Beale AFB Combating Uncertainty With Focus On Global ISR Mission

U-2 vs. Global Hawk debate is Washington’s job

While lawmakers and military officials in Washington debate the U-2 and Global Hawk’s future, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, CA, is focusing on the global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission instead of stressing about which aircraft might eventually be retired, according to the wing commander.

In a Feb. 13 phone interview with Inside the Air Force, Col. Douglas Lee said the tussle over which airframe should be retired and when should concern those inside the beltway, not the airmen conducting the mission.

The wing, headquartered at Beale AFB, has been the subject of several contentious force structure decisions in recent years as the Air Force has asked Congress for authority to retire the U-2, then the Global Hawk, and then the U-2 again. Meanwhile, the wing’s manned MC-12 Liberty tactical airborne surveillance mission is being transferred from Air Combat Command to the Army and a portion of the fleet will eventually go to Air Force Special Operations Command.

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Special Ops Wants to Add Laser Weapons to Its ‘Ghostrider’ Gunships

Plus a microwave energy gun

Much like the husky A-10 Warthog, the Air Force’s combat-chiseled AC-130 gunships can claim legendary status among soldiers, aviators, historians and politicians.

Steady-flying turboprop aircraft like the Spectre, Spooky and Stinger II gunships are continually on patrol around the globe, ready to rain down fiery spit and fury at a moment’s notice in support of American and coalition ground troops.

The flying branch is replacing the old gunships with a modern AC-130J named Ghostrider starting in 2018. This new version will have a 30-millimeter chain gun, 105-millimeter cannon and precision-strike missiles, making it one of the meanest killers on patrol.

See the full story at War Is Boring.

AF Hard Target Void Sensing Fuze Milestone C Briefing Planned For March

After developmental testing this month . . .

The Air Force expects to complete developmental testing of the Hard Target Void Sensing Fuze by March after program delays pushed back the schedule for completing the engineering and manufacturing development phase by a few months, the program office at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, confirmed this week.

The sophisticated new fuze, developed by ATK, can “count” the number of rooms, or voids, it passes through before detonating a warhead at the correct depth, bringing an entirely new capability to legacy bunker bombs.

The new device will replace legacy fuzes on the 5,000-pound class BLU-113 and GBU-28 penetrator bombs, and will be compatible with Raytheon’s Paveway laser-guidance assembly.

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