Speed Racer

Kendall: Air Force Wants as Many as 2,000 CCAs with a Common, Modular Airframe

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall clarified what the service wants from its future fleet of Collaborative Combat Aircraft fleet, saying the service seeks a single type of airframe customizable to the mission with modular elements. He also said the final inventory could be twice as large as the planning figure of 1,000 aircraft he announced at an AFA conference last week.

WATCH: Video of Russian Fighter Crashing Into US MQ-9 Released

The Pentagon released video of a March 14 incident involving a Russian Su-27 fighter and a U.S. Air Force MQ-9, which resulted in the American plane crashing into the Black Sea. The MQ-9 was conducting a surveillance mission when two Su-27 Flankers intercepted it. The Su-27s harassed the U.S. drone by making close passes and dumping fuel on it. Eventually, one Russian fighter clipped the MQ-9’s propeller.

Watch, Read: Gen. B. Chance Saltzman on ‘Guardians in the Fight’

Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman delivered a keynote address on “Guardians in the Fight,” laying out his theory of success for the Space Force called “Competitive Endurance” at the AFA Warfare Symposium, March 7, 2023. Watch the video or read the transcript.

Radar Sweep

Poland to Be 1st NATO Member to Give Ukraine Fighter Jets

The Associated Press

Poland’s president said March 16 that his country plans to give Ukraine around a dozen MiG-29 fighter jets, which would make it the first NATO member to fulfill the Ukrainian government’s increasingly urgent requests for warplanes. President Andrzej Duda said Poland would hand over four of the Soviet-made warplanes “within the next few days” and that the rest needed servicing and would be supplied later. The Polish word he used to describe their number can mean between 11 and 19.

Lockheed Martin’s Plan to ‘Ignite’ Space Innovation

Breaking Defense

Defense sector behemoth Lockheed Martin Space has established a new unit, called Ignite, designed to not just foster innovation but rapidly mature new technologies in order to meet its customer’s—the Pentagon, the Intelligence Community, and NASA—need for speed in acquiring new on-orbit capabilities, executive vice president Robert Lightfoot said March 16. “What we’ve heard from the traditional customers is: ‘we need better technical maturity, we need to get it faster,'” he said.

Space Force’s Power Players Headline Spacepower Security Forum

Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman headlines an A-list of Space Force leaders speaking at the 2nd Annual Spacepower Security Forum on April 5 in Arlington, Va. Presented by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, the Space Power Security Forum is a one-day deep dive into space. In addition to the CSO, the packed agenda highlights Lt. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt, Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Operations, Cyber, and Nuclear; Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency; and Lisa Costa, USSF’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer (CTIO).

Next Step for Incentive Pay Boost for Guardsmen and Reservists Coming in ‘Weeks,’ Defense Official Vows


The Defense Department within "weeks" will take the next step on a report that will pave the way for National Guardsmen and reservists to receive higher incentive pay, a department official pledged March 15. At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee's personnel subpanel, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., confronted officials for being nearly six months late in following a congressional mandate to give members of reserve components incentive pay equal to the bonuses given to active-duty service members.

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US Reaches Deep into Its Global Ammunition Stockpiles to Help Ukraine

The Wall Street Journal

Ukraine’s insatiable demand for artillery has for months outpaced Western forecasts, setting off a global hunt for more ammunition and forcing the U.S. to raid its stocks abroad to help Kyiv prepare for its counteroffensive later in the spring. With some U.S. allies unwilling or unable to supply enough ammunition for Ukraine, the U.S. military is pulling from its munition supplies in a number of locations, including in Israel, South Korea, Germany, and Kuwait. These sites, known as prepositioned stocks, are where the U.S. stores everything from trucks to bandages to support American forces around the world.

B-21 First Flight Running ‘a Few Months’ Behind

Air Force Times

The first flight of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber will occur a few months later than the Air Force anticipated, the service’s secretary said March 15. “It’s slipped from the original schedule—that we were using as a schedule to manage by—by a few months,” Frank Kendall said at the McAleese & Associates conference in Washington, before noting he is recused from making decisions on the program due to his previous consulting work with B-21 manufacturer Northrop Grumman. “It’s still within the baseline [schedule] that we originally had for the program.”

Go Deeper on Operational Imperatives

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has defined seven Operational Imperatives for the Department of the Air Force to work on, warning that “if we don't get them right, we will have unacceptable operational risk.” From a resilient space order of battle to the development of next-generation tactical air dominance and global strike platforms, these imperatives will define the Air Force for decades to come—Dive deeper into each one with our new “Operational Imperatives” pages highlighting all the latest news and developments on these critical efforts.

Air Force Should Double Its B-21 Purchase Plans, Think Tank Says

Defense One

A prominent airpower think tank says the U.S. Air Force must more than double its planned purchase of a minimum of 100 B-21 bombers if it is to win a war against China. A total of more than 300 bombers would be needed, including 225 of the recently unveiled B-21 plus several dozen B-1s and B-52s, said Mark Gunzinger, a retired Air Force colonel who leads future concepts and capability assessments at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, part of the Air & Space Forces Association.

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US Considering Co-Development Role for Japan on 'Front End' of Hypersonic-Killing Interceptor

Inside Defense

The U.S. government is eyeing a key role for Japan in the Pentagon's marquee hypersonic defense program that could give Tokyo responsibility for helping design and build some of the most advanced components of a Glide Phase Interceptor, and plans to facilitate exploratory meetings soon between defense companies on both sides of the Pacific.

One More Thing

B-2 Stealth Bomber at Over 30 Years Old Is Still a Powerhouse in the Sky


The combat-tested stealthy B-2 bomber turned 30 in recent years. This milestone has not gone unnoticed as the sleek-looking aircraft has become well known for decades of flying successful attack missions over Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan after its combat debut in Kosovo in 1999. While the new B-21 Raider next-generation stealth bomber is preparing for its first flight and is expected to blast onto the scene in coming years in large numbers, the famous B-2 is not disappearing anytime soon.