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N & S America

SOURCE: SPUNTIK

The Pentagon has several hypersonic weapons programs currently in development in a bid to close the gap with Russia and China, both of which already have hypersonic missiles deployed. The ultra-fast weapons are capable of evading most methods of detection as well as interception.

The US Army has let slip the range of its forthcoming ground-launched hypersonic missile system, revealing the weapon has a range in excess of 1,700 miles.Breaking Defense reported earlier this week that an Army spokesperson had told the outlet the service’s forthcoming Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) will be able to strike targets “at a distance greater than 2,775 kilometers,” or 1,725 miles.

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SOURCE: SPUTNIK

The $678 million-apiece fifth-generation F-22 was introduced in 2005, and has never been exported, ostensibly due to concerns about the leak of its advanced technology. The US jet’s deployments have been limited to escorting vintage 1950s Russian bombers, deploying at airbases in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and flying sorties over Syria.

The US Air Force plans to retire its entire stock of Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighters, with the aircraft to be replaced in part by a mystery plane, drone or drone plane being developed under the ‘Next Generation Air Dominance’ (NGAD) programme, Lieut. Gen. Clinton Hinote, Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, has said.

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SOURCE: SPUTNIK

The US and NATO began their withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 May, with the security situation in the country little better now than it was after the 2001 invasion. US President Joe Biden, in his announcement of the withdrawal in April, called on Russia, China and India to step up and “support Afghanistan” after the US leaves.

The United States would “prefer” to redeploy troops and equipment coming out of Afghanistan into Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, two of the three former Soviet republics bordering the war-torn country to its north, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing government and military officials familiar with the situation.

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SOURCE: SPUTNIK

Artificial intelligence is seen as a key component of the next generation of aircraft, both manned and unmanned, and networking them to operate as a cohesive unit over the battlefield is a major focus of projects funded by the Pentagon, as well as other nation’s militaries.

The US Air Force’s Skyborg autonomous AI piloting system took the helm of an aircraft for the first time last week when it flew an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) in a test at Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base. The Air Force announced on Thursday that on April 29, the Skyborg team conducted a 130-minute test flight of a Kratos UTAP-22 Mako UCAV flown by the Skyborg autonomy core system (ACS), which they dubbed “Milestone 1.”

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SOURCE: INDIA TIMES

The US army has shared the video of its newest night vision goggles and they look something straight out of a Call of Duty video game. 

Reported first by Business Insider, the video shows the Enhanced Night Vision Googles-Binoculars (also called ENVG-B) being tested by soldiers assigned to the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division where they conducted a platoon live-fire exercise on April 19 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

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SOURCE: Nikkei Inc

 China’s intentions over the Taiwan Strait dominated the conversation when the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s head Adm. Philip Davidson testified on Capitol Hill last month. But a little noticed exchange during the House Armed Services Committee hearing touched on a topic that could have wide implications on the Indo-Pacific.

“I also want to touch on the recent announcement by the Navy that they would be reestablishing the 1st Fleet,” Rep. Elaine Luria from Virginia asked the four-star admiral. “So as the combatant commander and kind of looking at the Naval Forces in the [area of responsibility], do you find that the advantageous from your position to have that split between the 1st and the 7th Fleet.”

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SOURCE: AFP

A US fighter jet on a training mission from a British Royal Air Force base in eastern England crashed in the North Sea on Monday. “A US Air Force F-15C Eagle crashed at approximately 0940 (0840 GMT) today (Monday) in the North Sea,” said USAF Captain Miranda T. Simmons, from RAF Lakenheath.

“The cause of the crash, as well as the status of the pilot, are unknown at this time, and UK Search and Rescue have been called to support.” The plane took off from the RAF Lakenheath base, near Mildenhall, in Suffolk, which hosts the 48th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force. The BBC said the plane was believed to have gone down 74 nautical miles (137 kilometres) off the East Yorkshire coast. Continue reading