Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

U-2 Versus Global Hawk: Why Drones Aren’t Always The Best Solution For Warfighters (From Forbes) The Air Force has been struggling of late to determine whether manned or unmanned aircraft are best-suited to generating useful high-altitude intelligence and recon.  The answer isn’t so obvious.  On the one hand, the service’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft can [Read More...]
Boeing Views Navy’s MQ-25 Carrier-Based Drone Contract As A Must Win (from Forbes) After two decades of experimenting with how unmanned aircraft might fit into a carrier air wing, the Navy has settled on a concept: it wants an aerial-refueling drone that can extend the reach of carrier-based fighters to 1000 nautical miles.   [Read More...]
Speech: Trump’s Nuclear Posture Affirms Obama Framework The following remarks were delivered by Lexington Institute’s Loren Thompson to a deterrence forum sponsored by the Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance in Washington on January 31.   The number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile today is at its [Read More...]
Trump Nuclear Plan Requires Big Fixes In Decaying Warhead Industrial Complex (From Forbes) The nuclear posture to be proposed by the Trump administration hews closely to principles embraced by the president’s predecessor.  However, building the kind of capabilities planned during the Obama era will require a major renewal of the energy department’s neglected [Read More...]
How UTC’s Pratt & Whitney Has Made Connecticut A Springboard To Global Dominance In Jet Engines (From Forbes) Connecticut is nobody’s idea of a great place to run an industrial enterprise, but United Technologies’ engine unit Pratt & Whitney is managing to leverage the state’s virtues without being dragged down by its high taxes and burdensome regulations.  One [Read More...]
Trump’s Nuclear Strategy Is Basically The Same As Obama’s (From Forbes) A draft version of the final report from the Trump administration’s nuclear posture review was published by the Huffington Post on January 11, and it reveals that U.S. strategic plans will change barely at all from what the president’s predecessor [Read More...]
War In Space: How The Air Force Is Preparing, And What Might Go Wrong (From Forbes) Faced with rising threats to satellites and space infrastructure, the U.S. Air Force is rethinking its whole approach to military space.  Doctrine is being rewritten, training curricula are being revised, and investment priorities are shifting to emphasize resilience.  Clearly, the [Read More...]
Doubts About SpaceX Reliability Persist As Astronaut Missions Approach (From Forbes) On January 7, a U.S. spy satellite launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket failed to reach orbit.  We may never know precisely why the billion-dollar spacecraft was lost, but it is a bad omen as Boeing and SpaceX prepare [Read More...]
Combat Vehicle Fire Extinguishers Pose Threat To Service Members (From RealClearDefense) During the Cold War, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps installed highly pressurized Automatic Fire Extinguisher Systems in their tanks and troop carriers to protect crews from flash fires caused by incoming rounds.  After 9-11, the same systems were installed [Read More...]
Electronic Warfare: The Part Of The F-35 Fighter Story You Haven’t Heard (From Forbes) The tri-service F-35 fighter program was designed from its inception to evade detection by radar and heat-seeking missiles.  Combined with speed, agility and onboard weapons, these “stealth” features make the F-35 a highly survivable aircraft even in heavily contested air [Read More...]
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