bombers

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.

WASHINGTON: August is the month of decision for UCLASS, the Navy’s controversial program to build armed drones that fly off aircraft carriers. At stake: whether the “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance & Strike” aircraft will be primarily a scout (surveillance) or a bomber (strike). The new Deputy Secretary of Defense, Bob Work, delayed the Navy’s release of… Keep reading →

Test of a Navy Trident D5 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The DC debate on the Navy’s new nuclear missile submarines has been about how we can possibly pay for them. In this op-ed, however, frequent Breaking Defense contributor Bob Butterworth takes a step back to look at a much bigger picture. The Navy’s recent admission that it can’t afford the Ohio Replacement Program (ORP) is… Keep reading →

An artist's concept for a stealthy future Long-Range Strike Bomber.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA: Even as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel flew here with much fanfare to reaffirm his “strong, strong confidence” in the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force quietly let slip they have started a competition for the Long-Range Strike Bomber. The two programs could hardly be more different. JSF is… Keep reading →

An artist's concept for a stealthy future Long-Range Strike Bomber.

WASHINGTON:The Air Force really, really doesn’t want to offer any new details about its Long Range Strike bomber. In light of last Friday’s  comments by the new head of Air Force acquisition, Bill LaPlante, to the effect that the new RFP for the Long Range Strike bomber would be out in “days,” I dug around… Keep reading →

DF-ST-82-03511

The Ukrainian crisis created by Russia’s aggressive adventurism has sparked much soul-searching among NATO’s commanders, western lawmakers and policymakers and the western defense world’s thinkerati. Should we bolster missile defenses in central Europe? What about the permanent US military presence in Europe? Has it gotten too small? Do we need to bolster America’s nuclear forces,… Keep reading →

Heritage Flight Conference

Budget cuts won’t make the Air Force give up any of its current missions, the service’s Chief of Staff promised today. But, Gen. Mark Welsh acknowledged, the cuts will force it to do those missions with different and perhaps not optimal aircraft. Yes, the famous A-10 “Warthog” is “the best at close air support” –… Keep reading →

B-1-LRASM

It’s difficult enough for one ship to find and sink another ship. It may not be quite as hard for planes flying from an aircraft carrier to find enemy ships and sink them, but it’s not easy. The hardest task for a plane — especially a land-based plane — may be to find a small… Keep reading →

Gen. Mark Welsh, chief of staff of the Air Force, addresses the faithful wearing a Captain America mask.

National Harbor, MD: The Air Force will protect and defend the budgets of the KC-46 airborne tanker, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter and the nascent Long Range Strike Bomber, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told a standing room audience of more than 1,200 here. Oh, and Welsh made clear his view of… Keep reading →

An artist's depiction of a Lockheed Martin LRASM (Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile) hurtling towards its target.

NATIONAL HARBOR: We all know that, since the end of the Cold War, the US military has vastly expanded its ability to precisely strike targets on the land. The dirty secret is that we’ve unilaterally disarmed our capability to strike ships at sea. The military calls this a “capability gap,” but it’s more like a… Keep reading →

F-18Glanding

WASHINGTON: The second comprehensive report to Congress on the Pentagon’s aviation fleet paints a pretty robust picture of the fleet in most respects all the way out to 2043. But there’s a rub: like the Obama Administration’s budget request, the report doesn’t take sequestration into effect. (You can read the report below.) DoD Aircraft Report… Keep reading →

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