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.
Watch the Video

Content

In the News & Commentary

The Mitchell Institute’s editorials, media articles featuring Mitchell expertise, and other content.
Read more

Aerospace Nation Interview Series

The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Nation Interview Series.
Read more

Publications

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

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events feature thoughtful commentary from decisionmakers, thought leaders, and other authoritative voices from the aerospace power community.
Read more

Aerospace Advantage Podcast

The Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage Podcast.
Read more

References

An Aerospace Power Reading List For National Security Professionals.
Read more

In the News and Commentary

All News

Move Ukraine Beyond Stalemate By Supplying Combat Aircraft

Forbes | November 27, 2022 | Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
Read more

B-21 Raider: The Indispensable Bomber

Air & Space Forces Magazine | November 3, 2022 | Chris Brunner
Read more

Press Release – The Royal Canadian Air Force Visits the Mitchell Institute

ARLINGTON, VA | November 4, 2022On November 3, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies team met with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Brig Gen Chris McKenna, Director General Air and Space Force Development, and Brig Gen G. Michael Adamson, 3 Canadian Space Division Commander. The increase of global threats demands robust partnerships between allies, and the Mitchell Institute is proud to participate in these dialogues. The Mitchell Institute’s Dean, Lt Gen Dave Deptula, USAF (Ret.),
Read more

U.S. Cuts Pacific Airpower Presence As China’s Military Grows

Forbes | November 1, 2022 | Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
Read more

Balance of Power: Putin Plays Down Nuclear Weapons Threat

Bloomberg | October 28, 2022 | Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
Read more

What the Biden Administration’s New National Security Strategy Is and Isn’t for Space Security

The Downlink Podcast | Defense and Aerospace Report | October 16, 2022 | Chris Stone
Read more

Publications

All Publications

Hardened Shelters and UCAVs: Understanding The Chinese Threat Facing Taiwan

Arlington, VA | November 9, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, Hardened Shelters and UCAVs: Understanding The Chinese Threat Facing Taiwan by non-resident fellow Daniel Rice. This analysis of unclassified aerial imagery concludes that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) airfields adjacent to the Taiwan Strait are intended for permanent, sustained operations in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. Previous
Read more

The Indispensable Domain: The Critical Role of Space in JADC2

Arlington, VA | October 20, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, The Indispensable Domain: The Critical Role of Space in JADC2 by Tim Ryan, Senior Fellow for Spacepower Studies at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence. Coming out of the Cold War, the U.S. military possessed the capabilities and capacity to dominate global military operations when and where it
Read more

Five Imperatives for Developing Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Teaming Operations

Arlington, VA | October 6, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Five Imperatives for Developing Collaborative Combat Aircraft for Teaming Operations by Heather R. Penney, Senior Resident Fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The Air Force lacks the force capacity, lethality, and survivability needed to fight a peer-level conflict with China. To address these shortfalls, Air Force leaders are
Read more

Decades of Air Force Underfunding Threaten America’s Ability to Win

The Air Force’s budget has been less than the Navy and Army’s for the last 30 years in a row. The Army received over $1.3 trillion more than the Air Force between 2002–2021, an average of $66 billion more per year than the Air Force. These sorts of realities repeatedly prompted service officials to pursue “divest to invest” modernization strategies that introduced significant risk and failed to effectively balance modernization, force size, and readiness. Resetting the Air Force to meet the national security demands of today and tomorrow is possible, but it will take forceful leadership at the highest levels of the Department of Defense. Without modernizing our geriatric Air Force and building it to the capacity required by our national defense strategy, the U.S. is a great risk of losing its next major conflict.
Read more

The Nuances of Air Control in Great Power Competition: What the No-Fly Zone Debate is Missing

Arlington, VA | August 2, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies announces a new entry in its Forum Paper series, The Nuances of Air Control in Great Power Competition: What the No-Fly Zone Debate is Missing by Lt Col Dave Cochran, USAF. Ukraine’s request for a “no-fly-zone” in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion sparked a debate in the United States over the use of this policy instrument against a nuclear-armed opponent. It is
Read more

Orbital Vigilance: The Need for Enhanced Space-Based Missile Warning and Tracking

Arlington, VA | June 7, 2022 — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Policy Paper series, Orbital Vigilance: The Need for Enhanced Space-Based Missile Warning and Tracking by Christopher Stone, Senior Fellow for Space Studies at the Mitchell Institute Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence. Today, both China and Russia are fielding a new generation of hypersonic, low-flying missiles that U.S. ground-based radars are unable to track
Read more

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
Read more

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,
Read more

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.

Learn More
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

Learn more from our additional resources of studies, policy papers, forums, and other featured news articles.

Follow us on Twitter @MitchellStudies