JASSM’s Latest Test Failures

This is what happens when you combine a low-cost ($400k/missile) weapon with high-cost requirements (stealth, standoff, precision guidance). The air force has to learn that they can’t wage precision warfare on the cheap and also expect to buy high reliability. There are two ironies in this situation: 1) JASSM used to be the poster-child for […]

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Oh, Canada!

My flight to Montreal this morning was canceled due to crew availability. This makes it the third flight on three different airlines in as many weeks for me that were canceled due to this interesting phenomenon: the weather is good, the plane seems to be working, but we remain on the ground because no one […]

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Murtha-Fest (Part 2)

It’s not too late so sign up for Murtha-Fest … er, I mean the Showcase for Commerce in Johnstown, Pa. Murth-Fest (er, … I mean the Showcase — oh, whatever) is an annual extravangza for defense contractors to peddle their favorite prducts that for whatever reason, sadly, remain unfunded. The host of Murtha-Fest is, of […]

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A Brief History of APKWS

A brief history of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), which sounds a bit sinister but merely seeks to add a guidance system to a standard Hydra 2.75-inch rocket. It started when the Army selected Hydra-maker General Dynamics to integrate a BAE Systems guidance system. That program got cancelled in January 2005, following a […]

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Contracts Round-up: 5/10

Today, you can: Plug in the US Air Force’s "battlefield airman" to a network, but not that silly army network that already exists Learn that the air force has a concept for a Predator-related unmanned aerial vehicle called MQ-1X Kick the air force off a radio frequency used for missile-launching practice and give it to […]

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Musings on the Fort Dix Story

The capture of five people accused of plotting a terrorist-style shooting rampage at Fort Dix yesterday is a good excuse to talk about base security — and the many Orwellian methods the US Air Force is adopting to detect, identify and kill intruders. My personal favorite: kill the intruders remotely. Just put a remote button […]

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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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