Kendall: F-16s Not a ‘Game-Changer’ for Ukraine But ‘Something They Need’

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said May 22 that Ukrainian pilots could learn to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon in a matter of months and the aircraft will be an important element of the nation’s future defense capability. “They’re very motivated,” Kendall said. “Everything we’ve done with the Ukrainians, they’ve shown a capacity to learn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more motivated individuals, in terms of wanting to get into the fight and make a difference.”

Air Force Will Pick Just One NGAD Design in 2024, Kendall Says

Despite original plans to pursue several designs of the Next Generation Air Dominance fighter, only one will be chosen to enter engineering and manufacturing development next year, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said. Competition will continue after a winner is chosen, but only on the aircraft’s systems and weapons, he said.
Air National Guard fighter fleet

New House Bill Aims to Keep 25 ANG Fighter Squadrons. Here’s Why USAF Is Wary

A new bill introduced in Congress by a retired Air Force general aims to bolster the Air National Guard’s fighter fleet—but a top service official told Air & Space Forces Magazine the legislation as it stands would create issues for the Air Force and face significant hurdles in the short term. Still, both sides agreed the bill highlights an important issue: the Air Force fighter fleet is too small. 
L3Harris is expanding production capacity and hiring to modify 75 Sky Warden aircraft for Air Force Special Operations Command. L3Harris

Get Ready for Sky Warden: First Delivery Set for October

Sky Warden, the modified crop-duster U.S. Special Operations Command picked as the winner of its Armed Overwatch competition, has entered low-rate initial production, and the first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in October, a SOCOM spokesman told Air & Space Forces Magazine. The combatant command is expecting 26 aircraft as part of low-rate initial production, which helps establish the production base for the program and produces aircraft for operational testing, before a full-rate production decision. SOCOM is planning on a full-rate decision in March 2025.

Radar Sweep

US Bomb Designed to Hit Targets Like Iran Underground Nuclear Sites Briefly Reappears Amid Tensions

The Associated Press

As tensions with Iran have escalated over its nuclear program, the U.S. military this month posted pictures of a powerful bomb designed to penetrate deep into the earth and destroy underground facilities that could be used to enrich uranium. The U.S. Air Force on May 2 released rare images of the weapon, the GBU-57, known as the “Massive Ordnance Penetrator.” Then it took the photos down—apparently because the photographs revealed sensitive details about the weapon’s composition and punch.

Space Force, IC Warily Approach Agreement on Commercial Intel Imagery Buys

Breaking Defense

The Space Force and the Intelligence Community are slowly honing in on a multi-faceted agreement about their respective roles in buying intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data from commercial satellite operators, according to officials from both sides, centering on how new contracting arrangements could foster sharing and avoid duplication.

New Developments in Warfighter Training

Air & Space Forces Magazine

Driven by advancements in technology and research, the Air Force and Space Force are adapting how they train their warfighters to complete the missions at hand. Keep up with all the latest news on changes and improvements to the services’ training enterprises.

NATO Faces Hurdles in Acquiring Commercial Satellite Imagery


Commercial satellite imagery is helping NATO address its need for persistent monitoring in spite of cost, technical, and licensing issues. “NATO is not all that wealthy and the price for commercial satellite imagery is pretty high,” Paul Bowman, who leads the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance cell for NATO’s Battlefield Intelligence Collection and Exploitation Systems, said May 22 at the GEOINT Symposium here. “There’s a limit to how much NATO is going to be able to invest in that.”

F-117 Nighthawks Soar Over Alaska

The War Zone

The F-117 Nighthawks—officially retired 15 years ago—continue to expand their reach in the adversary support and test and evaluation role as participants in Northern Edge 2023 (NE23) up in Alaska. We first heard that F-117s were players in Northern Edge—the Pentagon's massive test and training exercise that occurs in Alaska—last week. A pair of them had been operating out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

Gen. Nakasone Releases US Cyber Command’s Strategic Priorities


Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, last week released an updated set of strategic priorities for the command that seeks to “own the domain.” These refined priorities address global strategic challenges while enhancing CYBERCOM’s posture, according to the command.

Bringing GPS to the Moon Is the Next Frontier

Defense One

Could navigating around the Moon be as easy as loading your favorite GPS app? The Pentagon’s lead image-intelligence agency thinks so and is working to develop a lunar reference framework to guide future explorers around the Moon as safely and quickly as satellite-aided navigation does on Earth.

Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Making Strides on Project Maven AI

Defense News

Since taking over operational control of the Defense Department’s most prominent artificial intelligence tool in January, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made “important strides” toward improving geolocation accuracy, detecting targets, and automating work processes, according to its director.

How Biden Got to Yes on F-16s and Ukraine


For more than a year, Kyiv has asked for modern fighter jets, and the Biden administration’s answer has either been “no,” or “not right now.” That changed late last week, when President Joe Biden told allies that he would support an international coalition to train Ukrainian pilots on Western fighters, paving the way for modern jets to one day be transferred to the front line.

One More Thing

National Museum of the US Air Force Celebrates 100 Years with New Exhibit

Dayton Daily News

Like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base itself, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is unmistakably Dayton, Ohio-bred and born. The museum celebrates its 100th anniversary with a special exhibit that opened May 21. The exhibit offers a detailed look at the museum’s history, complete with rare photos and the citation of little-known facts.