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.
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.
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).
The Pentagon expects that an engine upgrade offered by Pratt & Whitney for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be ready to field in fiscal 2030 and that all customers—foreign and domestic—who fly the jet will pitch in to fund its development, according to a spokesperson for the F-35 Joint Program Office.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.