The Biden administration has unveiled a $40 billion supplemental funding request to Congress, which includes aid for the war in Ukraine, border and migration, disaster response, and firefighter pay—an ask that will be a hard sell to Republican lawmakers in the House. For Ukraine and other international needs, the administration is asking for roughly $24 billion. That total includes $9.5 billion “for equipment for Ukraine and replenishment of DOD stocks; and $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence, and other defense support.”
The F-35 joint program office hasn't even announced a competition to improve the cooling system for the fighter jet—but one prospective bidder is already worried the contest might not be fair, while another says it’s taken steps to ensure a level playing field. The potential competition is over a critical system that must be upgraded along with the engine to keep the jet flying into the future.
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 Army’s new Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) is closing in on the initial fielding of two new missile systems while preparing to pass the development and sustainment baton to the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Missiles and Space, according to a three-star general. Lt. Gen. Robert Rasch, who heads up the RCCTO, told an audience in Huntsville, Ala. on Aug. 9 that while Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) and Mid-Range Capabilities (MRC) weapon development is continuing, his office’s role for those programs is about to sunset.
Russia "remains a capable space competitor" even though the ongoing war in Ukraine has slowed down its pace of building space capabilities, Maj. Gen. Michael Morrissey, U.S. Space Command director of plans and policy, said Aug. 10. “The effects of sanctions, export controls, coupled with the domestic space sector challenges, constrain its capabilities,” Morrissey said at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala.
“General and flag officer nominations should be reviewed and confirmed in a timely manner and be blocked only for conduct, character, or competence concerns. When the Senate returns in September, bipartisan leaders should approve the waiting backlog of defense nominations and revise the rules so that routine promotions do not become entangled in other matters. That is the right thing to do,” writes retired Army Gen. Robert Brown, president and CEO of the Association of the United States Army.
A decades-old government system to monitor unauthorized aircraft over the U.S. capital region is about to get an AI overhaul to speed up operations. Teleidoscope, a company out of California that specializes in automated targeting software for augmented-reality games, has won an up-to-$100 million contract to replace portions of the National Capital Region-Integrated Air Defense System, or NCR-IADS, following an 18-month prototype phase led by the Defense Innovation Unit, or DIU.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the filing deadline for retroactive disability compensation claims under the PACT Act through Aug. 14, after technical problems hampered the process for veterans attempting to file. VA officials announced Aug. 9 that the deadline for the disability claims or submission of intentions to file a claim is now 11:59 p.m. Aug. 14 for compensation to be backdated to Aug. 10, 2022—the date the legislation was signed into law.
The Romanian Ministry of National Defence has requested the parliament’s approval for the purchase of 32 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, according to Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr. The planned procurement is estimated to be worth about $6.5 billion. In an interview with local broadcaster Antena 3, Tîlvăr said his ministry is “taking the first step towards equipping the Romanian Air Force with a state-of-the-art capability which will give Romania a consolidated status in the security architecture on [NATO’s] eastern flank and in the Black Sea region.”
The Pentagon launched a new task force Aug. 10 dedicated to understanding how the Defense Department can effectively and responsibly leverage generative artificial intelligence tools such as large language models. Called Task Force Lima, the new organization will be led by the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office’s (CDAO) Algorithmic Warfare Directorate and will “assess, synchronize, and employ” generative AI technologies throughout the Pentagon, according to a DOD press release.
One of the U.S. Air Force’s largest combat training exercises this summer focused on an expanded battlefield to prepare for threats posed by China and North Korea, a training officer said recently. Approximately 2,000 Airmen and 50 aircraft from the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy took to the skies over Nevada, Utah, California, and the Pacific Ocean for Red Flag 23-3 between July 17 and Aug. 4, Col. Eric Winterbottom, commander of the 414th Combat Training Squadron, said by phone Aug. 3.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force welcomed the arrival of a PT-17 to its collection following a ceremonial transfer at Joint Base Andrews, the museum said recently. The aircraft is only one of just two remaining PT-17s once used as Tuskegee Airmen trainers during the Second World War. The aircraft was acquired from the Collings Foundation’s American Heritage Museum in Hudson, Mass.