Archive: Air Force

The U.S. Air Force's A-10. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Nears Releasing RFP For New A-10 Wings

A request for proposals to build new wings for the aging but heavily used A-10 Thunderbolt II close-air-support aircraft is slated to be issued in the current April-to-June quarter, service officials said April 12. The A-10 fleet consists of 282 aircraft, of which 173 have already received new wings. When the Air Force was considering […]

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

AFSOC Lines Up Partial Funding For Laser Gunship Demo

U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is making progress in getting funding to demonstrate a laser gunship prototype but remains well short of what it needs, according to the command’s leader. AFSOC, which wants to test a 60-kilowatt, solid-state laser on an AC-130 gunship by fiscal year 2022, is poised to receive $34 million […]

Hill Air Force Base F-35As fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

F-35 Chief: Program Structure Should Change As Jet Enters Production, Operation

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Impending changes to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter management structure are a natural result of the program moving from development to production and the jets becoming operational both in the United States and around the world, according to Joint Program Office Chief Vice Adm. Mat Winter. “As we look forward, every […]

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson (Photo courtesy of Air Force)

Air Force Probing Rise In Minor Aviation Mishaps

The Air Force is trying to determine why it experienced a recent uptick in minor aviation accidents, a service official said. The increase has been in Class C mishaps, which cause non-fatal, loss-of-work-time injury or damage of at least $50,000 but less than $500,000, said Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson.  While such mishaps […]

Artist's rendering of the Air Force's Long Range Strike Bomber, designated B-21. Photo: Air Force.

DoD Deputy Gets ‘Deep Dive’ Briefing On Air Force’s B-21 Bomber

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, whose duties include overseeing big-ticket acquisition programs, attended a recent “deep dive” briefing on the Air Force’s B-21 Raider to better familiarize himself with the bomber development effort, a service official said April 9. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson said that he and prime contractor Northrop Grumman [NOC] also took part […]

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

Air Force To Launch Communications Relay Satellite

The U.S. Air Force announced April 6 that it plans to launch a new communications-relay satellite as part of a multi-payload mission later this month. The Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM (CBAS) satellite, which is intended for geosynchronous orbit, will continuously relay data from existing military communications satellites to support senior leaders and combatant commanders, Air […]

Hill Air Force Base F-35As fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

DoD Eyes Shifting F-35 Management To Military Services

The U.S. Department of Defense wants to restructure the F-35 Lightning II program to give the military services more control over the maturing fighter jet, according to Pentagon officials. DoD envisions that the F-35, which is currently managed by a joint program office (JPO), will eventually transition to service-run program offices, Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen […]

A KC-135R Stratotanker over a Florida bridge. Photo: Air Force.

DoD Starts Study On Airlift, Sealift And Tanker Needs

The Department of Defense has launched a congressionally mandated study to determine how many refueling aircraft, transport planes and cargo ships it will need to support future military operations. U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) announced March 29 that the Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study (MCRS-18) began March 8 and will conclude this fall. TRANSCOM is conducting the review with […]

A Boeing KC-46A tanker refuels an F-16. (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

Air Force To Hash Out KC-46A Tanker Schedule With Boeing

U.S. Air Force officials plan to meet with Boeing [BA] representatives in early or mid-April to try to reach agreement on a new delivery timeline for the delay-plagued KC-46A Pegasus tanker, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said March 30. “Right now, we don’t have an agreement on what that schedule is, and I think probably […]

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Seeks To Sustain Fifth-Generation F-35s At Fourth-Gen Prices

The U.S. Air Force hopes to wring out enough savings from its new F-35 Lightning II fleet to allow the stealthy fighter jet’s sustainment costs to match those of legacy fighters, the service’s chief of staff said March 29. High sustainment costs for the Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built fifth-generation fighter “are a major concern right now” and […]