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Inside the Air Force - February 23, 2018
  • Air Force shifts AOC pathfinder funding into R&D as upgrades progress

    The Air Force formally shifted the majority of funding for its Air Operations Center Weapon System pathfinder into research and development rather than procurement in the fiscal year 2019 budget request released last week, another sign of how the service plans to approach its agile development and operations initiatives.

    1543 words

  • USAF pegs LRSO development at $4.5B, much lower than previous estimate

    The Air Force has revealed the development cost of the Long Range Standoff Weapon to be $4.5 billion, nearly half the tab for the next-generation nuclear cruise missile the service tallied two years ago, according to service budget documents.

    587 words

  • Budget request includes funding profile for new F-35 Block 4 strategy

    The Defense Department's fiscal year 2019 budget request includes funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program's new Follow-On Modernization plan, dubbed Continuous Capability Development and Delivery, but it is unclear whether the projection incorporates a new cost estimate for the effort.

    509 words

  • Air Force budget confirms 'Silentbarker' will replenish SBSS constellation

    The Air Force's recent budget submission confirms that its highly secretive Silentbarker surveillance satellite is part of its strategy to replace the legacy Space-Based Space Surveillance constellation, providing new details on a little-known space situational awareness program.

    552 words

  • JSTARS Retirement

    Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson confirmed Feb. 22 at the Air Force Association conference in Orlando, FL, the service plans to retire three aircraft from the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System fleet in fiscal year 2019, bringing the fleet to 13 tail numbers. Those three aircraft are "hangar queens," and retirement would not change the capabilities provided to combatant commanders because they are not currently flying, Wilson said. She added the service's decision not to fund the JSTARS recapitalization in FY-19 could lead it to buy more RQ-4 Global Hawks and MQ-9 Reapers.

    103 words

  • B61-12 tail kit program sees funding shifts as two bombs stay in arsenal

    A key nuclear modernization program, the B61-12 tail kit assembly life-extension program, requires about $52 million more for production in fiscal year 2019 than anticipated, according to the Air Force's latest budget request.

    634 words

  • Air Force defers Space Fence Increment 2 decision to future budget

    The Air Force is delaying a decision about how to proceed with the second Space Fence radar site, excluding funding for the initiative from its fiscal year 2019 budget request.

    465 words

  • Air Force: GBSD development costs jumped 20 percent

    The estimated price tag to develop the Air Force's new intercontinental ballistic missile is now $21.7 billion -- a 20 percent jump compared to the service's estimate last year -- a revision that comes after Northrop Grumman and Boeing were tapped last summer to develop prototypes for a Minuteman III replacement.

    614 words

  • USAF to buy new MQ-9s, add capabilities as force needs change

    The Air Force plans to buy 29 new MQ-9 Reapers from General Atomics in fiscal year 2019, largely to replace aircraft lost in combat or those the service expects will be unusable.

    1419 words

  • DOD wants more than $400M in FY-19 for air-launched, hypersonic strike

    The Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are seeking more than $400 million in fiscal year 2019 -- up about 160 percent from the FY-18 request -- to mature "game-changing" technologies for potential aircraft-launched, hypersonic-strike weapons.

    721 words

  • Pentagon breaks down $20B OCO 'realignment' for FY-19

    The Pentagon has "realigned" $20 billion initially pegged for its fiscal year 2019 Overseas Contingency Operations request and directed it toward the military's base budgets to adhere to a bipartisan congressional spending deal, according to a detailed breakdown provided to Inside Defense.

    490 words

  • DOD seeking $1.5B for SCO in FY-19, including $438M for seven new projects

    The Strategic Capabilities Office is seeking nearly $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2019 -- an increase of more than 20 percent over FY-18 -- to develop new and surprising ways of using existing technology to bolster conventional deterrence against China and Russia.

    1114 words

  • DARPA seeks massive boost in electronics research funding

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is nearly quadrupling its planned investments in fiscal year 2019 for programs seeking to find new materials, architectures and designs for microelectronics.

    709 words

  • GD CFO: 'You either have to consolidate or get consolidated out'

    Acquiring CSRA will help General Dynamics better compete in the consolidating IT services market, according to GD's chief financial officer.

    377 words