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Inside the Air Force - March 17, 2017
  • Air Force seeks immediate, sharp FY-17 funding increase for sixth-gen fighter

    The Air Force is seeking an immediate and dramatic increase in funding for its Next-Generation Air Dominance program, suggesting plans for a new penetrating counterair capability -- also referred to as a sixth-generation fighter -- are poised to accelerate if Congress can provide an additional $147 million in fiscal year 2017 above the $20 million the service originally requested.

    702 words

  • Trump's push to grow Navy, Army raises questions about Air Force budget

    The Trump administration has been vocal about its plans for a larger Army and a bigger Navy fleet, but has remained relatively quiet about its plans for Air Force modernization, leaving analysts wondering what that will mean for the Air Force in the fiscal year 2018 budget.

    902 words

  • Air Force: SpaceX launch award was ultimately decided by cost

    The Air Force's decision this week to award SpaceX its second national security space launch services mission -- a win over longtime provider United Launch Alliance -- came down to cost, a service official confirmed Wednesday.

    727 words

  • Open Skies aircraft begin moving toward replacement, new technology

    The Air Force is beginning to explore its options for replacing the unarmed aircraft used to fly nuclear supervision missions under the Open Skies Treaty, expecting that the OC-135B will be in service for 80 years.

    1494 words

  • Acquisition Executive

    The Air Force's military deputy for acquisition said this week that while he and his civilian counterpart have the authorities necessary to run the service's acquisition shop, the workload requires the leadership of a politically-appointed acquisition executive. The service has been without a top leader since William LaPlante left the post for MITRE in November 2015. Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch told reporters March 16 the office is running smoothly, but "it would help us a great deal if we could have someone else." The acquisition executive vacancy is one of many Pentagon positions lacking a political appointee under the new administration.

    110 words

  • Air Force: Degraded B-52 radar could inhibit ALCM performance

    A degraded B-52 radar could have implications for the performance of the Air-Launched Cruise Missile, the Air Force told Congress in a recent report explaining its reasons for pursuing a non-developmental replacement for the aging radar system.

    341 words

  • Air Force to kick off light-attack experiment this week

    The Air Force plans to release a formal invitation to industry this week to participate in a light-attack experiment to showcase low-cost capability that could supplement the service's fighter jet capacity.

    507 words

  • Executive steering group meeting this week to discuss next steps for PAR

    The Air Force's top uniformed acquisition officer indicated this week that the service and White House seem to have reached an agreement on Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization requirements, and an executive steering group is meeting this week to chart the program's next steps.

    579 words

  • Industry points Air Force to ISR for next ECCT study

    The Air Force may focus on improving intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability as the subject of its 2018 enterprise capabilities collaboration team study, according to the Air Force Research Laboratory's top planner.

    635 words

  • Air Force floats draft RFP for next-generation launch system prototypes

    The Air Force this week took another step toward replacing the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine with a domestic alternative, releasing a draft request for proposals meant to support launch system prototyping efforts.

    582 words

  • AFSOC chief outlines idea of moving to auto-landing Reapers

    The head of Air Force Special Operations Command earlier this month elaborated on his vision to streamline the remotely piloted aircraft workforce, saying he wants to try controlling multiple aircraft with one keyboard sometime this year.

    510 words

  • Compass Call cross-deck continues after GAO dismisses bid protest

    The Air Force's effort to replace the EC-130H Compass Call platform is moving forward after the Government Accountability Office dismissed a formal bid protest by Bombardier March 10.

    486 words

  • White House unveils FY-18 budget blueprint, FY-17 supplemental

    The White House's fiscal year 2018 budget would boost national security spending by $54 billion, paid for by a 28-percent cut to the State Department, as well as double-digit cuts to other executive agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

    765 words

  • Proposed $30B FY-17 boost aims to begin to reverse years of tight budgets

    The Trump administration is seeking a $30 billion increase to the Pentagon's fiscal year 2017 budget, a promissory note on larger plans going forward to try to reverse cuts to military spending stemming from the 2011 Budget Control Act, which has cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Defense Department's since 2012.

    516 words

  • White House releases FY-17 plan that could derail budget talks

    The White House is seeking a fiscal year 2017 budget amendment that would break spending caps agreed to by congressional Republicans and Democrats and could lead to a shutdown that might ultimately endanger additional defense spending this year.

    707 words

  • Trump nominates Boeing executive to serve as deputy defense secretary

    The White House said March 16 President Trump will nominate Patrick Shanahan, a Boeing executive, to serve as deputy defense secretary.

    395 words

  • U.S. to permanently station Gray Eagle drones in South Korea

    The Pentagon will permanently station Gray Eagle drones in South Korea, Defense Department Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday, a week after a series of North Korean missile launches landed in the Sea of Japan.

    190 words