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Inside the Air Force - June 23, 2017
  • Navy mulls using Air Force MQ-1s after 2018 retirement

    CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, NV. -- The Navy is considering a plan to recycle the Air Force's soon-to-be retired MQ-1 Predators for its own use, a Navy spokeswoman confirmed to Inside the Air Force this week.

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  • Air Force expects six-month delay to FAB-T full-rate production decision

    The Air Force anticipates at least a six-month delay to next year's full-rate production decision for its Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals program, but officials say they're pleased with the progress the program is making after years of development delays.

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  • Authorizers add provision for STRATCOM to certify GBSD launch control design

    The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee is stepping into the Air Force's competition to build the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent with a provision to block the engineering and manufacturing development contract award if the design includes fewer than 15 fixed launch control centers at each missile wing, unless the head of U.S. Strategic Command approves.

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  • Formal ICBM maintenance intends to normalize sustainment for GBSD

    The Air Force is about halfway through its first year of formal programmed depot maintenance on the 1960s-era intercontinental ballistic missile fleet, as the service continues its effort to replace the land-based nuclear weapons into the 2030s.

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  • Reusable Launch Report

    The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee approved an amendment this week to its proposed markup of fiscal year 2018 defense policy legislation that would require the Air Force to detail its plans to consider the risks, benefits, costs and potential savings associated with reusable launch vehicles. "The committee believes the government should move rapidly to evaluate the use of reusable space launch vehicles," states the amendment, which passed during the subcommittee's June 22 markup. The report is due March 1, 2018.

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  • Air Force to begin JLTV buy in FY-17 to replace Humvees

    The Air Force plans to start buying 226 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicles in fiscal year 2017 to replace earlier high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, or Humvees.

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  • Air Force estimates additional F-22s would cost $50 billion

    The Air Force estimates it would cost about $50 billion to buy 194 additional F-22s and told Congress earlier this month in a classified report it has no plans to re-start the production line.

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  • 'Baffled' by Compass Call, HASC floats review in defense policy mark

    The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee wants to block any progress the Air Force is making in moving EC-130H Compass Call equipment to a new aircraft until Pentagon leadership signs off on the service's acquisition strategy, following three bid protests and a program delay.

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  • House authorizers call for more oversight of F-35 EOQ strategy

    Some House authorizers are proposing additional oversight of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's economic order quantity strategy, calling for reporting requirements similar to those of a multiyear procurement deal.

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  • FY-18 defense policy bill mark includes MQ-9 cost-benefit analysis

    The House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee's mark of the fiscal year 2018 defense policy bill directs the Air Force and defense secretaries to study whether it would be more cost-effective to improve the MQ-9 Reaper fleet by upgrading existing Block 1 aircraft to the Block 5 design or by buying new aircraft altogether.

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  • Analysts predict BRAC approval more likely with Mattis' support

    The chances of a Base Realignment and Closure round could be more likely under Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, some analysts said June 19, noting that the administration's support for reducing excess infrastructure is stronger than it has been in recent history.

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  • STRATCOM chief aims to accelerate all nuclear modernization programs

    The head of U.S. Strategic Command said he's applying pressure on all nuclear modernization efforts to make those programs move faster than currently scheduled.

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  • House panel wants space-based sensor network to track ballistic missiles

    A House panel has proposed legislation that would require the Air Force and Missile Defense Agency to map out a plan to develop and demonstrate an operational prototype of a space-based sensor layer to provide precision tracking data of enemy ballistic missiles "at the earliest practicable opportunity."

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  • New defense topline budget numbers emerging from GOP committees

    The rough draft of the defense topline for fiscal year 2018 is significantly higher than the figure sought by the Trump administration, though negotiations continue and a partisan budget battle remains likely, according to multiple sources inside three separate House committees.

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  • Air Force, Rogers spar over Space Corps proposal

    The Air Force chief of staff and secretary told reporters this week that while they appreciate the passion behind House lawmakers' proposal to create a separate Space Corps under the service's leadership, the move would complicate and add bureaucracy to a system they are trying to reform.

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  • McCain questions Shanahan's Boeing ties; threatens to block nomination

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) on June 20 questioned the corporate ties of President Trump's deputy defense secretary nominee Patrick Shanahan, and threatened to block the former Boeing executive's nomination if he continued to "duck" questions on the threat posed by Russia.

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  • Readiness subcommittee leaves BRAC proposal unaddressed

    The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee's portion of the defense policy bill does not provide for a new Base Realignment and Closure round for the Defense Department, but the full committee's bill may address the issue, according to congressional aides.

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