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.

Electronic Warfare Systems Top Innovation List At Moscow Air Show  5
MAKS can usually be counted on for the unexpected, and the 2015 event, running Aug. 25-30, was no exception.
Russia Upgrades Jamming Technology  1
High-powered radar jammers blur the line between interference and damage.
Opinion: Sizing Up The U.S. Air Force’s Next Bomber  6
Some people conjecture that the next bomber will be supersonic or B-2-sized. It probably won’t be either.
 Sukhoi’s T-50 stealth fighter
Russia's T-50 Fighter Shows Off New Moves At MAKS Air Show  51
The new fighter replicated some of the characteristic moves of the Su-35S.
Secrecy Muffles USAF Bomber Debate 
A discussion of the Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) program in Washington on Aug. 13 demonstrated how the secrecy surrounding the project and its precursors continues to block effective public discussion of what is expected to be a $90 billion program.
Opinion: How To Avoid Directed-Energy Pitfalls  6
Lasers, microwave weapons and railguns have flopped before. Here are some ways to stop that from happening again.
U.S. Navy Could Cut F-35C Rate To 12 Per Year 
The U.S. Navy could cut its purchases of the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter carrier variant to as few as 12 aircraft a year through the 2020s, compared with 20 per year under the program of record.
Directed-Energy Weapons: No Longer Science Fiction 5
Lasers, other directed-energy weapons and electromagnetic railguns have been science-fiction staples for more than a century. Today, however, military needs are becoming more realistic and technology is steadily improving—with effects that might well be revolutionary.
Opinion: Aggressive Politicking Threatens Australia’s Submarine Program  21
Some Australian politicians say they know the best answer for the country’s submarine needs. They don’t.
Special Operations Unit Leads Charge For Airborne Lasers  1
A Lockheed Martin aircraft could be carrying a high-power laser in 2020; it’s not the F-35.
Railgun And Guided Projectile Aimed At Joint-Service Use  2
U.S. Navy pushes toward railguns, while U.S. Army shows interest.
Microwave Weapons For U.S. Defense  8
A shadowy new class of microwave weapon could be used to identify and disable air threats to U.S. cities.
Pentagon Leaders Turn Up Heat On Advanced Weapons  21
Lasers, railguns and microwave weapons—it’s not the 1980s, and the goal is low-cost kills on missiles and drones.
Laser Technology Heads For Key Tests 
Mobile, practical and lethal lasers may be within reach for land and maritime use.
New And Evolutionary Air-Defense Systems Target New Threats  6
While the U.S. talks about lasers and railguns, Israeli companies focus on missile improvements.
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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