News aircraft model, airplane model, desktop model, F-35, F-35 fighter jets, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, F-35B, f35, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, scale model, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon estimates that it will still cost about $1 trillion to operate a fleet of 2,443 F-35 fighter jets over the next 50 years, but is continuing to analyze how to drive that staggering sum down, a top U.S. Marine Corps official told Reuters.
Lieutenant General Terry Robling, deputy Marine Corps commandant for aviation, said top defense officials agreed last week to continue low-rate production of the new radar-evading warplane built by Lockheed Martin Corp, while keeping a close eye on the cost of maintaining and operating the new jets.
“Everybody was on board with … the program,” Robling told Reuters aboard a military aircraft on Saturday after a ceremony involving three F-35B jets at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. “We understand the costs are high. We understand that we need to do something, we need to make decisions down the road.”
Robling said the cost estimate would likely decline in coming years as more jets were built and flown, reducing the reliance on comparison data from other aircraft programs.
Unless the estimates do come down substantially, the Pentagon may have to decide to buy fewer airplanes, reduce the number of anticipated flight hours, or skip adding certain capabilities to the plane, Robling said, although he noted that decision point could still be five to 10 years off.
The estimated cost just to develop and buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is around $382 billion, but that number could increase somewhat when the Pentagon reports the cost of its major acquisition programs to Congress next month.
Defense officials say the cost of the program will increase somewhat since the Pentagon is postponing orders for 179 planes for five years to allow more testing and limit the number of costly retrofits to already produced planes.
The delays and budget pressures at home are prompting eight international partners who are helping fund the F-35 development — Britain, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Turkey, Canada and the Netherlands — to rethink their orders as well.
-more at wtvr.com
Navy, News airplane model P3C, North Arabian Sea, Orion airplane, Orion P3C, p-3c orion model plane, P3C, P3C aircraft, p3c orion, p3c orion model, Pakistan, Pakistan Navy, us navy
The Pakistan Navy Fleet has inducted the second batch of the P3C aircraft that it received from the United States. Under the Foreign Military Funding (FMF), the Pakistani Navy is a recipient of modified P3C aircraft. The induction was held at the Naval Aviation Base in Karachi.
The Pakistan navy is expected to receive six units of P3C aircraft that will arrive in batches of two. The first batch was inducted into navy fleet in 2010. The P3C aircraft is equipped with the latest avionic and sensor technology. It has an advanced surveillance capability which would be very advantageous in the Pakistan Navy’s mission of watching over the North Arabian Sea.
The North Arabian Sea is a vital trade and energy passage for global economy. It is also a site of intense military activity – both legal and illegal thus requiring intense vigilance.
The P3C aircraft can be used for weapons transportation and designed to have single integrated tactical picture of the battle space which it receives from several aircraft sensors and information from other platforms.
News AH-1W, AH-1W Cobra, AH-1W Cobra helicopter, aircraft model, airplane model, c-130, C-130 airplane, desktop model, F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, helicopter crash, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane crash, plane model, scale model, UH-1, uh-1 huey, UH-1Y, USS john c. stennis, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
San Diego, CA. – A collision that killed seven Marines in one of the Marine Corps’ deadliest aviation training accidents in years occurred over a sprawling desert range favored by the U.S. military because its craggy mountains and hot, dusty conditions are similar to Afghanistan’s harsh environment.
Officials were scrambling Thursday to determine what caused the AH-1W Cobra and UH-1 Huey to crash during a routine exercise Wednesday night when skies were clear and the weather was mild.
There were no survivors in the accident near the Chocolate Mountains along the California-Arizona border.
It was the fifth aviation mishap since March involving the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. Throughout the Navy and Marine Corp, there have only been two other aviation training accidents in the past five years involving seven or more deaths, according to the military’s Naval Safety Center.
“It’s an unfortunate consequence of the high tempo of operations,” said retired Marine Col. J.F. Joseph, an aviation safety consultant. “They’re out there working on the edge trying to exploit the maximum capabilities of the aircraft and their tactics. Just by the virtue of that, in becoming combat ready, these unfortunately are not uncommon occurrences.”
