AF releases Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan
AF releases Air Superiority
2030 Flight Plan
By Secretary of the Air Force Public
Affairs Command Information.
Washington D.C. — (AFNS)
— May 31, 2016 — The Air Force released a flight plan directing development
activity as a result of a yearlong study focused on developing capability
options to ensure joint force air superiority in 2030 and beyond.
According to the unclassified version of the Air Superiority
2030 Flight Plan, released May 26, the gap between the U.S. military’s air
superiority capabilities and potential adversaries’ means, as it currently
stands, the Air Force’s projected force structure in 2030 may not be capable of
fighting and winning against those adversary capabilities.
In order to counter emerging threats, air superiority must be
viewed as a condition the Air Force sets to enable joint forces to accomplish
mission objectives, and not as an end in and of itself. Providing the
capabilities to do this will require multi-domain solutions developed through a
more agile acquisition process.
“After 25 years of being the only great power out there,
we’re returning to a world of great power competition,” said Lt. Gen. Mike
Holmes, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements.
“We need to develop coordinated solutions that bring air, space, cyber, the
electronic environment and surface capabilities together to solve our problems.”
The flight plan, put together by an enterprise capability
collaboration team composed of Air Force operators, acquirers and analysts, says
that to achieve air superiority in 2030 and beyond, the Air Force needs to
develop a family of capabilities that operate in and across the air, space and
cyberspace domains, including both stand-off and stand-in forces.
The speed of capability development and fielding will be
crucial to retaining the U.S. advantage. The service can no longer afford to
develop weapon systems on acquisition and development timelines using
traditional approaches. According to the ECCT, air superiority capability
development requires adaptable, affordable and agile processes with increasing
collaboration between science and technology, acquisition, requirements and
“There’s no silver bullet,” said Col. Alexus Grynkewich, the
Air Superiority 2030 ECCT lead. “We have to match tech cycles -- some of them
are really long. Engines take a long time to make, but information age tech
cycles are fast. Software updates are constantly moving. So how do you move from
pacing yourself off industrial age mindsets to information age mindsets?”
The answer, Grynkewich said, is parallel development of
maturing technologies for sensors, missions systems, lethality and non-kinetic
effects, on appropriate time cycles, of an integrated and networked family of
capabilities. The next step is to pull technologies out of each of those
parallel efforts when they are ready and developing prototypes, experimenting
and gaining more knowledge to determine if the developments are what’s needed in
“What the flight plan lays out is a series of capability
development needs, as well as initiatives to prototype and experiment with a
number of concepts,” Grynkewich said. “You can start building and then move
forward if experimental capabilities are determined to make enough of a
difference in highly contested environments of the future.”
In order to achieve air superiority in 2030 and beyond,
bringing agility to multi-domain acquisition is crucial.
“We've talked about acquisition agility a number of times in
terms of, ‘How do we save money’ and not wasting taxpayer dollars is absolutely
important,” Grynkewich said. “But there's an operational imperative that says we
have to do this faster, and if we don't we're at a risk of failing as an Air
Force and a joint force.”
Air Superiority 2030 is the first enterprise capability
collaboration team to release its flight plan. The ECCTs examine, comprehend and
quantify operational needs, including current and emerging capability gaps that
span the Air Force enterprise. Future topics will likely cover other core Air
Force mission areas.
Related Links :
Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan
AF introduces Air Superiority 2030 study
What is air superiority ?