Air

Flanker drone. For Sunday PostScript story on drones.

Most of what was learned at this year’s Black Dart counter-drone exercise will remain classified, but it proved that one of the oldest and deadliest weapons in the U.S. arsenal works against the 21st Century threat of drones, too. “The Marine sniper shot from a UH-1Y Huey,” Lt. Cdr. Ryan Leary, a Black Dart project… Keep reading →

F-35 Japan concept

PENTAGON: This may be one of those stories that turns on phrasing, but the Pentagon’s new spokesman, Peter Cook, said during yesterday’s briefing — his first — that the military is not reviewing how many F-35s it plans to buy. “Obviously, the budget situation here in Washington will have a big impact on that, but… Keep reading →

A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber being escorted away from US airspace by an F-22 in a 2007 incident.

  PENTAGON: F-22pe are finally on their way to Europe as an answer to the increasingly grumpy Russian bear, two months after Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James first announced at the Paris Air Show they might head there. If you telescope back a bit, it becomes clear this deployment may well have a wider strategic… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept LRSB

WASHINGTON: A top House defense Democrat wants answers from Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James about costs for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB), which is supposed to be built at a fixed price of $500 million a copy. “Given the importance of this issue and the magnitude of the discrepancy, the Air Force must… Keep reading →

F-35

PALMDALE, CALIF: Close Air Support enthusiasts and those who still hope for a gun-to-gun dogfight take heart: the F-35 test fired its gatling gun today. Remember that the Marines are writing the CAS portion of the F-35 CONOPS manual so they’ll be looking closely at the test results, especially since they are flying the first… Keep reading →

U-2 landing

PALMDALE, CALIF.: Lockheed Martin is exploring building a stealthy successor to the U-2 as an answer to Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and the U-2’s impending retirement. Why a stealthy reconnaissance aircraft? Neither the U-2 nor Global Hawk can operate for long in what the military calls contested airspace. Ever since Gary Powers was shot down… Keep reading →

IMG_4215

  PALMDALE, CALIF: The mountains are dry. The spaces are vast. The population is small. You wouldn’t think it to look around from the center of town, but this place hosts a remarkable array of the world’s smartest people who design and build America’s weapons. You get a few hints of the history of Palmdale as… Keep reading →

MDA Photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: Three years after the Missile Defense Agency mothballed its massive Airborne Laser, MDA is planning to reboot the concept for a new era. The old ABL was Boeing 747 with a human crew and tanks of toxic chemicals to generate power. The new idea a high-altitude, long-endurance drone armed with a more compact… Keep reading →

DoD photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: US missile defenses can hit a bullet with a bullet, shooting supersonic weapons right out of the sky — when they can see them. But as the Russians are showing in their invasion of Ukraine, radar can be jammed. That’s why the US Army conducted an unprecedented wargame this spring to test its new… Keep reading →

Marine V-22 in Monrovia for Ebola support

PENTAGON: The head of Marine aviation is talking with Boeing about costs and ways to upgrade more than half of the service’s 239 V-22 Ospreys to improve readiness. The basic plan would be to improve all 131 of the A and B models of the V-22 to the C level,  Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, told me in an interview… Keep reading →

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