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ASC19 Conference Envisioned What The Future U.S. Air Force Bomber Fleet Will Look Like

As you may already know, the Air Force Association held its 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Washington from September 16 ? 18, where U.S. Air Force leaders shared the current status of the service and the latest news about development programs, like the official designation of the T-7 Red Hawk and the presentation of Raytheon?s Peregrine air-to-air missile.

One of the recurring topics of the conference was the present and future situation of the bomber fleet. Gen. Timothy Ray, Global Strike Command chief said during his speech that right now the Air Force has 156 bombers in active service, comprehensive of 75 B-52H, 62 B-1B and 19 B-2A. The service determined that it needs 386 combat squadrons to get to a low-risk posture and research shows that, in order to meet this goal, the bomber fleet should grow from the current 156 aircraft to at least 225. Under the current National Defense Strategy, the Air Force is planning to field the new B-21 in the 2020s while retiring the B-1 and B-2 in the same timeframe. Even with the B-52 in service until 2050, the bomber fleet may not be able to reach the 225 aircraft goal.

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Five Reasons The Air Force’s Digital Century Series Is Doomed To Failure

The Air Force has embarked on a revolutionary approach to aircraft, satellite and software development that it hopes will greatly compress the time required to bring major advances into the active force. Dubbed the ?Digital Century Series? after a burst of early Cold War innovation, the new approach could reduce the time required to develop new combat aircraft to five years, with additional years of time saved in developing military spacecraft and major software advances.

At least, that?s what the service?s charismatic chief weapons buyer, Dr. Will Roper, proposed at the Air Force Association?s annual air, space and cyber exposition last week. In an eloquent call for faster progress in fielding weapons, Roper talked about high-leverage development tools such as agile software generation, open architectures and digital engineering with the confidence that you would expect from an intellectual who earned his doctorate in mathematics at Oxford.

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