The Secretary of the US Air Force presented a plan to grow the Air Force from 312 squadrons today to 386 by 2030. This is 24% larger. The strategy is based on estimates of the expected threat by 2025 to 2030. At the end of the Cold War, the Air Force had 401 operational squadrons.
The claim is that the Air Force is too small for what the USA wants to do. We have 312 operational squadrons today. The Air Force We Need has 386 operational squadrons by 2030.
The Military industrial complex is saying that China and Russia’s forces justify going back to 96% of the Cold War level air force.
This buildup, stepped up investment in hypersonic weapons work and deployment of weapons in space would be ramping up for a global arms race.
Talk of $20 billion for one thousand space-based interceptors and sensor satellites
Hypersonic weapons are weapons and vehicles that can move faster than 5 times the speed of sound. Russia and China have both deployed new rockets that are tipped with hypersonic warheads. The US has had hypersonic weapons development for decades but is now speeding offensive and defensive systems.
Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense said a rough estimate for deploying space-based interceptors can be calculated on the $20,000 per kilogram is costs to send material into low earth orbit. Griffin talked about a force of 1,000 space-based interceptors each weighing 1,000 kilograms would cost $20 billion.
In 2017, the congressional defense authorization bill directed the Pentagon to draw up proposals for space-based missile defenses.
DARPA Blackjack project for 90+ Low earth spy satellites and then hundreds
Mr. Paul “Rusty” Thomas, Program Manager, DARPA Tactical Technology Office presented at the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Working Group Telecon. He described the “DARPA Blackjack Demo Program – Pivot to LEO & Tactical Space Architecture”. This would be 90+ low-earth orbit spy satellites. DARPA plans a 20 satellite demo and then full deployment could start in 2022.
Many low-earth orbit spy satellites would be tougher for Russia and China to take out. A constellation of low-earth orbit spy satellites could be less expensive and more powerful than a single larger geosynchronous satellite.