U.S. Air Force
Space advocates on Capitol Hill have pounded the Air Force for the slow pace of modernization. The four-star general in charge of Air Force Space Command says the message has been heard loud and clear.
Much is at stake for the space industry in how the Air Force proceeds with a “launch services agreement” that has been in the works for months. Bidders already have commented on an earlier draft request for proposals and are now awaiting the final RFP.
The military is confident that its own spacecraft are tightly encrypted and unlikely to be taken down by hackers. It worries, however, about the vulnerability of commercial satellites that host military payloads.
With both launch costs and payload size going down, it will be easier for the U.S. Air Force to deploy the right kinds of sensors and systems to fight future space wars that will depend more on information and networking, said Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff.
When Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson recently visited an air warfare command center in the Middle East, she was “struck” by how different things are now compared to just a few years ago.
Following a decision to pull eight Spire commercial cubesats from an Orbital ATK Minotaur 4 launch from Cape Canaveral Aug. 26 carrying a military payload, the U.S. Air Force says it and other government agencies are crafting clear procedures on how to handle such future rideshare agreements.
As the U.S. Air Force looks to hone its recently issued warfighting operational concepts for space, Lockheed Martin has developed a digital battle manager that promises to integrate the domain into overall planning to a much greater degree than before.
“I will continue to advocate for space for all the services, and in particular for the Air Force,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said Sept. 18 at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber conference here.
“We need to update our research priorities, but validation of research areas isn't enough,” Wilson said during her keynote speech at the annual Air Force Association Air Space Cyber Conference.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $45.5 million contract Sept. 12 to provide Military Code (M-Code) Early Use (MCEU) capability to the Global Positioning System (GPS) but questions remain about when the service will be able to deploy the capability.
With former U.S. Air Force officials demanding more time for the service to prove it is on track with space development, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) continued to argue Sept. 7 the time is now to create a Space Corps, or something akin to it.