The Marine Corps and Navy, nonetheless, stand out in their efforts to mitigate that risk and make training as safe as possible, he said.
With 17,500 Marines and sailors, including personnel stationed at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing conducts hundreds of aviation training exercises a year so troops can get as much experience as possible before they go to war.
The number of Marines killed in the latest crash shook the military community. Chaplains and counselors were called in to talk to troops. Six of the Marines killed were from Pendleton — the West Coast’s largest base — and one was from the base in Yuma.
Their identities will not be released until their families have all been notified.
Two of the Marines were aboard an AH-1W Cobra and the rest were in a UH-1 Huey utility helicopter. They were flying in a remote section of the 1.2 million-acre Yuma Training Range Complex as part of a two-week standard training called “Scorpion Fire” that involved a squadron of about 450 troops from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The helicopters collided near dunes at the edge of the Yuma range about an hour before the range was to shut down for the evening. Ground troops were in the area, but they were not affected, said Gunnery Sgt. Dustin Dunk, a spokesman at the Yuma base, which is a 90-minute drive from the accident site.
Part of the exercise involved having helicopters low on fuel descend to ground troops that have set up a refueling outpost, Dunk said.
He did not know if that’s what the pilots were doing at the time of the crash.
“Our training is always evolving, safety is paramount, and being prepared is paramount,” he said. “It was a very standard exercise for what we do. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members … Our investigation will look to see what went wrong and how to correct it.”
The AH-1W carries a pilot and gunner and is considered the Marine Corps’ main attack helicopter. The UH-1Y, which is replacing the aging version of the Huey utility helicopter first used during the Vietnam War, carries one or two pilots, a crew chief and other crew members, depending on the mission.
Hueys often are used to pick up and drop off ground crews, while Cobras hover by ready to fire if the Huey comes under attack.
In other crashes in the past year, a twin-engine, two-seat AH-1W Cobra helicopter went down in September during training in a remote area of Camp Pendleton, killing two Marine pilots and igniting a brush fire that burned about 120 acres at the base north of San Diego.
In August, two Marines were ejected from their F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet as it plunged toward the Pacific Ocean. The two Marines spent four hours in the dark, chilly ocean before they were rescued. Both suffered broken bones but survived.
In July, a decorated Marine from western New York was killed during a training exercise when his UH-1Y helicopter went down in a remote section of Camp Pendleton.
Another Hornet sustained at least $1 million damage when its engine caught fire on March 30 aboard the USS John C. Stennis during an exercise about 100 miles off the San Diego coast. Eight sailors, a Marine and two civilians were injured.
In one of the worst accidents in the past five years, an AH1-W flying in formation with three other Marine helicopters on a nighttime training mission from Camp Pendleton to San Clemente Island collided with a Coast Guard C-130 airplane in October 2009, killing two aboard the Marine helicopters and seven aboard the C-130.
NASA, News aircraft model, airplane model, Atlas V, Delta II, desktop model, falcon 9, Ibuki, Ibuki satellite, Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-1, LEOStar-2, mahogany model, Minotaur rocket, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, NASA, OCO-2, Orbiting Carbon Observatory, Pegasus XL, plane model, scale model, SMAP satellite, Soil Moisture Active Passive, Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite, spacecraft, Taurus XL, Taurus XL solid-fuel rocket, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
Launch of the replacement Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) will be delayed at least into mid-2014 while NASA finds a new launch vehicle and fixes a problem in the spacecraft reaction wheel assemblies.
After two launch failures with Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Taurus XL solid-fuel rocket, NASA has decided to try to launch its replacement on another vehicle. Possibilities include the Pegasus XL, Falcon 9, Delta II and Atlas V, according to Jim Norman, director of launch services at NASA headquarters.
