Frank Kendall, secretary of the Air Force and a three-time Wash100 Award winner, said he has top seven priorities aimed at giving the service branch deployable capabilities against near-peer competitors such as Russia and China and these include a new unmanned fighter jet and an unmanned bomber escort, Air Force Magazine reported Thursday.
Kendall said those two unmanned aircraft will be “acknowledged classified” programs, meaning the service will make the funding public but will not disclose the details of the aircraft systems.
To amplify the capability of the B-21 bomber, he said he wants the escort aircraft to deliver more weaponry and range and operate “as a formation in some loose sense … against a modern enemy” controlled through a network by an operator aboard the bomber.
“The tactics are very much to be determined,” he noted.
Kendall also discussed his other five priorities: space order of battle; air base resiliency; Advanced Battle Management System; air and moving target indication; and efforts to address vulnerabilities in the supply chain.
Several Department of the Air Force leaders are scheduled to speak at a Potomac Officers Club event to share their perspectives on information technology programs at both the Air Force and Space Force.
Winston Beauchamp, deputy chief information officer, will headline POC’s “AF IT Modernization and Digital Transformation” forum on Wednesday.