The Air & Space Brief: Air Force One delays; Space Command HQ ‘sore losers’; Elon tests Starlink
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Air Force One delays: The U.S. Air Force will need more money to keep the two Air Force One presidential jets in the air at least two to three years longer than planned due to Boeing’s problems building two new replacements. Andrew Hunter, the Air Force’s top acquisition official, told a House subcommittee Thursday that the service will ask Congress for the extra funding in its fiscal 2024 spending request, though he did not say how much money the service will need. “We are looking at a two- to three-year delay in the schedule” for the new planes, Hunter told the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee.
‘Sore loser syndrome’ is preventing the nation’s space mission from “moving forward,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., wrote in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, in an effort to move forward with the Trump administration decision to move U.S. Space Command headquarters to his state. Air Force officials announced in the final days of the Trump administration that the headquarters would move from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Ala., immediately sparking controversy that has not subsided.
Guam MDA command center: The Missile Defense Agency hopes to build an integrated missile defense command and control center on Guam to help with what the agency’s commander said will be the most difficult challenge in protecting the island from missile threats: integrating data from multiple streams into a single, coherent picture for commanders. The center would give Indo-Pacific Command leaders more control over the variety of missile defense tools they have available, Vice Adm. Jon Hill said.
Starlink flight tests: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday that he is testing his satellite internet service Starlink aboard his private jet. The company has already signed a deal with one commercial airline to be their inflight wifi provider and is in discussions with others. “I am testing Starlink on the plane,” Musk tweeted. “Some polishing needed, but it’s working quite well.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. This week in 1969, Apollo 10 astronauts set the final elements in place for Apollo 11’s Moon landing by testing the Lunar Module just above the Moon’s surface.
From Defense One
The New Air Force Ones Are Late, So the Old Planes Need More Cash, Official Says // Marcus Weisgerber
Air Force acquisition chief cites 2- to 3-year delay, which Boeing blames on subcontractor and supply problems.
Alabama's Tuberville Calls on 'Sore Loser' Coloradans to Give Up Space Command HQ // Jacqueline Feldscher
Colorado politicians, however, are not giving up.
Missile Defense Agency Eyes Command Center for Guam // Patrick Tucker
Integrating current and future sensor data is key to protecting Guam from future missile threats.