The GAO warns that there are further delays ahead for the T-7A advanced trainer, and it advises the Air Force to build a more realistic schedule for the program that accounts for its high level of concurrency of design, development and manufacture.

T-7 Trainer’s IOC Slips Again, This Time to Spring 2027

Initial Operational Capability for the T-7A trainer has been pushed back from its original target of 2024 to 2027, Air Force acquisition executive Andrew Hunter reported. The setback stems from ejection seat issues that delayed the formal start of production. Hunter said the digital methods used to design the T-7 will help mitigate the delays.

Radar Sweep

Special Forces Swiftly Evacuate US Embassy Staff from Sudan

The Associated Press

U.S. special operations forces carried out a precarious evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Sudan on April 23, sweeping in and out of the capital with helicopters on the ground for less than an hour. No shots were fired and no major casualties were reported. With the final embassy employee out of Khartoum, the United States shuttered its diplomatic mission indefinitely. Remaining behind in the East African nation are thousands of private American citizens. U.S. officials said it would be too dangerous to carry out a broader evacuation operation.

Air Defense Top Priority for Ukraine Contact Group Amid Leak Revealing Missile Stockpiles Running Out

Breaking Defense

Today’s round of Ukraine Defense Contract Group talks held at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will see over 50 military delegations from the US and Europe focus predominately on supporting Ukraine air defense capabilities, just a week after leaked Pentagon papers suggested Kyiv’s air defense missile stockpiles could run out in May. “Ukraine urgently needs our help to shield its citizens and infrastructure from Russia’s missile threat,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the start of the meeting.

The World’s Military Space Forces Need to Talk More, US Officials Say

Defense One

The world’s military space forces need to talk more, U.S. officials say—and that means everything from establishing norms for space operations to setting up “red phones” with Chinese and Russian space operators. It’s in the country’s best interest to establish “norms of behavior” and lines for communication between the U.S. and other space operators—including adversaries, said Lt. Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander of U.S. Space Command.

A SpaceX Rocket Exploded. Here’s Why the Space Force Remains Hopeful.


SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle, the world’s heaviest rocket, could be a game changer for the Space Force, even after its first attempt at a suborbital flight on April 20 ended in an explosion. Despite the failure, service officials told C4ISRNET they’re hopeful about the rocket’s future and what the test flight means for the launch industry more broadly.

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.

Space Force Eyes 2025-2026 Timeframe for Tactically Responsive Space Capabilities

Breaking Defense

The Space Force has set a goal of fielding a tactically responsive space capability by the 2025-2026 timeframe, a top service official said April 20, though the Pentagon still has many details to work out before it can launch satellites practically on-demand if the need arises. “The ultimate goal for us is to get to an enduring [tactically responsive space] capability by the 2025 or 2026 timeframe,” said Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, who leads the effort to field tactically responsive space through Space System Command’s Space Safari office, during a panel at the Space Symposium.

Bipartisan Bill Would ‘Arm Taiwan to the Teeth’ with US Cyber Tech

Defense News

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to apply U.S. cybersecurity technologies and techniques in defense of Taiwan, a target of Chinese influence campaigns, digital onslaughts and potential military takeover. Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Reps. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., on April 20 introduced the Taiwan Cybersecurity Resiliency Act, which would require the Pentagon to intensify its cyber outreach and collaboration with the much-discussed independent island.

Finnish Test Pilot Flies First Mission with the US Air Force After His Country Joins NATO

Task & Purpose

Just a few minutes after the ink was dry and Finland officially became the 31st member nation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a Finnish pilot was in the sky flying with the U.S. Air Force. On April 4, Finnish Air Force Capt. Sami Nisonen and U.S. Air Force Capt. Jacob Olsen, both students at the Air Force Test Pilot School, took off in a T-38 Talon twin-seat aircraft. It was just a routine mission for the course, but due to the timing, it was the first bit of military cooperation between the U.S. and Finland as official NATO partners.

Could US Cyber Command Play a Larger Role in Electronic Warfare in the Future?


Cyberspace and electronic warfare are very closely linked. The former is considered by the Department of Defense to be a full-fledged “domain” of warfare while the latter is not, much to the chagrin of its impassioned EW community. While cyber has a dedicated combatant command, electronic warfare is merely a functional area under the combatant commands.

US Space Force Will Be the First Customer for BlueHalo’s Mobile Ground Station


The U.S. Space Force in 2025 plans to start replacing decades-old parabolic satellite dishes with electronic phased array antennas developed by BlueHalo. The company’s CEO Jonathan Moneymaker said the Space Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) is the first customer for a new phased array antenna the company developed for the military and commercial markets.

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Wagner Group Surges in Africa as US Influence Fades, Leak Reveals

The Washington Post

The Wagner Group is moving aggressively to establish a “confederation” of anti-Western states in Africa as the Russian mercenaries foment instability while using their paramilitary and disinformation capabilities to bolster Moscow’s allies, according to leaked secret U.S. intelligence documents.

One More Thing

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s an Air Force Flyover

DOD release

Air Force F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightning IIs recently performed flyovers and air demonstrations during noon meal formation at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. During noon meal formation, cadets march across the Terrazzo into Mitchell Hall, a tradition that dates back to the founding of the academy. Events are aimed at cultivating warrior ethos, a future-focused mindset, and supplementing existing character, leadership, and officer development efforts.