Author Archives: Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D

Using Commercial Satellites To Control Nuclear Weapons Is A Bad Idea — But It’s Being Discussed (From Forbes) Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at a June meeting that his service might consider using commercial satellites to assure connectivity with strategic nuclear forces. The basic idea is to have as many pathways for controlling the [Read More...]
Five Problems That Could Torpedo America’s Naval Shipbuilding Capability (From Forbes) The U.S. Navy’s shipbuilders are currently awash in business thanks to a sizable increase in the Pentagon budget under President Trump. However, defense buildups typically don’t last long, whereas some of the the naval shipbuilding sector’s problems have been chronic [Read More...]
Congress Should Fully Fund The Air Force’s Long-Overdue Competition For A Safer Ejection Seat (From Forbes) The Air Force determined in 2010 that its combat pilots needed better ejection seats for coping with on-board emergencies. Heavier headgear was increasing the neck and head stress associated with ejections, while an increasingly diverse population of cockpit occupants didn’t [Read More...]
Five Basic Facts About Boeing Missing From Coverage Of The 737 MAX Story (From Forbes) Loss of two 737 MAX jetliners has unleashed a media assault against Boeing, maker of the planes. Some of the issues raised in the reporting are important, but much of it is herd-instinct overkill.  The most important angle that is [Read More...]
Five Money-Pit Projects The U.S. Air Force Can Do Without (From Forbes) The U.S. Air Force is struggling to overcome two decades of depressed investment in new technology by simultaneously purchasing new bombers, new tankers, new fighters, and new trainers. It also needs to re-architect satellite constellations that are too vulnerable to [Read More...]
Five Principles That Will Power President Trump’s Reelection (From Forbes) The entire field of candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination seems to be trending leftward in the run-up to primary season. If history is any guide, that will enable President Trump to win a second term despite his manifest [Read More...]
Ten Capabilities That Make The U.S. Navy’s Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carriers Indispensable (From Forbes) As I explained in a Forbes piece last month, the U.S. Navy’s large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are very survivable against all known threats short of nuclear war. However, survivability only matters if the functionality and cost-effectiveness of carriers is unsurpassed [Read More...]
Five Sobering Lessons From Iran’s Downing Of America’s Most Capable Drone (From Forbes) Iran shot down a $100 million U.S. Global Hawk drone near the Strait of Hormuz last week, which should be a wake-up call for anyone who thinks we have entered the era of drone warfare. Our drones, even the most [Read More...]
Oshkosh Speeds Ahead With Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (From Forbes) The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle that Oshkosh Corporation is building for the Army, Marine Corps and special operations forces looks poised to transform the mobility and versatility of U.S. ground forces.  JLTV (as it is usually called) was conceived to [Read More...]
Trump Drives Down Price Of F-35 Fighter 25% From Obama Level (From Forbes) President-elect Trump did not wait until his inauguration before launching a campaign to drive down the price of the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program. On December 12, 2016 he tweeted that billions of dollars could be saved on the F-35 [Read More...]
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