Source Watch: Aboulafia on C-17

Richard Aboulafia, The DEW Line’s favorite logorrheic aerospace analyst for the Teal Group, gave The Los Angeles Times on March 3 an interesting quote about the future of the approaching-death’s-door-again C-17 production line. Says the Times story: But the program is likely to get another reprieve, much as it did last fall, because of strong […]

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The F-35B Strikes Back

I’ve made some new friends and some apparently bitter enemies with my recent rant on the relative merits of V/STOL technology for fighters. One comment posted at DefenseTech.org, which was nice enough to cross-post the item, is so good that I’m cross-posting it back here. I think the anonymous SteveD is really onto something: The […]

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Somebody Give Schmitt and Donnelly a Calculator

Good news! Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006 was a whopping $13.2539 trillion. Now that we know that, The DEW Line gets to ask the billion (or even trillion-) dollar question: how much of that bounty needs to be invested in the defense budget? Your answer will depend on how you read the trends in […]

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The Revolving Door Series: Robert “Ched-Bob” Chedister

Meet retired Major General Robert "Ched-Bob" Chedister, former commander of the US Air Force Air Armament Center (AAC) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Under Chedister’s watch from 2003-2005, the AAC conducted the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) competition, eliciting bids from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The contract award went to Boeing, but that was partially […]

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Oil-Free By 2050

The US military needs oil — about 300,000 barrels a day, in fact — to fight. Lots of oil comes from the same places where the military actually is fighting today, or may be fighting sometime in the not so distant future (Iran, are you listening?) Oh, the irony! It should come as no surprise […]

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The Infantry’s Curse (Part 2)

It’s the US Air Force to the rescue again. A couple years ago, the army cancelled a program to replace the .9mm berretta with a larger-calibre handgun. Special operations attempted to revive the Joint Combat Pistol program a year later, but that, too, was cancelled. Now the air force is taking the lead, according to […]

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Talking CSAR-X Blues …

For this blog’s take on the latest US Air Force acquisition screw-up, please listen to my commentary this morning on Federal News Radio with Mike Causey and Jane Norris. Download 02272006.wma

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It’s the Gas Stupid (Part 2)

After DefenseTech.org picked up my post about Active Combustion Controls for aircraft engines, a reader named Neil asked this question: I wonder, why has it taken this long to be able to try enabling this advance? I would think, real fuel injection for jets and not just the same afterburner stuff we’ve had for decades, […]

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V/STOL … Why?

The short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) F-35B is either what makes the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program the stuff of genius — or a sure bet for failure. Think about it. With the F-35B, the JSF program lays claim to an unprecedented aerodynamic hat trick: one common fighter design/three very, very different ways to take off and land. […]

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Un-Tethered at DARPA

There’s something wrong when the Defense Department’s top science guy says the scientific method is invalid. Noah Shachtman (ex-guru of DefenseTech.org/current guru of Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog) has kindly posted the entire transcript of a recent interview with Tony Tether, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Noah: I’m sure you’d agree […]

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