The Defense Department inspector general will begin evaluating the certification of three aircraft to carry the B61-12 nuclear bomb. The IG will determine to what extent the Air Force complied with the Energy Department, DOD, and Air Force requirements when certifying the F-15, F-35, and B-2 aircraft to carry the bomb. The program, which is intended to refurbish and consolidate three variants tied to the B-61 low-yield gravity bomb, faced technical problems with its non-nuclear electrical components.
The Air Force is partnering with a Boston-based technology company to test an autonomous co-pilot on its cargo transport planes, a step toward one solution for the service as it faces pilot shortages and automation begins playing a larger role in the military. Merlin Labs said it had reached a deal to test its commercial autonomous pilot technology on the Air Force's C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes.
The Air Force’s Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger isn’t waiting for someone to provide the service with cloud capabilities—she’s leading the effort to build them out internally. At the same time, the Defense Department is moving forward with its new cloud program, the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability. The $9 billion JWCC contract was previously set to be awarded in the spring of 2022, but it has now been delayed to December 2022. Regardless, Knausenberger is moving forward with Cloud One as the Air Force’s cloud environment.
In response to the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May, an extensive network of STEM organizations assembled to provide a cybersecurity education camp for students of the rural Texas town. The initiative was spearheaded by the CyberTexas Foundation, a San Antonio-based nonprofit that is helping develop the next generation of cybersecurity workers with one of the most successful and populous CyberPatriot programs in the country.
The Pentagon is giving $100 million in total to various program offices under a pilot program aimed at bridging the “valley of death” where promising technologies fail to transition from the lab into actual operations. The funding is to “expeditiously transition technologies” from small businesses and nontraditional defense contractors—those that have received less than $500 million from DOD—in an effort to get capabilities into service members’ hands more quickly.
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.
As the war between invading Russian soldiers and defensive Ukrainian troops enters its fifth month, nations around the world have provided billions of dollars worth of military assistance to Kiev to help defend its sovereignty. Since early March, a cohort of U.S. service members and a rotating crew of multinational partners have set up shop in U.S. European Command headquarters in Germany to ensure equipment gets from the donor nation to Ukraine’s doorstep.
The key to maintaining initial successes in the vision of the Air Force’s first information warfare command in reducing stovepipes and achieving outcomes is being able to scale in the future, its outgoing commander said. Regarding what’s next for 16th Air Force, “much of it has to do with our ability to scale and to meet the just ever increasing demand for what our Airmen bring as they generate insights, as they produce outcomes every day as part of various campaigns, but also how they are preparing for operations against our pacing threat,” Lt. Gen. Timothy D. Haugh said.
Experts believe quantum computing may render some of the core cybersecurity algorithms at the heart of many modern-day digital experiences—from accessing money via an ATM to sending secure messages—obsolete. A new bipartisan bill pushes the U.S. government to prepare more quickly for that eventuality. The problem is a complex one, literally. The public key encryption standards for everything from bank transactions to secure communications are based on the mathematical principle of factorization.
The spy satellite photos created panic in the Pentagon. They showed an enormous Soviet airplane, probably an interceptor, with engine intakes the size of small cars. The wings were huge, too, hinting at maneuverability far beyond anything America’s first-rank McDonnell F-4 Phantom II could achieve. These were prototypes of what would become the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 Foxbat. After the airplane appeared in public for the first time in July 1967 and went on a record-setting spree, it appeared that the Soviets had a wonder weapon that could match the best in the West—the Mach 3.2 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spyplane.