contract overturned - It embarrassed the US Air Force, embittered European
industrialists and empowered Boeing. On 18 June, the Government Accountability
Office sustained Boeing's protest, nullifying the second deal to recapitalize
the tanker fleet and the first requiring translation into French and German.
leadership ousted - On 9 June, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates went nuclear
on the air force leadership, ostensibly for failing to safeguard the nuclear
stockpile. But nukes clearly weren't the only issue for Gates, who prefers his
flyboys to focus less on F-22 fighters -- and more on f/22 apertures aboard airborne ISR assets.
Air War - In August, Russia's
army easily over-powered the South Ossetian front, but Georgia's air
defenses - stocked allegedly with Ukranian SA-11s and Tor-M1s - shot down three
Sukhoi Su-25 and one Tupolev Tu-122. In the Pentagon, the Hezbollah/Israel-inspired
"hybrid warfare" file was briefly shelved while staffers scurried to re-open
decomposing folders marked "Fulda Gap".
cancels Blackswift - Joining a long and distinguished line-up of recently aborted
aerospace science projects, Congress pulled the plug on Blackswift before DARPA
could even award a contract. With Blackswift's cancellation, the dream of
demonstrating unmanned, reusable, Mach 6 aircraft dies - or moves to China.
5. Liberty Ship Revived - For lend-lease, 18 American shipyards built 2,751 "Liberty" cargo ships between
1941 and 1945. For the ISR surge, the US Air Force will take delivery of 37
small "Liberty Ship" turboprops between 2008 and 2009, which is seven to eight years
after the war that required them had already started. Progress!