air force

Pentagon Scolds US Air Force For Wasting Nearly $US9 Billion On Drones

Drones are expensive. Aircraft like General Atomics’s MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper cost millions of dollars piece, while the cost of maintaining the fleet stretches into the high tens of billions dollars over their lifespans. The Pentagon’s internal watchdog is aware of this, and recently lambasted the Air Force for not justifying the purchase of 46 Reapers — potentially wasting $US8.8 billion of taxpayers’ money.


The Trillion Dollar F-35 Won't Even Be Able To Shoot Its Gun Until 2019

Last year, Australia dramatically boosted its order of the still-in-development, problem-prone F-35 stealth fighter. Now a new report says the jet’s 25mm cannon won’t be operational until 2019 at the earliest. Even more laughable is that it probably doesn’t even need the gun to begin with.


Watch A Pilot Snag Cold War Spy Satellite Footage As It Falls From Orbit

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The Corona program was the opening salvo in the effort to peer into Soviet-controlled territory from orbit. In order to recover the top-secret physical photographs it took, Air Force pilots took to the sky for what amounted to a claw arcade game, played miles above the Earth. Here’s a rare look at it in action.


What Air-To-Air Refuelling Looks Like In The Night Skies

Ever wondered what air-to-air refuelling looked like up in the night skies? Thanks to the UK’s Royal Air Force we can show you: this is what a Lockheed C-130 Hercules crew sees when refuelling at night. So, quite a lot like Tron, then.


Inside The Classroom Where The US Air Force Teaches Drone Pilots

Flying a drone for the US Air Force is like any other skill; you have to learn it. The Atlantic got a rare look inside the classroom where that instruction happens. It’s a lot like most classrooms you’ve probably been in, except the word problems they’re working through involve killing people.


Pentagon Can't Keep Track Of Ammo So It's Destroying $1B In Bullets

Outdated technology and government wastefulness seem to go hand in hand, but this time the two are combining for a startlingly huge money sink: the Pentagon is planning on destroying $US1.2 billion in excess bullets and missiles, some of which could still be used by troops. And it’s all because the military has no way of tracking its stockpiled ammo.


Monster Machines: Northrop's Flying Ram Would Have Sliced Enemy Planes Midair

War drives technological innovation like little else. No proposal is too ambitious, impractical, or downright foolhardy for consideration if it provides a strategic advantage. This school of thinking has led to atomic bombs, autonomous vehicles, and, in 1945, a short-lived fighter prototype that could cut through enemy aircraft in midair.


The U.S. Air Force Just Fired 9 Nuclear Missile Commanders For Cheating

This is a little unsettling. A year-long investigation into alleged cheating on proficiency exams has resulted in the dismissal of nine nuclear missile commanders at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The military expects to punish dozens of junior officers, as well.


US Air Force Sends Brand New Cargo Planes Straight To The Boneyard

The C-27J Spartan is a hell of a plane. Famous for its ability to take off from unfinished runways, it’s a staple used by militaries around the world, including the United States. At least it was until recently. The US Air Force is sending its latest batch of beautiful, brand new C-27Js straight to the boneyard in Arizona’s desert.


This Is How The US Air Force Showers Its Giant Cargo Planes

Ever wondered how the US Air Force cleans its planes? Here’s one way: They use a giant shower on a runway — or a planewash if you must. Here you can see it cleaning the salt accumulated on a Lockheed Martin WC-130 Hercules after flying through storms over the Gulf of Mexico.


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