Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
- Good essay on futures by LtGen Deptula;
- USAF abandons ill-considered and susceptible JSTARS recap;
- More on AI, and DEW;
- Asymmetric use of “old” technology;
- F-35 and F/A-18 woes;
- Multiple other reports of interest – two great photo-essays;
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
Retired Lt Gen David Deptula shares his thoughts on the future of warfare-in particular, aerospace power in an age of uncertainty.
The service is readying for a great-power conflict by accelerating development of a next-generation fighter family and redefining battle management.
In its recently unveiled fiscal 2019 budget proposal, the Air Force canceled its JSTARS recapitalization program in favor of a disaggregated battle management approach.
Russia isn’t the only country looking to build invincible hypersonic weapons. Here’s the latest on the U.S. efforts to send missiles and even aircraft …
Although particularly complex, the Syrian civil war is an example of a general trend: civil wars are lasting longer and are increasingly likely to end with a one-sided victory rather than a negotiated settlement.
The Air Force, Navy, and Marines are the second group of critical stakeholders who will be active participants (to varying degrees) in the upcoming experiments. As the warfighting experts in their respective mission domains––air, sea, and the littorals––the Army’s sister services rightfully believe they bring critical capabilities to Multi-Domain Battle. But, will their capabilities become organic to the multi-domain task force structure—making the task force more joint than U.S. Army-centric? To what degree will multi-domain task force commanders be able to leverage Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps assets presently forward deployed/forward based overseas to create the desired effects? Will a laborious and time-consuming request for forces process be necessary before these assets are placed at the disposal of multi-domain task force commanders or will they be permanently “on-call”?
Every AI advance by the good guys is an advance for the bad guys, too.
Have you been watching too many movies? The former executive chairman of Google’s parent company wants to reassure you ― for now.
DARPA’s budget request for fiscal 2019 shows that the agency wants to develop general artificial intelligence that can reason like humans.
The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 [David Edgerton] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From the books of H.G. Wells to the press releases of NASA, we are awash in clichéd claims about high technology’s ability to change the course of history. Now
Conventional wisdom focuses on technological superiority as the key source of American dominance on the battlefield. Even though the United States is clear
A defense source tells Russian media that military engineers have advanced work on the next big anti-satellite weapon.
Russia has revealed new details of the new special aviation complex with an aircraft-mounted laser to operate as an anti-satellite weapon, the InterFax news agency reported. Russia is currently developing a new combat aircraft will be capable of destroying satellites with a high accuracy laser. Russia actively used the developments gained in the A-60 laser weapon programme and has completed work on an appropriate anti-satellite complex, noted Interfax. “The development of this complex took place, all the work done will allow making a step forward in the creation of such aircraft,” the source said. This special aviation complex with an aircraft-mounted laser will likely be used to dazzle adversary intelligence gathering, navigation, and military communications satellites or burning through sensitive optics and sensors using intensive energy laser bursts.
Is it fair to think of high-energy lasers only as “fair-weather” weapons?
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russia is working on a long-range unmanned strike system, Zvezda, the official television channel of the Russian Ministry of Defense, has learned.
Thales has begun delivery on a $37 million order for a tactical radio that the Army says will significantly improve how soldiers communicate in the field.
Soldiers in Europe now have Stryker-mounted lasers to shoot down drones. The lasers were tested in recent years at an annual fires event at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Portable jamming devices, fixed-site systems that avoid jamming to prevent interference with radio signals are among counterdrone products for early buyers.
The Navy has a plan to find and destroy underwater enemy mines from a safe distance.
DoD’s technology innovation branch hopes to create the largest dataset of satellite imagery.
Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli announced on 27 February that Turkey’s main battle tanks (MBTs) could soon receive high-tech active-protection system that destroys the projectiles before they strike. According to the ministry, Turkey Army’s tanks will be equipped with a system, called the Pulat, designed to sense and destroy incoming anti-tank warheads 8-10 meters away. The Pulat active protection system work by detecting the anti-tank missiles or rockets approaching to the platform with its high technology radar, and then disables them at optimum range from the platform by using Hard-Kill method. The new active protection system developed by Turkish defence firm Aselsan. The Pulat provides 360 degrees full protection, depending on the placement of the modules on the platform, against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and rockets. PULAT is effective in both asymmetric warfare and operational environment of main battle tanks. PULAT can also handle multiple threats effectively at the same time as a result of its distributed architecture.
