Trying to avoid risk to aircrews is not, in and of itself, sufficient justification for removing pilots from the cockpit of the future Long-Range Strike Bomber, said retired Lt. Gen. Christopher Miller, former deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs. Indeed, pilots have always been asked to go into harm’s way and they have done so, he told attendees of AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday. What would make a compelling case for removing the pilots is if LRS-B would be able to accomplish something that it could not otherwise do with humans onboard, he said during the symposium’s panel discussing long-range strike in a contested environment. An example of this would be the bomber providing close air support for an extended period of hours beyond the endurance of an aircrew, he said.
March 4, 2024
The Air Force has published images of an operational hypersonic Air-Launched Rapid-Response Weapon (ARRW) in Guam; a disclosure possibly meant to send a message to China but which raises questions about the future of the ARRW, which the Air Force insists it is not planning to procure in quantity.