Air

Navy image

NATIONAL HARBOR: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus may want to move drones to the top of his priorities, but what kind of unmanned systems do the Navy and Marine Corps want to buy? Don’t think Predator or even the Navy’s new 131-foot-wingspan Triton. Imagine a swarm of buzzing, scuttling or swimming robots that are smaller but smarter. While a… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

UPDATED: Sen. McCain & Rep. Forbes Comment NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced today that he’s reorganizing his department to increase emphasis on unmanned systems, from aerial drones to robotic mini-subs — a move which met with rapid approbation from Congress. “I’m going to appoint a new Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned… Keep reading →

Gen. John Hyten

  COLORADO SPRINGS: Do not ever, ever tell Gen. John Hyten, the head of Air Force Space Command, that your satellite will use a proprietary ground system to receive and telemetry and fly the satellites. Today, Hyten told several hundred people at the annual Space Symposium here that he “was not happy” when a team of… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. Raymond 14th Air Force

COLORADO SPRINGS: We’ve known for some time that China conducted an anti-satellite test July 23 last year, but we learned today that that test was “successful” even if it didn’t destroy anything. China has successfully placed low earth orbit satellites at risk, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond told an overflow audience at the annual… Keep reading →

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

UPDATED Thursday with test results NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: “Tomorrow, actually, the weather looks good,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, the Navy’s head of carrier-launched drone programs — at least, he added cautiously, as of “right now.” If the weather holds, the Navy’s experimental X-47B drone will refuel in mid-air — the first time an unmanned aircraft has… Keep reading →

Tomahawk cruise missile launch against the Khorasan group in Syria

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: Amidst unabated budget gloom, Navy and Marine leaders aren’t looking for salvation in big new programs. They’re “repurposing and reusing existing capabilities” to get the maximum out of existing hardware for minimum cost. It’s a vision of the future in which a junior Marine Corps officer might call for fire support from a… Keep reading →

CSBA graphic

WASHINGTON: The seas are shrinking. As missiles grow longer-ranged and more precise, as sensors grow ever sharper, there are ever fewer places for a ship to hide. “A ship’s a fool to fight a fort,” goes an old naval adage, because a land base can carry more ammunition and armor than anything that floats. Admirals… Keep reading →

Maj. Gen. James Post former ACC deputy commander A-10

WASHINGTON: Want to know how fractious the debate over the retirement of the A-10 has gotten? With an eye clearly on Congress, the canny head of Air Combat Command, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, today canned his deputy who had made dumb comments about the subject. They were especially stupid because Maj. Gen. James Post told the audience at an Air… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept LRSB

PENTAGON: Threats are back in Pentagon acquisition. During the Cold War, the calculus was pretty simple. Russians do X. America responds with Y. Add Offset Strategy to boost US advantage overall. Frank Kendall, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, has publicly worried about America losing its technological edge for several years. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob… Keep reading →

ISIL targets since February 4th - 31 March

Airpower sounds swift and surgical, but sometimes it’s really closer to trench warfare with wings. Earlier this week, with the smoke still rising from the retaken Iraqi city of Tikrit, Central Command released detailed data on air strikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. We’ve crunched the numbers, and it’s clear the eight-month-old campaign is becoming… Keep reading →

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