The Air & Space Brief: ‘Space Internet’ a go; China’s hypersonic domain; USAF to pay $230M to church shooting victims
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Air Force seeks “Space Internet” The Air Force plans to enable and demonstrate a space internet that the military can use to connect and communicate via constellations of commercial spacecraft in various orbits, the Air Force Research Laboratory confirmed this week. Officials intend to award two to five contracts worth up to $40 million each for “multi-band, multi-orbit communication experiments.”
Still no FY2022 budget, and 2023 even farther off: The Biden administration should have sent its 2023 spending proposal to Capitol Hill Monday. But it’s waiting on Congress to pass a budget for the four-month-old fiscal 2022—and lawmakers are looking to kick that can until at least March. The CR means the Space Force and Air Force still can not start any new programs, and it increases the chances they’ll face an FY23 CR due to the delays.
A new hypersonic domain: China sees the area of hypersonic weapons—those that can maneuver at Mach 5 or faster—not as a missile race but as an entirely new domain of warfare, Gillian Bussey, director of the Defense Department’s Joint Hypersonics Transition Office, said Monday. One consequence: the United States will have to rely on a wide range of layered defenses to protect military assets from a potential onslaught.
Church reparations: On Monday, a judge ordered the Air Force to pay more than $230 million to the survivors and families of the victims of a 2017 mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The service had failed to update FBI background checks on the shooter, who was discharged from the service in 2014.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. OTD: The three-man crew from Skylab returned to Earth, after spending 84 days in space.
From Defense One
Air Force Commits Millions to Experiment with 'Space Internet' // Brandi Vincent
Arctic coverage and airborne communications are two areas highlighted for exploration.
It Could Be Months Before the Biden Administration Submits Its FY23 Spending Proposal // Marcus Weisgerber
The fiscal year is one-third over, and the White House is still waiting for Congress to pass a 2022 budget.
China Wants to Own the Hypersonic 'Domain,' DOD Official Says // Patrick Tucker
While the United States focuses on highly maneuverable missiles, China aims to control all of "near space."