N & S America
The test flight of Boeing’s second T-X trainer aircraft, in a partnership with Saab, took place on April 24th. The plane is marketed as a platform for advanced pilot training, with the US Air Force considered its primary customer.
“The jet handled exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations,” Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese said in a press release. “The front and back cockpits work together seamlessly and the handling is superior. It’s the perfect aircraft for training future generations of combat pilots.” Continue reading
The Pentagon’s contract management agency forecasts Lockheed Martin Corp. will deliver 57 of its F-35 jets this year, nine fewer than the company plans.
The No. 1 defense contractor “did not meet contract requirements in 2014, 2015 or 2016,” and the Defense Contract Management Agency “forecasts that Lockheed Martin will not meet contract requirements again in 2017,” agency spokesman Mark Woodbury said in a statement. Company performance “has, however, improved from the 2014-2016 timeframe.” Continue reading
SOURCE: MBDA PR
The United Kingdom (MOD) has today awarded MBDA a contract to pave the way for the integration of the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) on its new F-35 stealth fighters.
Today’s contract helps de-risk the integration effort and includes the mixture of test assets, productionisation and engineering work needed to support Meteor’s compatibility and use from F-35. This is excellent news for the UK’s F-35 Lightning II force, which is planned to be armed with the game-changing Meteor missile in the 2020s. Continue reading
The CH-53K King Stallion, the Marine Corps’ latest heavy-lift helicopter, is finally ready for production. After years of development, it will relieve the Corps’ 40-year-old CH-53E. Just one problem: The King Stallions will end up costing $138.5 million apiece—even more expensive than the notoriously costly F-35.
The CH-53 series dates back to the 1960s, when they were used by the Marine Corps in Vietnam and the Air Force for combat search and rescue. The current edition, CH-53E Super Stallion, was introduced in 1974 and still serves in the Marines today. Continue reading
SOURCE: NATIONAL INTEREST
At the moment, targeting information from drones is relayed from the ground station back up to an F-22. However, computer algorithms and technology is fast evolving such that aircraft like an F-22s will soon be able to quickly view drone video feeds in the cockpit without needing a ground station — and eventually be able to control nearby drones from the air. These developments were highlighted in a special Scout Warrior interview with Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias.
Zacharias explained that fifth generation fighters such as the F-35 and F-22 are quickly approaching an ability to command-and-control nearby drones from the air. This would allow unmanned systems to deliver payload, test enemy air defenses and potentially extend the reach of ISR missions. Continue reading
The United States has tested the latest upgrade to its B61, sending General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter to drop the intermediate yield strategic and tactical thermonuclear bomb over a military training area in Nevada.
“An Air Force F-16 aircraft released an inert B61 nuclear bomb in a test recently, demonstrating the aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon and testing the functioning of the weapon’s non-nuclear components, including the arming and fire control system, radar altimeter, spin rocket motors and weapons control computer. The F-16 from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nevada, released the weapon over the Nellis Test and Training Range Complex in the first test use of the upgraded B61, known as the B61-12, with the F-16 aircraft,” the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center said in a statement.
NASA on Thursday released new global nighttime images of the Earth — including a detailed view of India and its surroundings that show how patterns of human settlement changed across the country between 2012 and 2016.
The new images compare the composite night-time view of India and its surrounding areas in 2016 with that of 2012. Continue reading
The United States dropped a massive GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday against a series of caves used by Islamic State militants, the military said.
It was the first time the United States has used this size of bomb in a conflict. It was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said. Continue reading
The U.S. Air Force authorized aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin to extend the service life of its F-16 fighter fleet.
The move boosts the service life for the jets from 8,000 Equivalent Flight Hours to 12,000, and aims to allow the service to continue operating the planes through 2048. Lockheed Martin says the decision benefits the Air Force as well as its foreign military customers. Continue reading
SOURCE: NATIONAL INTEREST
A debate over the future of US naval fighter jets has been on a slow burn for months, but it’s starting to heat up. There are reports that Boeing is surreptitiously marketing the F/A-18XT or ‘Block III Super Hornet’ to decision-makers in Washington via a one-page ‘white paper’. The chain of events stretches back to at least December, when Donald Trump announced to the Twitterverse that he’d ‘asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet’ as an alternative to the F-35. (Though Boeing has had plans for a further evolution of the Super Hornet for several years.)
The notion of a Super Hornet alternative to the F-35 Alpha or Bravo models for the Air Force and marines respectively was promptly (and rightly) squashed, but Defense Secretary Mattis ordered a review of current plans for acquiring the F-35C carrier variant. The Pentagon’s thinking about how much they’re willing to pay for the extra capabilities afforded by the F-35C, and how many aircraft they need for the kinds of missions only an F-35 can do. Continue reading
US Army Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Mike Murray has told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee that the US faces falling behind other countries in the area of tank technology, saying that other nations, including Israel, the UK and particularly Russia are close to catching up. Russian observers ponder the significance of the general’s remarks.
In a speech before Senate defense subcommittee members last week that went largely unreported, Lt. Gen. Murray warned that the US no longer has the edge in tank technology it used to, saying that he could “not say that we have the world class tank that we had for many, many years.”
The United States and its allies would have “no defense” against large numbers of ground-launched cruise missiles of the type recently deployed by Russia, a top US general warned today.
Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of deploying a land-based cruise missile system in contravention of a 1987 US-Russia arms control deal, known as the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Continue reading
In 2005, USS Ronald Reagan, a newly constructed $6.2 billion dollar aircraft carrier, sank after being hit by multiple torpedoes. Fortunately, this did not occur in actual combat, but was simulated as part of a war game pitting a carrier task force including numerous antisubmarine escorts against HSMS Gotland, a small Swedish diesel-powered submarine displacing 1,600 tons.
Diesel submarines are ideal for patrolling close to friendly shores. But U.S. subs off Asia and Europe need to travel thousands of miles just to get there, and then remain deployed for months at a time. A diesel submarine may be able to traverse that distance—but it would then require frequent refueling at sea to complete a long deployment. Continue reading
China is steadfastly opposed to the deployment of advanced US anti-missile radars in South Korea because it does not know whether the defences, intended for North Korean missiles, are capable of tracking and countering Beijing`s own nuclear programme, experts say.
SOURCE: Gizmodo Australia
What’s old is unfortunately new again: Recently, two US military officials said that America should be getting ready for a war in space, a sentence I am ashamed to write in the year 2017.
Their advice was seemingly bolstered by a Hill article penned by two US national security experts this week, which reminded Americans that North Korea could in theory use a satellite weapon to send an electromagnetic pulse over the United States, triggering widespread blackouts and ultimately, societal collapse. It seems like all those Cold War fears Baby Boomers have repressed for decades are finally getting their chance! Continue reading