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
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.
Growing Classified Budget Spends [Redacted] Billion On [Deleted] 
Major increases this year include classified research and development under Air Force operational systems development, which would grow 25% over 2015 to reach $12.8 billion – 75% of Air Force operational systems development and almost half of all Air Force R&D.
Nuclear Bow Wave Builds With Program Starts 4
The 2016 budgets for the U.S. Defense and Energy departments mark the start or expansion of a number of nuclear-deterrence initiatives, but with many of the bills coming due in future years.
Deputy Defense Secretary Hints At New Fiscal ’16 Tech Programs
An “advanced aeronautics” prototyping project, including airframes and propulsion, is one of a number of new and accelerated technology projects in the fiscal 2016 defense budget, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work.
Strategic Cruise Missile Defined As USAF Seeks Minuteman Replacement
The Pentagon has finished a secret analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the Long Range Standoff (LRSO) project, a cruise missile to replace today’s AGM-86 Air-Launched Cruise Missile
U.S. Sub Stealth Technology Could Be Challenged, Report Suggests 
Even the U.S. Navy’s new Ohio Replacement Program ballistic-missile submarines, with designs focused on low noise, could be vulnerable to new detection techniques, according to lead writer and former submariner Bryan Clark.
Joint Strike Fighter Tests Focused On Marine IOC  8
Critical independent testing report looks at F-35 test priorities and notes that its focus on the Marine Corps’ first operational squadron has a price.
JSF Program Ditches Tests To Protect Schedule 31
A major operational test series planned for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been abandoned in an attempt to protect the schedule for delivering a fully operational aircraft, according to the just-released fiscal 2014 report on the program from the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test & Evaluation.
Air Force Wants Eight New Engines On B-52 
The U.S. Air Force issued a little-reported request for information in October 2014, formally calling for ideas for re-engining its fleet of 76 Boeing B-52H bombers.
Air Force May Offer Late-Year Peek At New Bomber 
Some details of the so-far highly classified Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) could be unveiled late this year, an Air Force official says.
Pogosyan Ousted From UAC Top Job 
Mikhail Pogosyan, general director of Russia’s United Aircraft Company since January 2011, was removed from office on Friday Jan. 16 by the company’s board.
 
Blogs
Mar 27, 2015
blog

U. S., Russian Astronauts Reach International Space Station for One Year Stay 6

"He will do great," predicted NASA astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, who returned to Earth after 5 1/2 months on the ISS earlier this month. Wilmore watched Scott Kelly's lift off from NASA's Mission Control in Houston....More
Mar 26, 2015
blog

Open Skies Over Benelux And Germany

Cold War kids like me still remember the Open Skies treaty, the 1992 agreement by members of NATO and the then Warsaw Pact to allow observation flights over their territory as a confidence-building measure....More
Mar 26, 2015
blog

Pilot Report: Aviation Week Flies The Gripen (1999)

In 1999, Aviation Week's then Editor-in-Chief reported on the capabilities of the Saab Gripen. Read his pilot report....More
Mar 25, 2015
blog

Kepler Achievements Recognized by National Air and Space Museum

"We are discovering all kinds of exotic planets, worlds that have oceans of molten rock, worlds that have not one but two stars rising in the East and setting in the West," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler mission scientist....More
Mar 24, 2015
blog

NavWeek: Semper Why 3

As the U.S. Marine Corps continues to tack back to its expeditionary core and the U.S. remains on course for its Asia-Pacific rebalance, the question of the force’s relevance is again coming to the fore....More
Mar 21, 2015
blog

SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell Talks Raptor, Falcon 9, CRS-2, Satellite Internet and More 5

During a March 17 luncheon Shotwell touched on developments underway at the Hawthorne, California-based company....More
Mar 20, 2015
blog

Germany To Boost Defense Spending

Germany's finance minister says the pacifist nation must shoulder more military commitments in the coming years....More
Mar 19, 2015
blog

NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Spots Martian Aurora, Unexplained Dust Cloud

"What's especially surprising about the aurora we saw is how deep in the atmosphere it occurs," said Arnaud Stiepen, a University of Colorado researcher....More

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