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Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

PALMDALE, Calif. (AFNS) — In a tangible display of the nation’s resolve in meeting security threats, the U.S. Air Force, on Dec. 2, publicly unveiled the B-21 Raider, the first new, long-range strike bomber in a generation and an aircraft specifically designed to be the multifunctional backbone of the modernized bomber fleet.

While the B-21 isn’t expected to be operational and introduced into service for several more years, the formal unveiling ceremony hosted by Northrop Grumman Corp. at its production facilities in California is a significant milestone in the Air Force’s effort to modernize combat capabilities. The B-21 is designed to be a more capable and adaptable, state-of-the-art aircraft that will gradually replace aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers now in service.

According to design requirements, the B-21 is a long-range, highly survivable stealth bomber capable of delivering a mix of conventional and nuclear munitions. The aircraft will play a major role supporting national security objectives and assuring U.S. allies and partners across the globe.

Senior defense officials note that the National Defense Strategy and other analyses make clear the need for the B-21 and its capabilities.

“The B-21 Raider is the first strategic bomber in more than three decades,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said during the ceremony. “It is a testament to America’s enduring advantages in ingenuity and innovation. And it’s proof of the Department’s long-term commitment to building advanced capabilities that will fortify America’s ability to deter aggression, today and into the future.”

The B-21, Austin said, “is deterrence the American way. … This isn’t just another airplane. It’s not just another acquisition. … It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love. It’s a testament to our strategy of deterrence — with the capabilities to back it up, every time and everywhere.”

The world and its threats have changed dramatically since the last new bomber was introduced in 1988, as has the way the Air Force, other U.S. military services and allies work together as a joint, multi-domain force. Senior defense officials say that new thinking and innovation are needed to meet the new and emerging threats.

“That innovative spirit is sitting behind us right now,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr., told reporters shortly before the plane was unveiled.

“You think about what we’re able to do in the amount of time with the workforce here from Northrop Grumman, the collaboration with the United States Air Force to bring in a capability using a digital approach which is new and different from anything we’ve done any major program, that’s part of the Raider spirit,” he said.

The B-21 is the first new bomber to be introduced since the end of the Cold War. Air Force officials envision an ultimate fleet of at least 100 aircraft with an average procurement unit cost requirement of $692 million (base year 2022 dollars).

“When I think about accelerate change, this is exactly what it means to be able to bring this kind of capability very quickly and be able to adapt it vis-à-vis the threat,” Brown said in his meeting with reporters. “And so today, I’m really excited that we bring the B-21 Raider into the future. It’ll be the backbone of our bomber fleet.”

The aircraft is designed with updated stealth qualities and mission flexibility that senior leaders in the Air Force and across the Department of Defense say are necessary to achieve the U.S. goal of achieving integrated deterrence, and if necessary, capabilities required to successfully respond to aggression anywhere in the world at any time.

The specific B-21 unveiled Dec. 2 is one of six under production. Each is considered a test aircraft, but each is being built on the same production line, using the same tools, processes and technicians who will build production aircraft. This approach has enabled production engineers and technicians to capture lessons learned and apply them directly to follow-on aircraft, driving home a focus on repeatability, producibility and quality.

The timing for first flight will be data and event, not date driven.

While the precise date when the B-21 will enter service is unknown, basing decisions have been made. Ellsworth Air Force Base South Dakota will become the first main operating base and formal training unit for the B-21. Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Dyess AFB, Texas, are the preferred locations for the remaining home bases. Each will receive aircraft as they become available.

In addition to building a bomber with state-of-the-art technology and capabilities, Air Force officials emphasized the focus on containing costs while simultaneously allowing for maximum flexibility.

For example, the B-21 is designed with an open systems architecture that will enable rapid future capability integration to keep pace with the highly contested threat environment.

The B-21 design is based on firm requirements with existing and mature technology to control program costs. In fact, the plane’s prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, has been directed to use production processes, production tooling, and a production workforce that ensures sustained and seamless production while avoiding unnecessary costs.

“Leveraging innovative manufacturing techniques, open systems architectures and active management allows us to integrate new technology as it matures and ensures the B-21 can adapt to future threats and be successful when and where we need it,” Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Andrew P. Hunter, said.

Thu, 08 Dec 2022 20:30:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.enidnews.com/news/vas_military_news/new-air-force-bomber-makes-public-debut/article_c230231a-75cf-11ed-8ea8-ef0f75797aef.html
Killexams : Air Force unveils B-21 Raider stealth bomber

The U.S. military unveiled the U.S. Air Force B-21 Raider on Friday in Palmdale, California. 

The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than three decades, and almost every aspect of the program is classified, with images showing that it resembles the B-2 Spirit. 

Manufacturer Northrop Grumman said that the rollout of the newest nuclear stealth bomber marks the first time the world’s first sixth-generation aircraft would be seen by the public. 

"When delivered to the Air Force, the B-21 will join the nation’s strategic triad as a visible and flexible deterrent; supporting national security objectives and assuring the nation’s allies and partners," the company said in a release. 

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The B-21 Raider was unveiled on Friday in California. ((U.S. Air Force photo))

The nuclear triad includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads.

Northrop Grumman CEO Kathy Warden told The Associated Press that the way the B-21 operates is extremely advanced. 

Unveiled today, the B-21 Raider will be a dual-capable, penetrating-strike stealth bomber capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions. The B-21 will form the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force consisting of B-21s and B-52s. ((U.S. Air Force photo))

The company said it is optimized for the high-end threat environment, using agile software development, advanced manufacturing techniques, digital engineering tools and cloud technology. 

Northrop Grumman said it is continuously working to ensure that the B-21 "will defeat the anti-access, area-denial systems it will face."

This undated artist rendering provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a graphic of the Long Range Strike Bomber, designated the B-21. (U.S. Air Force via AP)

Warden could not discuss the specifics of those technologies but said that the bomber was more stealthy and slightly smaller than the B-2.

"When we talk about low observability, it is incredibly low-observability," she said. "You’ll hear it, but you really won’t see it."

The B-21 Raider will not make its first flight until next year. Northrop Grumman has been testing its performance using a virtual replica.  (Northrop Grumman)

Other changes likely include advanced materials used in coatings to make the bomber harder to detect, new ways to control electronic emissions and the use of new propulsion technologies, according to several defense analysts.

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While six of the B-21 Raiders are currently in production, the Air Force plans to build 100 that can be used with or without a human crew. 

The cost of the bombers remains unknown — although it was projected to be approximately $550 million each in 2010 dollars, or about $750 million in today's inflation-adjusted dollars — and the Raider will not make its first flight until next year.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a press briefing after a virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Nov. 16, 2022. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The company has been testing its performance using a virtual replica.

Since the contract was awarded in 2015, Northrop Grumman has assembled a team of more than 8,000 from the company, industry partners and the Air Force, consisting of more than 400 suppliers across 40 states.

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other invited guests witnessed the bomber’s public unveiling.

