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.

Articles
Trident D5 Improvements Detailed 
Plans to keep the U.S. Navy Trident D5 sea-launched ballistic missile supportable and effective beyond the 2060s include an updated navigation system and a more flexible warhead interface.
New Cruise Missile In Service In Mid-2020s 
Development of the W80-4 Life Extension Program warhead, a modernized version of the current ALCM design, has been accelerated in the 2016 budget, alongside that of the LRSO itself, to reverse a two-year slippage that was included in the fiscal 2014 budget.
Controversy Continues Over Iran’s Rockets And Weapons 22
Even if the slow progress on an Iranian nuclear deal yields results, the nation’s missiles will still pose a regional problem.
Hunter and Hunted—Antisubmarine Warfare 2
The century-long cat-and-mouse game between submarines and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) could be taking a new turn, according to a study from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
General Atomics Claims Laser Weapon Advance 
So far, laser weapons have been deemed too big, too expensive and insufficiently lethal for mainstream use. General Atomics says it has taken steps to solving that problem.
Navy JSF Cuts Mirror CNO Priorities  1
The Navy significantly reduces its planned F-35C orders and starts new investment in standoff weapons, some for Hornets and Growlers.
Egypt To Buy Rafale Fighters 2
The order for the fighters, plus a DCNS Fremm multipurpose frigate and MBDA missiles, will be signed on Monday, Feb. 16 in Cairo by Defense Minister Jean-Yves le Drian.
China And Russia To Grow Their Surface Ships 
China and Russia are looking at more displacement and power in their next-generation surface combatants.
Antisubmarine Warfare Must Change, Says Think-Tank Report 
Report notes that expanding computer power could allow navies to exploit detection techniques that were lab curiosities.
Pentagon Critic Diagnoses Problems, Recommends Changes 
Wheeler is a critic of Pentagon acquisition failures, and the Pentagon never fails to supply him with material.
Opinion: Pentagon Budgets Don’t Add Up In the Out-Years 
Don’t look at what new Pentagon projects look like this year. Worry about how to pay for them in the 2020s.
Podcast: What’s Interesting In The New Budget?
From X-planes to the “black budget” to where the U.S. is placing its technology bets for the future, our editors discuss what’s buried in President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request to Congress.
Opinion: A Better LCS—Or An All-New Frigate? 18
The Navy wants to fix the Littoral Combat Ship, but the changes are so extensive that it might make more sense to start over.
Nuclear Deterrence Programs Advance In 2016 Budget  1
U.S. Defense, Energy 2016 budgets will build nuclear deterrence programs, albeit slowly.
F-35Cs Cut Back As U.S. Navy Invests In Standoff Weapons 13
The U.S. Navy has reduced its planned buy of the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter by almost one-third over fiscal 2016-2020, while committing almost $800 million to new standoff weapon developments.
 
Blogs
Apr 28, 2015
blog

When the Pentagon First Let Women Fly in Combat (1993)

Twenty-two years ago, the U.S. defense secretary proposed allowing women to fly in combat. Now, the first female fighter pilot is a member of Congress....More
Apr 25, 2015
blog

Saturday's Progress 57 Space Station Departure Paves the Way for new Russian Re-supply Mission

Progress 59 is scheduled to lift off from Baikonur on Tuesday at 3:09 a.m., EDT, initiating a four orbit, six hour sprint to the International Space Station with three tons of supplies...More
Apr 24, 2015
blog

Airbus A380 Makes First Flight (2005) 2

The Airbus A380 made its first flight on April 27, 2005. The story since has been full of ups and downs. See our original coverage from 2005....More
Apr 23, 2015
blog

Airbus, Boeing Delivering Aircraft At The Last Minute? 1

An analysis of Airbus' and Boeing's delivery data from Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet database reveals that both Airbus and Boeing tend to deliver a majority of their aircraft during the second half of each month....More
Apr 21, 2015
blog

Astronaut Scott Kelly Paces Start to ISS Marathon Mission, Chance to Sip Espresso

"We definitely look forward to the espresso machine," astronaut Scott Kelly, NASA's ISS marathoner, told Russia Today. "I know a lot of people are interested in it."...More

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