PAF News Archive

  • The KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling aircraft takes off on its maiden flight from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, December 28, 2014

    Lessons from the Past for the Future of the KC-46A

    Sep 16, 2015

    Analysis suggests that fixed-price contracts have not successfully reduced costs to the DoD associated with developing complex weapon systems. This has implications for the Air Force, given the importance of the ongoing KC-46A program.

  • A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III taxis to its parking spot Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 25, 2012

    Peacetime Fuel 'Tankering' Could Save $25 Million Per Year

    May 4, 2015

    Fuel tankering is carrying excess fuel on an aircraft when flying from origins where fuel is less expensive than at the destination. Tankering fuel to a conflict zone like Afghanistan is almost always cost-effective, but the story is more complex elsewhere due to how fuel is purchased and resold within the DoD itself.

  • PLA soldiers march ahead of the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at Tiananmen Sqaure in Beijing, March 3, 2015

    China's Incomplete Military Transformation

    Mar 18, 2015

    Although the People's Liberation Army has made impressive progress over the past 20 years, it still suffers from a number of potentially serious problems. Understanding its weaknesses — particularly what PLA officers themselves see as the most important shortcomings — is just as critical as studying its strengths.

  • A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor flying at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska

    Where Commonality Can Work in a Sixth-Gen Fighter

    Mar 13, 2015

    The DoD plans to fund a Darpa-Air Force-Navy technology demonstration program aimed at developing critical sixth-generation fighter capabilities. It's a sign that the Pentagon is adopting a cost-effective strategy but it will need to remain vigilant to avoid the pitfalls that have caused previous joint fighter programs to fall short of hoped-for cost savings and to accept unwelcome design compromises.

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko visit the Russian Defense Ministry's control room, Moscow, December 23, 2014

    Yes, Russia's Military Is Getting More Aggressive

    Dec 31, 2014

    As Russia's relations with the U.S. and Europe have deteriorated following Moscow's aggression in Ukraine, fly-bys of European neighbors by Russian aircraft have taken on new urgency. How should the West think about these provocative flights in light of understanding Russia's nuclear threat?

  • Young man working at computer outside

    The Realities of Silicon Valley's Lack of Workforce Diversity

    Oct 2, 2014

    Major Silicon Valley tech firms have released statistics indicating their workforces are largely made up of white men. Corporate America is on the receiving end of a complex chain of social and educational factors that continue to leave minorities behind in terms of college graduation.

  • Yool Kim and other witnesses at the July 16, 2014 joint hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee

    Should the U.S. Rely on Russian Rocket Engines?

    Jul 16, 2014

    One of the two launch vehicles that lift U.S. satellites into orbit depends on a rocket engine made by a company located in Russia. Russia's recent clashes with Ukraine and its claims on the Crimean peninsula have caused friction with the United States and thereby raised questions among U.S. policymakers about the potential for an interruption in the supply of the engines.

  • Airmen show support to reservists deploying to Afghanistan

    Don't Chop the Air Force — Look to the Reserves

    Apr 11, 2014

    The Air Force's latest budget plan proposes to cut 25,000 airmen. The recommendations made by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force (NCSAF) offer an alternative — and less risky — way forward.

  • Thomas V. Jones, Risk-Taking CEO Who Propelled Northrop's Expansion, Revolutionized Aerospace Industry

    Jan 17, 2014

    Thomas V. Jones, the Stanford-educated engineer who authored a bestselling RAND report in the early 1950s on U.S. Air Force transport options before becoming chief executive of Northrop, died January 7 at the age of 93.

  • F/A-18C Hornets fly from Andersen Air Base, Guam, during exercise Forger Fury II, 5 December, 2013

    Do Joint Fighter Programs Save Money?

    Dec 24, 2013

    Joint aircraft programs have not historically saved overall life cycle cost. On average, such programs experienced substantially higher cost growth in acquisition (research, development, test, evaluation, and procurement) than single-service programs.

  • preflight checks inside an F-35A Lightning II

    Innovation and America's 21st Century Air Force

    Nov 25, 2013

    Lost in the US defense budget debates are deeper issues about the relationship between the military and American society. In many ways, these issues are especially stark for the Air Force. Can the US Air Force improve this connection?

  • Running a test in a U.S. Air Force cyber lab

    A Cybercrisis Is Inevitable — and Manageable

    Jan 9, 2013

    The United States can manage a cybercrisis by taking steps to reduce the incentives for other states to step into crisis, by controlling the narrative, understanding the stability parameters of the crises, and trying to manage escalation if conflicts arise.

  • U.S. Military's Role with Petroleum Is to Assure Security

    Jun 19, 2012

    Energy purchases made by the U.S. Department of Defense do not influence world oil prices, making cutting fuel use the only effective choice to reduce what the Pentagon spends on petroleum fuels.