Eight general officers from across the services met at Kirtland AFB, N.M., to review the status of the Air Force’s $3.4 billion strategic system modernization efforts. They include Minuteman III modernization, nuclear warhead modernizations, and cruise missile acquisitions. Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, military deputy to USAF’s acquisition executive, led this strategic systems portfolio review, the first of its kind in more than 20 years. “Although it has been a long time since we paid a lot of attention to nuclear acquisition in the Air Force, it is clear to me that the men and women acquiring our nuclear systems are extremely focused on meeting the number of challenges we face in modernizing our nuclear capabilities,” Shackelford said. The review took place during the first week of March. (Kirtland report by Lt. Col. Rodney L. Miller)
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.