Air Force Technologies

February 2005
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
A U.S. Air Force F-16 drops flares as it patrols the skies over Iraq. New sensors, better datalinks and more bandwidth are turning individual aircraft into major nodes in an all-encompassing battlespace network. 

Every aircraft a communicator in future air warfare.

September 2002
By Robert K. Ackerman

Special forces operate early, effectively in operation Enduring Freedom.

Smaller proved to be better for U.S. Air Force special operations forces that were inserted into Afghanistan. The smaller aspect was in the reduced communications footprint that allowed small teams to quickly begin operations in remote hostile territory. The better element was the advanced communications and situational awareness capabilities that were established well before the entry of conventional forces.

September 2002
By Henry S. Kenyon

Reorganization launches technology support office.

A new U.S. Air Force organization will conduct base maintenance, logistics and communications systems operations as part of a broader restructuring of the service’s capabilities. It will work closely with the commands to provide essential services such as electronic records management and databases, information assurance for military operations and force structure, and organizational issues analysis.

September 2002
By Sharon Berry

U.S. Air Force leaders strategize to keep older aircraft viable with modest funding.

The U.S. Air Force’s toughest opponent in its mission to maintain air supremacy may be the march of time. Its aircraft are flying more hours and serving well past their original service lifetimes, and new network-centric operations are impelling technology upgrade across all wings.

During the Reagan administration, aerospace was one of the major focuses of the U.S. Defense Department. But by the end of the 1980s, information technology had taken center stage. The aerospace industry had to adjust to shrinking defense investments and to a changing, information-technology-focused economy.

July 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

July 2004
By Henry S. Kenyon

 
Network-centric capabilities will permit aircraft such as this F-15E to share data about threats and mission objectives and relay it to next-generation Internet-protocol-enabled weapons that can shift to new targets in mid-flight.  
Communications and data architecture to stretch from under the sea to out in space.

July 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

New technologies allow different platforms to cooperate, share data.

The U.S. Air Force is moving its communications and command and control systems to an on-demand, Internet-based model. This will consist of wired and wireless data pipes connecting ground installations, aircraft and satellites in a seamless architecture. However, while many parts of this structure are in place, the service still faces the challenge of establishing and managing what will become a massive system of systems.

July 2003
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Defense Department makes rapid access to space a top priority.

Within the next decade, the U.S. Air Force plans to field a rapidly deployable satellite launch capability to support joint and coalition operations around the world. By working with the national research and development community, the service aims to identify and nurture technologies that will enhance the nation’s military space efforts.

July 2003
By Robert K. Ackerman

Information technologies have improved weapon systems. Now they are changing the nature of warfighting.

The U.S. Air Force is undergoing a change in its operational capabilities as significant as when missile-armed jets replaced gun-bearing propeller aircraft. Information technologies, which long have enhanced weaponry and improved capabilities, now are taking their place alongside other key types of hardware as defining elements in Air Force operations.

November 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

A revolution quietly erupted in October. On the University of Chicago campus, more than 80 innovators came together to discuss their ideas about how to solve some of the military’s most vexing problems. Not blind to the chain-of-command bureaucracy in which they operate, these pragmatic dreamers passionately moved forward in spite of it, because the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF) conference provided a place for in-person networking and commiserating, brainstorming and bracing one another up.

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