NASA pulled OCO-2 off the Taurus XL because company and government failure review boards were unable to pinpoint the precise cause for the back-to-back mishaps, Norman says. “We don’t have a root cause, so we just felt it was too high-risk to continue,” he says.
The agency and Orbital Sciences signed a bilateral contract modification Feb. 2 that terminates Orbital’s task order to launch OCO-2 under its NASA Launch Services II (NLS-II) contract. The action does not end Orbital’s NLS-II contract, which gives NASA different launch options under a “catalogue” approach.
The U.S. space agency has released a new request for launch service proposals that includes the OCO-2 mission, along with the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1). Once one is awarded, NASA anticipates the normal 27-month turnaround time before launch of OCO-2, which was originally scheduled to fly in February 2013. That slipped to July 2014 because of the reaction wheel issues, NASA says.
“There will be an impact to the original OCO-2 launch-readiness date of February 2013,” the agency says. “However, we do not yet know how severe the impact will be.”
The initial OCO spacecraft, which was designed to produce global maps of carbon dioxide sources and sinks for climate-change studies, was lost on Feb. 24, 2009. The Taurus XL fairing protecting it during the early phases of ascent failed to separate as planned, and pulled the spacecraft into the South Pacific.
After that mishap, Orbital Sciences engineers modified the fairing-separation mechanism on the Taurus XL from a system using hot gas generated by pyrotechnics to a cold-gas system driven by bottled nitrogen, and made other risk-mitigation changes. But the new design also failed to separate the fairing on the Taurus XL that launched NASA’s $424 million Glory mission on March 4, 2011, sending it to a Pacific splashdown as well.
An Orbital spokesman said that while the cold-gas separation mechanism has worked on subsequent launches of the company’s Minotaur rocket, he was not prepared to comment on whether the company will rebid the OCO-2 launch. Orbital Sciences also provides the spacecraft bus for the OCO-2 mission, based on its LEOStar-2 design.
Under the NLS contracts, NASA will be refunded about 25% of the cost of the OCO-1 launch. By terminating the OCO-2 mission order a month after the Glory failure, the government will be paid back half of what it had spent for that work, according to Norman.
While specific contract figures are proprietary, NLS launches in the Taurus XL class under the catalogue in effect when OCO-1 was lost fell into the $30-75 million range. Since then the contract range has been raised to $22-114 million, NASA says.
Earth scientists still have a source of global carbon data in Japan’s Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite “Ibuki,” which was launched in 2009. But the Japanese orbiter returns “more than a factor of 100 fewer observations” during an orbit, and with limited coverage over the oceans, according to NASA. Delays in receiving ocean data from OCO-2 will hamper research, since oceans are an important sink for carbon dioxide.
Air Force, News Edwards Air Base, F-35, F-35 JFS, F-35 model plane, F-35A, jet fighter, jet fighter model planes, JFS F-35A, Lockheed Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, Lockheed Martin model planes, US Air Force, US jet fighter
An F-35A Conventional Take-off and Landing aircraft conducted the first F-35 external weapons test mission last week at the Edwards Air Base in California. The mission further push the program’s flight test envelope.
For this mission, the F-35A carried an air-to-air AIM-9X missiles on the outboard wing stations. It also flew with two internal 2,000 pounds guided bombs (GBU-31) and two advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AIM-120) located in the two internal weapon bays of fighter jet. Four external pylons that can carry 2,000 pounds air-to-ground weapons were additionally mounted to the F-35. However, no weapons were launched during the mission.
The F-35 is a 5th generational multi-role fighter by Lockheed Martin and part of the Joint Strike Fighter family. It is part of the US Air Force most expensive defensive program.
The F-35 was designed to carry up to a maximum of 18,000 pounds load. It has ten weapon stations – four of them are in two internal weapons bay and the other six are located on the wings.
source: www.defensetalk.com, www.dailytech.com
NASA, News Aerospace Lynx, aircraft model, airplane model, commercial space vehicles, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, commercial suborbital human-rated spacecraft, desktop model, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, NASA, plane model, scale model, spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, SpaceShipTwo, suborbital spaceflight, Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model, XCOR Aerospace, XCOR Aerospace Lynx
Scientists and engineers who see a way to use the nascent generation of commercial suborbital human-rated spacecraft in their work will have a shot at NASA grants of as much as $500,000 to help with funding.
