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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The Cold War Is Dead

BBC radio this morning asked this blog’s author to talk about how the Pentagon views the recent bluster from Russia. The question: is this the beginning of a new arms race and a Second Cold War? The answer, of course, is absolutely not! The arms race is over. The US won. The Pentagon is aiming […]

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The Mixed Fleet Mystery Solved?

The good folks at IAG blog may have discerned the meaning behind some suprising comments on 21 February by the US Air Force’s chief of staff — General Michael Moseley. The general told reporters that the air force might but two types of new tankers instead of one. Here is IAG’s take: USAF might buy […]

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Murtha-Fest (Part 1)

What is going on with the annual Showcase for Commerce in Johnstown, Pennsylvania? More specifically, why does this seemingly random event in scenic Cambria County attract major exhibitor-badge-wearing delegations every year from the world’s largest defense contractors? The confirmed sponsors for the 2007 Showcase for Commerce extravaganza scheduled on 31 May to 1 June are […]

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Spotted: Rare Optimism for BC-17X

Download 2_alexey_isaikin.ppt We don’t post two-year-old power-point presentations just willy-nilly, but this one that we just got our hands on is really interesting. Boeing’s concept for a commerical version of the C-17 — the BC-17X — has always struck us as a somewhat flighty (er, so to speak) venture. What does it mean then, we […]

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It’s the Gas, Stupid

The US Air Force has just issued a rather innocuous-looking notice for a new technology called "active combustion control". But this is quite a momentous development, and here’s why. Today, the air force has two kinds of warplanes that can survive in modern and future combat, in which fighters and bombers have to compete with […]

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The Infantry’s Curse

Somebody please help the infantry. Since the 1960s, think of how many new generations of fighters, naval combatants and fighting vehicles have been deployed? Contrast that record to the individual firearm — the rifle, carbine or handgun carried and used by almost any one wearing a uniform. The same basic M16 rifle and M4 carbine […]

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