Archive: Air Force

An EC-130H Compass Call flies a training mission over Lake Mead, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

Air Force’s Compass Call Replacement Clears Preliminary Design Review

The EC-X, the planned replacement for the U.S. Air Force’s aging EC-130H Compass Call electronic-attack aircraft, underwent a preliminary design review in late September, according to L3 Technologies [LLL], the program’s system integrator. L3 also said in a brief statement Oct. 12 that it has begun “working” on the first General Dynamics [GD] Gulfstream G550 […]

Capitol under clouds

DoD, Congress In ‘Dialogue’ On Proposed Space Corps

Prompted by a controversial House-passed proposal to create a space corps in the Air Force Department, the Department of Defense has begun a “very good dialogue” with Congress on how military space activities should be organized, according to Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord. “I think what we’re doing right now is having a very healthy […]

A KC-46A tanker. (Boeing photo)

Air Force KC-46A Tanker Refuels Another KC-46A For First Time

The U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46A Pegasus tanker has refueled another KC-46A in flight for the first time, prime contractor Boeing [BA] announced Oct. 11. During the recent four-hour flight, which began and ended at Boeing Field near downtown Seattle, test aircraft refueled each other and achieved the refueling boom’s maximum transfer rate of 1,200 […]

Artist's rendering of a GPS III satellite. Image: Lockheed Martin.

Air Force Accepts First GPS III Satellite From Lockheed Martin

The U.S. Air Force has formally accepted the first Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite from prime contractor Lockheed Martin [LMT], the company announced Oct. 10. The “available for launch” milestone clears the way for the spacecraft, which is in storage, to lift off in 2018, Lockheed Martin said. Lockheed Martin is building a total […]

A launch of an Atlas V rocket. Photo: United Launch Alliance

Air Force Seeks Bids For New Launch Vehicles

The U.S. Air Force released a solicitation late Oct. 5 that envisions developing new, domestically produced space launch vehicles to end the service’s reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines. According to the request for proposals, issued by the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Force plans to award launch service agreements (LSAs) to fund […]

Pratt & Whitney Gets $2.7B Contract For C-17 Engine Work

Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. [UTX], has received a five-year, $2.7 billion contract to repair and overhaul F-117 engines it built for American and foreign C-17 transport aircraft, the U.S. Air Force announced late Oct. 4. Under the contract, which was not competed, the work will be done at United Airlines […]

The Air Force test launches a Minuteman III ICBM in September 2010. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Taps Lockheed, Rockwell To Design ICBM Control System

The U.S. Air Force has picked Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Rockwell Collins [COL] to begin designing a replacement for the aging Airborne Launch Control System (ALCS), which allows command-and-control aircraft to launch land-based, nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Rockwell Collins have been awarded three-year contracts valued at $80.8 million and $76.3 […]

The Air Force test launches a Minuteman III ICBM. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force To Hold First GBSD Review Since Contract Awards

The U.S. Air Force, which awarded two contracts last month to mature designs for the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), plans to hold the program’s first major review next month, a program official said Sept. 28. The system requirements review will ensure the prime contractors, Boeing [BA] and Northrop Grumman [NOC], fully understand the system’s requirements, […]

The popular quadcopter UAV developed by China's DJI. Photo: DJI

Air Force To Test Directed Energy Weapons Against Small Drones

The U.S. Air Force plans to conduct an experiment in fiscal year 2018 using directed energy weapons to counter small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The experiment will seek to determine whether high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves could help in such ways as protecting military bases in combat zones, the Air Force announced late Sept. 26. […]

A KC-46 refuels an A-10 during testing. Photo: Air Force.

Delayed KC-46A Delivery Unrelated To Air Force Deficiency Reports

The delayed delivery of Boeing’s [BA] KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers from December to spring 2018 is due to difficulties obtaining FAA certifications, not three unresolved tests related to boom glitches and high frequency radio issues with the aircraft, according to Air Force officials.  During a media conference Friday, Air Force officials denied the moths-long delay was related […]