Archive: Air Force

An AC-130J taxis the runway for its first official sortie Jan. 31, 2014, at Eglin AFB, Fla. Photo: Air Force.

AFSOC’s Laser Gunship Demo Slowed By Budget Turmoil

ORLANDO, Fla. — Budget uncertainty has slowed efforts by U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to test a solid-state laser weapon on an AC-130 gunship, according to the command’s leader. While AFSOC has been aiming to conduct the demonstration in 2020, it has not received all the money it needs to proceed, Air Force […]

The RC-135 Rivet Joint. (Air Force photo)

Air Force To Study Replacement Options For Command And ISR Planes

ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force is gearing up to launch a study this summer on options for replacing its fleets of large command-and-control (C2) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) planes, a key general said Feb. 22. While the analysis of alternatives (AoA) was originally going to look at potential successors to the […]

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson (Air Force photo)

Air Force Plans To Proceed With Purchasing Light-Attack Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force intends to rapidly buy a fleet of light-attack aircraft after it conducts a second round of experiments with such planes later this year, service Secretary Heather Wilson said Feb. 16. The Air Force recently updated its five-year spending plan to include a $2.4 billion “placeholder” to acquire the aircraft, Wilson told […]

Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR Lt. Gen. VeraLinn "Dash" Jamieson.

Air Force Focusing On Enterprise IT As A Service, Cyber-Integrated ISR Capabilities

Air Force officials are looking to cyber-integrated ISR capabilities and embracing enterprise IT as a service (EaaS) in an effort to better leverage data to protect networks and address growing adversarial threats. Future ISR efforts will take greater advantage of automation and network support teams will be called onto provide mission defense as the service […]

Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, NORTHCOM/NORAD commander (Air Force photo)

NORTHCOM Chief Says She Will Guard Against Overusing Upgraded F-16s

With the U.S. Air National Guard planning to equip less than a fourth of its F-16s with new radars, a key homeland defense official said Feb. 15 that she will keep an eye on the upgraded fighter jets to prevent them from being overtaxed. “I’m working very closely with the Air Force on this,” said […]

The Air Force wants to replace its aging UH-1N helicopter. Photo: Air Force.

Sikorsky Protests Air Force’s Huey Replacement Program

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin [LMT] company, has filed a pre-contract-award protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the Air Force’s UH-1N Huey replacement program, saying the service expects the winning bidder to hand over too much intellectual property. Based on discussions with the Air Force, Sikorsky said Feb. 14 that it is concerned about […]

An E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft. Photo: Air Force.

Competition For JSTARS Replacement Plane Continues As Air Force, Hill Duel Over Proposal To End Program

The U.S. Air Force, which recently announced plans to nix a replacement for its aging E-8C JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft, is not pulling the plug on the program just yet. Facing congressional opposition to its proposal, the Air Force said Feb. 13 that it intends to continue reviewing industry bids for the replacement plane at least until […]

The E-8C JSTARS. (Air Force photo)

Air Force Aims To Develop New Sensor Fusion System Instead Of Replacing JSTARS Surveillance Plane

The U.S. Air Force is dropping plans to build a new ground-surveillance aircraft, opting instead to begin developing an advanced battle management system that can fuse threat information from various new and existing sensors to provide a comprehensive view of the battlespace. Air Force Undersecretary Matthew Donovan said the service’s $156.3-billion fiscal year 2019 budget […]

The first two combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft arrive at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Sept. 2, 2015. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force F-35 Program Gets Help From Budget Deal

Language included in the newly enacted federal budget agreement will allow the Air Force to proceed with “critical” construction projects for its F-35A Lightning II program, according to a congressional panel. The provision, or “anomaly,” is part of a continuing resolution (CR) included in the two-year budget agreement, the Senate Appropriations Committee said Feb 8. […]

The T-6A Texan II trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force Says T-6A Trainer Plane’s Woes May Be Due To Maintenance

The U.S. Air Force is investigating whether maintenance problems with the T-6A’s pilot breathing system caused a recent surge in physiological episodes (PEs) that led to the grounding of the trainer aircraft fleet, according to a service official. The Air Force suspects that technicians may need more training to maintain the plane’s on-board oxygen generation […]