kendall wedgetail

Kendall and UK Defense Official Look To Accelerate E-7 Wedgetail

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall welcomed a top British defense official to the Pentagon on Feb. 8, for discussions on Russia’s war on Ukraine, U.K. moves to bolster its role in the Indo-Pacific, and new aircraft purchases by both the U.S. and Royal air forces. A readout of Kendall's meeting with U.K. Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey offered new details on the E-7 Wedgetail, the airborne early warning and control aircraft both countries are buying to replace their aging E-3 AWACS fleets.
Defense industrial readiness

New Report: Defense Industrial Readiness ‘Going in the Wrong Direction’

There’s a growing “mismatch” between what the National Defense Strategy says is needed for the coming years and the state of the defense industrial base, which is shrinking, less able to surge production, dealing with ever-greater uncertainty, and facing a worsening shortage of workers, according to a new report from the National Defense Industrial Association.
congress balloon

Does Congress Care About Defending America’s Skies?

The appearance of a Chinese surveillance balloon over North America in recent days should cause Americans to ponder just how safe they are from aerial attack. Can we defend our airspace from modern drones (unmanned air vehicles), hypersonic missiles, ballistic missiles, and—yes—from airships? Congress should hold hearings promptly to determine the answer, writes Brian J. Morra, a former Air Force Intelligence officer and retired senior aerospace executive.

Radar Sweep

North Korea Displays Enough ICBMs to Overwhelm US Defense System Against Them


North Korea has just revealed a large enough number of missiles to conceivably overwhelm the United States’ defense against them, blowing a hole in decades of denuclearization and homeland security policies. Images from state-run media show North Korea’s military rolling 10 to 12 Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missiles down the streets of Pyongyang during a Feb. 8 parade. The U.S. only has 44 ground-based interceptors to launch from Alaska and California to destroy an oncoming ICBM in flight. Assuming North Korea’s weapons can fit four warheads atop them, it’s possible Pyongyang can fire more warheads at the U.S. than America has interceptors.

Space Force Seeks Ideas for Potential ‘Commercial Space Reserve’ Fleet

Breaking Defense

The Space Force is meeting Feb. 9 with officials from other government agencies, and Feb. 10 with industry, to discuss how the Defense Department might build a Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve—a space parallel to the existing air and maritime civil reserve fleets that can be called up by the government in times of crisis or conflict to support military missions.

ANALYSIS: China Gears Up To Shoot Down US Drones

Defense One

Drones continue to move toward the center of U.S. warfare, emerging as a major spending priority and a go-to solution for almost every defense challenge—most especially in a conflict with China. Networked drone swarms proved decisive in a recent Air Force simulation of a Taiwan Strait conflict: they broke through China’s anti-access/area denial efforts and ensured U.S. victory, according to RAND’s David Ochmanek, a former deputy assistant defense secretary for strategy. It is not surprising, then, that China has begun to develop countermeasures.

Japan to Replace Attack, Observation Helicopters with Drone Fleet

Defense News

Japan has indicated it will give up its “obsolete” attack and observation helicopters in favor of unmanned systems, according to its defense buildup plans. They will be replaced by “attack/utility,” “miniature attack,” and “surveillance” unmanned aircraft systems, according to the English-language version of Japan’s defense buildup strategy released by the Defense Ministry in January.

Military Pilots Reported 1,700 Percent More Medical Incidents During the Pandemic. The Pentagon Says They Just Had COVID

The number of medical events that triggered official reporting requirements among U.S. military pilots rose more than 1,700 percent from 2019 to 2022, an increase the Pentagon says was the result of COVID-19. Last month, an Army flight surgeon and prominent opponent of the U.S. military’s now-defunct COVID-19 vaccine mandate posted data on Twitter showing that the number of reportable medical events among military aviators rose from an average 226 a year between 2016 and 2019 to 4,059 in 2022, according to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database. But the Pentagon says the pilots contracted the virus and that large number of positive COVID-19 cases drove up the reported medical events

Military Agency Praised for Leading the Way on Laser Communications


By requiring suppliers of laser terminals to comply with a common set of standards, the U.S. Space Development Agency has helped propel the industry forward, executives said Feb. 8 at the SmallSat Symposium in Mountain View, Calif. The Space Development Agency (SDA), an arm of the U.S. Space Force, is building a mesh network of satellites in low Earth orbit to serve as a data transport layer for the U.S. military. Each satellite will have anywhere from three to five laser links so they can talk to other satellites, airplanes, ships and ground stations.

Unchecked Military Adoption of Emerging Technologies Comes with Catastrophic Risks, Report Warns


The “indiscriminate” adoption and use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for military applications could carry catastrophic global consequences if left unchecked, warns a new report from an arms control and national security nonprofit. In the report, the Arms Control Association calls on policymakers, defense officials, and others to better explore the consequences of the rapid adoption of emerging tech for operational military applications and develop a framework to reduce the escalatory risks of doing so.

One More Thing

This All-Female Aircrew Will Make Super Bowl History in Pregame Stadium Flyover

Arizona Republic

The whoosh of planes overhead. Jet trails over a screaming crowd. For most people watching the Super Bowl, the pre-game flyover lasts little more than a few seconds. But for the crew that makes it happen, those few seconds are the culmination of months of teamwork and preparation. And the flyover for Super Bowl 57 on Sunday will add some history to the spectacle as an all-female air crew takes to the skies.