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Undeterred by past failures, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is launching another attempt to develop a high-speed vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft with the hover capability of a helicopter. The VTOL X-Plane program is a 52-month, $130 million effort to fly an experimental aircraft capable of exceeding 300 kt., but with a hover efficiency […]

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U.S. Air Force officials are placing a keener eye on their spending for maintenance of the fleet, and specifically trying to figure out why the cost of using contractor logistics support (CLS) contracts is rising faster than its own organic depot system, says Lt. Gen. C.R. Davis, military deputy for Air Force acquisition. Over the […]

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The U.S. Air Force is exploring new ways to provide the most sensitive satellite communications — including presidential control over nuclear forces — to users around the globe, in order to reduce costs and provide better service. The service is studying a variety of options that would break from the decades-old standard of building five […]

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The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is planning another major flight trial involving multiple targets and multiple interceptors to increasingly challenge its young missile defense shield’s ability to handle “raids,” or multiple threats launched simultaneously. The Pentagon’s interceptors downed four of five threats in the first such trial, which took place Oct. 25. MDA officials […]

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Popularly known as Area 51, the U.S. Air Force’s secret flight-test base at Groom Lake, Nev., was rebuilt and expanded in the late 1980s. The frequency of the “Janet” Boeing 737 commuter service that connects the base with Las Vegas shows that the facility has continued to operate at a healthy rate since then. Exactly […]

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