"We needed a new bomber for the 21st century that would allow us to take on much more complicated threats, like the threats that we fear we would one day face from China, Russia," Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary, said in 2015. "The B-21 is more survivable and can take on these much more difficult threats."

"The B-21 Raider is the first strategic bomber in more than three decades," Austin said during the ceremony. "It is a testament to America’s enduring advantages in ingenuity and innovation. And, it’s proof of the Department’s long-term commitment to building advanced capabilities that will fortify America’s ability to deter aggression, today and into the future."

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 21:46:00 -0600 Fox News en text/html https://www.foxnews.com/tech/air-force-unveils-b-21-raider-stealth-bomber
Killexams : US Air Force Set to Unveil the ‘Most Advanced Stealth Bomber Ever Built': The B-21 Raider

America’s newest nuclear stealth bomber made its debut Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon’s answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China.

The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the program is classified.

As evening fell over the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, the public got its first glimpse of the Raider in a tightly controlled ceremony. It started with a flyover of the three bombers still in service: the B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit. Then the hangar doors slowly opened and the B-21 was towed partially out of the building.

“This isn’t just another airplane,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love.”

The B-21 is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad, which includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts from the counterterrorism campaigns of recent decades to meet China’s rapid military modernization.

China is on track to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, and its gains in hypersonics, cyber warfare and space capabilities present “the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system,” the Pentagon said this week in its annual China report.

”We needed a new bomber for the 21st Century that would allow us to take on much more complicated threats, like the threats that we fear we would one day face from China, Russia, ” said Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary when the Raider contract was announced in 2015.

While the Raider may resemble the B-2, once you get inside, the similarities stop, said Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp., which is building the bomber.

“The way it operates internally is extremely advanced compared to the B-2, because the technology has evolved so much in terms of the computing capability that we can now embed in the software of the B-21,” Warden said.

Other changes include advanced materials used in coatings to make the bomber harder to detect, Austin said.

“Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft,” Austin said. “Even the most sophisticated air defense systems will struggle to detect a B-21 in the sky.”

Other advances likely include new ways to control electronic emissions, so the bomber could spoof adversary radars and disguise itself as another object, and use of new propulsion technologies, several defense analysts said.

“It is incredibly low observability,” Warden said. “You’ll hear it, but you really won’t see it.”

Six Raiders are in production. The Air Force plans to build 100 that can deploy either nuclear weapons or conventional bombs and can be used with or without a human crew. Both the Air Force and Northrop also point to the Raider’s relatively quick development: The bomber went from contract award to debut in seven years. Other new fighter and ship programs have taken decades.

The cost of the bombers is unknown. The Air Force previously put the price at an average cost of $550 million each in 2010 dollars — roughly $753 million today — but it’s unclear how much is actually being spent. The total will depend on how many bombers the Pentagon buys.

“We will soon fly this aircraft, test it, and then move it into production. And we will build the bomber force in numbers suited to the strategic environment ahead,” Austin said.

The undisclosed cost troubles government watchdogs.

“It might be a big challenge for us to do our normal analysis of a major program like this,” said Dan Grazier, a senior defense policy fellow at the Project on Government Oversight. “It’s easy to say that the B-21 is still on schedule before it actually flies. Because it’s only when one of these programs goes into the actual testing phase when real problems are discovered." That, he said, is when schedules start to slip and costs rise.

The B-2 was also envisioned to be a fleet of more than 100 aircraft, but the Air Force built only 21, due to cost overruns and a changed security environment after the Soviet Union fell. Fewer than that are ready to fly on any given day due to the significant maintenance needs of the aging bomber.

The B-21 Raider, which takes its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be slightly smaller than the B-2 to increase its range, Warden said. It won’t make its first flight until 2023. However, Warden said Northrop Grumman has used advanced computing to test the bomber’s performance using a digital twin, a virtual replica of the one unveiled Friday.

Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota will house the bomber’s first training program and squadron, though the bombers are also expected to be stationed at bases in Texas and Missouri.

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican of South Dakota, led the state’s bid to host the bomber program. In a statement, he called it “the most advanced weapon system ever developed by our country to defend ourselves and our allies.”

Northrop Grumman has also incorporated maintenance lessons learned from the B-2, Warden said.

In October 2001, B-2 pilots set a record when they flew 44 hours straight to drop the first bombs in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. The B-2 often does long round-trip missions because there are few hangars globally that can accommodate its wingspan, which limits where it can land for maintenance. The hangars also must be air-conditioned because the Spirit’s windows don’t open and hot climates can cook cockpit electronics.

The new Raider will also get new hangars to accommodate its size and complexity, Warden said.

However, with the Raider’s extended range, ’it won’t need to be based in-theater,” Austin said. “It won’t need logistical support to hold any target at risk.”

A final noticeable difference was in the debut itself. While both went public in Palmdale, the B-2 was rolled outdoors in 1988 amid much public fanfare. Given advances in surveillance satellites and cameras, the Raider was just partially exposed, keeping its sensitive propulsion systems and sensors under the hangar and protected from overhead eyes.

“The magic of the platform,” Warden said, “is what you don’t see.”

Thu, 01 Dec 2022 21:42:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/us-air-force-set-to-unveil-its-most-advanced-stealth-bomber-ever-the-b-21-raider/3981016/?amp
Killexams : Air Force’s Electronic Warfare Boss On Fighting Future Conflicts In The Most Contested Domain

Col. Josh Koslov, commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, and his team are laser-focused on dominating and winning in the electromagnetic spectrum

While anything but new, this invisible battlespace has taken on a whole new level of importance as the United States pivots to confronting peer-state threats. Having only been stood up a little over a year and a half ago, and with Col. Koslov having taken on the wing commander role even more recently than that, not much is known about the 350th and its critical and fascinating mission. Now we hope to change that. 

Members from the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing at this year's Air Force Association Air, Space, and Cyber Conference in Washington, D.C. Col. Koslov can be seen front and center. Credit: 350th SWW

In June of 2021, the Air Combat Command activated the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, cementing it as the first of its kind. The wing is centered around leveraging the engineering know-how of its personnel to better develop the technologies and capabilities needed to Improve the Combat Air Force’s presence on and exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). 

While aerial electronic warfare is a central focus, it recognizes that the EMS spans all domains and is a key component of the U.S. military’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) initiative as well as its broader interoperability efforts. The wing provides EMS capabilities for 69 United States and foreign partner electronic warfare systems on top of being responsible for electronic warfare reprogramming and overall development.

In July of this year, Col. Koslov took command of the 350th and since then, the wing has reached a number of milestones, including the activation of a digital networking service dubbed Wavelength and the conceptualization of the Reclamation of Electronic Attack Pods (REAP) program. In fact, reprogramming the electronic warfare pods and systems on various Air Force aircraft is a key part of what they do, and it’s a very serious business as the protection those systems provide can mean life or death for an airframe and its aircrew — if it has one — during a combat mission.

