F-35As at Nellis.

CAPITOL HILL: While Congress and the media focus on immediate issues with the F-35’s ejection seat, the program has begun working on a long-range modernization plan to upgrade the Joint Strike Fighter’s combat power. This modernization package, with the so-called Block 4 software upgrade at its core, is essential to the aircraft reaching its “full warfighting capability,” Maj. Gen.… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD: Pax River is a robot zoo today, showcasing unmanned vehicles from micro-mini-submarines — so small you can throw one like a football — to what appears to be a solar-powered canoe. More than 40 systems here from 30 projects and six nations were gathered by the US Office of… Keep reading →

Coast Guard ice breaker Healy

UPDATED: WITH WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON BUYING MORE ICE BREAKERS WASHINGTON: After seven years of thinking about the possibilities, the Obama administration now says it wants to build at least one serious icebreaker in the face of increasing competition for the oil, gas, fish and shipping routes the Arctic can offer. Right now, we’ve got two truly… Keep reading →

Small Diamater Bomb 2

PARIS AIR SHOW: Most coverage of the Small Diameter Bomb II has focused on when the F-35 will be able to use it — not ’till 2022 — instead of on the bomb program itself, which is moving ahead much more briskly. Frank Kendall signed the crucial Milestone C Acquisition Decision Memorandum putting the program… Keep reading →

Lockheed JSTARS recp plane

UPDATED: Raytheon’s Yuse Pledges To Meet Or Beat JSTARS Radar KPPs PARIS AIR SHOW: Canada-based Bombardier is joining the Lockheed-Raytheon team to build a replacement for the aging JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System) aircraft, Lockheed Martin announced today. The incumbent, Northrop Grumman, announced last week that it would team with General Dynamics, Gulfstream, and… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: In real-world warfare, troops and tanks maneuver to take advantage of the terrain. In the looking-glass world of cyberspace, however, “maneuver” may mean changing the terrain itself. If the enemy’s invading your country, you can dig a trench or blow a bridge, but otherwise you go to war with the landscape you have. If… Keep reading →

BAE Systems Hawk trainers in UK

WASHINGTON: While Northrop Grumman isn’t doing much at the upcoming Farnborough Air Show — at least publicly — they certainly shook things up today with their announcement that they are swapping places with BAE Systems to take the lead role in the competition for the $11 billion, 350-plane T-X trainer program. While the BAE-Northrop team… Keep reading →

Joint Space Operations Center artists conception

COLORADO SPRINGS: Australia, Britain, Canada and United States have signed a symbolically important Memorandum of Understanding committing them to “a partnership on combined space operations.” As is often the case with such international agreements — especially on such a highly sensitive area as space operations — figuring out what it means and how things may… Keep reading →

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent makes an approach to the Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Arctic Ocean Sept. 5, 2009. The two ships are taking part in a multi-year, multi-agency Arctic survey that will help define the Arctic continental shelf. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley.

[updated with Adm. Greenert comment] WASHINGTON: While the Navy pivots to the Pacific, the Coast Guard has got their northern flank: the once icebound but now rapidly opening waters of the Arctic Ocean, with its new opportunities for oil, gas, and trade through the fabled Northwest Passage. For the chronically underfunded and “oversubscribed” service, however, the… Keep reading →

Energy security is a key element of national security. The missing piece of America’s energy security policy, in turn, is the glaring absence of a strategy to coordinate and secure the enormous energy resources of the Western hemisphere.

Today, America is over-dependent on the increasingly volatile Middle East, China is increasingly aggressive in its quest for energy sources worldwide, and Russia is exploiting its energy reserves not just economically but as an instrument of global power. Clearly it’s important to reduce demand through various domestic means and to increase supply from alternative sources. But for now and even the mid-term future, it is more realistic to generating energy now and in the mid-term via an effective national energy policy which relies on the Western Hemisphere. Keep reading →

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