Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has signed off on a new classification policy for space programs that discourages the use of Special Access Program status (SAPs) that dramatically limits clearances to handful of U.S. officials—in hopes of opening still-secret programs to more stakeholders, including U.S. allies and industry partners, according to a senior official.
A week after releasing its first industrial strategy, the Pentagon is sprinting to meet with companies on how to put it into action. The meetings will focus both on feedback to the strategy and on how to best implement it, said Justin McFarlin, who leads Pentagon industrial base development and international outreach, in an interview with Defense News.
Minutes after Air Force One takes off from anywhere in the world, another blue-and-white aircraft emblazoned with “United States of America” typically follows to far less fanfare. That’s the way the Air Force likes it. That trailing plane is one of a quartet of bespoke Boeing 757s whose existence service officials don’t acknowledge. And although the four aircraft are well known to plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts, they’re getting harder to track.
Col. Douglas Wickert has a bit of a problem on his hands. He commands the 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB the storied installation “2 mi. past the middle of nowhere” in rural Southern California that for decades has hosted the service’s top test programs, putting new fighters, bombers, and other aircraft through their paces before they go operational. The U.S. Air Force is in the early stages of modernizing every part of its fleet, and that means a to-do list the likes of which the base has not seen before.
Astroscale is developing an in-space refueling vehicle that will shuttle back and forth between a fuel depot in geostationary Earth orbit and a client satellite. The refueling vehicle will carry and transfer hydrazine to its client spacecraft, “rather than the client having to maneuver to a fuel depot, allowing client operations to continue uninterrupted,” the company said Jan. 17.
The Air Force is looking for industry partners to conduct research on 13 priority areas, mainly within the scope of munitions, according to a recently published market survey. In its 2024 Air Dominance broad agency announcement, the Air Force Research Laboratory is asking for input into whether any companies are qualified to engineer or design several breakthrough technologies, from artificial intelligence to advanced missile propulsion devices.
The U.S. Air Force's first B-21 Raider stealth bomber is now conducting test flights from Edwards Air Force Base in California. This marks an important step forward in the development of this highly advanced aircraft, which just flew for the first time last November. An Air Force official confirmed to The War Zone that the initial B-21, one of six pre-production examples the service plans to acquire, flew a sortie from Edwards on Jan. 17.
The Defense Department will install solar panels on the Pentagon, part of the Biden administration’s plan to promote clean energy and “reestablish the federal government as a sustainability leader.” The Pentagon is one of 31 government sites that are receiving $104 million in Energy Department grants that are expected to double the amount of carbon-free electricity at federal facilities and create 27 megawatts of clean-energy capacity while leveraging more than $361 million in private investment, the Energy Department said.
Grocery shopping these days comes with an entire slew of items that were first made possible by Uncle Sam. Decades after their invention, however, those foods have stuck around for the masses to enjoy. Take a look at these popular food items that you never knew were first introduced by the U.S. Government.