Air Force to Test 3D-Printed Rocket Motors
The Air Force will test a “rocket factory in a box” made by a New Mexico startup in hopes of being able to 3D-print missile energetics. The technology could allow the military to get solid rocket motors for less money, more quickly, and in remote locations. “This is a technology push forward to see what the art of the possible is,” X-Bow Systems CEO Jason Hundley said in an interview.
New Rules Make It Easier to Kick Out Airmen Guilty of Sexual Assault
Airmen and Guardians who commit sexual assault will automatically face military discharge unless they qualify for an exception to that rule, the Air Force said in an update to its department-wide guidance. “Sexual assault is incompatible with our core values, the ‘Guardian Ideal’ and military service,” Air Force Undersecretary Gina Ortiz Jones said in a news release. “These revisions will significantly improve our ability to discharge those unworthy of calling themselves Airmen and Guardians.”
NATO Leaders Establish New 1 Billion Euro Innovation Fund, Accelerator
NATO leaders launched a new innovation fund and defense innovation accelerator initiative in an effort to stay ahead of technological advancements and cyber challenges posed by Russia and China. Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, said during a signing ceremony at the close of the alliance’s Madrid Summit that the first-of-its-kind fund will invest 1 billion Euros in startups and deep-tech funds across 22 participating nations over the next 15 years.
Kendall Talks PTSD, Mental Health With Medical Leaders
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall met with Air Force Medical Service leaders to discuss the Department of the Air Force’s approach for prioritizing post-traumatic stress disorder care and support during a visit to Joint Base Andrews, Md. Air Force Deputy Surgeon General Maj. Gen. John J. DeGoes joined Kendall in meeting with medics from the 316th Medical Group this PTSD Awareness month to explain ongoing initiatives and new policies aimed at improving access to mental health care resources.
PODCAST: How the Air Force Is Innovating and Transforming
On this week’s episode of The DefenseScoop Podcast, the Pentagon is looking to partner with HBCUs on a new research center. At UiPath Together Public Sector 2022, Air Force Deputy Chief Information Officer Winston Beauchamp highlights how the force is extending automation to the edge and maximizing the leverage of those capabilities.
Live, Virtual & Constructive Training
The Air Force is transitioning to more virtual training to give pilots an edge, saying some higher-end maneuvers cannot be replicated in real-time training. Learn more on Air Force Magazine’s Live, Virtual & Constructive Training page.
Johnson Vows Defense Budget Hike by 2030, but Critics Want It Sooner
After days of infighting between senior members of the British government over the future level of defense spending, Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his closing remarks to the NATO summit in Madrid to suggest the budget may rise substantially by the end of the decade. Johnson told reporters defense spending could reach 2.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product within eight years.
Northrop Grumman to Build Space Force Prototype for Cyber Protection of Satellite Networks
Northrop Grumman will next spring begin testing a new hardware/software prototype for the Space Force designed to protect large, interlinked satellite networks from cyberattacks, according to company officials. The prototype, called Space End Crypto Unit (ECU), is being developed in tandem with electronics firm Aeronix, with planned delivery in 2024.
Greece Proceeds With Purchase of F-35 Fighter Jets
Greece has sent an official request to the United States for the purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin-made F-35 fighter jets, the country's prime minister said. NATO member Greece spends more than 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. It has beefed up its military purchases in recent years as tensions with its neighbor, historic rival, and NATO ally Turkey have resurfaced.
US Military's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Zooms Toward Orbital Record
The U.S. military's X-37B robotic space plane is closing in on a mission-duration record. The X-37B launched to Earth orbit May 17, 2020, on the sixth mission for the program, a flight known as Orbital Test Vehicle-6 (OTV-6). The Space Force mini-shuttle has now been aloft for more than 773 days. That's less than a week shy of the X-37B record of 780 days, which was set on OTV-5.
Here’s What Happens When Airmen Play Tug of War With a 49-ton Plane
Aircraft maintainers sometimes use the expression “apes together strong” on the unofficial Air Force subreddit—a reference to the reboots of the "Planet of the Apes" movies—and that sentiment certainly comes across in a recent video in which Airmen with the 92nd Maintenance Group at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., pulled a 49-ton KC-135 Stratotanker with nothing but rope, teamwork, and a whole lot of elbow grease.