John A. Tirpak
Oct 11, 2021
China Likely Stepping Up Stealth Fighter Production
Chinese manufacture of the J-20 Mighty Dragon, touted by China as a stealth fighter, will likely increase, based on comments offered at the recent Zhuhai air show (Airshow China...
Oct 5, 2021
Pratt Testing XA101 Adaptive Engine, Has Two Offerings for F-35
Pratt & Whitney is testing its new XA101 Adaptive Engine Transition Program powerplant and expects to conclude testing its two examples by the end of next year, company military...
Sep 28, 2021
F-35 Production Set at 156 per Year Until Completion
Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have agreed that F-35 production will peak at 156 planes per year in 2023 and remain at that level “for the foreseeable...
Sep 27, 2021
Last B-1B Bombers Retire Until B-21 Comes Online
Air Force Global Strike Command has retired the last of 17 B-1B bombers from its inventory, leaving a fleet of 45 aircraft that will serve until the new B-21 stealth bomber is ready...
Sep 24, 2021
New Longer-Range Missiles Needed to Preserve Stealth Advantages
The range of current Air Force weapons compels pilots of stealth aircraft to get too close to their targets, risking that they’ll be seen and shot down, Air Combat Command boss...
Sep 23, 2021
Air Force Focused on NGAD due to ‘Digital Century Series’ Costs
Using new digital methods to design a future Air Force fighter costs more than the traditional approach, but subsequent iterations could be done faster and less expensively, senior...
Sep 17, 2021
Adding New AETP Engine Means Air Force Alone Would Pay for It
The Air Force would have to bear the full development and integration cost of putting new Adaptive Engine Technology Program engines in its F-35 fleet because the other services...
Sep 13, 2021
GE Says New Engine for F-35 Possible by 2027
Engine makers should be able to meet House defense policy bill language calling for a new F-35 powerplant based on the Adaptive Engine Transition Program by 2027, but only for the...
Sep 7, 2021
House Impatient With Air Force’s and Navy’s EW Progress
The House of Representatives’ version of the National Defense Authorization Act would call on the Air Force and Navy to provide a report next spring on how they’re going...
Aug 18, 2021
Skyborg Becoming Program of Record on Time
Contracts worth a combined $20.2 million to Kratos and General Atomics for development of the Autonomous Core System of the Skyborg unmanned aircraft control system will propel...
Aug 12, 2021
New Skunk Works Plant to Build Advanced Fighters
PALMDALE, Calif.—Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced development division opened a new 215,000-square-foot production facility Aug. 10, allowing reporters and visitors...
Aug 7, 2021
As Air Force Ramps Up JASSM, Work Begins on its Replacement
“Preliminary” discussions and “early development work” about how to pursue the next long-range conventional stealth missile are underway, even as the Air...
Jun 17, 2021
Brown: NGAD Will Be a Multirole Fighter
The Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) system—the fighter that will succeed the F-22—will have ground attack capability possibly for its own protection, Air Force Chief...
Jun 10, 2021
USAF Won’t Retire More B-1s Until B-21 on Duty
The Air Force won’t retire any more B-1 Lancer bombers until the new B-21 Raider joins the fleet, Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom told a House Armed Services panel...
May 27, 2021
Small Diameter Bombs Collaborate in Golden Horde Test
Six GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs dropped from two F-16s set up their own network, changed their targets in flight and synchronized their strikes in a multifaceted final flight test of...
May 25, 2021
USAF Fighter Mission Capable Rates Rise in FY 2020, Led by F-35
The Air Force’s fighter fleet, led by the F-35A, turned in a better overall mission capable rate in 2020, even with limitations imposed by the pandemic, than it did...
May 21, 2021
F-15EX Wins Some, Loses Some in Northern Edge
The F-15EX both shot down some adversaries and was shot down itself during the recent Northern Edge wargame in Alaska, and work is underway to analyze the results of its first...
May 14, 2021
New Force Design: NGAD Needed Soon
The Air Force is preparing to unveil a new 30-year fighter force design that includes at least two all-new fighters, a much greater use of autonomous and unmanned aircraft, a new way...
May 13, 2021
F-22 Not in Air Force’s Long-Term Plan
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. wants to neck down the Air Force’s fighter inventory from seven fleets to four, and the F-22 is not on his short...
May 7, 2021
B-52 Demos Hypersonic Missile Kill Chain
A B-52H bomber demonstrated the steps necessary to fire a hypersonic AGM-183 missile at a target 600 nautical miles away during the ongoing Northern Edge exercise in Alaska, the...
May 3, 2021
DIA Says China’s Weapon Technology Advancing Fast
China and Russia are the key adversaries when it comes to developing high-tech weaponry over the next 20 years, but while China’s rate of progress is accelerating, Russia is...