Airman 1st class Phaelan Lewis-Volenec, 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron technician, de-panels an AN/ALQ-184 Electronic Attack Pod for the REAP program at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 14, 2022. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ericka A. Woolever

However, there is far more to the 350th and the role it will play in future conflicts where the EMS will be heavily contested and exploited by everyone involved. Compared to missiles, aircraft, or traditional intelligence, the somewhat intangible nature of combat within the EMS makes it challenging to easily convey and truly appreciate how important fighting to win in it has become. 

With that in mind, we talked in-depth with Col. Koslov about the still new Spectrum Warfare Wing he commands, and where the invisible fight that turns electrons into weapons is headed. 

TWZ: Could you explain the evolution of the 350th and how it got to where it is now over the last year and a half or so?

JK: I think right now in the electromagnetic spectrum operation space it’s a really good time for optimism. In terms of history that impacts the 350th, the Air Force did the Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT), which was focused on electronic warfare on the spectrum. And then the Defense Department came out with the electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) strategy, and so from those documents and those studies, there was an understanding that there was a lack of organizational structure to focus on spectrum operations.

The really cool part is that the Air Force split up an electromagnetic security operations directorate on the headquarters Air Force side, and then they built this wing. This wing was built out of what was the 53rd Electronic Warfare Group under the 53rd Wing at the Cyber Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, and it was a test organization. 

We set up the wings based on the bones of the Air Force's reprogramming mission. And so the 350th stood up a little over a year and a half ago as an official wing, and we're still in the process of growing. As of right now, we're going to have three groups focused on different aspects of spectrum operations

Another part of the optimism is that now there's an organization that is period-dot-focused on EMS capabilities, development to support Air Component Commanders, and their need to win the fight that they're in. 

Members of the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing while attending the Air Force Association Air, Space, & Cyber Conference in Washington D.C. Credit: 350th SWW

One of the problems in the spectrum environment is that we focus on widgets, and what we're really trying to do here is focus on the warfighter and the gaps and seams in how we approach combat in support of Air Component Commanders' objectives. 

We are a functional wing, an Air Combat Command functional wing, assigned to the Warfare Center, the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, but we really feel that we support Air Component Commanders who are supporting Joint Force commanders in our geographic combatant commands, i.e. supporting PACAF, we support USAFE, we support AFSEC, and we support AFSA. To do that, we have three operations groups:

The first operations group is the 350th Spectrum Warfare Group, and this is a really awesome organization. They're kind of your core, coming out of that 53rd Electronic Warfare Group that I discussed earlier, and they do right now what we traditionally call mission data or reprogramming. They do that for over 70 systems for over 40 countries and are really hardcore engineering outfits.

Col. Robert Cocke stands at attention for the national anthem during the 350th Spectrum Warfare Group assumption of command ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. March 18, 2022. Credit: Air Force photo by Jaime Bishopp

Their purpose is to make sure that our platforms and our systems are survivable and have the most up-to-date information for the battle spaces that we face in the future. That's their job. We're looking to modernize that capability. 

In the past, that has been a very stovepiped capability focused on individual platforms, and that business model is not going to work in the near-peer fights that we're going to have in the future. So we're looking to develop capabilities within that organization to be able to move quickly and more agilely reprogram the various systems that are out there in the world and to provide combat capability for their Air Component Commanders. 

The second operations group is the 850th Spectrum Warfare Group, and their job is going to grow to target development. And basically, they are our identifiers of the gaps and seams and support our ability to do things in a virtual environment, and potentially, one day, waveform development using software development capabilities. They are a really cool organization and they are brand new, and they're really the future promise of what spectrum warfare can bring to an organization. 

Members from the 850th Spectrum Warfare Group pose for a group photo after receiving awards presented to them by the Association of Old Crows (AOC) at the 59th Annual AOC International Symposium & Conference, Washington D.C., Oct. 26, 2022. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Benjamin Aronson

And then finally, the next piece is the 950th Spectrum Warfare Group. That's going to be a new operations group. We're just starting work on that. It's going to be located at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. We're growing that mission to be our assessment capability for the Air Force's EMS operations. Right now, we assess individually based on platforms, based on very specific systems on platforms, but we want to grow this operations group to provide a much better view of how the Air Force would perform in the spectrum in an operational environment, and that’s the 950th. 

What our wing does, the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing, our job is to provide monitoring, programming, its to provide target development, and its to provide the assessment to Air Component Commanders.

Patches belonging to the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing as well as the groups it oversees. Credit: 350th SWW

TWZ: The 350th’s activation was described as an Air Force effort to build back electronic warfare and EMS capabilities after years of letting them atrophy. Could you speak to why these capabilities atrophied in the first place, especially considering how modern warfare has evolved to increasingly occur in the spectrum and will only continue to do so?

JK: That is a delicate one that I had to think about. Really, the answer is that our eyeballs are focused not on the near-peer, quite frankly. If you look at what EMS assets did in the counterinsurgency wars that we fought over the past 25 years, they did phenomenal work, but we took our eyeballs off the high end. 

And then we lost because of organizational stovepipes, we lost the ability to look across all of our platforms, and to use the information to inform not only the development but the application of electronic warfare capabilities across the airforce writ large and with our joint coalition partners as well. 

I’m talking specifically about the Air Force, but one thing I always like to stress is that the spectrum is inherently joint and it's also inherently coalition. We kind of always have to have that mindset as we develop the capability for it.

Staff Sgt. Harvey Large, 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron legacy lab section chief, poses for a photo in one of the wing's workshops used to develop new and improved EMS capabilities. Credit: U.S. photo by Staff Sgt. Ericka A. Woolever

TWZ: What would you say is the biggest obstacle EMS capability development needs to overcome right now?

JK: There are a lot of people that are working on this. In the headquarters Air Force, they are working on a sprint methodology to get after some specific things, but what I'd offer you is that the spectrum touches each of the Secretary's operational imperatives prioritizing the things that are really important. For us, that is: What are the targets that the spectrum has to account for in order to make sure that our kill chains are effective and meet the commander's intent? 

How do we develop our people to not only put them in places where they can advocate for the resources and requirements but to be able to integrate these capabilities into the warfighting commands? Which is also very important. 

The next thing is that we have to get to a place where we can use all of the data available to us across classification levels in a much easier fashion. So, breaking down some of the policies and interoperability barriers that exist.

U.S Air Force Staff Sgt. Preston B. Leeling, 87th Electronic Warfare Combat Shield technician performs a software verification on a USM-642 Raven Test set at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, August 29, 2022. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ericka A. Woolever

TWZ: An Air Force officer once said to me that ultimately what electronic warfare (EW) capabilities buy you is time and sometimes that's all you need. Would you agree with that statement? Or would you say there is a disconnect among the Defense Department regarding EMS capabilities because they aren't as ‘sexy’ or as tangible as missiles and smart bombs?

JK: I 100% agree with that being something that EW could do, but I think it's far to the right of what we can do. What the promise of the Spectrum Warfare Wing is and what talking to you is, frankly, and the EMSO sprint that I talked about is, is that a development of a professional workforce and the development of EMSO professionals that understand that the EW spectrum can be used to achieve the commander's intent. 

