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.

Boeing’s Black Diamond Project Aimed At Drastic Cost Cuts 
Boeing believes airplane manufacturing costs can be cut substantially—and it is spending billions to prove it
CSBA Study Warns Of Network Vulnerability 
Future network-based warfare is likely to follow a historical pattern where competitions first accelerate and then undergo abrupt qualitative changes, according to a new study from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
India Deterrence Doctrine Lacking, Think Tank Says 
India’s expanding nuclear force is not matched by a consistent, effective doctrine and posture, risking instability, according to analysts working with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Boeing Expects Minuteman Replacement RFP In Fall 
Boeing expects the U.S. Air Force to issue a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), a replacement for the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile, in the fall, company officials said in a media briefing July 7.
Gulf Carrier Gap Sign Of Inadequate Force, Navy Booster Group Says 
The threatened removal of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier presence from the Persian Gulf indicates the need to re-establish the nation’s fleet at 11 nuclear carriers (CVNs), according to a “grassroots” pro-carrier campaign.
Sweden Ready To Launch A26 Submarine Program 
The Baltic Sea is a tight, complex environment, and Saab’s new A26 submarine is designed to thrive there.
Opinion: JSF Push Blurs Lines Between Predecessors, Competitor  46
Service leaders are right to say that the F-35 is better than the aircraft they have today. But that’s not the whole story.
Advanced Electro-Optical System A Priority For F-35 Block 4  6
Key F-35 targeting system is playing catch-up with the competition—before it has even entered service—due to development delays.
Controversy Flares Over F-35 Air Combat Report  274
F-35 team downplays combat maneuvering test results. But is it time to write off the importance of classic performance parameters?
Controversy Flares Over F-35 Air Combat Report 
F-35 team downplays combat maneuvering test results. But is it time to write off the importance of classic performance parameters? Fight’s on!
Saab Signs $1 Billion In Submarine Contracts 
Saab has signed contracts with Swedish defense material agency FMV covering the construction of two new A26 submarines and a major midlife upgrade for two Gotland-class boats.
Boeing, Saab Joint Work On T-X Trainer Seen Breaking 'Cost Curve' 
Boeing and Saab leaders could not sound happier about their joint work on the T-X trainer project, although the new design itself stays under wraps.
Thales Introduces TopMax Head-Worn Display For Business Jet Use 
Less than three years after acquiring an innovative line of helmet-mounted displays (HMD) from U.S. helmet-maker Gentex, Thales is offering the same technology for applications ranging from civil helicopters and business jets to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, including an a entirely new head-worn display called TopMax.
Podcast: The Paris Air Show: That’s a Wrap
From the Airbus A380 to satellites and a newfangled AirbusX6 helicopter, the Aviation Week team at Paris talks through the highlights of the show.
Opinion: Air Force Faces Tough Trainer Trades  24
The Air Force expects a multi-player competition over TX. But has it thought its brilliant plan all the way through?
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...

MD-80: You'll Love What It Does For Your Figures
August 12, 2015

I have a soft spot for the Super 80/MD-80 because I was the first to report on the project's existence, in March 1977, when it was known as the RSS (Refan Super Stretch) or DC...

B-52: Passenger Report
July 22, 2015

"Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and B83s".

Boeing Two For One Advertisement (1972)
July 9, 2015

So, how'd that "let's just squash this Euro upstart like a bug" strategy work out for you guys?

Controversy Flares Over F-35 Air Combat Report
July 2, 2015

The Noratlas is legendary?


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