In recent years, the service has seen unprecedented change – from the end of combat operations in Afghanistan after 20 years, to forward deployments in Eastern Europe following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russia; from the rise of unmanned aerial vehicles to hypersonic missile testing; and from the introduction of the F-35 Lightning II to the imminent deployment of the B-21 Raider bomber.
As a sign of looking back and moving forward, new hypersonic missiles are tested using the B-52 Stratofortress bomber; an aircraft which made its first flight on April 15, 1952, and entered service in 1955!
So what does the future hold for the world’s largest air force?
The service is currently testing Skyborg Vanguard – a system that allows unmanned aerial vehicles to operate in tandem; the Air Force is also testing the F-15EX Eagle II, bringing next-generation combat technology to a high-performance fighter airframe capable of projecting power in multiple areas for the Joint Force; and the service explores the future of artificial intelligence in aircraft and weapons systems.
“I truly believe we have the greatest Airmen and the best defense and technology industry in the world,” said Gen. CQ Brown Jr., Air Force Chief of Staff. “Together, we must work to accomplish what seems impossible. We must meet the challenges of today to prepare for tomorrow.
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