F-35 fires Joint Strike Missile

WASHINGTON: Do dogfights matter in the age of tactical stealth? If an F-16 can outmaneuver an F-35 in a dogfight, does it matter? Does it matter if the earliest generation F-35 can’t outmaneuver an advanced model of the F-16 in an early test? So many questions. We’ll try to answer them because the folks at… 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 →

Paris Air Show overall

WASHINGTON: At least the US military is attending the Paris Air Show in some force this year, but right now none of the American aircraft pictured below are scheduled to fly at the show. Some 90 US military personnel will be on hand to maintain the aircraft and safeguard them. Here’s the list of military aircraft that… Keep reading →

Gen. Hawk Carlisle2

WASHINGTON: Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle, who has come to serve as a key Pentagon spokesman on Chinese issues, told several hundred insiders that China may be considering creation of two new Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) and warned the rising power against any such move. “You also have potential for either a… Keep reading →

Test squadron demonstrates Sniper pod capability

Congress usually does not like it when the military decides to retire a weapon system. A fleet of planes like the A-10 or the U-2, or ships like Ticonderoga cruisers or, for that matter, a military base are all centers of jobs. And Congress doesn’t like it when someone messes around with existing jobs. When… Keep reading →

An A-10 "Warthog" firing its infamous 30 mm gun.

WASHINGTON: The A-10 Warthog is ugly, tough, lethal, and fairly flexible. Its famous 30mm gun can destroy tanks or other armored vehicles with remarkable efficiency, not to mention enemy troops. Its titanium tub of a cockpit protects the plane’s pilot from most ground fire. Its pilots are trained to fly low and slow and to… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: You can imagine the whoops at Lockheed Martin’s Bethesda and Fort Worth offices today when the South Korean government dumped Boeing’s F-15 “Silent Eagle” in favor of a stealthy aircraft likely to be the F-35. “Our air force thinks that we need combat capabilities in response to the latest trend of aerospace technology development… Keep reading →

Sitting in the cockpit of her A-10 Warthog somewhere over Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base on Jan. 10, Maj. Olivia Elliott flipped a switch. In an instant her blunt, twin-engine warplane with the 30-millimeter cannon in the nose was transformed. No longer just the Air Force’s most heavily-armed attack jet, now the A-10 was also a flying wireless router, providing Internet connectivity to anyone in range — and with the right password.

The final test of the Network-Tactical, or Net-T, upgrade to the Northrop Grumman LITENING and Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, carried by A-10s and other warplanes, is the latest in a long chain of communications breakthroughs by the U.S. military and the defense industry. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: US foreign military sales are growing so fast the Pentagon can’t keep its PowerPoint slides updated — and they may well grow still more if a Defense Department policy easing exports of unmanned aircraft to 66 countries gets interagency and Congressional approval.

When Defense Security Cooperation Agency staff put together a briefing for DSCA deputy director Richard Genaille to give today at the National Press Club, new Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for fiscal year 2012 were at $64 billion. “It’s now $65 billion and will probably go up more in this fiscal year,” Genaille told the audience this morning at the ComDef 2012 conference. All told, Genaille said, “the FMS portfolio is valued at $385 billion dollars,” and supports “at least 3.5 million jobs, [at] a conservative estimate.” Keep reading →

A year has passed since Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act-the legislation mandating sequestration. Funding cuts that once seemed politically remote now loom large for leaders increasingly anxious about the impact $1.2 trillion in automatic budget reductions will have upon their respective districts and states. An estimated two million jobs at risk is a possibility no lawmaker can ignore.

Sequestration threatens the country’s ability to allow those in uniform to do their jobs. To understand what it means in real terms, look at the Air Force. Over the past decade, the service has been hit with numerous cuts and now the 2013 budget risks pushing airmen over the brink. There comes a point when people simply cannot do more with less. Unless Congress passes a sustainable and viable alternative to the Budget Control Act, challenges arising in the Air Force will be mirrored throughout the Army, Navy and Marine Corps — curtailing the number of key policy options upon which our nation’s leaders depend. Keep reading →

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