If we focus on the end game, we're going to lose. But if we can use the spectrum to focus far left of the kill chain and break the kill chain before we get to having to buy ourselves time, that's where we need to be and that's how we're going to win. That's the capability that we have to develop.

That could be developing an information advantage or decision advantage by preventing adversary decision-makers from receiving information. But that could also be breaking holes in integrated air defense systems (IADs) that allow our strike package or weapons to get to their targets.

TWZ: A strong presence on the EMS is projected to be a predominant facet of a potential conflict with China especially, and some are not confident that we're ready in that respect, considering China's own advancements. Would you agree and if so, what would you say we need to be considered ready? And if not, why do you think some people feel that way?

JK: There's a lot there and the way I’d answer that is I have focused our organization 100% on our pacing challenge, which is China. And we have to continue to get better. The spectrum is going to be the most contested domain, and we have to have the opportunity and the ability and the capability to fight through challenges in the spectrum and to be able to have spectrum security or spectrum dominance when we need it to be successful.

TWZ: How will various platforms carrying disparate electronic warfare payloads across multiple domains collaborate to realize broad EMS effects like never before?

JK: That's all tied into the Secretary of the Air Force's operational imperatives, but obviously JADC2 is a very important piece of this. There are also things that are being worked on called electromagnetic battle management. The ability to command and control how we're sensing and then attacking through the spectrum is going to be critical to this effort, and developing the capability, the people that understand that, the technologies that support the people to make that happen, and developing the technologies that allow that to happen without the human factor are also super important.

The Joint Staff’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control Campaign Plan Experiment 2 in 2020 allowed Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine nodes to share near-real-time information to enable sensor-to-shooter linkages and display it on a common operational picture. Credit: U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command)

TWZ: What would you say is being done to make, let's just call it cross-domain cooperative EW, a reality, and what would you say are the hurdles?

JK: This is new, right? This is an idea. It's a spectrum. The good and the bad of the spectrum is that it touches everything. The spectrum can achieve commanders’ objectives, it can integrate with capabilities like cyber or strike packages, or, in our traditional mindset, SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) platforms, to enable other types of assets to achieve commanders' objectives. 

We are just at the beginning periods of technologically using a lot of these things, but it's doable, and we just have to have the right people developing the tactics, techniques, and procedures to make that happen. Then we have to be able to integrate that into Joint Force commanders' planning to make sure that those requirements are made known and then executed.

Members from the 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron work on an A4 module at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on August 29, 2022. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ericka A. Woolever

TWZ: Can you explain cognitive EW and how you see it being applied on the battlefield? Is there a timeline for realizing such a capability, and what platforms and architectures could you see potentially leveraging it?

JK: Cognitive EW is definitely something that is a real thing. The Air Force has been doing it for a while. It's not new, it's just becoming more broadly well-known. I think that when you talk about a fight with a peer threat, specifically China, where we have to get to as a force, is to be able to do our mission at the edge in real-time. The way we're going to be able to do that is with tools that are capable of interpreting information quickly, and then being able to provide that information to the warfighter or the warfighter’s systems quickly.

To get there, we're going to have to invest in technology that provides a greater degree of autonomy, and we're going to have to accept and understand the risks and be able to test and validate those systems in a realistic, feasible way. That allows us to trust it. 

TWZ: Is ‘cognitive EW’ a phrase that you feel accurately represents the technology it's describing?

JK: There is a potential for a buzzword aspect to that phrase. I don't want to have lexicon battles, but what I do need is a mindset that I can develop technology that says it looks like a duck, it smells like a duck, it's in bad-guy land, so I'm going to use this effect against it in order to be as quick as possible because all future fights are about speed. That's what I have to be able to do. If we're going to call that cognitive, that's fine. If we're going to call that algorithmic, that's fine. But at the end of the day, what I need to do is be rapid. 

The Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force tested the Angry Kitten Electronic Countermeasures Training pod on board an F-16 Fighting Falcon to characterize interoperability of the Angry Kitten with other F-16 systems like the Fire Control Radar. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. John McRell

TWZ: Stand-in jamming via drones is becoming a key tenant of the future of aerial warfare and surviving in a contested environment. How do you see this playing out in a future fight? Will air-launched EW-enabled drones providing stand-in jamming for manned or more advanced unmanned platforms be essential to winning in future combat environments?

JK: Where the jamming comes from I am agnostic, but if you're going to be successful in the whole kill chain from the far left all the way to the right, as I discussed earlier, you're going to have to have a mixture of stand-in and stand-off capabilities that provide the warfighter the ends that they need.

TWZ: As enemy-IADS networks improve, stealth technology will have to keep up, but historically, platforms that leverage it have also relied on EW for their survival. Do you see onboard and off-board EW capabilities being just as important for stealthy aircraft of the future as their radar and infrared evading features?

JK: 100% and that's the purpose of the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing. We do that today, we're good at it, and we're going to keep being good at it.

Airmen from the 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron calibrate automatic support equipment at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, August 29, 2022. The 36th EWS provides missionized software for jamming and detection systems to ensure aircraft survivability. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ericka A. Woolever

TWZ: How will EW be implemented downrange in contested airspace? What about more advanced penetrating EW capabilities? Or how does, for example, the EC-37 a stand-off system based on a private jet fit into all of this?

JK: In the spectrum, there's not one answer. You need the capability to have that far-left capability and that stand-in capability, and you base it on what you need to achieve that day in support of the commander's objectives in the fight. It’s definitely based on science, but there's also an art of what systems are you taking down and what menu of capabilities are you bringing to achieve that objective and to affect that kill chain.

If we're in a war with China and our objective is to break through maritime-based IADS, we have to have the best mix of capabilities across platforms that allow our weapons to hit the target. If we can disable maritime IADS from the spectrum, that allows us to put kinetic weapons in different places. It's about the integration of warfighting capabilities. 

An EC-37B Compass Call parks after its arrival at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Aug. 17, 2022. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber

TWZ: What are some of the capabilities you're seeing competitors develop that are especially troubling and why?

JK: Well, I think that we suffer from being the best, and so people model themselves off of us. People are afraid of the U.S. Air Force and the capabilities that we bring, so they have designed their capabilities specifically to counter us. We just have to be able to play the spectrum. Spectrum operations have always been about the cat-and-mouse game. 

It's my duty to develop an agile organization that can always be in front of the mouse. I'm not going to speak to any specific technology, but what keeps me up at night is China and the ability to make sure that if we have to fight them that I can have spectrum security and spectrum dominance and support the commanders’ objectives.

TWZ: How will EW and cyber warfare complement each other in future conflicts?

JK: Massively. And I would add space to this as well. They're very complementary capabilities, and we have to develop the capability to be able to plan and integrate and synchronize those capabilities in support of the commanders' objectives. They will not operate independently and need to be able to work together.

Tech. Sgt. Carl Williams, 747th Cyberspace Squadron standards and evaluations craftsman, observes radio frequencies recorded by a stand-alone hub activity reconnaissance kit in a C-17 Globemaster III around the Hawaiian Islands, Nov. 3, 2021. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alan Ricker

TWZ: Space is becoming hotly contested. So, how would you say we can ensure critical capabilities are not degraded via EW threats in space?

