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.

USAF: Bomber Decision 'Really, Really Close'  65
Announcement of the Pentagon’s choice of a contractor to build the Long-Range Strike Bomber is “really, really close,” a U.S. Air Force official says.
Canadian Election Results Opens Fighter Competition  101
Canada’s Liberal party scored a surprise victory in Monday’s federal election, and, for the time being, eliminated one of the largest export customers for the F-35.
Hawaii V-22 Accident Investigation Points To New Ingestion Issue  78
The fatal V-22 accident in Hawaii appears to have been caused by a newly identified ingestion issue, but a solution is years away at best.
Foreign Object Debris Focus Increases After Osprey Crash 
Preliminary findings from the probe into May's fatal Osprey carsh in Hawaii are prompting the U.S. Marine Corps to take more care with maintenance and seemingly simple procedures like foreign object debris protection.
V-22 Crash Investigation Points To New Ingestion Issue 
Hawaii V-22 accident appears to have been caused by a newly identified ingestion issue, but a solution is years away at best.
F-35 Customers Funding U.S.-Based Software Update Labs  15
Foreign air forces using the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are being compelled to build and fund U.S.-based software laboratories that generate data crucial to the fighter’s ability to identify threats.
BAE Systems Revives 1990s Mini-Tank 
BAE Systems has brought a 1990s prototype to a U.S. Army convention “to start a conversation” about what an airdroppable big-gun armored vehicle might look like.
Boeing Offers New, Rebuilt, Upgraded Super Hornets To U.S. Navy  66
Between aging Super Hornets and costly F-35s, the Navy faces a fighter gap. Boeing says it can help fill it.
Army Nears Choice On New Reconnaissance Aircraft  14
The U.S. Army is planning to choose a prime integrating contractor for nine Airborne Reconnaissance Low - Enhanced (ARL-E) systems, based on Bombardier Dash 8-300 aircraft, before the end of November.
U.S. Marines Could Play Major Role In U.K. Carrier Operations  20
Marine Corps F-35Bs will be on Britain’s new carriers, but nobody wants to say how many, or when.
Detection And Protection Against UAS Threats 
Threats from small, armed UAS challenge radar developers to engineer air-defense systems that distinguish drones from the birds in flight they resemble.
Balancing Act Keeping Saab On Its Toes 
Despite new businesses and a huge order backlog, Saab’s CEO is determined to maintain a company culture that remains agile, growth-oriented and open to new ideas.
Selex Sees U.K., U.S. Prospects For Hybrid Airship 
Selex believes the airship could be a low-cost complement to a small U.K. fleet of high-end antisubmarine warfare aircraft.
Opinion: Metrics For USAF Overhead Intelligence Badly Needed 
Are unmanned air vehicles worth their impact on the Air Force budget? We don’t really know.
New-Technology Airship Heads for U.K. Trials  2
British defense ministry may evaluate new hybrid airship for maritime missions.
Opinion: A New Bomber For $550 Million? Not Likely
November 13, 2015

The biggest mistake in this piece:

The U.S. didn't stop production at 21 B-2s because the price (program acquisition unit cost, including R&D) rose to $2.2 billion...

How's USAF Going To Manage That Bomber Deal, Anyway? We Still Don't Know
November 6, 2015

And what DarkStar was a demonstrator for...

Canadian Election Results Opens Fighter Competition
October 21, 2015

Lt Gen Bogdan has been complaining about the stress on his supply chain. The last thing he wants to do is cut people off to make a political point.

Why Boeing Cannot Decide Now On 757 Successor
September 25, 2015

The laws of geometry haven't changed at all, have they? This is the big 7N7+7X7 versus A310 argument of the 1970s, all over again. (And I don't think you can write off the...

Opinion: How To Avoid Directed-Energy Pitfalls
August 18, 2015

There is some detail on the Globalsecurity site. It sounds odd, but comms spacecraft have sensitive receivers and powerful amps - and aren't designed to work with ground...


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