Chinese Spy Balloon Prompts $90 Million in New Air Defense Spending

The Chinese spy balloon may have popped, but funding to protect against similar threats is inflating, according to the Department of Defense. The high-attitude surveillance balloon that traversed the U.S. in late January and early February prompted last-minute additions to the Pentagon's budget of around $90 million for measures to protect against similar intrusions in the future.
PACAF Air superiority

PACAF Commander: Air Superiority Is the Focus in Indo-Pacific

Give Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, commander of Pacific Air Forces, one extra dollar, and he would spend it bolstering the U.S.’s air superiority in the region, he said March 20. And within that endeavor, there are plenty of efforts to pursue, Wilsbach said during an Aerospace Nation webinar hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies—efforts that will be bolstered by American allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific. 
south korea B-1b lancers

For 4th Time This Year, B-1 Bombers Join S. Korean Fighters in Show of Force

A pair of B-1B Lancers flew alongside American F-16s and South Korean F-35s over the Korean Peninsula on March 19, the same day North Korea reportedly launched another missile test off its coast. The latest combined air training event between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was part of Freedom Shield 23, which began March 13 and has incorporated both live training and simulated command and control scenarios.
space force satellites

Space Force Invests in System for Building and Modifying Satellites—in Orbit

Building satellites is hard enough on Earth, but a group of companies just received a contract from the U.S. Space Force that could pave the way to building satellites in orbit. Announced March 20, the goal of the $1.6 million award is to demonstrate building a standalone satellite on Earth using a module the companies hope to one day use to build new satellites or modify existing ones in orbit.

Radar Sweep

Air Force Plans to Spend More Than $6B on CCA Drone Programs over the Next 5 Years


The Air Force plans to spend more than $6 billion on a “collaborative combat aircraft” program and related projects over the next five years, according to newly released budget justification documents. The CCA drones are expected to serve as robotic wingmen for Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter jets and other manned aircraft. The Air Force is currently planning for 1,000 such systems.

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US Air Force Seeks $73 Billion for Northrop Bomber, ICBM Through 2028


The U.S. Air Force’s new five-year spending plan envisions requesting more than $73 billion to develop and procure its new B-21 bomber and Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile, both produced by Northrop Grumman Corp., according to newly released figures. For the B-21 bomber, the proposed spending through fiscal 2028 totals $35 billion, including $10.6 billion for development and $20.8 for procurement. Production spending to buy what’s now envisioned as a fleet of at least 100 bombers would increase to $3.9 billion in 2025 from $108 million last year. It’s projected to hit $5.6 billion in fiscal 2028.

Space Force Seeking $1.2B for ‘Long Range Kill Chains’ Target Tracking

Defense News

The U.S. Space Force is seeking more than $1.2 billion in funding over the next five years for a secretive “Long Range Kill Chains” program to track moving targets from space. The Air Force will shift a portion of its ground moving target indicator mission from its aging fleet of E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft—which are set to retire by the end of next year—to Space Force satellites, according to detailed fiscal 2024 budget documents.

Advancing the Warfighter

Air & Space Forces Magazine

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.

New UK-Japan-Italy Fighter Takes Shape, with Electronics Details Emerging

Breaking Defense

Last week’s DSEI Japan show served as a showcase for the Global Combat Air Program (GCAP), with government and industry representatives from Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom gathering to announce new technology partnerships for the sixth-generation fighter. GCAP took center stage at the exhibition in Tokyo with a scale model of the technology demonstrator flanked by industrial partners promoting advanced electronics, weapon systems and propulsion solutions. The program was enough of a draw for the defense ministers from the U.K. and Italy to travel from Europe for the event.

Eating Disorders, Diabetes, Obesity Up Among US Troops During Pandemic, Research Finds

The pandemic wreaked havoc on service members' eating habits, leading to increases in obesity, diabetes and eating disorders, according to new Pentagon research. Data from the Defense Health Agency, or DHA, showed that the rates of obesity among U.S. troops rose by 13.3 percent from 2020 to 2021, while diagnoses of pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes also increased—the latter, the risk of which increases greatly with poor dietary habits, was up 25 percent since 2018.

This Is What USAF’s Future E-7 Radar Jet Is Actually Capable Of

The War Zone

In a demonstration trailer designed to approximate the interior of the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, Boeing officials offered The War Zone and a handful of other reporters details about the E-7’s unique capabilities and painted a picture of why Air Force commanders can’t wait to get their hands on this jet.

USAFA Distinguished Graduate Honorees Announced

USAFA release

The United States Air Force Academy and the Association of Graduates are proud to announce the selection of three Distinguished Graduates who will be honored this summer. Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Hans Mueh, Class of 1966, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Susan Desjardins, Class of 1980, of Exeter, N.H.; and Gen. (Ret.) David Goldfein, Class of 1983, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, will receive their awards at the annual Distinguished Graduate dinner on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the Air Force Academy.

One More Thing

10 Questions with an Air Force Test Engineer Who Flew Over 700 Hours in 25 Different Aircraft

Popular Mechanics

Eileen Bjorkman joined the U.S. Air Force in 1980, rising to the rank of Colonel before her retirement in 2009. She flew more than 700 hours as a flight-test engineer in more than 25 different aircraft, primarily the F-4 Phantom II, F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-130 Hercules, and C-141 Starlifter. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in computer science and aeronautical engineering, a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering, and a Ph.D. in systems engineering. Bjorkman is currently the executive director of the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.