The Air Force is eying a combination of “recoverable storage” and foreign military sales as ways to dispose of C-27J Spartan light mobility aircraft and RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 remotely piloted reconnaissance aircraft, said Secretary Michael Donley. Service officials are “working through those issues,” he said Feb. 24 at a press conference during AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. Options include placing some of these assets into “Type 1000” storage, which is an elaborate manner of mothballing that would allow the Air Force to bring them back to service, as well as making “lesser numbers” available for sale to overseas allies and friends, he said. “Our international affairs staff is communicating to potential countries [and] interested partners, asking for them to identify their interest,” said Donley. At the same press conference, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said the Global Hawk Block 30s cannot be used as the basis for the Global Hawk Block 40 variant that is designed for sophisticated ground radar mapping and moving target tracking. “The structure inside which is required” to carry the Block 40’s MP-RTIP radar “is different” and would require significant reworking of the Block 30 airframes, he said.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."