Slovakia’s government on March 17 approved a plan to give Ukraine its fleet of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, becoming the second NATO member country to heed the Ukrainian government’s pleas for warplanes to help defend against Russia’s invasion. Prime Minister Eduard Heger said during a news conference announcing the decision that his government was “on the right side of history.” Earlier, Heger tweeted that military aid was key to ensuring Ukraine can defend itself and all of Europe against Russia.
The next “shock and awe” campaign may never drop a single bomb. It’s been 20 years since black-and-green footage of Baghdad under attack flashed across television screens worldwide, broadcasting the explosive U.S.-led push to unseat Saddam Hussein and dismantle the Iraqi civil and military service. The overwhelming show of strength represented the largest international military effort since World War II and the biggest U.S. operation since the Vietnam War.
A Pentagon study has found high rates of cancer among military pilots and for the first time has shown that ground crews who fuel, maintain and launch those aircraft are also getting sick. The data had long been sought by retired military aviators who have raised alarms for years about the number of air and ground crew members they knew who had cancer. They were told that earlier military studies had found they were not at greater risk than the general U.S. population.
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.
In the coming fiscal year, the Air Force plans to eliminate at least one of three contenders vying to produce a new ground-attack missile for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Breaking Defense has learned. The Air Force’s Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) program has funded prototyping work with three short-term contracts first issued last year to Lockheed Martin, L3Harris, and Northrop Grumman, though officials have since shared few details about its acquisition strategy. According to an Air Force spokesperson, SiAW’s latest $18 million award in February will fund the final portion of the first phase.
Among the many new products unveiled this week at the Satellite 2023 convention were mobile communications terminals capable of talking to military and commercial satellites. Executives at the conference said the industry is trying to support DOD’s vision of a seamless military-commercial satcom architecture, an effort that has been underway for several years.
The U.S. Department of Defense selected Hypersonix Launch Systems, an Australian aerospace company, to develop a high-speed aircraft that can test hypersonic technologies. The aircraft will support a Defense Innovation Unit program called Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities, or HyCAT. The organization, which works to push technology from non-traditional companies to military users, is partnering with the Defense Department Test Resource Management Center and the director of hypersonics to help alleviate strain on government test infrastructure.
In Episode 120 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, John “Slick” Baum talks to Tim Ryan, Henry Heren, and Charles Galbreath of the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence (MI-SPACE) about the latest spacepower topics in the headlines. There’s a lot to track: adversary threats in orbit, spacepower lessons learned from the conflict in Ukraine, the potential for a Space National Guard, commercial industry’s role in spacepower, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman’s lines of effort for the Space Force.
Post-Balloon Saga, US Defense Leaders ‘Know a Lot More’ about China’s Alleged Global Surveillance Operations
In the aftermath of the days-long spectacle last month when a massive, alleged Chinese spy balloon flew above much of North America before being shot down off the South Carolina coast, U.S. military leaders told DefenseScoop that they remain confident in the services’ technological capacity to sense, spot, and protect the homeland from such slow-moving, high-altitude threats.
Twenty years ago, on March 19, 2003, the war in Iraq started. American and allied forces began the war not on the ground but in the skies. What unfolded was dozens of airstrikes across Iraq targeting early warning sites and Iraqi leadership, meant to pave the way for the ground invasion that launched March 20.