JK: We've got to work on it. It’s a hard domain to operate in, and it's a contested domain. So, we have to have that awareness and we have to develop systems that are capable of operating in that domain. And we have to develop people that are capable of operating in that domain. 

I think the U.S. Space Force is a great first start, but for people like me, with the spectrum, again, being inherently joint and coalition, I have to remain very closely tied to what they're doing so that we can create the effects required to meet community's objectives.

TWZ: Networking is the cornerstone of so much of the Air Force's and other services' future fight. As we enter into the JADC2 age, if you will, how can we keep enemies from disrupting these critical data exchange channels? Will things like laser data links or new hard-to-intercept waveforms keep us ahead of the curve?

JK: I think more importantly, and more basically, we have to build interoperability and security into the systems as they're developed. In the past, we've kind of added protection capabilities after the fact, and we have to build those systems to be completely interoperable with security in mind from the beginning. Interoperable means building enough common sets of standards that are understood and protected and well-codified as we go forward.

TWZ: How can the Air Force more quickly and effectively exploit the enemy's own EMS signature both in the air, at sea, and on the ground? 

JK: I think we're starting to do it. We have made it a priority. We understand what the spectrum is to our future warfighting operating concepts, and we're building the series of capabilities required to do just that. And we have to stay the course and make sure that we continue to measure and grow and build the capabilities we need against our facing challenges.

U.S. Air Force Col Josh Koslov, 350th Spectrum Warfare commander, briefs about the wing’s mission during a panel discussion at the Association of Old Crows (AOC) at the 59th Annual AOC International Symposium & Conference, Washington D.C., Oct. 26, 2022. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Benjamin Aronson

TWZ: Anything else you would like to add to really communicate the 350th’s mission?

JK: I really want the Crows of the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing to be thought of as the Air Force's place to go to ask the hard questions about what red’s capabilities are in order to meet what the Air Component commanders need to be successful. 

I really want to build us to be the Air Force's electronic warfare center of excellence.

Tue, 08 Nov 2022 06:43:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/air-forces-electronic-warfare-boss-on-fighting-future-conflicts-in-the-most-contested-domain
Killexams : Preparing for quantum cryptography, U.S. Air Force partners up with SandboxAQ

Check out all the on-demand sessions from the Intelligent Security Summit here.


The clock is ticking for public key encryption. With researchers anticipating that quantum computers will be able to decrypt public key algorithms as soon as 2030, organizations are under increasing pressure to find quantum-resistant algorithms to protect their data from threat actors. 

>>Don’t miss our new special issue: Zero trust: The new security paradigm.<<

One such organization is the United States Department of Air Force, who today, entered into a partnership with AI and quantum security provider SandboxAQ, awarding the vendor a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. 

As part of the contract, the provider will conduct post-quantum cryptographic inventory analysis and performance benchmarking. 

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More broadly, the Air Force’s partnership with SandboxAQ highlights that the threat of post-quantum computing isn’t merely an abstract, theoretical threat, but a plausible risk that enterprises need to prepare to address now. 

The mandate for quantum cryptography 

This new partnership marks SandboxAQ’s first military contract since being spun off from Alphabet In March earlier this year, and is part of the Air Force’s attempt to prepare for The Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, which requires US federal agencies to upgrade to post-quantum encryption. 

The announcement comes amid a wave after NIST chose four post-quantum encryption algorithms that will become part of its post-quantum cryptographic standard, and after Google Cloud announced it has deployed a post-quantum cryptographic algorithm to help secure its internal ALTS protocol. 

While the momentum of post-quantum cryptography may appear speculative on first glance, the risks posed by quantum computing can be seen now. For instance, Harvest now decrypt later or store-now-decrypt-later attacks mean that nation-state actors and cybercriminals can collect and store encrypted data today, to decrypt at a later date. 

“U.S adversaries are gathering encrypted data with the intent to exploit it once they deploy quantum computers – these are known as ‘store-now-decrypt-later’ attacks,” said President of Public Sector at SandboxAQ, Jen Sovada. 

If successful, these attacks would enable threat actors to decrypt protected information at will. 

“Quantum computers in the hands of adversarial nation states could devastate U.S national security if post-quantum cryptography, or PQC, is not urgently implemented. PQC deployment across national security systems is expected to take years and SandBoxAQ is proud to support the Air Force in this critical first step,” Sovada said. 

The quantum cryptography market 

SandboxAQ falls within the quantum cryptography market, which researchers estimate will grow from a value of $102.34 million in 2021 to reach $476.83 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 18.67% as more enterprises look to prepare for Y2Q. 

As the market grows, other post-quantum providers like PQShield are also attracting significant interest, raising $20 million in Series A funding earlier this year, offering enterprises cryptography on chip and in the cloud. This includes IoT firmware, public key infrastructure, server technologies and end-user applications. 

It’s worth noting that PQShield researchers also contributed to the development of each of the first international PQC NIST standards. 

Another promising provider in the space is Post Quantum, which provides a quantum-safe end-to-end encrypted messaging app, post-quantum VPN, and quantum-ready multi-factor biometric identity system for passwordless sign in. According to Crunchbase, Post-Quantum has raised $11.2 million in funding to date. 

SandboxAQ’s partnership with the US Air Force, and its plans to forge further relationships across the public sector will help to situate it as one of the most “battle-tested” post-quantum cryptography providers in the market. 

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

Fri, 18 Nov 2022 22:41:00 -0600 Tim Keary en-US text/html https://venturebeat.com/security/us-air-force-post-quantum-cryptography/
Killexams : F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Amit Agronov/IAF F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Joint exercises are a fairly regular component of the close relationship between the U.S. Air Force and Israeli Air Force (IAF), although it’s much rarer to see the aircraft involved in these drills carrying full loads of live armament. That was the case during the photo sorties that accompanied a bilateral U.S.-Israeli exercise over the Eastern Mediterranean earlier this week, focusing on fighter integration and refueling operations, according to the U.S. Air Force.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Amit Agronov/IAF Amit Agronov/IAF

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Aircraft involved in the exercise included U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and F-16 Vipers, as well as KC-10 Extender and KC-135 Stratotanker refueling jets. On the IAF side, participants included F-35I Adir stealth jets from 116 “Lions of the South” Squadron and F-16C Barak fighters from 101 “First Fighter” Squadron.

The exercise itself took place on November 29 and 30.

What’s especially interesting about the accompanying photos, however, is that the four F-15Es are fully armed. While we have seen IAF fighters carrying live armament while escorting U.S. Air Force bombers in the recent past, it’s uncommon for U.S. fighters to be seen carrying live munitions during maneuvers with the IAF.

