The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman has raised doubts about transferring U.S. aircraft to Ukraine. Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) did not endorse an amendment in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize $100 million to begin training Ukrainian pilots to fly U.S. fighter jets, raising doubts that the provision would survive negotiations with the Senate when Congress formulates the final legislation.
Despite a growing demand for satellite imagery, U.S. defense and intelligence agencies are not taking advantage of available commercial technology due to slow and cumbersome procurement methods, the Government Accountability Office said. The war in Ukraine has drawn attention to how governments are using commercial satellites to track troop movements and the impact of attacks.
Pentagon leaders working to revamp the U.S. process of selling arms around the globe are balancing the need to quickly close deals with that of protecting secrets about weapons’ inner workings, a senior official said. The push to flush more American weaponry into the world market follows an increased appetite by governments to up-arm, said Jed Royal, deputy director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The Air Force could kick off a competition for a drone counterpart for its sixth-generation fighter as soon as fiscal 2024, the service’s top leader said. The Air Force is currently having “early conversations” with industry as it prepares an acquisition strategy for a so-called collaborative combat aircraft program, which would field one or more types of uncrewed aircraft as part of the service’s Next Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said.
The Pentagon’s top acquisition official is signaling he could be amenable to putting certain high-priority munitions on multiyear contracts to fulfill ongoing Ukrainian requirements and replenish U.S. stockpiles. “What really matters is contracts,” said Bill LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. “We buy munitions and many of these things in a single year. We don’t do multiyear contracts. We do multiyear contracts for ships. We do it for airplanes. We don’t do it for these other munitions. We need to do it because that’ll stabilize the supply chain.”
In the early hours of Dec. 13, 2017, the Airmen aboard Pyro 76—an Air Force MV-22 Osprey—were jolted awake in the skies over Arizona by loud noises and aircraft movement. They were falling out of the sky. Based on testimony in the official Air Force investigation and an interview with an Airman aboard the aircraft on that flight, Pyro 76 illustrates the danger that hard clutch engagements, or HCEs—a problem that recently grounded all of the service's Ospreys—pose to aircraft and crew.
Darryl Roberson knows a little bit about flying jets. After flying F-4s, F-15s, F-16s, and F-22s over a 34-year Air Force career—a rarity in a modern, specialized world—he’s now helping to bring a new age of modern engineering and manufacturing to today’s warfighters.
The state-run Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or AVIC, recently announced the first flight of a new high-flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft called the Qimingxing 50, or Morning Star 50. AVIC describes the drone as a "pseudo-satellite" intended to fly primarily in the stratosphere and says it could be used for various ostensibly civilian missions, including keeping watch for forest fires and conducting scientific research. However, unmanned aerial systems like this have a glaring potential for military applications.
The Air Force will soon install a new leader to oversee all of its complex command, control, and communications initiatives and ultimately empower the military branch to better support the Pentagon’s ambitious vision for a more connected way of conducting warfare, according to Secretary Frank Kendall.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, along with Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Rob Chipman, chief of RAAF, and German Air Force Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, German air force air chief, flew fighter aircraft over Australia’s Northern Territory in a demonstration of friendship and cooperative leadership.
Football is back, and the academies for the Army, Navy, and Air Force have all played their first games of the season. While none of the academies is likely to compete for the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy (but who knows, it's a long season), they are playing for something just as big: a trip to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.