The Air Force has awarded Boeing a $2.3 billion contract for 15 more KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers. The award, announced by the Pentagon on Nov. 28, brings to 153 the number of KC-46s Boeing has on contract to build for the United States and allies. The Air Force plans to buy 179 KC-46s, and Boeing said it has so far delivered 76 of those.
Both chambers of Congress are considering legislation that would mandate new reports and mechanisms to enable lawmakers to more deeply monitor how the Pentagon is progressing on its multibillion dollar initiative to connect all of its sensors and systems across the entire battlespace under a single network.
The US Air Force is undergoing a “transformational moment” in how it handles pilot training, with technological achievements from adversaries forcing the service to lean more into synthetic environments, a service official told Breaking Defense on Nov. 28. Adversaries have “caught up with us in many respects and maybe even in some respects are leading from a technology perspective,” Col. Matt Ryan, senior materiel leader for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Simulators Division said.
“Seeing a new aircraft of any type fly is a big deal as it represents the culmination of years of hard work planning, designing, and engineering a machine of immense complexity. Even more rare—and significant—is the first flight of a combat stealth aircraft, which we just witnessed in the first flight of Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider on Nov. 10, 2023,” writes retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The advent of artificial intelligence in defense is prompting a reevaluation of decades-old military leadership traditions, top air force officials from across the globe said at a gathering in Dubai earlier this month. The Nov. 12 Dubai Air Chiefs Conference, or DIACC, that kicked off this year’s iteration of the Dubai Air Show explored the fundamental changes airmen should expect as a result of AI permeating their professions.
VA Has Already Exceeded Its Annual Goal for Housing Homeless Veterans with 2 Months Left in the Year
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it had placed 38,847 veterans in permanent housing by the end of October, exceeding its goal to house 38,000 homeless veterans this year with two months left on the calendar. VA officials announced Nov. 29 they also are on track to exceed their goal for keeping those newly housed veterans in their homes, with 96.2 percent of the newly sheltered staying housed. Its goal for the year had been to ensure that no more than 5 percent returned to the streets.
The Defense Innovation Unit issued a new solicitation for proposals from private companies for a project known as the Hybrid Space Architecture, an initiative launched in 2021 to mesh commercial satellite broadband innovations with military networks. DIU is working with the U.S. Space Force and the Air Force Research Laboratory on efforts to connect satellite networks and ground communications systems so military users can get data faster and more securely than is currently possible.
North Korea’s government is claiming its spy satellite photographed the White House and the Pentagon. According to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has seen satellite photos of the Pentagon and the White House, as well as Naval Station Norfolk and Newport News Dockyard in Virginia.
“When one looks across the span of the Pacific, one fundamental strategic truth stands out: the U.S. and every single one of our partners in the region—traditional allies such as Japan and Taiwan, off-and-on allies like the Philippines, new and would-be partners like Vietnam and Indonesia—are what are known as ‘status quo powers.’ None are driven by expansionist ambitions; rather, each seeks simply to safeguard their territories. Understanding this is crucial because it flips the way that U.S. defense analysts typically talk about the challenge of China,” writes Peter W. Singer, strategist and senior fellow at New America.
During the 1980s, the U.S. Air Force operated a top-secret squadron, the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron (4477 TES). The 4477th, which operated out of the isolated Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada, had one, simple purpose: to train U.S. pilots to handle enemy aircraft, namely Soviet MiGs. Nicknamed the “Red Eagles,” the 4477th instructed USAF, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps pilots in the combat tactics necessary to defeat Soviet jets.