USAF’s Acquisition Priorities

The Air Force’s top four acquisition priorities, according to USAF legislative liaison Maj. Gen. Robin Rand, are as follows: the KC-X tanker, F-35 strike fighter, intelligence- surveillance-reconnaissance, and military satellite communications/spaceborne missile warning. Rand spoke Sept. 28 at an Air Force Association-sponsored event in Arlington, Va. The list was on his briefing charts. By our read, the notable omissions are future long-range strike and a new combat search and rescue helicopter. Both of them were formerly on the service’s list, which, back in 2007, read: the next-generation tanker, a new CSAR helicopter, space systems, the F-35, and a next-generation bomber. That was before the CSAR-X program was terminated and work on NGB was shelved and the debate on long-range strike shifted toward a family of systems and away from one, do-it-all bomber. (See also Graveyard of Priorities from the Daily Report archives.)