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: Open Up The New Bomber Program—Just A Bit  30
The U.S. Air Force wants to keep its bomber program under wraps. There are at least six reasons why that’s a bad idea.
Boeing Considers Upgraded A-10 Exports, Makes Move on F-16s 
Boeing stresses that any such project depends on the U.S. Air Force retiring the aircraft, in the face of Congressional opposition, and releasing its inventory.
Boeing Space Chief Skeptical Of Minuteman Replacement 
The U.S. Air Force is unlikely to be able to afford an all-new replacement for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile “in the foreseeable future,” Boeing Network & Space Systems President Craig Cooning says.
Boeing Exploring Hybrid Comms Linking Satellites And UAVs 
Boeing is in discussions with several big data companies about developing hybrid communications systems combining satellites with high-altitude, long-endurance UAVs derived from Boeing’s Phantom Eye technology demonstrator.
Boeing Sees International Demand For High-Performance T-X 
“Customers are clear that they want to move high-end training into the T-X,” says Tom Conard, business development director for the company’ training and government services unit.
Boeing ‘Very Disappointed’ With Pentagon’s Uclass Delay 7
The changes have reflected internal disagreements about the vehicle’s mission and the extent of stealth technology to be incorporated into the platform.
Boeing Discloses Advanced Missile Tests, Will Unveil Other Programs 

ST. LOUIS—Boeing conducted four flight tests under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (Darpa) Triple Target Terminator (T3) program, Boeing Phantom Works President Darryl Davis said here May 18.  

The test vehicles, about the size of an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (Amraam), flew “faster and farther” than an Amraam, Davis said, but he did not provide any other details.

Pentagon Will Attempt Competition On F-35 Upgrades 17
As a first step, the U.S. Air Force will be pushing for a more-open systems architecture in Block 4, the first post-service-entry upgrade for the F-35.
Bomber Award In ‘One or Two Months’ 
The Pentagon will select a contractor for the $80 billion Long-Range Strike Bomber program in “one to two months,” according to William LaPlante, U.S. Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition.
Podcast: How Big An Impact Do Crashes Have On Aircraft Programs? 6
In the wake of the Airbus A400M crash, London Bureau Chief Tony Osborne, Military Editor Bill Sweetman and Executive Editor James R. Asker discus the effect of crashes and incidents on early aircraft programs. Among the aircraft discussed are DC-10, A320, A380, F-16, V-22, XB-70, Dark Star and several airships.
Opinion: Saab And Dassault Strengthen Their Fighter-Market Positions  13
Two Western fighter houses are in the best position to challenge the F-35 in the 2020s. Can their rivals hang in there too?
No New Engines For B-52s 
Boeing B-52 bombers will not be getting new engines any time soon, the U.S. Air Force has decided.
Study To Recommend More Forward-Deployed Nuclear Weapons 
The U.S. should develop a new suite of nuclear weapons, including a revived enhanced-radiation warhead (ERW) or “neutron bomb,” to be deployed in allied nations in Europe and Asia and delivered by F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, according to a report.
Podcast: Shakeup in the Global Fighter Market 1
Aviation Week defense editors on the recent success of Dassault’s Rafale and Saab’s Gripen fighters and what that means for the rest of the market. Will it spell doom for the Eurofighter Typhoon? Does Boeing’s F-18 have a shot at more orders in Kuwait. And a peek at the upcoming competition for a Turkish fighter.
Versatility, Relevance Add Life To Weapons And Platforms  1
Despite many procurement disappointments, there are also many examples of defense programs which have worked as planned and have stood the test of time.
Special Topics
May 22, 2015

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Descends Toward Asteroid Ceres for Closer Look at Bright Spots

Images gathered May 16 with cameras from an altitude of 4,500 miles have again prompted speculation the spacecraft has spotted ice deposits on the 600 mile wide minor planet....More
May 18, 2015

Fire In the Cabin 2

While installing a fireplace in a cabin clearly would be a bad idea, Lufthansa Technik develops a technology that uses illuminated water mist with an image of burning wood to create a fireplace for VIP aircraft....More
May 15, 2015

Cardington: Britain’s Airship Heritage 2

Construction of Cardington’s Number 1 shed, currently housing the HAV project, began in 1916 when Construction of Cardington’s No. 1 shed, currently housing the HAV project, began in 1916 when Short Brothers was awarded an Admiralty contract for the development of dirigible airships....More
May 11, 2015

NavWeek: China Coastal Catch 8

China last year accelerated its plans to “reclaim” areas like the Spratly Islands, and the Asian giant is banking on its coast guard to protect its disputed maritime stakes in the region, according to the Pentagon....More
May 10, 2015

Ethiopian Airlines Takes Delivery Of Newest 737-800

Ethiopian Airlines' fleet renewal and growth continued this week with the delivery of a new Boeing 737-800 from Seattle. Routing through Washington-Dulles and then Dublin, Ireland, the latest 737NG is Ethiopian's 16th. Since 2010, the East African carrier has taken delivery of 25 Boeing 737/777/787s as well as 13 Bombardier DHC8-Q400 regional turbo aircraft. One of the fastest-growing and most modern of African airlines, Ethiopian also has a burgeoning MRO business....More

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