Air

nuclear-bomb-3-1311017067

WASHINGTON: Nuclear weapons are expensive. So are the bombers, missiles, and submarines used to deliver them. But in the context of total defense spending, budget guru Todd Harrison argues, they’re a relatively affordable — and strategically critical — part of our armed forces. Even a package of radical cuts to nuclear forces — reducing submarines… Keep reading →

Joint Space Operations Center JSPOC good pic

WASHINGTON  As journalists, we often hear chatter in the Pentagon about how much better things would be for the Army, Navy or Air Force if they just had a better story, or told their story better. The Marines don’t need to worry about this, of course, because they tell their own stories better than the… Keep reading →

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From the Persian Gulf to the South China Sea, the US military is getting more and more worried about the threat from various missiles. But all incoming missiles are not the same, which makes missile defense much harder. That’s the problem Raytheon’s SM-6 interceptor tackled in a recent test that has important tactical implications. If you… Keep reading →

A Marine F-35B in vertical landing mode.

WASHINGTON: The first variant of the most expensive conventional weapons program ever is now officially ready for combat. In one of his last acts as Marine Corps Commandant, future Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford announced today that the Marine model of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) version, has… Keep reading →

Marines perform first F-35B vertical take-off, landing at Eglin

UPDATED with Frank Kendall’s vote of confidence WASHINGTON: During the Marine’s recent operational readiness test of the F-35B, four of the Marine aircraft went up against nine enemy aircraft. “It went very poorly for the bad guys,” Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, told me this afternoon. Davis provided few details, saying they… Keep reading →

Osprey formation

The V-22 Osprey will reach the eight-year mark in its operational deployment history this September. The Osprey-enabled assault force is redefining ways to think about the insertion and withdrawal of force and new ways to engage, prevail and disengage. The program has reached a critical turning point – can the Osprey be purchased by allies, and be… Keep reading →

A flight of Aggressor F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges on 5 June, 2008. The jets are assigned to the 64th and 65th Aggressor squadrons at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Aggressor mission is to prepare the combat air forces, joint and allied aircrews for tomorrowÕs victories with challenging and realistic threat replication, training, academics and feedback.
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald) released

Many observers of the US military would agree that the best ideas are often not to be found among its generals and admirals. If you want to find good and disruptive ideas in the military, you get to know the majors and colonels. One of the standard comments you’ll hear about smart colonels is that they… Keep reading →

F-22 refuels during attacks on Syria and ISIL

America was surprised last summer by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) lightning offensive. After 25 years of flying and fighting around the world. the Air Force’s Air Combat Command was able to rapidly shift portions of its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) network towards Iraq, launching 80 ISR missions over Iraq in the first… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

CAPITOL HILL: UPDATE BEGINS The administration’s nominee for Marine Corps Commandant, Lt. Gen. Bob Neller, set off a firestorm from Sen. John McCain this morning. After two hours of an otherwise congenial confirmation hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman erupted over Neller’s description of the current administration strategy against the Islamic State. That strategy relies on airpower and advisors… Keep reading →

Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Joint Multi-Role demonstrator

WASHINGTON: The military’s Future Vertical Lift initiative aims to replace a range of aging helicopters from all four services. No, wonder, then, that FVL is evolving, not into a single acquisition program, but into (at least) five different programs. With an eye on the problems such a broad effort can generate, the head of the industry group… Keep reading →

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