Lockheed Martin has told the Pentagon and Federal Trade Commission that it worries that L3Harris Technologies’ proposed acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne would block its access to rocket motors needed for its missiles. “We are also now actively investing and looking to partner to begin standing up another source for solid rocket motor production,” Lockheed CFO Frank St. John said in a June 20 interview at the Paris Air Show.
The U.S. Air Force is a step closer to receiving its new advanced jet trainer, after the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk successfully completed taxi tests, ahead of the first flight of the aircraft in its production form. The ground-based tests have proven the power, electrical, and mission systems aboard the jet, a critical milestone on the path to getting the production-standard T-7A ready for flight testing, scheduled to begin later this summer.
French President Emmanuel Macron called on European nations June 19 to seek more independence on airspace defense and advocated against relying too much on the U.S., a long-divisive issue that takes on new urgency because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Macron made his case for Europeans building their own airspace protection strategy in the closing speech of a conference in Paris gathering defense ministers and other representatives of 20 European countries.
True Anomaly, a startup developing technologies for the military space market, announced plans to provide digital and live training ranges as a service. Based in Centennial, Colo., the company developed a digital infrastructure for virtual training as well as on-orbit hardware for live wargaming. The digital range and the on-orbit range will be offered to the U.S. Space Force for personnel training and for hardware testing, said True Anomaly CEO Even Rogers.
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.
European missile maker MBDA is leading a consortium of companies to conceptualize a prototype hypersonic interceptor for Europe over the next three years. The missile systems and technology company has signed letters of intent with four European nations—France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands—to launch a concept stage for the Hypersonic Defense Interceptor Study, or HYDIS2, which would introduce several designs before choosing one, officials said June 19 during the Paris Air Show.
With recently completed ground-testing and a new commercial client, the public-private partnership between the Pentagon’s far-future research agency and Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics to develop a robotic vehicle to physically repair ailing satellites is moving toward launch in early 2025, according to officials involved. “There’s a lot of folks who say robotics have been around for a long time. The challenge is space-based robotics,” Robert Hauge, Space Logistics’ president, told Breaking Defense. “This is really, really hard.”
The Biden administration’s decision to authorize the transfer of F-16s and provide pilot training to Ukraine could change the tide of the war. A former Air Force brigadier general and a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman describe what it will take to get Ukrainian pilots battle-ready.
The Department of the Air Force has moved military families 15 times over the past two years to help them escape racist or anti-LGTBQ+ harassment. “Since 2021, the Department of the Air Force has granted 15 relocation exceptions to policy for members experiencing a range of racial- and LGBTQ+-related discrimination,” a department spokesperson said.
Military aircraft, salvage equipment and ships are heading to a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean to aid in rescue efforts of a private submersible craft carrying five people that was lost June 18 as it ventured toward the wreckage of the Titanic. Department of Defense spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters that two C-130 Hercules aircraft with U.S. Transportation Command helped with search-and-rescue efforts as recently as June 20, and Air National Guard, Coast Guard, and Navy assets were assisting, too.
Due to what it described as “valuation errors,” the Pentagon said June 20 it had determined it actually has some $6.2 billion more available for Ukraine-related military aid than previously known. In May, Reuters reported that the Pentagon weeks before realized it had been calculating the cost of security aid via presidential drawdown—weapons taken straight from U.S. stocks and sent to Ukraine—as if the weapons and platforms it was providing were new, rather than used, meaning its figures had been inflated. At the time, the Pentagon said it was off by some $3 billion.
Boeing and its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences on June 20 at the Paris Air Show unveiled plans to develop new and advanced defensive capabilities for the KC-46 Pegasus and other future aerial refueling and mobility aircraft. Boeing and Aurora’s move to strengthen the Pegasus’s defensive measures comes as the military is preparing for the possibility of a war against an advanced adversary such as China. The Air Force worries such a conflict would involve fighting in heavily contested airspace.
Robert Jordan was just a kid when he was shot down on Nov. 26, 1944. The 19-year-old was part of a nine-member crew aboard a Consolidated B-24J that was on a bombing mission over Misburg, Germany. When the aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire, Jordan and his crewmates bailed out. They were later captured and imprisoned by the Germans. More than 20 years later, Jordan documented the harrowing experience in an oil painting titled November 1944. The hauntingly beautiful work is notable for its depiction of light and shadow, not surprising since Jordan admired 17th-century painters Frans Hals and Rembrandt van Rijn, known for their frequent use of chiaroscuro.