Air Force plans acquisition shakeup post-Afghanistan

Noting that some of the key Air Force systems used over Iraq and Afghanistan would be vulnerable in a hotly contested environment such as the Pacific theater, the military service is focusing on acquiring more stealthy aircraft systems in the months and years ahead, reports Defense News.

Specifically, the service will explore purchasing systems and aircraft, such as a new bomber, which can fly without being noticed in denied airspace, a definite switch from Air Force operations in southwest Asia, the story said.

Some new Air Force systems, from unmanned aircraft to sensors, have played a major role in counterinsurgency operations over Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the story. Yet many of them are easily detected on radar, and therefore vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles.

“We’ve become very good at fielding the conventional, non-hardened, non-threatened type of systems,” Lt. Gen. Charles “CR” Davis, the Air Force military deputy for acquisition, said in the story. "Now, we’ve got to take a look at a different kind of mindset when we start planning for how we’re going to tailor acquisition for that.”

The new mindset will be adopted as the Air Force develops a new bomber and also new data links and secure communications for intelligence systems, the story said.

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