting members of the military from organizing unions “does not apply to Guard members on state active duty or in the Inactive National Guard,” DOJ lawyers wrote in their filing.

The Latest on Missile Warning & Defense

Air Force Magazine

Recent Russian and Chinese missile launches raised the stakes in space. Find out the latest news on sensing, tracking, and defending against enemy missile strikes.

AFWERX to Fund Development of Laser Terminal that Connects Military Aircraft With Satellites


AFWERX, an Air Force organization that works with commercial tech firms, selected Space Micro for a Small Business Technology Transfer Phase 1 contract to develop an air-to-space laser communications pod that could be deployed on military aircraft or unmanned drones to provide in-flight connectivity. Space Micro CEO David Strobel said Jan. 25 the company will look at how to “provide an optical communication chain between airborne assets and geostationary communications satellites.”

Aussies Unveil New Hypersonics Center, Signal Distance from Ukraine Crisis

Breaking Defense

“The technology that is developed here will help us to better defend against the malign use of this technology and ... give us the ability to strike against any potential adversaries from a distance and deter aggression against Australia’s national interests,” Defense Minister Peter Dutton said in Brisbane, where the center was built.

Republicans Are Split Over Ukraine, Threatening a Rare Bipartisan Consensus

Defense One

Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski’s New Jersey office began fielding phone calls Jan. 25 from constituents who argued that Russia is only seeking peace by massing forces on the Ukrainian border and that America should stay out of the conflict. Several callers mentioned Fox host Tucker Carlson, who has suggested that the United States should be supporting Moscow instead of Kyiv.

US Approves $2.2 Billion Sale of C-130J Aircraft to Egypt

Defense News

Egypt asked to buy 12 Lockheed Martin-made C-130Js, each installed with four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D turboprop engines, as well as a dozen spare engines; GPS navigation systems; identification transponders; missile warning systems; countermeasure systems; and more.

One More Thing

The Story Behind One of the Most Bizarre Squadron Emblems in the Air Force

Task & Purpose

One thing is certain: The Air Force has some pretty cool unit emblems. There are the “Flying Tigers” of the 23rd Fighter Group, the black dragon of the 3rd Special Operations Squadron, and the lightning bolt-riding samurai of the 14th Fighter Squadron. Each of these emblems is laden with symbols that evoke the unit’s history and values, which is why one can’t help thinking, “who the heck came up with that one” after looking at the emblem of the 311th Fighter Squadron based at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.