The Army says that provisions within the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would allow for the service's strategic fires weapons, which include a missile with potential range of 1,000 nautical miles.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says the US needs more planes to meet defense needs, calling for a 24% increase the number of squadrons in the air. "The Air Force is too small for what the nation expects of us. 312 operational squadrons is not enough," she said, citing the need for 386 squadrons.
Lockheed Martin has completed 24,000 hours of testing on the F-35A, opening up the possibility of extending its designed service life beyond 8,000 hours. "Already certified for one of the longest lifetimes of any fighter, an increase would greatly reduce future costs for all F-35 customers over several decades to come," said Lockheed's Greg Ulmer.
Boeing's Insitu company has unveiled its Integrator Extended Range drone, which has satellite communication capabilities and does not require a paved runway. "All warfighting units and coalition partners can have access to what was once a limited resource, getting this much-needed capability in the hands of the warfighter at a fraction of the cost of any current system available today," Insitu CEO Esina Alic said.
HawkEye 360's yet-to-be-launched cluster of cubesats will be a source of surveillance information for the military. Raytheon is adding data gathered by commercial satellites to its defense intelligence data sets.
The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter, though developed in the 1990s, is gaining popularity for its ability to add secondary payloads to NASA, Air Force and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launches. "People launching realize that rather than going by themselves, it's to the benefit of the taxpayer to combine spacecraft," NASA's Bob Caffrey said.
The Air Force is estimating an initial cost of $3 billion to create a Space Force military branch within five years, part of a total cost of $13 billion. "We have an obligation to support the president's proposal, which he intends to put forward with the next budget, that is bold and carries out his vision for an independent department that has all of the responsibilities to organize, train, equip and develop space forces to meet the threat that's emerging in space," Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said.
Defense spending legislation for 2019 includes $383 million to develop weapons technology. Congress is expected to pass the 2019 spending bill soon.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA reports that 61% of nearly 5,000 flight attendants across 30 airlines described incidents in which an emotional support animal caused disruption in the cabin, with 53% of incidents involving aggressive or threatening behavior. "The rampant abuse of claiming a need for emotional support animals in air travel is negatively impacting all passengers. It's a safety, health and security issue," said AFA President Sara Nelson.
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