The Strike Eagles in question are from the 389th Fighter Squadron, the “Thunderbolts,” part of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The jets are seen carrying Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs): both 500-pound GBU-38/B and 2,000-pound GBU-31/B versions, as well as GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) on BRU-61/A quadruple racks.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Amit Agronov/IAF

The JDAM is a precision guidance kit that can be added to a wide variety of different dumb bomb types and which consists of a tail assembly with an inertial navigation unit, GPS receiver, and moving fins to direct it to the target. Another set of strakes around the body of the bomb makes it more stable as it glides toward the ground.

Later versions of the JDAM can also add a laser guidance package to deal with moving targets. It appears that some of the 500-pound weapons loaded on the jets are indeed GBU-54/B Laser JDAM versions.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

At least one of the 2,000-pound GBU-31/Bs appears to be mated with a bunker-busting BLU-109/B warhead, or similar. The standard BLU-109/B has approximately 530 pounds of explosives packed inside and can break through four to six feet of reinforced concrete.

Amit Agronov/IAF

The SDB was designed from the outset as a low-collateral-damage weapon and also one small enough that multiple examples can be carried, boosting the ‘magazine depth’ of fighter aircraft. SDB provides a standoff ‘fire and forget’ precision attack capability, again using inertial and GPS guidance. Depending on launch height and speed, the SDB can hit fixed targets as far as 60 miles away.

Defensive armament for the F-15Es consists of both radar-guided AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) and heat-seeking AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Amit Agronov/IAF Amit Agronov/IAF

With such an overt display of firepower (we don’t know what, if any weapons the four F-35Is were carrying in their internal stores bays), it’s perhaps not surprising that the IAF has been unusually explicit about the kinds of threats that the two air forces were training to fight against.

On its Twitter account, the IAF said that the exercises “simulated various scenarios in the face of emerging threats in the region.” It added that “These exercises are a central part of the strategic cooperation, which is increasing between the two armed forces in the face of the common challenges in the Middle East, led by Iran.”

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Oddly, the official statement from the IAF said that F-16I Sufa jets, optimized for long-range strikes, were also involved in the maneuvers, although the provided photos show only the F-16C Barak variant. The U.S. Air Force statement also suggests its own F-16s took part, together with KC-10s, although these are also absent from available imagery. At the same time, the U.S. Air Force press release does not mention the KC-135, which certainly did participate.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

The availability of tanker support was clearly crucial to the objectives of the exercise, namely practicing scenarios for long-range operations. Exactly these kinds of missions would be required for any potential IAF strike against Iran.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak) © Provided by The Drive (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak)

Two IAF F-16C Barak jets in formation behind a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, as part of the bilateral exercise in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, November 30, 2022. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak Amit Agronov/IAF

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

The IAF continued: “As part of the maneuvers, the Intelligence Division carried out a large-scale exercise that simulated a campaign against Third Circle countries and tested the capabilities of gathering, researching, and ‘generating’ targets and making intelligence accessible to the operational forces.”

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

The so-called Third Circle is also an explicit reference to Iran, part of a wider military doctrine that refers to the three levels of direct threats facing Israel. The first circle comprises militant groups on Israel’s borders, such as Hamas, while the second circle is occupied by larger threats, including Syria and Hezbollah. Finally, the third circle contains hostile countries that do not share a border with Israel — most notably Iran.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Earlier this year, the Israel Defense Forces ran a much larger and more complex exercise, Chariots of Fire, which also focused on long-range missions against a more sophisticated enemy, such as Iran. Reportedly, scenarios included attacking high-value and heavily fortified targets, which would be representative of the Iranian leadership, command and control, and even ballistic missile facilities. As well as IAF long-range strike assets, supported by tankers, the exercise involved special forces and cyber components.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

Amit Agronov/IAF Amit Agronov/IAF

What was different about Chariots of Fire, however, is that — despite some Israeli media reports to the contrary — the U.S. Air Force did not provide refueling support for the simulated attack on Iran, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command told The War Zone. You can read more about that here.

With the IAF’s tanker fleet already stretched very thin and with its aging 707s awaiting replacement by KC-46 Pegasus aircraft, the ability of the U.S. Air Force to provide additional aerial refueling is of significant value. Whether this would translate to direct tanker support of an Israeli operation directed against Iran would depend entirely on the broader political situation, but even contributing tankers in a training capacity is of huge benefit.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

While the Israeli side was notably open about Iran being the potential foe in this latest exercise, the U.S. military offered much more carefully worded explanations of its involvement.

“This bilateral exercise demonstrates CENTCOM’s [U.S. Central Command] commitment to regional security,” said U.S. Army Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM. “CENTCOM routinely demonstrates the ability to rapidly insert combat airpower into operations and exercises with our partners, and our ability to do the same across all domains decisively is a powerful deterrent.”

Amit Agronov/IAF

“This exercise showcases our commitment to partnering with Israel to counter threats to regional security and stability,” added Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central (AFCENT). “The Israeli Air Force provides tremendous deterrent capability and capacity throughout the Middle East region, and we’ll continue to build opportunities to Improve our integrated defenses and ability to project combined airpower.”

An accompanying statement from the 9th Air Force referenced America’s “ironclad commitment to Israel’s security” and noted that AFCENT “will continue to work with its Israeli Air Force counterparts to continue strengthening our interoperability and enhance collective tactics, techniques, and procedures.”

Overall, exercises of this kind are only likely to increase in regularity, given the ever-closer military relationship between the United States and Israel. This was solidified earlier this year with the signing of a Joint Declaration on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership in Jerusalem. In advance of this, Israel was officially moved to within CENTCOM’s area of responsibility.

F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran © Provided by The Drive F-15Es Brandish Live Munitions During Drills With Israel Aimed At Iran

At the same time, there are clear indications that Israel wants the United States to be more involved in the planning for the kind of operations that could be directed against Iran and its proxies. During a visit to the United States last week, Aviv Kochavi, Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, said that the militaries of the two countries should accelerate joint plans for offensive actions against Iran, in particular, according to The Times of Israel.

Kochavi also said that joint activities with the U.S. military in the Middle East would be “significantly expanded” in the future.

U.S. Air Force F-15Es and Israeli Air Force F-35Is in formation as part of the bilateral exercise in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, November 29, 2022. U.S. Air Force courtesy photo

At the same time, military cooperation between Israel and several Arab nations in the region is also expanding. Frank McKenzie, the retired Marine general who commanded CENTCOM until April, told The War Zone that Israel and Arab countries were moving toward creating a system to share information about Iranian missile and air defense threats to the region.

As a backdrop to all this are President Joe Biden’s efforts to resuscitate a nuclear deal with Iran, something that Israel strongly opposes. For its part, Israel has sought recent assurances from the United States that it would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, by military means if necessary. Right now, however, nuclear talks with Tehran are stalled and the focus is very much on the ongoing civil unrest in Iran.

As Iranian protesters increasingly make clear their desire for change, it’s hard to predict what the regime in Tehran might do next. However, with support from the U.S. Air Force, the Israeli Air Force is set to continue to train for a range of potential contingencies involving Iran.

