At Barksdale, B-52 Crews Are in High Demand—And Looking Forward to Upgrades

Starting in the late 2020s, the Air Force’s fleet of B-52 bombers will transform with new engines, a new radar, updated communications and navigation equipment and more. What was the B-52H will become the re-designated, upgraded B-52J. At one of only two operational B-52 bases in the service, members of the 2nd Bomb Wing are excited for the major changes, while still putting in long hours and lots of work to keep the H model flying around the globe in the meantime.
masters of the air

‘Masters of the Air’ Nails Many Details, Misses Context

The new nine-part TV series, “Masters of the Air,” masterfully captures the grueling reality of life in the U.S. Army Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group during the daylight bombing campaign over Europe in World War II. But Americans watching the series on Apple TV+ might miss the larger historical context, according to one expert.

New Report: Why the US Should Invest More in Quantum Now

There are breakthrough capabilities promised by quantum technologies that experts say could give the U.S. Air Force crucial advantages in a future conflict with China—provided, that is, that the U.S. military invests in developing those technologies sooner, not later.

Radar Sweep

New US-Made Longer-Range Bomb Expected to Arrive as Soon as Jan. 31 in Ukraine


The Pentagon has successfully tested a new long-range precision bomb for Ukraine that is expected to arrive on the battlefield as soon as Jan. 31, according to two U.S. officials and two other people with knowledge of the talks. Ukraine will receive its first batch of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs, a brand new long-range weapon made by Boeing that even the U.S. doesn’t have in its inventory, according to the four people, all of whom were granted anonymity to discuss matters ahead of an announcement.

F-16 Crashes Off South Korea After ‘In-Flight Emergency,’ Air Force Says

Stars and Stripes

An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon out of South Korea crashed into the Yellow Sea on Jan. 31 after an “in-flight emergency,” according to the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base. The crash occurred around 8:41 a.m. and the pilot was recovered roughly 50 minutes later by U.S. and South Korean personnel, the wing said in a news release.

USAF Tried an Electric Plane. Now It Wants to Buy

Defense One

The U.S. Air Force wants to buy battery-powered planes after it deployed BETA Technologies’ ALIA aircraft to one of the service’s bases. A final decision on when and how many of the electric conventional takeoff and landing planes the service will buy is a “rolling process,” but the service is “definitely on an acquisition path to get these into the inventory,” said Andrew Lau, AFWERX’s Agility Prime program manager. The program was launched in 2020 to propel electric aviation development.

Boeing Expects Grey Wolf Helicopter Deliveries to Air Force This Year

Defense News

Boeing expects to start delivering the Air Force’s first field-ready MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters later this year. In a release, Boeing said it finished construction on the first low-rate initial production Grey Wolf in late December. That helicopter also started its flight testing at Italian aerospace firm Leonardo’s facility in Philadelphia, the company said.

MQ-20 Avenger Tests Previously Unseen Air-Launched Effects Drone

The War Zone

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), has revealed that it has developed, built, and in-flight released a brand new and hitherto unknown small uncrewed aerial system (SUAS) as the Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE). Shown in new images released by the manufacturer, the new A2LE is seen being deployed from the internal weapons bay of a company-owned MQ-20 Avenger drone.

Satellite-Services Industry Awaits Critical Demand Signal from US Military


The emergent on-orbit servicing market faces a case of misaligned expectations. On one side, companies developing technologies to provide satellite maintenance, repair, and other on-orbit services seek an early government commitment to bring about private investment. A flagship customer for these services, the U.S. Space Force, has funded development projects and demonstrations, but it’s not ready to become an anchor customer as it continues to define its requirements and realign budgets.

Space Force Reexamining Acquisition Strategy for Secure Narrow-Band Communications

Breaking Defense

As it studies the potential for new satellites to extend the lifetime of its current network, the Space Force is engaged in an effort to map out a longer-range acquisition strategy for narrow-band satellite communications—including whether, and if so how, commercial systems might be better leveraged. A final report outlining the pros and cons of various options is slated for sometime this spring, a spokesperson for the service’s primary acquisition unit, Space Systems Command, told Breaking Defense in an email.

A Year After Space Force Fuel Spill on Sacred Hawaii Volcano, Work on a Cleanup Plan Continues

A year after 700 gallons of fuel spilled at a Space Force observatory located atop a sacred Hawaiian volcano on Maui, angering locals, officials are still working on approving a remediation plan and presenting it to the community. On Jan. 29, 2023, a diesel fuel pump for a backup generator at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex failed to shut off and the float—a piece that helps monitor fuel levels—inside the tank was defective, causing hundreds of gallons to seep into the soil on the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakalā, a volcano on the Hawaiian island.

One More Thing

Ex-US Air Force Pilot Claims He May Have Located Lost Amelia Earhart Plane

The Guardian

A modern-day ocean explorer has claimed to have possibly solved one of the great mysteries of modern aviation by publishing sonar images which he claims may show the wreckage of the the airplane flown by Amelia Earhart at the bottom of the Pacific. Earhart’s plane disappeared over the Pacific in 1937 as she sought to become the first woman to fly around the world. Ever since then, mystery has surrounded the American aviator’s fate amid intense speculation as to what happened to her.