Archive: Air Force

General Atomics' SkyGuardian, a variant of its Type-Certifiable Predator B UAV. Photo: General Atomics.

Air Force Wants Cheap, Expendable Drones And Missiles To Overwhelm Enemy Air Defenses

AUSTIN, Texas — Pentagon scientists are trying to beat the cost curve the military likely will encounter in future wars by designing low-cost, expendable unmanned aircraft and munitions that can overwhelm enemy defenses without breaking the bank. “We need an unmanned, low-cost attritable aircraft,” Jeffrey Stanley, associate deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for […]

A KC-46A tanker is refueled by a second KC-46 for the first time, as seen from the tanker’s air refueling operator station. (Boeing photo)

Air Force Says KC-46A Tanker Has Two New Glitches

The U.S. Air Force says its KC-46A tanker program recently learned that two of the plane’s systems — the Centerline Drogue System (CDS) and the Remote Vision System (RVS) – are not yet meeting performance requirements. The CDS is a hose-and-drogue refueling system attached to the belly of the fuselage. The RVS is a camera […]

An Air Force U-2 flies a training mission. Photo: Air Force.

Air Force Studying If U-2 Reconnaissance Plane Could Fly Till 2100

The U.S. Air Force is exploring whether it could keep flying its U-2 Dragon Lady high-altitude reconnaissance airplanes for the rest of the century, a service official said March 15. A “structural study” is looking at whether the Air Force could fully use the U-2’s estimated lifespan of 75,000 flight hours, “which would take them […]

SpaceX, ULA Get Air Force Contracts To Launch Up To Five Spacecraft

SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch up to five spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force under contract awards announced late March 14. SpaceX received a contract valued at up to $290.6 million to launch up to three Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellites, the Pentagon said. ULA’s $354.8 million contract calls for placing Air Force […]

The B-52 Stratofortress. 
Photo: U.S. Air Force.

Air Force Nears Plan To Replace B-52 Engines

The U.S. Air Force is reviewing options for re-engining the B-52 bomber and intends to formally launch the acquisition effort later this year, a service official said March 14. William Roper, the Air Force’s new acquisition chief, said he conducted his first review with the re-engining team a few weeks ago and he expects to […]

Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on her nomination to be Air Force secretary. (Air Force photo)

Service Secretaries Share Science & Tech Notes Over Regular Breakfasts

Expanding on promises of “jointness” and cooperation on the battlefield, the military service senior civilian leaders are meeting regularly to trade notes on research efforts to reduce overlap and promote cooperation in basic scientific endeavors. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said the services are “on the cusp of becoming integrated, not just interdependent, not just […]

A F-35C on the USS Nimitz during 2014 testing. Photo: Navy.

F-35’s Next Development Phase Could Cost Nearly $11 Billion

The follow-on development phase for the U.S. Department of Defense’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is expected to cost about $10.9 billion over seven years, the program’s leader said March 7. If the development plan is approved by DoD and service leaders, the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy will cover $7.2 billion of the […]

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee

Key Lawmaker To Examine Air Force Cancellation Of JSTARS Replacement

The head of a congressional defense subcommittee said March 6 that he intends to scrutinize the Air Force’s controversial plan to cancel its replacement for the aging E-8C JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft. “We’re going to take a look at it,” said Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC’s) tactical air and […]

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Photo by Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin Studying How To Widely Share F-35 Sensor Data

Lockheed Martin [LMT] is exploring how the wealth of sensor data collected by its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be distributed to a wide range of air, land and sea forces, a company official said March 5. The F-35’s “amazing suite of information-gathering technology,” including the Multi-Mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar and the […]