President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked their countries’ growing defense trade partnership June 22 by announcing a landmark deal for General Electric to build military jet engines in India with Hindustan Aeronautics, a state-owned company. “The U.S.-India defense partnership has been growing stronger through the years, but we’ve now entered really sort of a next generation defense partnership,” a senior administration official told reporters.
Following a spirited debate over social issues, the House Appropriations Committee approved their fiscal 2024 defense spending bill, with a $886 billion national security topline. By and large, the approved draft spending bill maintains the defense subcommittee’s plans to provide the Department of Defense with $826 billion in new discretionary funds next year. It fully funds some top Pentagon priorities, such as the B-21 bomber and the Columbia-class submarine, while preventing it from pursuing multi-year munition contracts.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is keen on his department acquiring artificial intelligence capabilities, but he’s not so gung-ho on some of the generative AI technology that’s commercially available now. Tools that can generate content—such as text, audio, and images—based on prompts and the data they’re trained on have gone viral in recent months.
Even as it seeks to market its A-29 Super Tucano to nations across Europe, Brazilian defense giant Embraer has no ongoing discussions with Ukraine about selling the light attack plane to Kyiv, according to the CEO of Embraer’s defense arm. “They were very interested in our plane in the past, but to be honest with you, we are not in touch with them anymore,” Bosco da Costa Junior told Breaking Defense during the Paris Air Show. “I don’t have any kind of open conversation with them.”
Pratt & Whitney is miffed over Lockheed Martin’s support for a new jet engine that one day might replace the one it makes for the F-35 stealth fighter. Tensions spilled over at the Paris Air Show this week, as Pratt executives accused a Lockheed executive of making misleading statements about the F-35’s purported need for a new engine years from now. Pratt accused Lockheed of trying to market the F-35 as a sixth-generation fighter jet.
Virtually every part of the Department of the Air Force’s drive to modernize is being shaped by Secretary Frank Kendall’s seven Operational Imperatives—lines of effort that address the most important and urgent challenges facing the Air Force today. Now, the department and industry are working together to develop solutions for each imperative, and the results will likely change the Air Force and Space Force for the next generation. Keep up with all the latest news on each Operational Imperative.
The House’s proposed version of the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes provisions that would push the Air Force to make available more pilot training aircraft—both old and new—and tap the brakes on some future fighter retirements. The bill, which the House Armed Services Committee advanced early June 22, includes an amendment from Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, that would aim to speed up the Air Force’s acquisition of the delayed T-7A Red Hawk training aircraft.
Military satellite procurements for strategic defense and communications are drawing increased funding and congressional scrutiny. These are the largest satellite acquisitions planned by the U.S. Space Force over the next several years and “represent a fundamental departure from how DoD has historically carried out these critical missions,” says a new report by the Aerospace Corp. published June 22.
A common uncrewed aircraft designed to be able to work closely with stealthy 5th generation, but especially older 4th generation fighters, as well as other aircraft, would offer a huge battery of benefits to the U.S., British, and Australian armed forces. Cooperative acquisition of such a drone could help speed up development, foster unparalleled interoperability during future operations, ease global fleet management strains, reduce logistical and sustainment burdens for all parties involved, accelerate ongoing upgrades and innovation, spread out costs, and above all else, achieve economies of scale that would provide strategic-level advantages. In doing so, such an endeavor would provide a massive leg up in the race for retaining air supremacy. And all of this would be perfectly in line with AUKUS' goals.
Leaders for the Army and Air National Guard said June 21 that they hope to get closer to their recruiting goals in 2023 than they did last year, but they are battling tough competition from private companies such as FedEx, Microsoft and Wendy’s in attracting recruits to the military. “This is the most challenging recruiting environment the Department of Defense has ever faced,” Col. Anthony Pasquale, division chief of Air National Guard recruiting and retention, told reporters during a panel discussion.
If you got a free smartwatch in the mail, you'd activate it and throw it on your wrist, right? Wrong. According to a press release from the Department of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division, or CID, there seems to be a program targeting service members with free smartwatches. While the CID did not respond to a request for numbers or services affected in time for this story, the phenomenon is sufficiently widespread to merit the division issuing a military-wide alert.