John A. Tirpak

John A. Tirpak is Editorial Director of Air & Space Forces Magazine, with more than 25 years at the publication and more than 34 years in defense journalism. He has written for Aviation Week & Space Technology, Aerospace Daily, and Jane’s, reporting from all 50 U.S. states and 25 countries. He has been recognized with awards for journalistic excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Aviation and Space Writer’s Association, the Association of Business Publications International, and was the recipient of the 2018 Gill Robb Wilson Award in Arts and Letters from the Air & Space Forces Association. He has lectured at the National War College and did postgraduate research at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum.   

Recent stories by John A. Tirpak

Latest KC-46 Lot Contract Award Leaves Only Three More to Go

Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) ...

F-35 Program Will Give Pratt Sole-Source Engine Upgrade Work

The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.

New EC-37B Gets a Designation Change to EA-37B

The Air Force has changed the designation of the EC-37B to the EA-37B, the better to describe its mission of electronically attacking enemy systems. The 10 new aircraft will replace 14 EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, which are going into flyable storage.

Getting Ready for the New Test Surge 

Kendall has posited a force of at least 1,000 CCAs, with the first ones ready for duty within the next six years. That timeline demands a robust and fast-paced test program.

NATO Picks E-7 as Its New AWACS; Six Aircraft to Start

NATO has selected the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail as its next Airborne Warning and Control aircraft, and will replace its Boeing E-3 Sentries with the new aircraft by 2035. NATO will buy six E-7s, but may acquire more if other parts of its future surveillance and ...

New Report: US Must Modernize Nuclear Posture for Tri-Polar World

A new report from a bipartisan commission urges the U.S. to redraw its strategy to deal with not just one, but two nuclear peers, and urges Congress to support an urgently-needed modernization of the nuclear weapons enterprise. The report also said the U.S. can no ...

New Sentinel ICBM ‘Struggling’ Due to Complexity, Kendall Says

The new Sentinel ICBM program is “struggling a little bit” because of its complexity, involving system development, a new communications system, civil engineering, and real estate, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said. He has more optimism about the B-21 bomber than the Sentinel, he added.

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