The Air & Space Brief: Hypersonic test; Supply weak link; B-2 mishap; and more…
Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:
Hypersonic test. The U.S. Air Force successfully fired its hypersonic Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon on Dec. 9 from a B-52 bomber—the “first launch of a full prototyle operational missile,” according to a press release. The weapon “reached hypersonic speeds greater than five times the speed of sound” during the test, the Air Force said.
Rocket motor struggles. Aerojet Rocketdyne is having trouble delivering quality rocket motors and Raytheon Technologies’ CEO says it’s now “the weak link” in the supply chain, Defense One’s Marcus Weisgerber reports. Greg Hayes told Weisgerber that Raythoen’s supply chain “has at least stabilized with the exception of our rocket-motor supplier,” adding that Aerojet Rocketdyne “is the only supplier that's getting worse…from a performance standpoint, as opposed to better.” Read on, here.
The threat within. The Air Force in fiscal 2021 recorded the highest number of sexual assaults since the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program began, but several new programs are underway to address the issue, Defense One’s Jennifer Hlad reports in a three-part series on sexual assault in the military. And there is still “a lot” to come on prevention, Andrea Bryant, deputy director of the Department of the Air Force’s Integrated Resilience Office, said in an interview.
“We’re responsible for cultivating a culture of dignity and respect, where all feel welcome and supported, and where those corrosive behaviors aren't tolerated. And when you have sexual assault occur, it breaks that down. How do you feel like you're in a culture of dignity and respect when an assault or harassment is occurring in the unit?” Bryant said.
B-2 accident. The runway at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, is still closed after a B-2 bomber had to make an emergency landing there Saturday, The War Zone reports. All 20 of the U.S. Air Force’s B-2s are housed at the base. No one was hurt in the mishap, which involved a fire after landing.
Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Defense One. On Dec. 13, 1951, during the Korean War, Maj. George Davis, Jr., shot down four enemy aircraft. He eventually shot down 14 enemy planes during that war and posthumously received the Medal of Honor.
From Defense One
Aerojet Rocketdyne Struggling to Deliver Rocket Motors, Raytheon CEO Says // Marcus Weisgerber
The charge comes after the Aerojet CEO questioned whether Raytheon has problems of its own.
Defense Business Brief: Startup dies in crypto collapse; Highest-paid defense CEOs; Hypersonic success; and more... // Marcus Weisgerber
The Physical Obstacles to the Pentagon's Connect-Everything Vision // Patrick Tucker
Jets, destroyers, and soldiers are very different data customers, but the Pentagon wants to serve them all equally.
For DOD, 2023 Is All About Proving It Can Build A Tactical Cloud // Lauren C. Williams
The plan is to develop and deploy a prototype, possibly in the Pacific region, in the next six months. The newly awarded Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will help.
Cyber, Speed, and UFOs: A Tour of Tech Provisions in the 2023 NDAA // Lauren C. Williams
The defense policy bill also prods the intelligence community to follow other defense agencies' emerging-tech efforts.
The 2023 defense policy bill will close a prosecutorial loophole that advocates say has been preventing justice for victims of rape, harassment, and other crimes.
It'll Be 'Years' Before the Pentagon Fully Implements Changes to Handling Sexual Assaults // Jennifer Hlad
Congress has directed several major changes to the way the military handles sexual assault. Officials say full implementation remains several years away.
They wonder whether real change is possible before today's leaders age out and leave.