The Air Force is looking for an industry partner to develop mission planning exercises and tools to support the conventional strike missile demonstration that the service plans to conduct in Fiscal 2012. In a solicitation posted at the Federal Business Opportunities Web site, the Space and Missile Systems Center said it has a budget of roughly $10 million to pursue this mission planning suite between now and then. It intends to host a series of industry days in January to discuss the issue more closely. The CSM concept entails a Minotaur rocket carrying a non-nuclear warhead that is launched from a coastal US base, such as Vandenberg AFB, Calif., in order to take out a high-value target somewhere on the globe quickly, when other options are not readily available. (For more on the CSM demonstration, read Game Changers from the September 2009 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.