New Year, New Military Tech

Welcome to The War Report, a weekly roundup of news articles by James Drew, Aviation Week defense editor. You can see my latest stories as they’re published throughout the week at, or follow me @JamesDrewNews. If you like what you see or want to collaborate on an article, send a note or news tip to

Afghan Air Force To Receive Seven Orbital ATK AC-208sOrbital ATK will deliver seven AC-208 Armed Caravans to the Afghan Air Force, the U.S. Air Force has confirmed in a recent contracting notice.

USAF, Orbital ATK Sign Pact For NGL Rocket Certification: Orbital ATK’s Next Generation Launcher received another boost this week, with the rocket manufacturer entering into a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Air Force.

U.S. Air Force Backs Aurora’s Certifiable Orion UAV: Aurora Flight Sciences is flying high after securing a $48 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a certifiable version of its long-endurance Orion UAV.

Pentagon IG Finds Quality Control Flaws With USAF Space Launch Contractors: The U.S. Air Force is clamping down on quality controls among its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle suppliers after the Pentagon’s inspector general identified 181 nonconformities, including animal feces found near an engine test stand.

FAA Certifies 767-2C For Boeing’s KC-46 Program: The FAA has delivered Boeing an early Christmas gift, granting the company an amended type certificate for the aerial refueling derivative of its 767 freighter aircraft, the 767-2C.

Canadian Defense Sector Set For Growth As Ottawa Rearms​: The Canadian defense sector is “poised for growth,” with annual military spending expected to increase by 70% over the coming decade.

U.S. Leading Global Investment In Counter-Missile Technology: On Nov. 28, North Korea proved what many observers already suspected: It has developed an intercontinental ballistic missile with enough range to strike any major U.S. city, including Washington.

Boeing’s Extended-Range Harpoon Flunks Flight Tests: Boeing’s attempt to double the range of its air-launched AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile has hit a snag after two attempted flight tests flopped.

USAF Could Start Re-engining First Two B-52s By 2022: The U.S. Air Force says the Boeing B-52H bomber’s 1960s-vintage Pratt & Whitney TF33-103 engine is “not sustainable past 2030” and must be replaced to keep the Stratofortress flying for another two decades, and the first two test aircraft could start undergoing modification by fiscal 2022.

Lockheed, Northrop To Develop ‘Gray Wolf’ Cruise Missile: The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has tapped Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to produce swarms of autonomous cruise missiles capable of wreaking havoc on enemy air defenses.

Boeing Phantom Works Reveals MQ-25 Prototype: Boeing has taken the wrapping off its proposal for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray program.

U.S. Army Seeks Answers On Failed Utility Aircraft Competition: The U.S. Army is trying to figure out why Sierra Nevada Corp. was the only prime contractor to bid for its Fixed Wing Utility Aircraft program.

Bell’s Next-Generation Tiltrotor Takes Flight: Bell Helicopter’s third-generation tiltrotor prototype, the V-280 Valor, achieved first flight at the company’s plant in Amarillo, Texas, on Dec. 18.



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