USAF C-130s Conduct Humanitarian Aid Airdrops Into Gaza

Three U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft conducted airdrops of humanitarian aid into Gaza alongside two Royal Jordanian Air Force C-130s on March 2. The U.S. aircraft took off from Jordan and dropped 66 bundles—22 per aircraft—with over 38,000 meals ready to eat (MREs). The USAF airdrops occurred over southwest Gaza, a U.S. defense official told Air & Space Forces Magazine.

USAF Logs First Flight of General Atomics’ Autonomous XQ-67 Drone

The XQ-67A, a new autonomous collaborative drone, flew for the first time Feb. 28, manufacturer General Atomics and the Air Force Research Laboratory announced. The aircraft, which flew at the General Atomics Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility near Palmdale, Calif., is part of AFRL’s Off-Board Sensing Station program—and the next step in the Air Force’s effort to pair autonomous drones with manned fighters and other aircraft. 

New Air Force Grooming Standards Charts: What’s OK, What’s Not

From neck tattoos to ponytails, the Air Force has changed several dress and appearance standards in recent years. To tamp down on confusion over what is allowed and what is not, the service republished its dress and personal appearance instructions on Feb. 29 and released a chart to serve as a visual guide.

German Navy Mistakenly Fires Missiles at USAF MQ-9 Over Red Sea

A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper came close to being shot down by a German warship in a friendly fire incident over the Red Sea on Feb. 27, U.S. officials told Air & Space Forces Magazine. The USAF MQ-9 was targeted by the German frigate Hessen as the drone was conducting a mission for Operation Prosperity Guardian, the U.S.-led maritime operation that is protecting international shipping from Houthi attacks, a U.S. official said. The German ship fired two missiles at the MQ-9, but they missed the drone.

Radar Sweep

The Pentagon’s Plan for More Ambitious, Affordable Jet Fighters: AI Pilots

The Wall Street Journal

Pilotless jet fighters that can fly 30 feet above the ground to their targets or straight toward a barrage of enemy missiles are being developed by the U.S. Air Force to help deter China. The soaring cost of existing military aircraft and advances in flying software have the Air Force pivoting toward a new generation of pilotless jets to bolster a fleet that its leaders say is the smallest and oldest since it became a separate service in 1947.

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Singapore's Air Force to Add More Stealth Fighters as It Phases Out Older Jets


Singapore will buy eight more F-35 stealth fighters, eventually replacing its older F-16s and putting the Singaporean air force “in the premier league” as regional threats grow, the city-state's defense minister said this week. Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) would buy F-35As—a larger, longer-range variant of the Lockheed Martin jets—to complement the 12 F-35Bs it has already ordered.

Boeing Gets $439 Million Contract for US Military Communications Satellite


Boeing was awarded a $439.6 million contract by the U.S. Space Force to build a military communications satellite known as WGS-12. The contract was announced March 1 by the Defense Department. WGS-12 will be the 12th satellite of the Wideband Global Satcom geostationary constellation that provides communications services to the United States and allies.

OPINION: 4 Solutions for Addressing the Air Force’s Distance Anxiety

Breaking Defense

Everyone agree the “tyranny of distance” means any U.S. action against China in the Indo-Pacific will be a challenge for the jets, bombers, and tankers. But that doesn’t mean the issue can’t be addressed. Below, Timothy Walton of the Hudson Institute and Mark Gunzinger of the Mitchell Institute lay out four options they think could help solve the challenge.

Thailand’s Air Force Unveils New Wish List, Eyeing New Jets and Drones

Defense News

The Royal Thai Air Force has laid out its future aspirations in a document released Feb. 29, with counter-drone systems, new fighter jets, and medium-range air defense systems among the most pressing concerns. The 74-page whitepaper, which the service unveiled during its annual symposium this week and which builds on a similar document published four years ago, details planned procurements out to 2037.

Russian Strike’s Toll Rises to 12 as Zelensky Blames Air Defense Delay

The New York Times

Rescue workers in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa pulled the bodies of a mother and baby from the rubble of an apartment building on March 3, as the death toll in a Russian attack two days earlier rose to 12. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said delays by allies in supplying air defenses had contributed to the deaths.

Air Force Intelligence CIO Finding Ways to Get to ‘Yes’

Federal News Network

The move to new and emerging technologies like the cloud are directly clashing with the Air Force’s obligation to keep current systems running. That is why Col. Michael Medgyessy, the chief information officer of Air Force Intelligence Office, said initiatives like the Air Force and Space Force’s Digital University are so important.

B-52 Armed with Hypersonic Missile Makes Appearance in Guam

The War Zone

The U.S. Air Force has released pictures of a live AGM-183 Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon hypersonic missile, or ARRW, under the wing of a B-52H bomber during a training event at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. This very public showing of ARRW at a highly strategic base in the Pacific comes despite the Air Force announcing its intention to axe the program last year. It prompts new questions about the increasingly ambiguous future of this weapon.

One More Thing

Are Modern Fighter Jets Bulletproof?

Simple Flying

Unlike American comic book superheroes like Superman with his bulletproof body, modern fighter jets are not bulletproof. Fighter jets are not armored because the metal needed to protect the aircraft would make the aircraft too heavy and reduce aerodynamic performance. However, specific subsonic close support ground attack aircraft like the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog) and the Russian Sukhoi Su-25, NATO code name Frogfoot, have some features to protect the pilot from small arms ground fire.