Contact the author: thomas@thedrive.com

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 05:11:13 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/f-15es-brandish-live-munitions-during-drills-with-israel-aimed-at-iran/ar-AA14QcX1
Killexams : B-21 Raider makes public debut; will become backbone of Air Force’s bomber fleet

PALMDALE, Calif. (AFNS) — In a tangible display of the nation’s resolve in meeting security threats, the U.S. Air Force, on Dec. 2, publicly unveiled the B-21 Raider, the first new, long-range strike bomber in a generation and an aircraft specifically designed to be the multifunctional backbone of the modernized bomber fleet.

While the B-21 isn’t expected to be operational and introduced into service for several more years, the formal unveiling ceremony hosted by Northrop Grumman Corporation at its production facilities in California is a significant milestone in the Air Force’s effort to modernize combat capabilities. The B-21 is designed to be a more capable and adaptable, state-of-the-art aircraft that will gradually replace aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers now in service.

According to design requirements, the B-21 is a long-range, highly survivable stealth bomber capable of delivering a mix of conventional and nuclear munitions. The aircraft will play a major role supporting national security objectives and assuring U.S. allies and partners across the globe.

Senior defense officials note that the National Defense Strategy and other analyses make clear the need for the B-21 and its capabilities.

“The B-21 Raider is the first strategic bomber in more than three decades,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said during the ceremony. “It is a testament to America’s enduring advantages in ingenuity and innovation. And it’s proof of the Department’s long-term commitment to building advanced capabilities that will fortify America’s ability to deter aggression, today and into the future.”

The B-21, Austin said, “is deterrence the American way. … This isn’t just another airplane. It’s not just another acquisition. … It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love. It’s a testament to our strategy of deterrence—with the capabilities to back it up, every time and everywhere.”

The world and its threats have changed dramatically since the last new bomber was introduced in 1988, as has the way the Air Force, other U.S. military services and allies work together as a joint, multi-domain force. Senior defense officials say that new thinking and innovation are needed to meet the new and emerging threats.

“That innovative spirit is sitting behind us right now,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., told reporters shortly before the plane was unveiled.

“You think about what we’re able to do in the amount of time with the workforce here from Northrop Grumman, the collaboration with the United States Air Force to bring in a capability using a digital approach which is new and different from anything we’ve done any major program, that’s part of the Raider spirit,” he said.

The B-21 is the first new bomber to be introduced since the end of the Cold War. Air Force officials envision an ultimate fleet of at least 100 aircraft with an average procurement unit cost requirement of $692 million (base year 2022 dollars).

“When I think about accelerate change, this is exactly what it means to be able to bring this kind of capability very quickly and be able to adapt it vis-à-vis the threat,” Brown said in his meeting with reporters. “And so today, I’m really excited that we bring the B-21 Raider into the future. It’ll be the backbone of our bomber fleet.”

The aircraft is designed with updated stealth qualities and mission flexibility that senior leaders in the Air Force and across the Department of Defense say are necessary to achieve the U.S. goal of achieving integrated deterrence, and if necessary, capabilities required to successfully respond to aggression anywhere in the world at any time.

The specific B-21 unveiled Dec. 2 is one of six under production. Each is considered a test aircraft, but each is being built on the same production line, using the same tools, processes, and technicians who will build production aircraft. This approach has enabled production engineers and technicians to capture lessons learned and apply them directly to follow-on aircraft, driving home a focus on repeatability, producibility and quality.

The timing for first flight will be data and event, not date driven.

While the precise date when the B-21 will enter service is unknown, basing decisions have been made. Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota will become the first Main Operating Base and formal training unit for the B-21. Whiteman AFB, Missouri, and Dyess AFB, Texas, are the preferred locations for the remaining home bases. Each will receive aircraft as they become available.

In addition to building a bomber with state-of-the-art technology and capabilities, Air Force officials emphasized the focus on containing costs while simultaneously allowing for maximum flexibility.

For example, the B-21 is designed with an open systems architecture that will enable rapid future capability integration to keep pace with the highly contested threat environment.

The B-21 design is based on firm requirements with existing and mature technology to control program costs. In fact, the plane’s prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, has been directed to use production processes, production tooling, and a production workforce that ensures sustained and seamless production while avoiding unnecessary costs.

“Leveraging innovative manufacturing techniques, open systems architectures and active management allows us to integrate new technology as it matures and ensures the B-21 can adapt to future threats and be successful when and where we need it,” Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Andrew P. Hunter, said.

Wed, 07 Dec 2022 16:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.militarynews.com/norfolk-navy-flagship/news/quarterdeck/b-21-raider-makes-public-debut-will-become-backbone-of-air-force-s-bomber-fleet/article_d92450a0-7656-11ed-9e61-abd67d84a184.html
Killexams : US Air Force chief of staff discusses national security threats: 'We've got to change'

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr. is warning that the military must change if it wants to stay ahead of China and Russia, stating the "threat we were up against is not the threat we'll see in the future."

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA), Brown said "our adversaries have continued to advance their capabilities at the same time we’ve been using some of the same capabilities we’ve been using for the past 30 years."

Because of that, Brown said "we've got to change."

One change coming to the Air Force will be unveiled on Dec. 2 when the branch reveals its new B-21 stealth bomber, which will replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers that have been around since the 1980s.

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and South Korea's Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup pose for a photo in front of a B-1 bomber during a visit to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

Brown said he could not provide the availability rates for the new aircraft because of classification concerns, but he said modernizing ensures "we have a ready force."

"One thing I will say is that this is why I'm going to modernize, because we have some aircraft that are, from a maintenance standpoint, are a little harder, more difficult to maintain [with] diminishing resources for parts," Brown said.

Last month, the Biden administration released its national defense strategy, which listed Russia as an "acute threat" and China as a "pacing challenge" and the greatest threat to national security.

According to the document, China has more active duty military personnel than the U.S. and has spent decades advancing its weapons, even adding new aircraft carriers, new fighter jets and a massive missile arsenal within the past few years.

Despite China's advancement, Melanie Sisson, a defense analyst with the Brookings Institution, told VOA that the U.S. is still "very, very capable" and "the best military force in the world."

General view of the sea from Pingtan Island, one of mainland China's closest point from Taiwan, is pictured in Fujian province on August 4, 2022. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Though the U.S. has shifted its focus to China and Russia, Brown told VOA maintaining a strong relationship with allies in the region and leveraging growing U.S. capabilities, like space-based systems, will be key moving forward.

Last month, Brown visited partners in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia to discuss each country’s modernization efforts within their militaries, and this month he is scheduled to travel to Jordan, Qatar and the UAE for the same purpose.

China and Russia are looking to gain influence in the Western Hemisphere as non-NATO ally Argentina expresses interest in new fighter jets. Officials in the country are reportedly interested in China and Pakistan’s JF-17, the United States’ F-16s, India’s Tejas, and the Russian-made MiG-35.

U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds, Lockheed Martin F-16 fighting falcons perform at Pacific Airshow on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 in Huntington Beach, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

VOA said a retired senior military official learned Argentina wants American-made fighter jets, but an arms embargo issued by Great Britain in 1982 could block the deal since the British make a few components of the F-16.