Just in time for the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference next week, the U.S. space agency has issued a call for proposals seeking suborbital payloads that could lead to “game-changing” technologies for future space travel. NASA expects to issue about 20 awards, most of them in the $50,000-125,000 range. But “several” may be worth far more for work that will enhance the research capabilities of vehicles such as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and the XCOR Aerospace Lynx.
“This solicitation offers an opportunity to develop potentially transformative technologies that take advantage of our Flight Opportunities Program platforms, which allow frequent and predictable commercial access to near-space, with easy recovery of intact payloads,” says Michael Gazarik, director of the Space Technology Program in the office of the chief technologist at NASA headquarters.
Once proposals are selected and funded, they will be matched with one of the seven U.S. companies chosen last August to provide flight opportunities for researchers and/or their payloads on suborbital human vehicles, unpiloted reusable launchers and high-altitude balloons. NASA says the selection will place “special emphasis [on] proposals that address basic and applied research as well as development for advanced technologies and the development of test articles and techniques for evaluating the articles.”
The grants should add momentum to a commercial space market scarcely envisioned when Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne took the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004. Since then, suborbital human spaceflight has been pitched as much to researchers with a need for hands-on experimentation or quick-turnaround reflights as to wealthy space tourists looking for a thrill ride.
Topics at the Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, Calif., will include lessons from parabolic flight, flight training for scientists and engineers, and how-to sessions on preparing suborbital projects in such areas as astrophysics, solar physics and atmospheric, ionospheric and aeronomical science. The conference organizers will also raffle off a future suborbital flight.
Among the speakers at the Palo Alto conference will be George Nield, associate FAA administrator for commercial space transportation. As evidence of the growing maturity of the commercial suborbital marketplace, the FAA has awarded the Florida Institute of Technology almost $90,000, with a matching grant from Space Florida, to identify issues that must be addressed as commercial space vehicles are integrated into the national aerospace system. One question that will be addressed is whether the FAA should develop “high-speed, high-altitude climb corridors” for commercial space vehicles.
Another sure sign of growing interest in commercial suborbital spaceflight is a fledgling Washington lobbying organization. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation says it will set up a “suborbital coalition” for education, information and to “facilitate interaction between policymakers in Washington, researchers and educators on the broad benefits of suborbital spaceflight.”
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NAIROBI, Kenya – An American reconnaissance plane crashed 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the only U.S. base in Africa, killing four service members on board, after returning from a mission in support of the war in Afghanistan, the military said Monday.
The statement said that the crash occurred at about 8 p.m. Saturday in Djibouti. U.S. personnel from Camp Lemonnier in the tiny Horn of Africa nation responded to the scene.
Specialist Ryan Whitney of the 1st Special Operations Wing said that initial indications are that the reconnaissance plane did not crash because of hostile fire. The plane was conducting an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission, he said. A statement from U.S. Africa Command called it a “routine” flight.
Amy Oliver, public affairs director of the Air Force 1st Special Operations Wing, said the single-engine, fixed-wing U-28A was returning from a mission in support of the Afghanistan war.
The cause of the U-28A crash is under investigation. Camp Lemonnier lies only miles from the border with Somalia.
The four killed in the crash included: Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the 319th Special Operations Squadron; Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Georgia, with the 34th Special Operations Squadron; 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Oregon, with the 34th Special Operations Squadron; and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with the 25th Intelligence Squadron.