Apr 30, 2021
F-15EX to Participate in Northern Edge Exercise, JADC2
Both of the Air Force’s new F-15EX Eagle II fighters will fly in the Northern Edge exercise in Alaska next week to participate in broader joint all-domain command and control...
Apr 28, 2021
Frank Kendall Nominated as 26th Secretary of the Air Force
Frank Kendall III is the Biden administration’s nominee to be Secretary of the Air Force, succeeding Barbara M. Barrett in the role if confirmed, administration officials said....
Apr 24, 2021
Make-or-Break Time for the F-35
The Air Force’s most important program faces increased scrutiny as high costs, low availability, and other problems continue. Despite solid combat performance, the F-35’s...
Apr 23, 2021
HASC Won’t Plus Up F-35 Request in Fiscal 2022 Budget
The 97 F-35s added to service budgets over the last five years are a “self-inflicted wound,” as they have played havoc with sustainment, House Armed Services Committee...
Apr 22, 2021
Air Force to Upgrade MQ-9s Mission and Capabilities
The Air Force is upgrading the MQ-9 Reaper fleet to give it new relevance against near-peers, make it more survivable, and extend its useful life another 10-15 years, the Air Force...
Mar 25, 2021
Coalition Aircraft Continue Large Offensive Targeting ISIS
Extensive coalition and Iraqi operations targeting the Islamic State group in northern Iraq continued, with aircraft now conducting at least 312 airstrikes on ISIS remnants in the...
Mar 23, 2021
Hypersonic Research Funding Skyrockets
The government’s 70 hypersonics programs—ranging from enabling technology efforts to all-up prototyping projects—are expected to cost $15 billion from 2015 through...
Mar 22, 2021
HASC Cites ‘Enormous Concern’ About F-35
The House Armed Services Committee has “enormous concern” about the F-35 fighter’s sustainment, and suggested Congress may cut back on purchases of the jet to let...
Mar 18, 2021
F-35 Full-Rate Still Months Away
The Pentagon won’t declare the F-35 to have completed development for a few months more at least, but even when that happens and the program is declared ready for full-rate...
Mar 12, 2021
Army Chief Stakes Claim to Deep Strike, Defense Suppression Missions
The Army’s push to develop hypersonic weapons is an effort to present adversaries with multiple dilemmas and take on the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses role as well as deep...
Mar 9, 2021
Hypersonic ARRW Readied for Booster Flight
A test flight of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile will be made in the next 30 days, the Air Force’s Armament Directorate said March 5, but the flight will only be a test of the...
Mar 3, 2021
New Threats Demand Nuclear Modernization
Nuclear modernization is an imperative, because the strategic environment has evolved dramatically since the last century, with more and different kinds of existential threats,...
Feb 26, 2021
TacAir Study Will Determine If F-35 Production Surge Needed
The Air Force remains committed to the F-35, and it is the “cornerstone” of USAF’s force planning, but the new tactical aviation study will decide if USAF should...
Feb 25, 2021
Going Digital Will Take Courage; Fighter Study Looks to 2040s
The transformational acquisition ideas championed by former Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper will survive his departure from the service, but it will take “courage”...
Feb 18, 2021
First of 17 B-1Bs Heads to the Boneyard
The first of 17 B-1B bombers to be retired this fiscal year under a Congressionally-approved divestiture plan flew to the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base,...
Feb 10, 2021
Repairing Broken Bones
A smaller fleet, fatigue tests and continuous depot repairs should keep B-1s flying until the B-21 joins the force.
Feb 9, 2021
B-1B Makes First Visit to India Since 1945
A B-1B bomber from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., flew over the 13th edition of the Aero India trade show at Bengaluru on Feb. 3, escorted by an Indian Air Force Tejas fighter. The...
Jan 20, 2021
Second B-21 Under Construction as Bomber Moves Toward First Flight
Production of the second B-21 stealth bomber is underway at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., while the first Raider is expected to roll out in early 2022 and...
Jan 13, 2021
NorthropEW System Could Be Installed On About 450 F-16s
The Air Force has chosen Northrop Grumman over L3 Harris to develop a Next Generation Electronic Warfare suite for the F-16 which, if development succeeds, could equip as many as 450...
Jan 11, 2021
F-35 Readiness for Full-Rate Production
An independent academic team will assess how ready the F-35 is for full-rate production, and its findings will be integrated into a new program timeline, the Joint Program Office...
Jan 11, 2021
AGM-183 Hypersonic Weapon Still Awaiting First Flight
The Air Force’s AGM-183 hypersonic missile didn’t fly by the end of December, as predicted by service acquisition executive Will Roper last month. Instead, an...
Jan 4, 2021
B-1s Can Make It to Finish Line, but . . .
The Air Force expects to have enough resources—money, spare parts, and maintainers—to keep the B-1B bomber flying safely at least until it can be replaced by the B-21,...
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