More For Less

Air Force scientists aim to demonstrate a 2,000-pound-class penetrating weapon that packs the same wallop as one of today’s 5,000-pound-class bunker busters, said Stephen Walker, who oversees USAF’s science and technology activities. This work, occurring under the new High Velocity Penetrating Weapon initiative, is meant “to reduce the technical risk for a new generation of penetrating weapons to defeat difficult hard targets,” Walker told House lawmakers Tuesday in prepared remarks. This weapon “will use a higher velocity impact to increase warhead penetration capability,” he explained. “Advanced technologies,” he continued, “will enhance weapon kinematics, ensure precision guidance in contested environments, and dramatically reduce the size of the overall weapon.” In fact, as a result, future fighters “will be able to deliver bunker-busting capabilities currently associated only with the bomber fleet,” he said. This initiative is one of the Air Force’s first-ever “flagship capability concepts” that Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Philip Breedlove recently endorsed, according to Walker. (See Air Force Launches Flagship Concepts from Tuesday’s Daily Report column)