UK, German Fighter Jets Intercept Russian Plane near Estonia
British and German air force fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Russian aircraft flying close to Estonian airspace, the U.K. Defense Ministry said March 15, amid mounting concerns about confrontation in the skies near Russia and Ukraine. The U.K. and Germany are conducting joint air policing missions in Estonia as part of NATO efforts to bolster its eastern flank in response to Russia.
Pentagon War Games Defense Cuts to Prepare for Congress Budget Battle
The Pentagon does “take seriously” House Republican plans to slash the federal budget for next year by at least $130 billion and is readying a report to detail the potential impacts on defense, the department’s comptroller said March 15. Speaking to reporters, Mike McCord said the Pentagon, which proposed an $842 billion budget, is drafting a letter to explain several examples of how the department would absorb a potential defense cut. While Republicans are split on the idea of a defense cut, the letter would likely become ammunition in the Capitol Hill budget battles to come.
Project Blackjack: DARPA’s Test of Satellite Laser Links Delayed
The Pentagon’s far-future research organization’s plans to demonstrate cross-satellite laser links under its Blackjack program has been delayed, in part due the lack of an available launch window, according to industry and government officials. “We are in the process of test integration at this point, awaiting delivery of government-furnished equipment. And because we’re beholden to [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] for rideshare on a SpaceX Falcon 9, I think the last I heard was that they’ve pushed us to January of next year for launch,” Rich Pang, Telesat Government Solution’s vice president for corporate development, said.
Pentagon Mobilized to Support Tech Startups After Bank Failure
In the hours after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed on March 10, Pentagon officials who work directly with startups that develop national-security technologies grew increasingly concerned. Would startups that had money in the bank need to stop work? If that happened, would there be supply-chain disruptions? Would a company under financial stress put its intellectual property at risk? Officials prepared different courses of action to get cash to companies, if needed.
REPORT: Enhancing US–South Korea Alliance Cooperation on China, Multilateralism, and Military and Security Technologies
“The United States–Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea) alliance has entered a critical phase. In 2023, the two countries will commemorate the 70th anniversary of signing their bilateral mutual defense treaty. This year also marks the first full year under national leaders President Joe Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeol,” write Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and Joshua Fitt, an associate fellow at CNAS.
Advancing the Warfighter
The way modern Airmen and Guardians prepare for the future fight is changing, with live, virtual, and constructive training offering new ways to practice essential skills. Learn more about how virtual and augmented reality, simulated environments, and other technologies are helping train warfighters everywhere from the cockpit to the maintenance depot.
The US Air Force’s Future Spending Plan
The U.S. Air Force will see its spending increase dramatically in nuclear modernization over the next five years as its key programs move into procurement, including sixth-generation fighters and their collaborative uncrewed systems. And even though the service wants to retire even more aircraft over that timespan to save costs, sustainment bills will remain high, according to new information obtained by Aviation Week.
Space Force: We Expect to See ‘Interfering, Blinding’ of Satellites During Conflict
The U.S. Space Force chief of space operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman in congressional testimony March 14 singled out China as the “most immediate threat” as it continues to weaponize its space technology. Among the most concerning of China’s technologies, he said, are ground-based lasers designed to disrupt and degrade satellite sensors, electronic warfare jammers targeting GPS and communications satellites, and anti-satellite missiles.
Pentagon Unsure It Can Recover Drone Downed by Russia
Pentagon officials are still figuring out whether there is anything recoverable from the debris of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone brought down by a Russian fighter jet Tuesday over the Black Sea, as both nations trade public condemnations amid heightened tensions. “It’s probably about 4,000 to 5,000 feet below water,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters March 15.
Eddie Rickenbacker: America’s Most Decorated World War I Ace
Edward Vernon Rickenbacker is best remembered as the “ace of aces.” He achieved 26 aerial victories during World War I—the most of any US pilot during the war. With a Medal of Honor, seven Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the French Croix de Guerre to his name, Rickenbacker remains one of the most decorated military aviators in American history. Rickenbacker’s legendary reputation was not just the result of his exploits in the sky.