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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Contracts Round-up: 4/30

Today, you can: Figure out how to solve the aerodynamic riddle of a high bypass ratio engine inlet in a propulsion system embedded inside an aircraft wing Kill dogs and cats in Turkey Take a cargo aircraft and turn it in to an internet cafe in the sky Re-ignite the bitter Lockheed Martin-Boeing war over […]

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E-2D Price Tag Grows By $1 billion

Northrop Grumman rolled-out the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye this morning, giving journo hacks like me a chance to dig into a program that is almost never in the news. A quick scan of the Department of Defense’s budget justification books for 2006 and 2007 reveals a very interesting discovery. The navy’s plan to buy 75 E-2D […]

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Bigfoot Wins

I don’t know who Bigfoot is, but he/she wins The DEW Line’s coveted "best comment of the month" for submitting this brilliant reply to my open invitation for Dr. Strangelove references: "Actually, the CSM may be recallable if the CRM-114 Discriminator isn’t damaged."

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Conventional Wisdom (Part 4)

Bigfoot says: I think the ability to hit any spot on the globe within minutes isgreat in theory. The problem, I think, is the decision cycle. StrikingHVTs under the circumstances described is a political and bureaucratic,not military problem. You might have actionable information, but by thetime anyone has actually decided to do anything, the target […]

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