CAPITOL HILL: The United States will begin serious development of prototypes for so-called sixth generation fighters — successors to the F-35 and F-22 — for the Navy and the Air Force in the 2016 budget, says the head of Pentagon acquisition, Frank Kendall. The Aviation Innovation Initiative is a new effort, not an agglomeration of existing DARPA… Keep reading →
Robbin Laird, a member of our Board of Contributors, and Ed Timperlake conducted what looks like it will be the last interview with Gen. Mike Hostage, the head of Air Combat Command, before he retires in early November. Hostage has overseen the Air Force’s transition to fifth generation aircraft with the introduction of the F-22 and preparations… Keep reading →
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 →
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 →
For years, the news about the most expensive conventional weapons system in US history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has been driven by its soaring costs, technical problems and schedule screw-ups. The government and Congress and the public rarely speak about what the F-35 will do, how effectively it could destroy an enemy’s air defenses, shoot down… Keep reading →
For years, the news about the most expensive conventional weapons system in US history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has been driven by its enormous cost, design, and schedule screw-ups. The Pentagon and Congress and the public have rarely spoken about what the F-35 would do, how effectively it could destroy an enemy’s air defenses,… Keep reading →
After a week of discussions with Pacific Air Forces staff, Robbin Laird sat down in Hawaii with Hawk Carlisle, their commander. The conversation took place just after the North Koreans had fired missiles into South Korean waters during an allied exercise for the defense of South Korea. Laird, a member of our Board of Contributors, is… Keep reading →
“The F-35 is flying, it is a real thing, and progress is real,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh recently said in Japan. Several countries, including Russia and China, are working on fifth generation fighters, he noted. Even if the United States does not go to war with these countries, it will inevitably have to… Keep reading →
[Corrected 9:35 pm with a note about the EC-130 Compass Call] Is stealth still America’s silver bullet? Or are potential adversaries’ radars getting too smart for US aircraft to keep hiding from them?
That’s literally the trillion-dollar question, because the US military is investing massively in new stealth aircraft. At stake in this debate are not just budgets but America’s continued ability to project power around the world. Keep reading →
The Air Force provides the essential capabilities that make America’s joint operations possible and has been involved in nearly every military operation overseas since 1991. As the Pentagon delves into the details of the 2014 budget, getting the Air Force budget right is critical to ensure that the nation can count on its indispensable role in a time of shrinking resources.
Our adherence to the idea of a joint force has led to a roughly equal cut of spending among the services. This is not the optimum allocation of scarce resources in coming years if our national strategy is to maintain global presence and communications, as well as to fight cost-effectively and be capable of defeating modernized militaries. Keep reading →