Archive: Air Force

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 […]

Artist’s illustration of the GPS IIF satellite. Photo: Boeing.

Air Force Aims To Make Routine Satellite Operations More Efficient

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The U.S. Air Force is looking for ways to make its routine satellite operations more efficient so that operators have more time to think creatively in contested space environments, according to a space official. Increasing the amount of automation and delegating activities to commercial providers are among the options the Air Force […]

Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor prototype readying for first ground run in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by Bell Helicopter)

Rotor Air Producers Seek Faster Acquisition Cycle, See Increasing Automation

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Officials from three top rotary aircraft producers said that the acquisition cycle can and should be made shorter to keep up with technological needs, adding that they see increased automation augmenting capabilities in the future. Steve Mathias, vice president of global military business development at Bell Helicopter Textron [TXT] said at […]

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

Air Force Plans ‘Deep Dive’ On B-2 Bomber To Aid Future B-21

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The U.S. Air Force intends to conduct a “deep dive” on the B-2 Spirit to determine how that bomber program’s strengths and weaknesses could guide the development of the B-21 Raider, according to a service official. The deep dive is designed to prevent the B-21 from experiencing the kind of cost […]

Commander of the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

Air Force Training Command Focused On Trainer Jet Replacement Maintenance Proposals, Addressing Pilot Shortage

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.–The Air Force’s training command is building on its capacity to address the service’s pilot shortage while focusing on the request for maintenance development phase of a program to replace its 350 outdated trainer jets. Commander of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson addressed the media at the […]

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee June 13. (DoD photo)

Mattis Prods DoD To Talk More With Industry

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis encouraged the Department of Defense Sept. 20 to expand its communication with industry to increase the military’s access to new technology. Mattis said that parts of DoD have become overly cautious in their dealings with private firms because they fear violating ethics rules designed to avoid favoritism. […]

A panel of Air Force acquisition experts at an Air Force Association Air Space & Cyber conference. Photo: Matthew Beinart.

Air Force Wants To Reduce Requirements, Speed Up Acquisition Process

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.–The Air Force is looking to embrace a risk-based approach to its procurements by reducing the number of requirements so it can speed up its rigid acquisition processes, which remain too slow at getting capabilities out to its airmen. “We’ve got a lot of requirements out there, we don’t have enough budget to […]

RQ-4 Global Hawk
Photo: Northrop Grumman

Operational Demands Limit Readiness Of Air Force RPA Operators

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.–The constant pace of Air Force unmanned aircraft operations in war zones is limiting the readiness of the crews that operate these systems, the head of Air Combat Command said this week. The Air Force is “pretty good” at performing the missions with the Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) despite their original assignation as […]

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

Air Force, Boeing Grappling With Boom Glitches On KC-46A Tanker

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Engineers are trying to fix two refueling-boom glitches on the KC-46A Pegasus tanker that Boeing [BA] is developing for the U.S. Air Force, a service official said Sept. 19. One problem involves the boom making unintended contact with the receiving aircraft outside the boom receptacle, said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military […]