The U.S. is hoping to launch air taxi routes at scale in time for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. But like many novel technologies, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft may see their first action in the military. In what appears to be one of the largest-ever contracts for an eVTOL manufacturer, San Jose, Calif.-based Archer Aviation agreed to deliver as many as six Midnight aircraft to the U.S. Air Force in an agreement worth up to $142 million. Other military branches will be able to leverage the contracts for additional projects, which could see that number rise.
The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved an $831 billion defense spending bill for fiscal year 2024 that recommends about $1 billion in cuts from the U.S. Space Force’s $30 billion request. The SAC said many of the recommended cuts are due to schedule and performance issues—concerns that also were raised by House appropriators last month in their version of the 2024 defense spending bill.
The Air Force is still deciding what approach it wants to take as it pursues a follow-on to the Cloud One commercial cloud service, although a request for proposal is expected to be published soon, according to the program executive officer. The service launched its follow-on effort to Cloud One—known as Cloud One Next (C1N)—in November with the release of a request for information to inform the program.
As the head of Air Mobility Command, Gen. Mike Minihan’s top priority has been preparing the Air Force’s airlift and aerial refueling enterprise for a new era of military operations in the Pacific. This year marked the first time that Mobility Guardian, the command’s massive biennial training exercise, tested how well Airmen could handle a short-notice, two-week deployment to the region. Minihan sat down with Air Force Times on July 9 for an interview on the sidelines of Mobility Guardian at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
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.
The United States will expand its military industrial base by helping Australia manufacture guided missiles and rockets for both countries within two years, the allies announced on July 29 as they ramped up defense cooperation to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific. The new cooperation on guided weapon production follows a trilateral partnership announcement in March that will see Britain provide Australia with a fleet of eight submarines powered by U.S. nuclear technology.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is one of the most thoughtful practitioners of legal warfare or “lawfare.” For PRC planners, especially those in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), legal warfare is an integral part of the larger effort of “political warfare.” Indeed, legal warfare is embedded in the Chinese conception of political warfare. From the Chinese perspective, political warfare, including legal warfare, is seen as a form of combat. Military combat preparations include the development and innovation of military political work, alongside more kinetic forms of operations.
Booz Allen Hamilton has been awarded a production agreement worth up to $1.86 billion for the Defense Information Systems Agency’s zero trust network architecture called Thunderdome, a DISA spokesperson told Breaking Defense. The contract, announced on July 28, is a follow-on production award for the company as DISA transitions Thunderdome from prototyping to production. The announcement did not include how much the contract was worth, however a DISA spokesperson said today that “the total agreement ceiling is $1.86 billion.”
Local National Guard members and reservists are training to spot danger and respond to hazards in support of the upcoming defueling of the Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage facility, set to begin in October. During a training exercise July 27, 14 of them went through a course on Ford Island that simulated a fire aboard a submarine. Lt. Col. Graham Perry, operations officer for Joint Task Force Red Hill, explained that “a submarine is an enclosed environment, a confined space, and it is probably the best replication of the facility they will be in in Red Hill.”
A great migration happens every Summer in July. Thousands of birds make their way across the U.S., and some from much farther away, to the Cheese State. They descend in ordered chaos to a single plot of land that sits beside Lake Winnebago — Wittman Regional Airport. This is the site Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture. An absolutely massive gathering for all things aviation. Nowhere on this blue marble do more aircraft of all types—including many of the rarest flying machines in existence—congregate in one place. While it's a bewildering event and heaven for any aviator or aviation aficionado alike, as viewed from space, the sheer concentration of aircraft is truly stunning to behold.