Monday, June 26, 2017

US Reveals Photos Of Russian Fighter Buzzing Air Force Jet

The U.S. European Command has just released a series of photos that captured a recent mid-air tango between a U.S. RC135U surveillance plane and an armed Russian SU-27 Flanker that occurred over the Baltic Sea this week. EUCOM claims the RC135 was flying in international airspace on June 19 when it was intercepted by the SU-27.
A Russian military “expert” called the F-16 pilot an American “air pirate”.
“Thank God that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are headed by a sensible person, and thank God that our fighter acted beyond all praise.” President Trump campaigned on a promise to mend relations between the U.S. and Russia; however, tensions have only escalated since he took office, thanks in part to the war in Syria, which has become a proxy conflict between global powers.
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Sunday, June 25, 2017

US to start providing Ukraine with weapons

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said after meetings in Washington that Kiev and the United States would soon sign a number of agreements boosting defense cooperation.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

U.S. Military’s ‘Doomsday Planes’ Damaged in Tornado

Two of the U.S. Military's E-4B planes — commonly called the "Doomsday Plane" — were damaged and knocked out of service recently in a tornado at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The E-4B is the military's National Airborne Operations Center and if there is a national emergency or attack, the plane would serve as the command and control hub for the president, secretary of defense and joint chiefs. The military has four E4-Bs in the fleet so now half of the fleet is not operational.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism

While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons. One portion of that deal -- $12 billion for 36 F-15QA fighter jets -- was inked on Wednesday. The full arms sale, of over $20 billion for 72 F-15QA fighter jets, was notified in November 2016. During Mr. Trump's recent visit to Riyadh, he made a point of telling reporters during a photo spray with the Qatari emir that he was going to sell Qatar "big beautiful weapons."
In the wake of the diplomatic crisis -- and Mr. Trump's public statements raising concern about alleged Qatari funding of terrorism -- there were questions about whether the arms deal would go through.

"The nation of Qatar has unfortunately been a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level," Mr. Trump said on Friday at the White House. He added "the time has come to call on Qatar to end its funding."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Canadian sniper makes history by killing ISIL insurgent from more than 3.5 kilometres away

The Canadian Armed Forces once again hold the title of world’s longest sniper kill after a special forces soldier hit an ISIL fighter from more than three-and-a-half kilometres away.

“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres” said the Department of National Defence in a Thursday statement.
The kill took place in Iraq as part of Operation IMPACT, Canada’s contribution to anti-ISIL operations in Iraq and Syria.

In addition to training Iraqi security forces and running air support operations, Canada has also been dispatching “highly-skilled CAF members” to support Iraqi troops in the field. Joint Task Force 2, which scored the kill, is Canada’s most elite military unit and one whose existence was, at one time, never directly acknowledged by the Canadian government. Currently, Canadian soldiers occupy three of the top five spots of the longest confirmed sniper kills — all of them as part of counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Russian jet comes within 5 feet of U.S. military plane

An armed Russian jet came within five feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea.

A U.S. official said that the Russian aircraft came within five feet of a wing tip for a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane. The Russian jet then passed under the U.S. aircraft and came up near the other wing tip. U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the American plane "did nothing to provoke this behavior".
The Russian Defense Ministry said that a U.S. RC-135 plane swerved dangerously near a Russian SU-27 fighter jet over the Baltic.

The incident took place 25 miles northwest of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which is located between Lithuania and Poland in northern Europe.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

F35 struts it's expensive stuff at Paris Airshow

With the six-minute flight packed with a full power takeoff, steep climbs, and the tightest possible turns, Lockheed Martin tried to silence its doubters and convince the world that the F-35 really is the ultimate aerial fighting machine.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Russia threatens aircraft from American-led coalition

Russia on Monday threatened aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition in Syrian-controlled airspace and suspended a hotline intended to avoid collisions in retaliation for the U.S. military shooting down a Syrian warplane. The developments added to already-soaring regional tensions and reflect the intensifying rivalry among the major players in Syria’s civil war.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, called on the U.S. military to provide a full accounting as to why it decided to shoot down the Syrian Su-22 bomber.
The Su-17 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1970 and is considered obsolete.
It remains in service by Syria, Poland, Peru, and Vietnam but is retired in the former USSR itself.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shoots down Syrian regime SU-22

U.S. led Coalition forces conducted a “show of force” on Sunday (June 18) against pro-Syrian regime forces and downed a Syrian regime warplane.

Pro-regime forces attacked U.S.-backed SDF fighters in Ja’Din, wounding a number of SDF and driving them out from the town. Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance.
According to a statement, a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet then shot down a Syrian regime SU-22 after the regime warplane dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqa.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Advanced American Weapons I

Adaptiv is an active camouflage technology developed by BAE Systems AB to protect military vehicles from detection by near infrared night vision devices. It consists of an array of hexagonal Peltier plates which can be rapidly heated and cooled to form any desired image, such as of the natural background or of a non-target object.

The Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) is a robot that is being developed by Qinetiq. The MAARS platform was designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) to increase security at forward locations.

The XM2010 was designed and developed specifically for the sustained harsh environment of the modern battlefield. The weapon is an upgrade to the combat proven M24 Sniper Weapon System.

The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System, is an airburst grenade launcher. The XM25 CDTE fires 25 mm grenades that are set to explode in mid-air at or near the target. A laser rangefinder in the weapon is used to determine the distance to the target.

The personnel halting and stimulation response rifle (PHASR) is a prototype non-lethal laser dazzler. Its purpose is to temporarily disorient and blind a target.

The Auto Assault-12 (AA-12), originally designed and known as the Atchisson Assault Shotgun. The weapon is fully automatic only but fires at a rate of 300 rounds per minute, making it possible to fire one round at a time with brief trigger pulls.

Friday, June 16, 2017

New $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford can't launch planes

The newest and costliest U.S. aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford has been dogged by trouble with minor fundamentals: launching jets from its deck and catching them when they land. The system used to capture jets landing on the USS Gerald R. Ford ballooned in cost, tripling to $961 million from $301 million.

While the Navy says the landing system has been fixed, the carrier still hasn’t been cleared to launch F/A-18 jets carrying a full complement of fuel tanks under their wings ... a critical handicap.
Even Trump scoffed at the carrier’s troubled electromagnetic launch system in a Time magazine interview last month, saying it doesn’t work and “you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out.” Saying the Navy should stick with a steam-driven catapult, he added, “The digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.” Until the catapult problem, which was discovered in 2014, is resolved it limits how much combat fuel can be carried in planes being launched from the carrier’s deck. The Navy still has time to fix the catapult issue. Though the Ford has been delivered, the ship is not scheduled to be declared ready for operations until 2020.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

F-35 'one of the greatest boondoggles in history'

The F-35 was billed as a fighter jet that could do almost everything the U.S. military desired, all in one aircraft design. It's supposed to seamlessly replace and improve upon several current aircraft types with widely different missions. It was marketed as a cost-effective, powerful multi-role fighter airplane significantly better than anything potential adversaries could build in the next two decades. It's turned out to be none of those things.
The F-35 program is nearly a decade behind schedule, and has failed to meet many of its design requirements. It's also become the most expensive defense program in world history, at around US$1.5 trillion before the fighter is phased out in 2070. The unit cost per airplane, above $100 million, is roughly twice what was promised.

Essentially, the Pentagon has declared the F-35 'too big to fail.'
Lockheed Martin said the plane would be far better than current aircraft – 'four times more effective' in air-to-air combat, 'eight times more effective' in air-to-ground combat and 'three times more effective' in recognizing and suppressing an enemy's air defenses. In January 2015, mock combat testing pitted the F-35 against an F-16, one of the fighters it is slated to replace.

In spite of its significant advantages, the F-35A's test pilot noted that the F-35A was less maneuverable and markedly inferior to the F-16D in a visual-range dogfight.
A key reason the F-35 doesn't possess the world-beating air-to-air prowess promised, and is likely not even adequate when compared with its current adversaries, is that it was designed first and foremost to be a stealthy airplane. This requirement has taken precedence over maneuverability and virtually everything else. The F-35 is designed to be stealthy primarily in the X-band, the radar frequency range most commonly used for targeting in air-to-air combat. In other radar frequencies, the F-35 is not nearly so stealthy, making it vulnerable to being tracked and shot down using current weapons.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

US military developing new tactics in South China Sea

The US Army and Air Force landed a C-17, pulled out a high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS), fired at a target, and flew away all within 20 minutes. The tactic turns the US's HIMARS into a scoot and shoot weapons system with wings, and it's the solution for the problems posed by the South China Sea.

The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a U.S. light multiple rocket launcher mounted on a standard Army Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) truck frame.
The HIMARS carries six rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile. In 2015, the United States Army revealed they had deployed the HIMARS to Iraq, firing at least 400 rockets at the Islamic State. HIMARS detachments were sent to Al Asad Airbase and Al-Taqaddum Air Base in Anbar province. On 4 March 2016, Army HIMARS systems fired rockets into Syria in support of Syrian rebels fighting ISIL for the first time, with the launchers based in neighboring Jordan. In January 2016, Lockheed announced the HIMARS had reached 1 million operational hours with U.S. forces, achieving a 99 percent operational readiness rate
Large US bases in the Pacific are appetizing targets, so the US has been coming up with ways to fight smarter. The C-17 lends itself perfectly to this, as it can land on dirt runways under difficult conditions.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Northrop Grumman Hellhound

The Hellhound of folklore were supernatural dogs that wielded fire and served as harbingers of the afterlife. Today it’s an apropos name for a light recon vehicle with a 30mm cannon up top and six troopers inside.

