Sunday, November 20, 2016

MIM-104 Patriot

The MIM-104 Patriot is a surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. It is manufactured by the U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and derives its name from the radar component of the weapon system. The AN/MPQ-53 at the heart of the system is known as the "Phased array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target" or the bacronym PATRIOT.

The Patriot System has been given the function of the U.S. Army's anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, which is now Patriot's primary mission. An anti-ballistic missile (ABM) is a surface-to-air missile designed to counter ballistic missiles. Ballistic missiles are used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The term "anti-ballistic missile" is a generic term conveying a system designed to intercept and destroy any type of ballistic threat.
The ‘Hit-To-Kill’ PAC-3 Missile is the world’s most advanced, capable and powerful terminal air defense missile. It defeats the entire threat: tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), cruise missiles and aircraft.

The PAC-3 Missile is a high velocity interceptor that defeats incoming targets by direct, body-to-body impact.
The PAC-3 Missile uses a solid propellant rocket motor, aerodynamic controls, attitude control motors (ACMs) and inertial guidance to navigate. The missile flies to an intercept point specified prior to launch by its ground-based fire solution computer.
Target trajectory data can be updated during missile flyout. Shortly before arrival at the intercept point, the PAC-3 Missile’s on board Ka band seeker acquires the target, selects the optimal aim point and terminal guidance is initiated.
Unit cost is between US$2 to 6 million



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Russia announces major offensive in Syria

Russia’s defense minister says the air force has launched a major operation on the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Homs, while Syrian activists report the resumption of airstrikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo for the first time in three weeks. It could signal the start of a new government offensive in the northern city.

Warplanes are firing missiles and helicopters are dropping barrel bombs on the eastern part of Syria’s largest city.
The flagship aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has begun combat operations towards the war torn city after reaching Syrian shores last week.

Intelligence sources previously told how they feared Russian President Vladimir Putin will launch a huge assault on Aleppo while America is distracted with the US election. These fears will be heightened now it has emerged the huge vessel has begun combat operations days after Donald Trump was declared the new US president.
The ship's Russian type designator is "heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser". The cruiser role is facilitated by Admiral Kuznetsov's complement of 12 long-range surface-to-surface anti-ship Granit cruise missiles.

Admiral Kuznetsov's main fixed-wing aircraft is the Sukhoi Su-33. It can perform air superiority, fleet defence, and air support missions and can also be used for direct fire support of amphibious assault.

Monday, November 14, 2016

F35B Joint Strike Fighter bursts into flames during mid-air training flight

The Marine Corps is trying to figure out what caused the fire to ignite on an F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft that took off from a base in South Carolina last month. The fire spread into the warplane's weapons bay during a training mission. 'The aircraft landed safely and there were no injuries sustained,' a Marine Corps spokesperson said.

The US military has experienced a long series of mishaps in its rollout of the new stealth fighter. This is the third F35 to catch fire. Mechanical failures forced officials to temporarily ground 10 F-35 jets just one month after they were deemed 'combat ready.'
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Lockheed AC-130 Spectre Gunship

The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed, long-endurance ground-attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport fixed-wing aircraft. It carries a wide array of anti-ground oriented weapons that are integrated with sophisticated sensors, navigation, and fire-control systems.

Due to its large profile, relatively low speed and low operating altitudes (around 7,000 ft) making it an easy target, it usually flies close air support missions at night.
The AC-130 has a non-pressurized cabin, with the weaponry mounted to fire from the port side of the fuselage. During an attack, the gunship performs a pylon turn, flying in a large circle around the target, therefore being able to fire at it for far longer than in a conventional strafing attack. The AC-130H Spectre was armed with two 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannons, one Bofors 40 mm autocannon, and one 105 mm M102 cannon. The upgraded AC-130U Spooky has a single 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer in place of the Spectre's twin 20 mm cannons. The AC-130W is armed with a 30 mm Bushmaster cannon, AGM-176 Griffin missiles, and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs.
By 2018, AC-130 gunships will have been providing close air support for special operators for 50 years.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000)

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is a guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. She is the lead ship of the Zumwalt class. The ship has stealth capabilities, having a radar cross-section akin to a fishing boat despite her large size. The ship was commissioned in Baltimore on 15 October 2016.

