After a successful intervention on the troubled next-generation GPS operational control segment, the director of the Air Force Digital Service said this week the group is looking to partner with the Space and Missile Systems Center as it develops an acquisition model for its new approach to managing space systems on the ground.
The Air Force's second draft request for proposals to replace the UH-1N Huey released April 19 formalizes a new acquisition strategy that lets companies install extra items onto their helicopters before production, as the service announced it would do in February.
Hypersonic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft are getting a new look under an effort that will explore air-breathing engines and may try to estimate the overall cost of such a platform that could be fielded after 2030, officials recently told Inside the Air Force.
The Defense Digital Service plans to conduct a "Hack the Air Force" exercise this summer aimed at identifying cyber vulnerabilities. Cory Erickson, deputy director of DDS, told Inside the Air Force the details will be finalized within the next month. The office conducted Hack the Pentagon last summer -- the first time a federal agency has conducted a bug bounty exercise -- and identified 138 vulnerabilities. The Army held a similar event in November and December.
The Air Force is looking for companies able to build components of the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator system, including the warhead case, tail kit, fuzing system, carriage and release equipment and other ground support equipment.
The commander of the Air Force's operational space forces is concerned that a broad Air Force effort to establish more integrated, cross-domain battle management command-and-control capabilities could slow down within the space community to quickly develop an enterprise space BMC2 network.
The U.S. military, which for a generation has wielded the world's preeminent air power capability, needs to prepare to trade in expectations for air dominance -- control of the entire battlespace at all times -- for something new: "on-demand air superiority," a shift due to increasing technological prowess of potential adversaries that will render U.S. air dominance unaffordable.
As industry works to develop a stopgap capability to control the initial next-generation GPS satellites while the constellation's new ground segment continues to move through development, the Air Force is conducting a study to ensure a smooth transition from the temporary to the new system.
The Missile Defense Agency has approved Lockheed Martin's preliminary design for the Long Range Discrimination Radar -- a program central to Pentagon plans to improve homeland defense by bolstering the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program with an unprecedented ability to detect ballistic missile threats by the end of this decade.
Improving ballistic and cruise missile capabilities and inventories by potential adversaries could render U.S. military forces -- particularly equipment and units deemed critical to war plans -- vulnerable, and requires a new three-pronged strategy to shore up U.S. defenses that could cost $2.5 billion annually.
The Pentagon's operational test workforce has been shrinking and is expected to be 42 percent smaller in 2020 than it was in 2010, according to a recent report sent to lawmakers by the Defense Department's top weapons tester.
The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, which faced an uncertain future at the start of the Trump administration, remains a priority now that Defense Secretary James Mattis runs the Pentagon and reports directly to him in the same way it did with his predecessor, Ash Carter, who established DIUx to inject greater innovation into the acquisition system.
Inside the Air Force focused on the latest developments in air and space warfare, including the Joint Strike Fighter and F-22 Raptor programs, strategic airlift and satellites, unmanned systems and the evolving relationship between the Air Force and Congress.