Archive: Air Force


Lawmakers Push For Funding To Restart A-10 Wing Production

A group of 20 lawmakers led by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) is urging leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to include funding in the final fiscal year 2018 defense spending package to buy new wings for the Air Force’s aging but heavily used A-10 Thunderbolt II close-air-support aircraft. In a Dec. 15 letter, […]

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

New GPS Receiver Cards To Exceed DoD Cost Estimate By Billions, GAO Says

Installing new Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver cards on more than 700 different weapons systems will cost billions of dollars more than the Department of Defense’s estimate of $2.5 billion through fiscal year 2021, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). DoD’s estimate reflects the existence of full or partial funding […]


Air Force Eyes Autonomous Flight Safety For All Space Launches

The U.S. Air Force says it plans to implement an autonomous flight safety system (AFSS) for all of its space launches in the next five years to make its operations more efficient. During traditional Air Force launches, a flight termination system uses various sensors, including telemetry, radars, optics and command destruct antennas, to allow operators […]

An Afghan flag flies over an observation post, Pekha Valley, Achin District, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Matthew DeVirgilio)

U.S. Forces In Afghanistan To Get More ISR Support

American forces in Afghanistan expect to receive more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets as the winding down of combat in Iraq and Syria frees up those systems for other uses, a U.S. general said Dec. 12. “As those assets become available and come to us, we’ll, of course, be able to leverage them and […]

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

Vance Air Force Base Resumes T-6A Flights

Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma resumed flying its T-6A Texan II trainer planes Dec. 5 after grounding the turboprops for nearly three weeks due to recent physiological events. While investigators have not pinpointed the cause of the incidents, Vance plans to “temporarily apply local procedures to mitigate risk to flight operations and aircrew,” the […]

The GPS III program is a platform that could use improved acquisition. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

AT&L Moves Oversight Of GPS III Satellites, KC-46A Tanker To Air Force

Decision-making authority for several major U.S. Air Force programs, including the Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite constellation and the KC-46A tanker, shifted from the Pentagon’s acquisition chief to the service last week, according to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. Other programs transferred to the Air Force Nov. 30 include the Defense Enterprise Accounting and […]

The first KC-46A tanker for the U.S. Air Force takes off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., on its maiden flight. (Boeing photo)

Air Force’s First KC-46A Tanker Takes First Flight

Boeing [BA] has begun flight-testing the first KC-46A Pegasus refueling plane that it plans to deliver to the U.S. Air Force, the company announced late Dec. 5. During the tanker’s first flight, the 767 derivative took off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 10:32 a.m. Pacific time on Dec. 5 and flew for about […]

Lockheed Martin employees encapsulate the Air Force's SBIRS GEO 3 satellite before its launch. Photo: Lockheed Martin.

New Missile-Warning Satellites Must Be Easier To Defend Than Current Ones, General Says

The U.S. Air Force should make its next generation of missile-warning satellites easier to defend than the existing spacecraft due to growing threats from potential enemies, according to the head of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). The current Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) missile-warning satellites “are not easy to defend, and that is a significant problem […]

Northrop Grumman's B-2 bomber. Photo: Air Force.

Drone Sighting At Air Force Bomber Base Shows Need For Defenses, General Says

A recent drone sighting at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri underscores the need for the Air Force to continue developing systems to counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that trespass on its installations, according to a four-star general. “That got real to us not too long ago with Whiteman,” said Gen. Robin Rand, commander of […]

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

Raytheon Protests Air Force Selection Of Northrop Radar For JSTARS Replacement

The U.S. Air Force has picked Northrop Grumman [NOC] to provide the radar for a potential replacement of the aging E-8C JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft, but losing bidder Raytheon [RTN] has formally challenged the decision, claiming the evaluation process was flawed, according to analysts at investment bank Jefferies LLC. While the Air Force has not publicly announced […]