Let’s cut through the fog of war and get to the heart of the matter. The scene unfolding in Ukraine is more than just a conflict; it has long served as a wake-up call to the world.

We’ve seen how cheap drones and cruise missiles can make mincemeat of even the fanciest defense systems.

So, what’s the US Air Force’s next move?

It’s simple: fight fire with fire.

We’re talking about an initiative, courtesy of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and AFWERX, to churn out a fleet of low-cost cruise missiles.

This isn’t just about matching our adversaries, like Russia; it’s about rewriting the playbook on defense economics and extending a helping hand to our global allies.

AFWERX’s Weapons Program Executive Design and Sprint Challenge

The AFRL, through AFWERX, is diving headfirst into the Weapons Program Executive (PEO) Design and Sprint Challenge.

This isn’t your standard military fare. We’re aiming for a cruise missile that’s light on the wallet but heavy on impact: think 500-nautical miles range and high subsonic speed but with a price tag of around $150,000 a pop for bulk orders.