Hall was a U-28 pilot with more than 1,300 combat flight hours. He was assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Air Force, News A-10, A-10 Thunderbolt, A-10 Thunderbolt II, A-10 Thunderbolt II model plane, A-10 Wing Replacement Program, Air Force, aircraft model, airplane model, Boeing, Fairchild Republic, Hill Air Force Base, Thunderbolt, US Air Force
The first re-winged A-10 Thunderbolt II of the US Air Force finally rolled-out at the Hill Air Force Base. It is the first aircraft out of the 233 units that Boeing are commissioned to fix up with new set of wings. All the re-winged aircraft is set to be delivered by 2018.
According to Mark Bass, Maintenance, Modification, & Upgrades vice-president and general manager for Boeing Defense, Space and Security, “This enhanced wing assembly will give the A-10 new strength and a new foundation for its continued service into 2040.” He adds that Boeing is committed to the US Air Force to ensure that the A-10 is always ready and capable to serve.
The A-10 Wing Replacement Program is one of the aviation company’s foray into non-Boeing platform work. The A-10 was originally developed by Fairchild Republic. The wings sets are manufactured in Boeing’s production facility in Georgia with the help of Korean Aerospace Industries. The wing sets are then delivered to Air Force’s Ogden Air Logistic Center.
Boeing delivered the first wing set in March 2011. After mating to the aircraft and after a series of testing, it took the first test flight in November last year. And now, the A-10 Thuderbolt II and its new set of wings are ready for service.
The A-10 Thunderbolt II was introduced to the Air Force service in March 1977. It provides close-air support and attacks tanks and other ground vehicles. It is expected to be in service until 2028.
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Air Force One, the blue-and-white icon of U.S. super power, has been all-Boeing during the jet age.
Starting with Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, a succession of special Boeing 707s served eight U.S. presidents. One of those airplanes today is parked at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
In 1990, with President George H.W. Bush in office, two Boeing 747-200Bs replaced the 707s. They were built in Everett and outfitted in Wichita, Kan.
Friday, one of them flies home to Paine Field, carrying President Barack Obama for an Everett factory visit and speech. Boeing Field in Seattle is the usual destination of U.S. presidents, so this will be the first time in 19 years that one of the planes has returned to the factory of its birth while carrying a president.
Air Force One is a flying White House, with 4,000 square feet of floor space for up to 102 people, secure communication systems and medical facilities. In a pinch, surgery can be performed. These 747-200Bs have a range of 7,800 statute miles, but just in case, they can be refueled during flight.
The 747 isn’t the only Boeing plane flying U.S. VIPs. Modified 757s serve cabinet members, the first lady, the vice president and, occasionally, the president.
And Boeing hopes to provide the next generation of Air Force One. The Air Force says new planes will be needed in the latter half of this decade. The aviation trade press has reported that the company would like to offer the new Boeing 747-8 or even the 787, the assembly line of which Obama will tour Friday.
Air Force, News aircraft model, airplane model, Avenger, Avenger drone, desktop model, f-15, f-16, F-22, f-22 raptor, F-35, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, MQ-9, mq-9 reaper, plane model, Predator, Predators, raptor, Reaper, Reapers, scale model, U.S. Air Force, US Air Force, USAF, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
One of the problems with the Air Force’s drone fleet? There aren’t enough humans to operate the flying robots. And it’s contributing to a surprising Air Force decision to buy fewer drones — even as its own budget plan calls for the robots to get much busier.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced weeks ago that the armed, unmanned Predators and Reapers will fly more often in the coming few years, going up to 65 combat air patrols, or CAPs — teams of up to four flying robots — “with a surge capacity of 85.” That’s up from 61 today. But the Air Force’s budget figures, released on Monday, show that the flyboys will slow down their drone purchases, rather than increase them.
Under last year’s defense budget, the Air Force bought 48 Reapers, the bigger, faster, more lethal descendant of the Predator. (The Air Force stopped buying Predators in 2010.) In the proposed budget, the Air Force wants to buy half as many — 24 armed, spying drones. And its budget chief, Maj. Gen. Edward Bolton Jr., was unsure when the service will start buying the next-generation, jet-powered, stealthy Avenger drone in earnest.
