Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Operational Energy (SAF/IEN)
/ Published July 19, 2021
Topic Sponsor: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Operational Energy (SAF/IEN)
Assess the criticality (or lack thereof) of maintaining a competitive edge and posture of strength in technology areas related to operational energy. For example, the US has been a leader in advanced airframe development (e.g. blended wing body aircraft) for decades, yet the Air Force has not aggressively pursued the acquisition of next-generation tanker, mobility, and/or non-stealth bomber aircraft in lieu of sustaining legacy fleets (e.g. B-52) and procuring new aircraft designed in the 20th century (KC-46). Analyze the potential impact on competition China and Russia. Other operational energy areas of consideration in this analysis include superiority in aircraft propulsion, alternative propulsion (nuclear, liquid natural gas), and munitions range/volume per aircraft.