Air Force Doubles Down on Hypersonic Weapons Development with 2nd Contract

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High Speed Strike Weapon (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

 

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a second contract to develop a new hypersonic weapon that would move five times the speed of sound.

The service on Monday awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a contract — not to exceed $480 million — to begin designing a second hypersonic prototype, according to a release.

“We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. Continue reading

U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein / Getty Images

 

China’s “rapid growth” in military capabilities and space innovation considered a top concern

The United States Air Force is accelerating investment in space as Chinese advancements threaten to penetrate American systems in the previously uncontested domain, top service officials said during a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force secretary Heather Wilson and chief of staff General David Goldfein both identified China’s space innovation and “rapid growth” in military capabilities among their top concerns facing the service in the coming years. Continue reading

Russia eyes military satellite grouping to counter US space warfare plans

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The Russian military’s announcement comes just two weeks after remarks by US Air Force top brass that America must prepare to fight and win wars in outer space.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu emphasized Tuesday that Russia must deploy a modern orbital constellation of military satellites to support the army and navy. Continue reading

Top Air Force General: Space Warfare Coming

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But Congress May Change Who Is Responsible For Winning That Fight In The Very Near Future.

During a speech Friday at the Air Force Association Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein warned U.S. military forces could be engaged in space warfare within “a matter of years.” Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert

A 2014 photo of a B-52H Stratofortress based at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. (U.S. AIR FORCE / SENIOR AIRMAN CHRISTINE GRIFFITHS)

 

If the order comes, the B-52s will return to a ready-to-fly posture not seen since the Cold War.

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. —  The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.

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The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, gives a keynote address during the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) Expo, July 21, 2017. This is a slide from his presentation.

 

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

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US Needs 400 New Nuclear ICBMs to Deter ‘Crazy World’: General

 

NATIONAL Harbor, Md. — “We are in a crazy world” of proliferating nuclear threats that will persist for generations to come and require the U.S. to invest $80 billion to $100 billion in new ICBMs to deter adversaries, Air Force Gen. Robin Rand said Monday.

“There are bad characters around the world” who “need to know we’re ready,” Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said during a strategic deterrence panel at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber convention. Continue reading

US Ballistic Missile Defense to Enter New Domains

 

Much has been said about the US ground-based missile defense program and the sites in place or to be installed soon in Europe and Asia. But land is not the only domain where the effort it taking place. This is the time the priority is shifting to air- and space-based systems. The US officials and military leaders believe that space is now a warfighting domain on par with air, land and sea. This is one of rare issues the administration and Congress see eye to eye on.

On June 30, President Trump signed an executive order to reinstate the National Space Council – an executive agency with Vice President Mike Pence at the helm that will be tasked with guiding US space policy during the administration. The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, as well as NASA’s administrator, will serve on the council as well. Continue reading

Service Chiefs: Troops Will Head for Exits if Budget Cuts Persist

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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, testify on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP/Susan Walsh)

 

Caps on defense spending limit training, force service members to use old gear and may lead to an exodus of troops from the armed services, the four service chiefs told lawmakers Thursday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warned that a return of sequestration budget caps would promote fiscal uncertainty and take a deep toll on rank-and-file morale.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 put a temporary stay on a half-trillion dollar tranche of defense budget cuts, but the armed services must plan around the reductions for five more years if Congress does not again act to avert them. Continue reading

U.S. Air Force laments that it’s short of pilots

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A member of the U.S. Air Force stands in front of an F-22 Raptor at Seoul Airport in South Korea, on Oct. 19, 2015. The Air Force says it faces an imminent shortfall of 700 pilots by the end of 2016. SeongJoon Cho Bloomberg

 

 

The U.S. Air Force faces a shortfall of 700 fighter pilots by the end of the year and as many as 1,000 pilots within a few years, Air Force officials said Wednesday.

“It is a crisis,” said Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff. “Air superiority is not an American birthright. It’s actually something you have to fight for and maintain.”

Aggressive hiring by commercial airlines has helped thin the ranks of Air Force pilots, and lengthy deployments overseas, long separations from family and reduced flying time when back on U.S. soil have exacerbated the problem, Goldfein said.

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