There’s a Lot Riding on America’s Next Stealth Bomber
The U.S. Air Force is expected to award a contract for its secretive Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program later this month. The LRS-B award could determine the fate of the U.S. defense-aerospace industry as Northrop Grumman and a combined Boeing/Lockheed Martin team vie to secure a program that could... Read more
Pentagon Plans to Retire A-10s and U-2s—AGAIN
The Pentagon will propose retiring its entire fleet of A-10 tank-killers and U-2 spy planes in the president’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. And this is not the first time the military has tried to get rid of these planes. The cuts are designed to save money for the... Read more
Air Force Reluctantly Upgrades A-10s After Congress Complains
The Air Force is in a dilemma. It’s committed to buying hundreds of troubled and expensive stealth fighters just as it runs low on money. To make up the difference, the flying branch is trying to retire the A-10 Warthog, a slow but tough—and devastating—ground-attack aircraft. Now the A-10... Read more
Just How Stealthy Is the Navy’s Super Hornet?
One of the criticisms of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter has always been that it’s not stealthy enough to survive against the latest Russian- and Chinese-made air defenses. But Navy and Boeing officials suggest that might not be true. That’s good news for the Navy, as the... Read more
Congress Forbids Air Force to Scrap A-10… Next Year Only
The U.S. Air Force will be prohibited from using any money appropriated in the 2014 budget to retire the A-10 Warthog if the National Defense Authorization Act passes Congress and is signed into law. The flying branch wants to ground all 350 of the low- and slow-flying attack jets... Read more
Can the F-35 Win a Dogfight?
In order to maintain its fighter squadrons, the U.S. Air Force needs the entire planned buy of 1,763 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. That’s in part because the flying branch was allowed to buy fewer than planned F-22 Raptors from Lockheed. The F-35 will have to complement the... Read more
With or Without the A-10, Air Force Insists It’s Not Abandoning the Ground Troops
Even if the U.S. Air Force decides to retire its entire fleet of 343 A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft, the service is not backing away from the vital mission of supporting ground troops. At least that’s what the service’s top uniformed official insists. For months the Air Force... Read more
Does the Air Force Really Need the A-10?
The Air Force is apparently planning to retire all 343 of its A-10 Warthog close air support jets starting in 2015—a move the House of Representatives, some key senators and a legion of A-10 boosters oppose. Proponents of the low- and slow-flying Warthog argue that the flying branch needs... Read more
America’s Newest Jet Fighter Takes Flight
Textron AirLand’s Scorpion lightweight attack jet made its maiden flight on Dec. 12 at 10:30 in the morning at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Test pilots Dan Hinson and David Sitz flew a 1.4-hour test sortie, testing the Scorpion’s handling characteristics. “It showed impressive stability and responsiveness closely matching... Read more
There’s a New American Jet Fighter You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
The newest American jet fighter is small and lightweight. It’s designed to be cheap and easy to build, repair and fly. It’s optimized for low-intensity warfare. It’s called the Scorpion, and you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s equally doubtful anyone will want to buy it. Textron AirLand just... Read more
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