There are a couple reasons for the shift. One is that there aren’t enough airmen who know how to remotely pilot the things. Another is that the Air Force says it can do more stuff with fewer drones. And of course, there’s the budget crunch.
“It turned out, when the [Pentagon's Joint Requirements Oversight Council] established this past year the requirement of 65 CAPs, we determined we could meet that with this [reduced] production rate,” Bolton told Danger Room during a Monday afternoon briefing.
After the briefing, Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, the Air Force’s public-affairs chief, told Danger Room that the reduced Reaper purchase has to do with flesh-and-blood concerns — namely a lack of airmen trained to fly the drones and analyze the data the robots collect.
Well, sort of, clarifies Jennifer Cassidy, an Air Force spokeswoman. “Manning was a consideration in reducing the MQ-9 Reaper purchases for [the next fiscal year], but not the only consideration,” Cassidy emails Danger Room. “The MQ-9 crew production rate and the attrition rate of the [Predator] allowed the reduction of MQ-9 purchases [next year] without impact to the Air Force ramp-up to 65 CAPs.”
But the Air Force has acknowledged it’s got a people problem with its unpeopled planes. “Our No. 1 manning problem in the Air Force is manning our unmanned platforms,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, the vice chief of staff, recently told the Los Angeles Times.
In recent years, the Air Force relaxed its restrictions on who can fly its drones, in order to make up the shortfall; there are pilots now flying Reapers who have never grabbed the throttle of a traditional aircraft. But it hasn’t been enough. Contractors are brought in to the drone bases to remotely pilot the Predators and Reapers, as well as to help analyze the endless hours of full-motion video they collect. Thousands of airmen have been shifted into new jobs, in order to better scour all the video.
Absent a big crash program to train up new drone experts– or switch to the Army’s preferred method of using pasty, video-gaming teenagers to pilot their robot planes — the manpower problem is likely to get worse. In the next few years, the sensor and video packages carried by Air Force drones are going to get more sophisticated, like when the panopticon Gorgon Stare spy suite comes online. And the Air Force will cut 9,900 personnel over the next year, although it’s unclear what specialties the cashiered airmen will have performed.
When top Pentagon officials like former Defense Secretary Bob Gates browbeat the Air Force into accepting 65 unmanned CAPs, top service officials complained that there was no formal “requirement” for the drones — no way of knowing when it had satisfied the other services’ need for robotic eyes in the sky. Even drone-backers at the top of the Air Force thought all those patrols were overkill. So it’s not surprising that they chose to slow the rate of drone buys, when budgets got tight.
Instead, the Air Force’s priority future upgrades and purchases are all in manned planes. Upgrading the software on the F-22 Raptor, even as it’s got big problems with its oxygen systems. Enhancing the radar on F-15s. Extending the service life of F-16s. Buying 19 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, even as they develop 13 expensive new flaws. An arguable exception is that the service’s desired next-generation long range bomber won’t always be piloted by a human being; it’s “optionally manned,” as the Air Force calls it.
But a recent congressional study obtained by Danger Room explains the Air Force’s preference for manned planes. About 40 percent of the air fleet is robotic. Yet over 90 percent of the Air Force’s procurement money is spent on planes with a human in the cockpit. Of course, part of the allure of drones is that they are cheap. And obviously, drones are the weapon of choice for the Obama administration’s Shadow Wars against terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Asked by Danger Room, Bolton said that the new budget figures “should not” be interpreted as a sign that the Air Force prefers its manned planes.
“This budget really is a manifestation of the strategy that was laid out by Secretary Panetta on the 26th of January,” Bolton said. “And so our real challenge within this budget was to first determine how we could build a budget that could implement that strategy, and then secondly, how could we do that within the necessary physical constraints as based upon the guidance of the Budget Control Act passed to us by [the White House].”
Except Panetta was clear that day that the Air Force would “provide unmanned capabilities through their operators as well” — and would increase its Predator and Reaper flights. The robots are still waiting for the humans to catch up.