Air

Reaper MQ-9 in flight

WASHINGTON: The Air Force planned to buy 401 Reaper drones for $76.8 billion but didn’t know why it was gong to buy that many, the Pentagon’s Inspector General says in a new report. “This occurred because Air Combat Command officials did not: follow the Joint Capabilities Integration Development System requirement to obtain Joint Requirements Oversight Council approval for… Keep reading →

The first MQ-4C Triton drone to arrive at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION: The future of Navy long-range reconnaissance, the recently arrived MQ-4C Triton drone, sprawls across its hangar here, with a wingspan 13 feet wider than a Boeing 737 but a body that’s 80 percent lighter. Designed for 24-hour-plus patrols at 50,000 feet, Triton still can’t do the job by itself, say both the program manager and… Keep reading →

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PENTAGON; The outlines of the campaign against ISIL are beginning to come into focus. The bombings and missile attacks against ISIL in Iraq are largely tactical, designed to provide the Iraqi military with some breathing room until they and the Kurdish peshmerga can mount effective counterattacks to drive ISIL out of their territory. But the bombings and missile strikes in… Keep reading →

Adm Locklear @ Pentagon 140729-D-ZZ999-612

PENTAGON: Even as the latest Mideast war sucks in more US attention and resources — as well as wannabe jihadis from around the world — the outgoing chief of Pacific Command emphasized the much-derided “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” is still going strong. Despite sequestration budget cuts the US is still strong enough to handle both theaters at… Keep reading →

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UPDATED: Official Confirmation F-22s Were Used. Flew From Regional Base.  WASHINGTON: While we don’t yet have much detail on how many were used, what munitions were used or what targets they hit, F-22s were used in last night’s air strikes in Syria against ISIL and al Qaeda. F-22s flew in the second of three waves… Keep reading →

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Russia casts a long shadow nowadays, especially if you’re a neighbor. Armed with heavy tanks, jet fighters, long-range missiles, and the world’s slickest state-sponsored cyber-criminals, Russia is a very different threat from the so-called Islamic State, the Taliban, or even China. So how must the US and its NATO allies change gears, mindset and tactics to cope?… Keep reading →

F-35 EOTS and other planes

WASHINGTON: The F-35′s long-term costs may “not be affordable” and appear to be substantially higher than those of the existing combat aircraft fleets that the Joint Strike Fighter will replace, the Government Acocuntability Office says in a draft report. “The annual F-35 operating and support costs are estimated to be considerably higher than the combined… Keep reading →

Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM)

ARMY & NAVY CLUB: In the dog-eat-dog, admiral-eat-general world of budget warfare in the age of sequestration, it’s easy to pit programs against each other. The Navy’s new nuclear missile submarine and the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber, for example, are both huge strategic-weapons programs with enormous bills coming due in the next decade and much debate… Keep reading →

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NATIONAL HARBOR: Talk about a radioactive issue. Top officials in Air Force, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense keep talking about how there is no higher priority than the nation’s nuclear deterrent. It’s so crucial, they all say, that someone else should pay for it. “No capability we maintain is more important.… Keep reading →

Gen. Mike Hostage at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013.

“Our industrial base has eroded and we’re reducing our military down to a skeletal size at a time when the world is looking crazier by the day,” Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “[But] there is nothing happening right now that is going to make sequestration go away, so… Keep reading →

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