Much was made recently about malware that made its way onto computers supporting remotely piloted aircraft operators at Creech AFB, Nev. But the issue wasn’t really that serious, according to US Strategic Command Commander Gen. Robert Kehler. The so-called attack actually was a virus that only affected support elements of a ground control station, not any RPAs, Kehler told defense reporters Tuesday in Washington, D.C. The virus “entered ‘from the wild,'” probably in the process of a manual change-out of a hard drive, he said. Protocols restricting thumb drives have been in place for a year, but Kehler said forensics are still under way to uncover how the virus entered the system. Still, the tools in place to detect the virus worked as intended, and no damage was done, he said. “We were able to quarantine the virus fairly quickly,” he noted.
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.