Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall says the fiscal 2025 budget is "acceptable," but warns that recent cuts and an increasing threat are eroding the Department of the Air Force's ability to keep up.

Kendall’s Message to Airmen and Guardians on Re-Optimization: ‘Don’t Sit Still’

The Department of the Air Force is launching a sweeping effort to “re-optimize for great power competition,” with new commands, offices, and processes, in one of the largest reorganizations in the Air Force’s history. But for tens of thousands of Airmen and Guardians around the world, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said the most noticeable changes will come down to a focus on readiness.

SDA Launches Missile Tracking Satellites; All of ‘Tranche 0’ Now in Orbit

Three and a half years after the Space Development Agency awarded the first contracts for its planned satellite constellation in low-Earth orbit, the first batch of spacecraft—Tranche 0—are all in orbit. Four SDA missile warning/missile tracking satellites, along with two satellites for the Missile Defense Agency, successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla., on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Feb. 14.

Radar Sweep

OPINION: Department of the Air Force Needs More Resources for Successful Reorg

Defense News

“The Department of the Air Force’s top leaders are on target with their newly announced reorganization. ‘We are out of time,’ Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall explained Feb. 12. ‘[F]or at least two decades, China has been building a military that is designed, purpose-built, to deter and defeat the United States if we intervene in the Western Pacific. ... I don’t have to explain to you why time is my biggest concern. ... [T]he potential for conflict at any time is real,’” writes Douglas Birkey, executive director of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

VIDEO: We Talk MUTANT, the Bending Missile, With the Air Force Research Lab

The War Zone

Maybe the most striking exhibit on the floor of the AFA Warfare Symposium ... was the Air Force Research Laboratory's MUTANT bending body missile. We profiled the fascinating MUTANT program a year ago. TWZ's Jamie Hunter got a full update on the swiftly-moving program from AFRL's Dr. Ben Dickinson on the show floor, including details on the concept's upcoming test flight program. If successful, MUTANT's articulating body flight control system could revolutionize missile technology.

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INDOPACOM Seeks Autonomous 'Stare' to Deter China in the Taiwan Strait

Inside Defense

The presumptive chief of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said he is wrestling with how to interweave autonomy into weapons platforms and systems controls to provide "constant stare" for a new era of warfare, while the Pentagon continues work on the first tranche of Replicator drone capabilities to meet his stated needs.

Cropsey: Air Force C2 Modernization ‘Hamstrung’ by Lack of Fiscal 2024 Budget


Congress’ inability to approve a budget for fiscal 2024 has forced the Air Force to put a number of command-and-control modernization efforts on the back burner, the service official charged with the initiative told reporters Feb. 14. Federal agencies have been operating under a continuing resolution since the beginning of October, meaning spending for the Defense Department and other agencies has largely been frozen at fiscal 2023 levels.

Space Force Mulls 8-Year Active-Duty Enlistments for New Recruits

Air Force Times

The Space Force is considering requiring prospective Guardians to enlist for an initial term of eight years on active duty—twice as long as first-term troops usually sign up for—in a bid to build a more stable workforce to span the coming decades. It’s one change to personnel policies now under consideration as the Space Force looks to break typical military molds and craft a workforce that meets its unique needs as the Pentagon’s newest and smallest branch.

Startup Pitches AI Tool to Prevent Pentagon Procurement Blunders


The U.S. military is exploring a range of artificial intelligence capabilities, from predictive maintenance of ICBMs to analyzing reams of satellite data. This creates opportunities for AI startups like Virtualitics, which has won Air Force and Space Force research contracts and is offering an AI tool that could identify vulnerabilities in procurement programs by analyzing historical data and predicting potential issues before they arise.

Ukraine Claims Russia Used New Hypersonic Missile for First Time

The New York Times

Ukraine said it had evidence that Russia had used a new hypersonic cruise missile for the first time in an attack last week, a development that might, if confirmed, pose another challenge to the country’s already strained air defenses. A preliminary analysis of missile fragments by the government-run Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise concluded that a 3M22 Zircon missile had been used in a Feb. 7 attack that targeted cities across Ukraine.

US Air Force Plans to Use New, Quick Start Acquisition Authority

Aviation Week

The U.S. Air Force is planning to use newly provided authority to jump-start two major acquisition programs ahead of budgetary authorization. Congress, in the fiscal 2024 defense policy bill, approved the new authority requested by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to begin early design and engineering work before lawmakers pass a measure that would traditionally allow the new program to start.

One More Thing

How Does The B-1 Bomber's Wing Sweep System Work?

Simple Flying

One of the distinct features of the B-1 is its variable-sweep wing, capable of achieving the highest performance at different flight regimes. Depending on the speed of flight (between low subsonic, high subsonic, and supersonic), the aircraft wings can be swept differently. The aircraft has a blended wing body design that works efficiently with the swept-wing dynamics, as highlighted by the USAF.