AFA Conference Wire: Modernize Now, Leaders Warn

Day One of the Air, Space, and Cyber conference featured keynotes from Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown.

Leaders from the Air and Space Forces took to the stage and to briefing rooms at the annual conference hosted by the Air & Space Forces Association to describe what's coming online, and what needs to happen next. They highlighted, for example, the modification of C-17 and C-130 airlifters to launch cruise missiles in flight. Why? By enabling a whole new set of missions for existing aircraft, the project essentially enlarges the U.S. bomber fleet. (The Ukrainian military has identified a different reason for launching rockets from cargo aircraft: to keep the Russians from detecting missile launches.)

Speaking of Ukraine, there is much conference buzz about seat-of-the-pants modifications to add or improve Kyiv's air capabilities. One unnamed U.S. contractor has reportedly helped Ukraine modify the anti-radar HARM missile so it can be launched from Ukraine's MiG fighter jets.

Tara Copp has more from AFA Day One, here.