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.

Deconfliction Urgently Needed In Syria, U.S. Air Force Says 
U.S. and allied forces were given “one or two hours’ notice” on Sept. 30 of Russia’s intention to launch air attacks in Syria, a U.S. Air Force general says.
U.S. Marines Could Play Major Role In U.K. Carrier Operations  7
Marine Corps F-35Bs will be on Britain’s new carriers, but nobody wants to say how many, or when.
Long Range Strike Bomber Delays Impose Heavy Costs On Contractors  30
Pentagon delays in picking a winner in the Long-Range Strike Bomber contest are imposing heavy costs on contractors.
New Chinese UAVs Could Support Anti-Carrier Missile 

China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force is testing examples of two high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) aircraft in the same size and weight class as the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk.                                                             

U.K. RAF Details A400M Future 
The U.K. Royal Air Force expects to be able to deploy its new Airbus A400M airlifter by the end of 2017.
New Chinese UAVs Could Support Anti-Carrier Missile  14
Rival Chinese companies produce Global Hawk-size prototypes. But it’s not likely to mean competition between them.
Leaked Report Reaffirms Risk Of Norway F-35 Cut 
Days after the Norwegian air force publicly unveiled its first Lockheed Martin F-35A at Fort Worth, state broadcaster NRK confirmed that the nation’s military is considering a 10-aircraft cut to the planned force of 52 fighters.
Opinion: European Upgrades Change Fighter Business  17
Remember when the F-35 was going to be the only Western fighter in production after 2020? That’s not how it looks today.
Canadian Liberals Would Scrap F-35 Buy  70
Canada's Liberal party would launch a competition for a less expensive substitute for the Lockheed Martin fighter.
Airlander-10 Headed For Return To Flight 
The goal is to expand the envelope to 10,000-ft. altitude, 70-kt. speed and a three-day endurance, in preparation for mission system tests and demonstrations to potential customers.
U.K.’s New Aircraft Carrier Turns Power On 
The U.K.’s new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier has started test-running its Wartsila diesel engines at the dockside in Rosyth, Scotland.
Modernized Radar Tells Small UAVs From Birds, Saab Claims 
An upgraded version of Saab’s Giraffe AMB (Agile Multi-Beam) radar showed that it could discriminate between small UAVs and seabirds in recent trials on the west coast of Scotland, the company says.
Kuwait's Typhoon Choice Buoys Consortium  2
Billions spent on the Eurofighter aircraft’s capability enhancements may finally be paying off.
Sea Ceptor Installation Starts On British Frigate 
MBDA has delivered production components for the Sea Ceptor air defense missile system (ADMS) for the Royal Navy frigate Argyll, the first of its Type 23 Duke-class ships to be retrofitted with the new weapon.
Selex-ES Launches UAV Jammer 
Selex-ES has developed a system designed to detect, track and if necessary disable consumer-type UAVs, protecting civilian targets such as public events, airports and other infrastructure targets from illegal or threatening activity.
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...

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?


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