Aerospace Power: An Imperative for National Security

An Imperative for the Nation

The Mitchell Institute is the only aerospace power-focused think tank in the nation’s capital. The Institute informs the national security debate, educates about the essential role of aerospace power, and cultivates aerospace-minded talent.
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In the News & Commentary

The Mitchell Institute’s editorials, media articles featuring Mitchell expertise, and other content.
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Aerospace Nation Interview Series

The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Nation Interview Series.
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Publications

Read Mitchell Institute Research Studies, Policy Papers, and the latest entries in the Mitchell Forum Paper series.
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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events feature thoughtful commentary from decisionmakers, thought leaders, and other authoritative voices from the aerospace power community.
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Aerospace Advantage Podcast

The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage Podcast.
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References

An Aerospace Power Reading List For National Security Professionals.
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In the News and Commentary

All News

Is America’s military headed down the same path as Russia’s?

Defense News | May 17, 2022 | Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
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Chris Stone on DOD OIG Release of Space Command

Defense and Aerospace Report | May 15, 2022 | Chris Stone
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Russia struggles in eastern Ukraine

CNBC | May 9, 2022 | Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
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Press Release – AFA’s Mitchell Institute Launches Center for UAV and Autonomy Studies

Arlington, Virginia, May 9, 2022 The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies launched today its new Center for UAV and Autonomy Studies (MI-UAS), a research center dedicated to elevating and informing the national debate on UAVs, autonomy, and the future of conflict. Led by Dr. Caitlin Lee, MI-UAS will embrace the Mitchell Institute’s commitment to produce objective, non-partisan and innovative ideas and research focused on UAVs and autonomy to inform policymakers, experts and the public. “After
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The anti-satellite test ban must not undermine deterrence

Defense News | April 29, 2022 | Gen Kevin Chilton, USAF (Ret.)
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Publications

All Publications

Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms

Arlington, VA | April 18, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Building Alliances and Competing with China: The Imperative for UAV Export Reforms by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute. At a time when the American public is demanding to know what more we can do to help forces in Ukraine resist the invasion of Russia, we
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The Arctic Intersection: Site of the Next Collision with Russia?

Arlington, VA | March 30, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, The Arctic Intersection: Site of the Next Collision with Russia? by Col John Cody Mosbey, Ph.D., USAF (Ret.). Especially in light of the threat posed by Russian expansionist ambitions laid bare in Ukraine, now is the time America must seriously consider the growing value of keeping the high north secure. In this paper,
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Air War Over Korea: Lessons for Today’s Airmen

Arlington, VA | February 22, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Air War Over Korea: Lessons for Today’s Airmen by Douglas A. Birkey, Executive Director at the Mitchell Institute. Often lost between WWII and Vietnam, the air war over Korea holds particular relevance for members of today’s Air Force as they seek to address a strikingly similar set of challenges—everything from
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Beyond Pixie Dust: A Framework for Understanding and Developing Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft

ARLINGTON, VA | February 10, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new Research Study, Beyond Pixie Dust: A Framework for Understanding and Developing Autonomy in Unmanned Aircraft, by Heather Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute, and Maj Christopher Olsen, USAF, with Foreword by Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.). Nearly every vision, strategy, and flight plan the U.S. Air Force has released over the past decade identified
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Drip Feeding Improvements in EMSO Will Not Work

Arlington, VA | January 31, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, Drip Feeding Improvements in EMSO Will Not Work by Maj Gen Ken Israel, USAF (Ret.). Spectrum superiority is critical to multi-domain and multi-functional capabilities and operations. From gray zone conflicts to nuclear conflagration, the ability to control and dominate the spectrum will likely determine the outcome of future conflicts. Our electromagnetic spectrum operations
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Maneuver Warfare in Space: The Strategic Mandate for Nuclear Propulsion

Arlington, VA | January 13, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Maneuver Warfare in Space: The Strategic Mandate for Nuclear Propulsion by Christopher Stone, Senior Fellow for Space Studies at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence. America’s national security space enterprise is at an inflection point. Current U.S. Space Force (USSF) designs are based on constellation architectures with limited
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The Backbone of JADC2: Satellite Communications for Information Age Warfare

Arlington, VA | December 15, 2021 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, The Backbone of JADC2: Satellite Communications for Information Age Warfare by Gen Kevin Chilton, USAF (Ret.) Explorer Chair for Space Warfighting Studies, and Lukas Autenried, Senior Analyst, at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence. Today, DOD’s SATCOM enterprise is at a crossroads. Current systems and architectures are simply
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Affordable Mass: The Need for a Cost-Effective PGM Mix for Great Power Conflict

Arlington, VA | November 29, 2021 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Affordable Mass: The Need for a Cost-Effective PGM Mix for Great Power Conflict by Col Mark A. Gunzinger, USAF (Ret.), Director of Future Concepts and Capability Assessments at the Mitchell Institute. A corollary to the maxim that “you go to war with the forces you have” is that you also
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About the
Mitchell Institute

The Mitchell Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research organization established to provide fact-based policy options, inform debate, and empower our nation’s leaders.

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1,763
Air Force F-35 Procurement Requirement to Outpace Advancing Threats

Flying & Fighting
in the Modern Age

Employing successful modern combat aerospace power today and in the future demands questioning long-standing assumptions and seeking smarter ways of achieving desired mission goals.

270
The Number of Bombers Required to Meet Real-World Demand

Future Trends

Individuals engaging in tomorrow’s aerospace domain, whether at the tactical, operational, or strategic levels, will face a future far different than what they experienced in the past. The last century saw aerospace power ascend in the industrial age, when the state of the art was governed by mechanical prowess.

29.2
Average Age of an Aircraft in the Air Force Inventory

Dollars & Sense

The US Air Force is embarking upon a crucial modernization cycle. Presently, airmen are flying combat missions in aircraft that average over a quarter of a century in age. Said another way, many pilots are younger than the aircraft in which they are taking into the sky.

386
The Number of Operational Squadrons Required by the US Air Force

Analysis

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