Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

U.S. Air Force Leaders Seek 24% Increase In Force Size To Support Trump Defense Strategy (From Forbes) The Secretary of the Air Force on Monday revealed her service’s internal estimate of how much it must grow to successfully execute the Trump administration’s defense strategy.  The Air Force needs to add 74 operational squadrons to the 312 it [Read More...]
U.S. Growing Dependent On Russia For Satellite Propulsion Systems (From Forbes) There was a time when America was the dominant global provider of thrusters for maneuvering satellites in space.  That time is long gone.  Other nations have subsidized their industry to catch up, and Russia seems to have established a clear [Read More...]
SpaceX Abandons Plan To Make Astronaut Spacecraft Reusable; Boeing Sticks With Reuse Plan (From Forbes) Elon Musk’s SpaceX has backed away from plans to build a reusable spacecraft that can carry astronauts to the International Space Station and then return to Earth in a powered touch down on land.  Instead, its Crew Dragon space capsule [Read More...]
As U.S. Army Rethinks How Soldiers Will Communicate In Future Combat, Harsh Realities Loom (From Forbes) The U.S. Army faces big challenges in trying to sustain tactical communications links during future conflicts.  Army leaders would like connectivity similar to that of an iPhone, but can’t count on access to cellular towers or buried fiber in war [Read More...]
Why Belgium’s Pick Of Its Next Fighter Is Pivotal For Europe’s Future Security (From Forbes) Belgium is about to select a replacement for its aging F-16 fighters.  As chance would have it, the same companies that built the F-16 airframe and engine — Lockheed Martin and United Technologies/Pratt & Whitney — also build the F-35 [Read More...]
JDAM: How Boeing’s Low-Cost Smart Bomb Revolutionized Strike Warfare (From Forbes) This year marks the 20th anniversary of the day in 1998 when Boeing delivered the first production model of the GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition to the U.S. Air Force.  JDAM has transformed strike warfare by enabling pilots to hit [Read More...]
Ten Ways A Space Force Will Make America Weaker (From Forbes) The Trump administration has proposed that a Space Force “separate but equal” from the Air Force be established. This idea is widely opposed in the Pentagon and would likely waste billions of dollars while making the joint force weaker. Among [Read More...]
Lockheed Martin Appointment Signals F-35 Fighter Transition From Development To Production Maturity (From Forbes) Lockheed Martin disclosed today that its board has approved the promotion of Michele Evans, 53, to lead the company’s Aeronautics unit effective October 1.  Evans will thus oversee the transition from development to production maturity of the Pentagon’s biggest weapons [Read More...]
Faster: What U.S. Air Force Modernization Would Look Like Without Space (From Forbes) If President Trump succeeds in creating a Space Force “separate but equal” from the Air Force, the latter service will lose its satellites, its ballistic missiles and many of its networks.  It will be mainly about “things with wings.”  But [Read More...]
A “Space Force” Will Make The F-35 Fighter Indispensable To Air Force Relevance (From Forbes) The Pentagon’s new Space Force will be largely carved out of the Air Force, leaving the latter service much diminished.  The Air Force won’t just lose its satellites, it will probably lose its ICBMs, its most valued networks, and a [Read More...]
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