Northrop Grumman’s Hellhound was unveiled last fall. It features a 250-horsepower Cummins engine; 6-speed Allison transmission; 18” front and 20” rear suspension; 4-wheel drive with locking differentials. Lethality is provided by an EOS Technologies R-400 Remote Weapon Station; ATK M230LF 30 mm cannon and swing-arm weapon mounts for crew.
Northrop Grumman equipped the Hellhound with a 120kW Jenoptik integrated starter generator, and crew members have 18kW available on-board 28VDC power. It's not just what powers the vehicle electronics. The Hellhound can provide a source of power in areas where there are no other options. It can power a field hospital for instance.

This power can be used for a wide-range of add-ons. For example it could be used to equip the Hellhound with a solid-state laser.

The vehicle’s sensors include a visible-light camera that can spot objects some 800 meters away, and an infrared sensor effective out to 10,000 meters.
The Hellhound weighs in at 13,000 pounds, loaded. A 1-ton armor kit can be bolted on for protection from IEDs. For quick entry and exit, the Hellhound can be squeezed onto or slung under a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Monday, June 12, 2017

F-35 grounding at Arizona base extended indefinitely

The decision to ground all F-35 fighters at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona was extended indefinitely, as special teams of experts struggled to figure out what caused multiple incidents of pilots reporting oxygen deprivation. The decision affects the 55 jets assigned to Luke, the Air Force’s principal training site for F-35 pilots, as well as for pilots and maintenance crews from Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway.
This is the second time the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II jets were grounded since the fifth-generation jet was declared fit for service last year. In September 2016, operations were suspended due to electrical problems inside the fuel tanks. Over 220 operational F-35s have been built and delivered to US and allied militaries. The planes have collectively flown more than 95,000 flying hours, according to Reuters, but the plane has not yet seen combat.

China: U.S. Military Report Driven by 'Cold War Thinking'

Beijing has criticized a report publicized by the Pentagon this week that assesses China's military capabilities, accusing the U.S. of distorting the truth. In the report, the Pentagon analyzed wide-ranging structural reforms to the military sanctioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping and accused China of expanding the influence of its armed forces in disputed territories along the nation's maritime and land borders.

The U.S. also blamed China for stealing foreign technology and sponsoring numerous cyberattacks. China called the report "fraught with bias and Cold War thinking in total disregard of facts"

Two U.S. Air Force B-1 Bombers Fly 10-hour Mission From Guam To Operate With U.S. Navy Guided-Missile Destroyer In South China Sea
Hua asserted that her country was not at fault for developing its military prowess in the East and South China Seas because the territory rightfully belongs to China. The nation's vast territorial claims are disputed by a number of regional countries and the Pentagon's report stated that China regularly deploys its coast guard, maritime militia and fishing ships to enforce these claims.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

New US weapons to be used by Philippine Marines

The Philippine Marines received new counter-terrorism weapons and equipment from the United States on Monday, a boost to its operations in Mindanao especially on the ongoing conflict in Marawi City. The weapons and equipment donated by the US include 300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Navy's D5 Missile

Seldom do people hear anything about the D5. The reason why is that unlike just about any other major weapon system, there never seems to be a problem with the missile. The three-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile is the most reliable ever built, bar none. Since its design was completed in 1989, the D5 has executed 165 successful test flights -- a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or launch vehicle.
As for its potency, a single D5 equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles carrying nuclear warheads can destroy a small country such as North Korea. A handful of D5s could collapse the entire electrical grid, transportation network and information infrastructure of even the largest countries. And the Navy has hundreds of D5 missiles.

When the goal is deterring aggression, the key metric of success isn't how many weapons a country possesses. It's how many weapons survive a surprise attack, because those are the weapons the enemy has to worry about. Possessing a secure retaliatory force is the sine qua non of effective deterrence.
The U.S. maintains a "triad" of nuclear systems -- D5s on submarines, land-based ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers. A single Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine has two dozen missile tubes, and each of the D5s in those tubes carries at least several nuclear warheads that can be directed at separate targets. The missiles can carry up to 14 warheads. Each warhead has a yield of 100 or 475 kilotons, and can hit within 300 feet of intended targets. At those yields -- 5 to 25 times the explosive power of the weapon that leveled Hiroshima in 1945 -- the warheads carried by a D5 can destroy pretty much anything, including a hardened command bunker.
The Navy has begun developing a next-generation submarine designated to the Columbia class that will be even harder to track than the 14 Ohio-class boats comprising the current undersea deterrent. The first such vessel will commence construction at the Electric Boat unit of General Dynamics in 2021