Bill Sweetman

Bill Sweetman
Senior International Defense Editor,
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Bill's 40-year career as an aerospace and defense journalist has covered almost every aspect of the topic, from satellites to submarines, from infantry gear to classified ultra-stealthy bombers and from nano-UAVs to aircraft carriers. He was the first reporter to suggest that a funny Euro-Project called Airbus might be going somewhere, that the Eurofighter had a nasty streak in the low-speed, high-alpha envelope and that Boeing’s 7J7 and Sonic Cruiser were vaporware. Bill played a key role in breaking stories about the classified RQ-170 and RQ-180 UAVs, and the still-secret stealth helicopter used in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in May 2011.
He is a regular speaker and international conferences, is frequently interviewed or cited as an authority on technical issues - stealth technology in particular - by U.S. and global media and is the leading independent expert on the Joint Strike Fighter program. Bill’s groundbreaking work on stealth received simultaneous and detailed attention from the CIA and the GRU, the Soviet military intelligence agency. 
The 2013 Jesse H. Neal award for Best Subject-Related Package was awarded to Bill and other members of Aviation Week's defense team for their package "Balance of Fear: Iran, Israel and the Calculus of War." The same package won the award for Best In-Depth Feature at the 2013 Aerospace Media Awards.
Bill has also received Aerospace Journalist of the Year awards from the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Opinion: Bumbling Caused B-52 Reengining Delay 
U.S. Air Force is taking a serious look at reengining the Boeing B-52
Nano UAV Gets Night-Vision Capability
Prox Dynamics has unveiled a night-capable version of its PD-100 Black Hornet unmanned air vehicle, believed to be the world’s smallest operational military UAV.
BAE Systems Amps Up Directed Energy Work 1
BAE Systems unveiled its Future Technology Demonstrator armored vehicle at the Association of the U.S. Army convention in Washington this week, with a focus on directed-energy technology.
Elbit Pushes Recce-Strike For Tactical Forces 1
Elbit Systems is demonstrating a reconnaissance-strike package for mobile land forces to U.S. users, including the special operations community, the company said Oct. 13 at the Association of the U.S. Army convention in Washington.
Rebooting The Army 
This expanded issue of Aviation Week’s Defense Technology International edition is the first of a series planned to coincide with major defense shows worldwide. This week, the Association of the U.S. Army convention and show opens in Washington—an event that grew rapidly during the 2000s as the U.S. committed soldiers and weapons to the longest land conflict in its history.
U.S. Army Wants To Field Integrated C-RAM Systems 
Combining assets to defeat the rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) threat has proven successful, but other traditional threats (aircraft/cruise missile) and emerging asymmetric ones (unmanned air systems) still have been treated separately. The RAM experience suggested an integrated approach to defeating these threats and to the acquisition process. This approach unites sensor, weapons and mission-command components with a standard set of interfaces using a standardized set of networks to communicate—a meta-system for air defense.
The theory that the use of airpower and advisers can help local allied forces achieve victory on the ground is being tested again in operations against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria. While the air threat is remote enough that French Rafales flew with a single defensive missile, the reach and mobility of fast jet aircraft with tanker support were important, allowing operations to be supported from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, Al Dhafra AB in the United Arab Emirates and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
Opinion: How Secrecy Will Kill The Next Bomber 12
The current security policy all but guarantees that the Air Force won’t get its new, Long Range Strike Bomber.
B-52 Re-engine Resurfaces As USAF Reviews Studies 15

The U.S. Air Force is reviewing industry studies of fitting its 50-year-old Boeing B-52 bombers with new commercial-derivative engines, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, commander of the service’s Global Strike Command.

So far, Wilson said Oct. 9 at a Washington meeting, the Air Force assesses that the change would result in a net cost savings over the remaining life of the B-52s, which are expected to fly until 2040. 

B-52 Re-engine Resurfaces As USAF Reviews Studies 
The U.S. Air Force is looking at an industry proposal to fit its 50-year-old Boeing B-52 bombers with new commercial-derivative engines, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, commander of the service’s Global Strike Command.
Latest Blogs
Oct 24, 2014

Orphan bizjet update

Here’s some news about the McDonnell Model 119/220 I wrote about earlier this week....More
Oct 24, 2014

Milestone for the MRJ

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ rollout of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet on Oct. 18 may have occurred later than planned, but it marked a major milestone in Japan’s efforts to get back into the commercial airliner business....More
Oct 24, 2014

Saudi army mountain training

About 40 Saudi officers are finishing 12 days of training in the French Alps today with the 27th French mountain infantry brigade to learns skills that will then be taught in the future Taïf mountain training school in Saudi Arabia....More
Oct 24, 2014

Qatari coast guard orders 20 Italian RIBs

The Qatari Coast Guard has placed an order with Al-Dar Marine, a Qatari-owned maritime business,  for 20 search and rescue RIBs (rigid inflatable hulls)....More
Oct 23, 2014

Celestial Ballet

Watch video from the Hubble Space Telescope of Mars and the Siding Spring comet passing each other on Oct. 19....More

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