The Air & Space Brief: Air defenses for Ukraine; Rocket in a box; F-35s to Lakenheath
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Air defense options for Ukraine: The Pentagon will send two National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems to Ukraine, a weapon that Kyiv has been seeking to defend its population from Russian cruise missiles, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters Friday. The NASAMS are part of the latest $820 million aid package, which also includes High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, ammunition rounds; up to 150,000 155mm artillery rounds and AN-TPQ37 counter-artillery radars for Ukraine’s counter offensive against Russia.
Rocket in a box: The U.S. Air Force will test a “rocket factory in a box” made by a New Mexico startup in hopes of being able to 3D-print missile energetics. The technology could allow the military to get solid rocket motors for less money, more quickly, and in remote locations, X-Bow Systems CEO Jason Hundley said in an interview with Marcus Weisgerber.
F-35s to Lakenheath: The United States will change its troop presence in multiple European countries, including permanently headquartering the Army’s V Corps in Poland. It also will increase U.S. ship presence in Rota, Spain, and send two additional squadrons of F-35s to RAF Lakenheath in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon announced last week.
Starlink for your RV: SpaceX can now link your RV, boat, or other property to its satellite-based communications network, the FCC ruled on June 30. But the company warned that a potential 5G expansion by the Dish Network could render Starlink mostly unusable.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. On July 4, 1973, one of the last Air Force Grumman Albatross flying boats in service with the United States Air Force hit a record altitude of 32,881 feet.
From Defense One
The U.S.-Norway missiles may not be ready for weeks or months, official says.
US Boosts Forces In Europe As NATO Names Russia 'Most Significant and Direct Threat' // Jacqueline Feldscher
The Pentagon will also base more destroyers in Spain and F-35s in the United Kingdom.
Air Force to Test 3D-Printed Rocket Motors // Marcus Weisgerber
The maker, startup X-Bow Systems, recently accepted investment from Lockheed Martin.