The ship is about 185 metres long but has the radar signature of a vessel a twelfth of its size, thanks to a unique angular hull that obscures its guns, radar systems and sensors from detection. It treads quietly through the water. The warship is the most expensive destroyer in the history of the U.S. Navy, costing about US$4.4 billion.
Zumwalt-class ships carry advanced, high energy weapons. Specifically 'Long Range Land Attack Projectiles' or LRLAP. The advanced gun system was built to rapidly and precisely strike targets more than 110 kilometres away. The tests of the weapon showed promise. But there is a problem with LRLAP: The $800,000 price tag on a single shot of the GPS-guided, rocket-propelled ammunition.
Fully stocked, the ship would carry 600 rounds of LRLAP ammunition.
The $800,000 price tag is close to that of a $1 million-per-shot Tomahawk cruise missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and traveling more than 1,600 kilometres.

The Navy’s initial plan, when it began developing the warships, was to build 32 of the Zumwalt-class vessels. But as costs exploded, the program shrunk from 24 ships to seven and, ultimately, the current plan of three ships.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pentagon wants another $ 500m for the F-35

Defense officials say they need up to $500 million more to finish the development phase for the F-35, the troubled fifth-generation fighter that's already gone 50% over its original budget. The Joint Strike Fighter has been plagued by lengthy delays and enormous cost overruns.

Its overall lifetime budget has ballooned to more than $1.5 trillion, making it the most expensive weapons system ever built by the US. Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called the cost overruns a disgrace. "It has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule and performance," he said in April.

The US military has only taken delivery of about 180 of the aircraft so far.
The F-35 has had electrical problems, major issues with its software, advanced helmet system and fuel lines.

Four months ago the Pentagon's chief weapons tester said the F-35 program was "not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver."

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

China unveils advanced J-20 stealth fighter

China's latest J-20 stealth fighter, long touted as the answer to the US F-22 Raptor and even the F-35, was unveiled at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition at Zhuhai, Guangdong.

The long-range, radar-evading J-20 fighter, which is seen as a key element in China's increasing arsenal, was first tested in 2011.

The stealth fighter is a vast improvement on the J-31 China pressed into service in 2014.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Russian, US military planes in near miss over Syria

A Russian fighter jet and a US military plane flew dangerously close to each other while flying over Syria earlier this month, according to the Pentagon. US Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, who commands US air operations across the Middle East, characterized the incident as a "near miss."

The US military plane came within less than half a mile of the Russian jet, close enough to be in the jet wash of the Russian plane, according to US military officials. The Russian fighter jet was escorting a Russian spy plane.
The Tu-214R is the most modern Russian ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft.

The Tu-214R is equipped with sensors to perform ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) missions as well as with all-weather radar systems and electro-optical sensors that produce photo-like imagery of a large parts of the ground. The aircraft can fly multiple intelligence gathering missions: it can intercept and analyse signals emitted by targeted systems (radars, aircraft, radios, combat vehicles, mobile phones etc) while collecting imagery that can be used to identify and pinpoint the enemy forces, even if they are camouflaged or hidden.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

NATO response to Russia largest since Cold War

Russia's military escalation on Europe's border has triggered the West's biggest show of force in the region since the Cold War. Britain is to deploy troops, tanks and jets to Estonia to deter Russian aggression while UK and Romanian forces will also join a US battalion in Poland.

RAF planes are also being dispatched to patrol Romanian airspace for the first time. The moves are designed to stop Moscow taking over or undermining its former Eastern European satellites. The US is hoping for European nations to fill four battle groups of some 4,000 troops as part of Nato's response to Russia.

More troops will be sent to the Baltic states and eastern Poland early next year.
The response comes as Russia unveiled its largest ever nuclear missile – Satan 2. The missile will have a range exceeding 11,000 kilometers (6,835 miles)
The RS-28 Sarmat rocket "is capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France," Russian state news outlet Sputnik reported.
Tensions between Russia and the West have deteriorated due to Moscow's indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Aleppo. Putin sent a fleet of eight Russian warships through the English Channel to assist in the assault on the besieged Syrian city.

Earlier this month, Moscow announced that it was suspending an arms reduction agreement with the US in which both countries agreed to dispose of 34 tons of plutonium, enough for thousands of nuclear bombs, over what it called Washington's "unfriendly actions"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group - AMARG

The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), often called The Boneyard, is a United States Air Force aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility in Tucson, Arizona.

AMARG takes care of more than 4,400 aircraft, which makes it the largest aircraft storage and preservation facility in the world.


The hard soil makes it possible to move aircraft around without having to pave the storage areas.
AMARG was established in 1946 as the 4105th Army Air Force Unit to house B-29 and C-47 aircraft. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base was chosen because of Tucson's low humidity, infrequent rainfall, alkaline soil and high altitude of 2,550 feet, reducing rust and corrosion.