Archive | May, 2007

The COIN Comeback Debate

Johnny Bombmaker: You write about counter-insurgency aircraft as if you’re a fan of the concept?The DEW Line: Well, what’s not to like? JB: There’s a reason why single-engine turboprops almost disappeared after World War II. They get shot out of the sky faster than a duck flying over a South Texas shooting range. Do you […]

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Contracts Round-up: 5/8

Today, you can: Build a new sensor for the NPOESS satellite constellation that has slightly higher odds of actually being affordable Play with model rockets Learn that somebody in the US Army wants to find out about Fischer-Tropsch technology. This is the same technology the air force is currently testing. It is a process for […]

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CFMI: The Next 35 Years

I’m sitting in Terminal 1 at O’Hare on stand-by, taking the scenic route back to DC from Cincinnati. I’ve recently changed reporting jobs, moving from an all-defense beat at Jane’s to an all-aerospace beat at Flight. Happily, this means I have license to pay a visit to the headquarters of CFM International just north of […]

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Link Day

Airpower asks: "how many of these rounds will end up in other Iraqis?" BAE Systems purchased Lockheed Martin-Sanders in 1998 and United Defense in 2005. With a $3 billion warchest amassed from selling off its stake in Airbus, whom shall be purchased in 2007? The WSJ may have the answer Will low-cost weapons make a […]

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The COIN Aircraft Comeback

The Iraqi Air Force in two years will be flying a new fleet of single-engine turboprops as counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft. See the contract solicitation, posted by the US Air Force, here. The requirement limits the potential bids to companies that have an aircraft that a)is already in wide use and b) is powered by the […]

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LRS: The A-12 Strikes Back!

The next bomber in the US Air Force inventory should be stealthy and subsonic. It should travel 2,000-nautical miles to its target and have enough fuel on board to get home. It should carry at least 28 500-pound bombs. And (surprise!) there should be a human pilot on board. These are the conclusions of the […]

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Contracts Round-up: 5/2

Today, you can: Build a radar network spanning the globe that can detect any object in Earth’s orbit. This will be called the Space Fence. Work on an Air Intelligence Agency project code-named Sensor Beam, which is the database for the electro-magnetic signatures of all friendly and enemy weapons systems Give Raytheon money to upgrade […]

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F-22s Back From Iraq? Nahhh…

The American Forces Press Service, the internal news organ of the Department of Defense, is breaking news today with the stunning revelation that the F-22A Raptor has deployed to the Middle East. The press service story states: "When the Raptor, a fifth-generation fighter jet, left Langley Air Force Base, Va., in February for its first […]

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The IAF vs Iran’s Nuke Complex

Some of the good folks at MIT have just figured how many bombs it would take for the Israeli Air Force to blow up Iran’s entire nuclear weapons infrastructure. Apparently, it isn’t so hard after all. For those keeping score at home, here’s what the Israelis would need: 24 5,000-pound BLU-113 penetrator warheads to collapse […]

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The AGM-86D, We Hardly Knew Ye

The US Air Force is retiring the AGM-86D penetrator only a few years after spending tens of millions of dollars to make the weapon. Why? Here’s the article, which I wrote, posted on  FlightGlobal.com: USAF pulls plug on Boeing penetrator cruise missile   Service withdraws support funding for inventory of around 50 bunker-busting weapons TheUS […]

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