Archive: Air Force

Air Force F-22 Operates In Afghanistan For First Time

The U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor dropped 250-pound Small Diameter Bombs on a Taliban opium processing plant in northern Helmand province Nov. 19, marking the first time the Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built fighter jet has operated in Afghanistan, NATO announced Nov. 20. The F-22 was chosen to hit the drug lab due to its ability to […]

Gen. James "Mike" Holmes, head of the Air Force's Air Combat Command, speaks at an Air Force Association event. (Photo by Marc Selinger/Defense Daily)

Air Combat Command Eyes Organizational Changes To Enhance Multi-Domain Operations

The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) is studying potential organizational changes to improve its ability to operate seamlessly across multiple domains, ACC’s leader said Nov. 20. The review is looking at how best to integrate ACC’s air superiority, attack, command and control, cyber and information warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, […]

A LauncherOne rocket leaves a Virgin Orbit factory. (Credit: Virgin Orbit)

DoD Buys Ride On Virgin’s New Satellite Launcher

The U.S. Department of Defense has purchased its first flight on LauncherOne, Virgin Orbit’s new satellite-launching rocket, the company said Nov. 16. Under an other-transaction-agreement (OTA) award from the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center and the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), the launch will occur as early as January 2019, Virgin said. The […]

Air Force Gen. and Transcom Commander Darren McDew. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

U.S. Transportation Command Eyes Replacing Reserve Cargo Ships

U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) is working with the Navy to develop plans to replace the military’s aging reserve fleet of cargo ships, the command’s leader said Nov. 15. TRANSCOM and the Navy envision buying both new and used ships. Language included in the recently completed fiscal year 2018 defense authorization conference report “will allow us to […]


Lawmakers Agree To Space Revamp Without Space Corps

House and Senate negotiators have crafted a final version of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill that overhauls military space management but stops short of accepting a controversial House proposal to create a space corps in the Air Force Department. In a joint statement Nov. 8, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), the […]

A rocket motor case for Orbital ATK's new Next Generation Launch system. (Photo courtesy of Orbital ATK)

Orbital ATK Tests Motor Case For New Rocket

Orbital ATK [OA], which is developing a new space launch vehicle to compete for U.S. Air Force business, announced Nov. 7 that the rocket’s first motor case has passed a key test. The structural acceptance test, which occurred Oct. 27 in Promontory, Utah, showed that the 12-foot-diameter motor case could withstand the internal pressure it […]

Air Force To Finish Study On ISR Needs By Early 2018

The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) expects to finish a study on future intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and strike capabilities in late 2017 or early 2018, according to the command. The study, or capabilities-based assessment (CBA), began in December to “identify needed capabilities and associated capability gaps” that the Air Force could eventually […]

Lockheed Martin is helping the Air Force Research Lab develop and mature high energy laser weapon systems, including the high energy laser pictured in this rendering. Credit: Air Force Research Lab (PRNewsfoto/Lockheed Martin)

Air Force Taps Lockheed To Develop Laser Demonstrator For Fighter Jet

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded Lockheed Martin [LMT] a $26.3 million contract to design and build a high-power laser demonstrator that could be tested on a fighter jet by 2021, the company announced Nov. 6. AFRL received six bids to provide the fiber laser, named the Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact […]

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

Air Force ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About New GPS Ground System

The U.S. Air Force’s troubled Global Positioning System (GPS) Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) has made progress in its development recently, but the ground-control system still has major hurdles to overcome to become fully capable, according to a key general. The progress was highlighted by the Nov. 2 announcement that the Air Force has […]

Air Force Lt. Gen. John Thompson (Air Force photo)

Air Force Space And Missile Systems Center Eyes Faster Acquisition

The U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is engaged in a multi-pronged effort to speed up its acquisition of satellites and other equipment, the center’s leader said Nov. 2. One step involves giving leaders of SMC’s directorates more responsibility for the smaller programs they manage, said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, who became […]