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.

New U.S. Navy Office To Promote Quick Unmanned Fielding 
Designated as the Navy’s unmanned warfare systems office, N99 will not take over existing programs run by air, sea or subsurface weapons groups.
Opinion: F-35 Software Fixes Likely To Take Time  71
The Pentagon’s weapons-test watchdog and the F-35 program leaders are at loggerheads. Don’t expect it to change any time soon.
Low-Key Budget Will Punt Issues To Next Admin, Think Tank Says 
The fiscal 2017 defense budget to be released on Feb. 9 will contain few surprises, and is unlikely to address a looming acquisition “bow wave” dominated by Air Force aircraft programs, according to analysts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Testing Chief Warns Of JSF Software Delays  145
The JSF Program Office says it is making good progress with F-35 software, but the Pentagon’s testing watchdog says problems are ahead.
Missile Defense Agency Targets Improvement In Homeland  33
The Missile Defense Agency is preparing plans to improve the effectiveness of homeland missile defense by a factor of 12 by the end of the next decade.
A Short History Of Making Flying Safer 2
The pioneer years of aviation included both successful and misguided efforts to make the number of safe landings approximate to the number of takeoffs. Here are some notable examples on both sides of that record.
100 Years Of Attention To Safety Brings Results
Debate swirls around the right way forward for air safety. But the history of air safety shows that debates and mysteries are part of the process.
The Struggle For Safer Flight  4
Air travel could not have grown without getting safer, and some safety innovations were more important than others.
Podcast: Air Safety Innovations 2
Aviation is, by and large, an incredibly safe mode of transportation. But it wasn’t always so, and there are challenges coming soon. Join Editors Jim Asker, John Croft and Bill Sweetman as they discuss the history and future of aviation safety and read the special report.
Israeli Air Force Makes Big Simulation Move  2
Simulation is not the same as real flying, say Israeli engineers and aircrew. It can be far superior.
Israel Aims For New Era In Targeting And Precision  24
Most experts think future targets will be even harder to find and identify. Israel’s defense industry is getting ready.
Israeli Defense Firms Detail Technology Development Culture  5
Israel’s defense industry often seems a jump ahead of competitors. Technology leaders explain how it’s done.
Opinion: Long-Range Strike Bomber To Lead 2016 Headlines  29
Secrecy, nuclear weapons and (of course) the JSF will be talking points in the coming year.
Israel Seeks New Era Targeting And Precision Standards 
Most experts think future targets will be even harder to find and identify. Israel’s industry is getting ready.
Australia Orders ISR G550s From L-3 
Australia is unexpectedly buying two Gulfstream G550s as intelligence and electronic warfare (EW) aircraft from L-3 Communications for $93.6 million.

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