The official is reportedly concerned that the embargo could push Argentina to turn to China for its defense needs.

PAC JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft, a fighter jet made in China and Pakistan. (Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Asked about this concern, Brown said the U.S. "was going to pay attention to it."

"My real focus is to ensure that we remain interoperable to the best of our abilities with our partners and have them understand that the United States and the United States Air Force is committed to working very closely with him," he said.

Fri, 11 Nov 2022 02:27:00 -0600 Fox News en text/html https://www.foxnews.com/us/us-air-force-chief-staff-discusses-national-security-threats-weve-got-change
Killexams : US Air Force debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider
United States New Bomber

WASHINGTON — America’s newest nuclear stealth bomber made its debut Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon’s answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China.

The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the program is classified.

As evening fell over the Air Force’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, the public got its first glimpse of the Raider in a tightly controlled ceremony. It started with a flyover of the three bombers still in service: the B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit. Then the hangar doors slowly opened and the B-21 was towed partially out of the building.

“This isn’t just another airplane,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “It’s the embodiment of America’s determination to defend the republic that we all love.”

The B-21 is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad, which includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts from the counterterrorism campaigns of recent decades to meet China’s rapid military modernization.

China is on track to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, and its gains in hypersonics, cyber warfare and space capabilities present “the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system,” the Pentagon said this week in its annual China report.

“We needed a new bomber for the 21st Century that would allow us to take on much more complicated threats, like the threats that we fear we would one day face from China, Russia, " said Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary when the Raider contract was announced in 2015.

While the Raider may resemble the B-2, once you get inside, the similarities stop, said Kathy Warden, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Corp., which is building the bomber.

“The way it operates internally is extremely advanced compared to the B-2, because the technology has evolved so much in terms of the computing capability that we can now embed in the software of the B-21,” Warden said.

Other changes include advanced materials used in coatings to make the bomber harder to detect, Austin said.

“Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft,” Austin said. “Even the most sophisticated air defense systems will struggle to detect a B-21 in the sky.”

Other advances likely include new ways to control electronic emissions, so the bomber could spoof adversary radars and disguise itself as another object, and use of new propulsion technologies, several defense analysts said.

“It is incredibly low observability,” Warden said. “You’ll hear it, but you really won’t see it.”

Six Raiders are in production. The Air Force plans to build 100 that can deploy either nuclear weapons or conventional bombs and can be used with or without a human crew. Both the Air Force and Northrop also point to the Raider’s relatively quick development: The bomber went from contract award to debut in seven years. Other new fighter and ship programs have taken decades.

The cost of the bombers is unknown. The Air Force previously put the price at an average cost of $550 million each in 2010 dollars — roughly $753 million today — but it’s unclear how much is actually being spent. The total will depend on how many bombers the Pentagon buys.

“We will soon fly this aircraft, test it, and then move it into production. And we will build the bomber force in numbers suited to the strategic environment ahead,” Austin said.

The undisclosed cost troubles government watchdogs.

“It might be a big challenge for us to do our normal analysis of a major program like this,” said Dan Grazier, a senior defense policy fellow at the Project on Government Oversight. “It’s easy to say that the B-21 is still on schedule before it actually flies. Because it’s only when one of these programs goes into the actual testing phase when real problems are discovered.” That, he said, is when schedules start to slip and costs rise.

The B-2 was also envisioned to be a fleet of more than 100 aircraft, but the Air Force built only 21, due to cost overruns and a changed security environment after the Soviet Union fell. Fewer than that are ready to fly on any given day due to the significant maintenance needs of the aging bomber.

The B-21 Raider, which takes its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be slightly smaller than the B-2 to increase its range, Warden said. It won’t make its first flight until 2023. However, Warden said Northrop Grumman has used advanced computing to test the bomber’s performance using a digital twin, a virtual replica of the one unveiled Friday.

Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota will house the bomber’s first training program and squadron, though the bombers are also expected to be stationed at bases in Texas and Missouri.

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican of South Dakota, led the state’s bid to host the bomber program. In a statement, he called it “the most advanced weapon system ever developed by our country to defend ourselves and our allies.”

Northrop Grumman has also incorporated maintenance lessons learned from the B-2, Warden said.

In October 2001, B-2 pilots set a record when they flew 44 hours straight to drop the first bombs in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. The B-2 often does long round-trip missions because there are few hangars globally that can accommodate its wingspan, which limits where it can land for maintenance. The hangars also must be air-conditioned because the Spirit’s windows don’t open and hot climates can cook cockpit electronics.

The new Raider will also get new hangars to accommodate its size and complexity, Warden said.

However, with the Raider’s extended range, ‘it won’t need to be based in-theater,” Austin said. “It won’t need logistical support to hold any target at risk.”

A final noticeable difference was in the debut itself. While both went public in Palmdale, the B-2 was rolled outdoors in 1988 amid much public fanfare. Given advances in surveillance satellites and cameras, the Raider was just partially exposed, keeping its sensitive propulsion systems and sensors under the hangar and protected from overhead eyes.

“The magic of the platform,” Warden said, “is what you don’t see.”

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 00:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/military/2022/12/02/us-air-force-debuts-its-new-stealth-bomber-the-b-21-raider/
Killexams : US To Provide Additional Missiles For Ukraine's Air Defense Systems
MOSCOW (dpa-AFX) - The United States will reinforce Ukraine's air defense systems by supplying more missiles as part of its latest tranche of security assistance to support the country's forces fight against Russian attacks.

The Department of Defense on Thursday announced the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance worth $400 million to meet Ukraine's critical security and defense needs. This is the Biden Administration's twenty-fifth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.

'Today, the United States will be announcing another package of security assistance for Ukraine, including important air defense contributions like missiles for HAWK air defense systems, as well as four U.S. Avenger air defense systems that come equipped with Stinger missiles,' National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a news conference.

Sullivan said that in Kyiv last week, he consulted with President Volodymyr Zelensky and his team on the ground about what Ukraine needs to be in the strongest position possible on the battlefield. 'This increased air defense will be critical for Ukraine as Russia continues to use cruise missiles and Iranian-made drones to attack critical civilian infrastructure,' he told reporters.

The U.S. military package also includes additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS); 21,000 155mm artillery rounds; 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds; 10,000 120mm mortar rounds; 100 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs); 400 grenade launchers; Small arms, optics, and more than 20,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition; and Demolition equipment for obstacle clearing.

According to Pentagon, additional air defense capabilities are crucial as Russia continues to carry out relentless air attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure. The HAWK missiles will complement Spain's recent commitment of HAWK launchers to help Ukraine meet this threat. The Avenger short-range air defense systems will also provide Ukraine with capability to protect Ukrainian troops and critical infrastructure against Unmanned Aerial Systems and helicopters.

The United States has committed more than $18.6 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's invasion on February 24.

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Thu, 10 Nov 2022 21:17:00 -0600 de text/html https://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2022-11/57561846-us-to-provide-additional-missiles-for-ukraine-s-air-defense-systems-020.htm
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