RUSSIA has unleashed a new tank which receives orders from drones in military training footage.
The Marine Corps’ fiscal 2019 budget includes $1 million for the service to procure 116 M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) sniper rifle
The plane made it back to base, but the potentially deadly mishap is the latest spectacular failure for the Growler’s environmental control system.
By the time the flight was over, two elite pilots with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine were being rushed for medical treatment, and the Navy was dealing with yet another failure of the EA-18G Growler’s environmental control system.
JSF HQ: Lockheed Martin “could be much more collaborative and cooperative but they aren’t,” the head of the Joint Strike Fighter program, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, told reporters today. “They could, but they choose not to.” Winter’s comments are not nearly as searing as those of his predecessor Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, who famously said at the annual Air Force Association conference that the relationship between Lockheed and the program office was “the worst I’ve ever seen” — and that was before he actually started his job. But they reflect the hardball that Lockheed is playing each time it negotiates a new contract for aircraft. The current contract talks are about 130 aircraft in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 11. The average price for an F-35A in the 66 planes of Lot 10 was $94.3 million, including the engine, Winter noted. While he wasn’t willing to offer a target percentage he’d like to drop the price to, the admiral was pretty fierce in his advocacy for “the taxpayer and the (international) partners.” Pressed by reporters for details after he said the program has a really good negotiator, he would only disclose her first name, Julie. Winter said “she will stare down anybody” and “relies on facts” as she battles America’s largest and most politically potent defense contractor to lower prices. (I asked if she carried a weapon into the negotiating room. She does not.) But Winter is looking for more factual weapons with which to face Lockheed down and lower both the production and the sustainment costs for all three F-35 models. The head of Pentagon acquisition, Ellen Lord, has said those costs are unsustainable in the long run unless they come down. WInter’s ordered a Deep Dive Initiative into the costs of the top 100 suppliers to the JSF program to see over the next six months how much it actually costs to build an F-35. Those suppliers produce about 85 percent of the value in the plane, he said. Key to that will be figuring out how efficient the factories are, how much time workers actually spend making parts, and assembling the aircraft without making mistakes. On another front to save money, Winter said the government will begin shifting work on 68 aircraft subsystems from contractors to government depots so industry can focus on production. Perhaps the most ground-shaking news of the press briefing today is that the program will, with Lot 11, put concurrency behind it. The program will no longer be building, testing and fixing aircraft all at the same time, Winter said. Last week an audit of production was finished, setting a production design standard. “Concurrency will be over,” he said. I asked if he thought that meant the services will basically want to stick with those aircraft that don’t go through concurrency and leave the others for test, training and other uses. He said no, that the concurrency-era aircraft are being brought up to combat standards. Of course, some of them are already more than eight years old, thanks to concurrency and the many problems that arose because of it. Breaking D readers may remember our ground-breaking interview with Vice Adm. David Venlet about concurrency and why JSF production had to slow: “Fundamentally, that was a miscalculation,” Venlet said. “You’d like to take the keys to your shiny new jet and give it to the fleet with all the capability and all the service life they want. What we’re doing is, we’re taking the keys to the shiny new jet, giving it to the fleet and saying, ‘Give me that jet back in the first year. I’ve got to go take it up to this depot for a couple of months and tear into it and put in some structural mods, because if I don’t, we’re not going to be able to fly it more than a couple, three, four, five years.’ That’s what concurrency is doing to us.” But Venlet added: “I have the duty to navigate this program through concurrency. I don’t have the luxury to stand on the pulpit and criticize and say how much I dislike it and wish we didn’t have it. My duty is to help us navigate through it.” They will have, seven years after that interview. Some of the concurrency aircraft will be proving themselves over the next few months as the F-35B is going to sea on the USS Wasp next week for Pacific patrols and will deploy aboard the USS Essex this summer.
The first batch of F-35As will replace Japan’s 51 remaining F-4EJ Kai Phantoms. More could replace some F-15s.
As the 2018 air show season rapidly approaches in the United States it occurs to me that I’ve written about military aviation in some capacity since I was a kid. Today aviation journalism is my job, and I’ll tell you it is among the best jobs in the world. This story is one example why. Along with every other author who has written about flying, from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry to modern-day journalists like our Editor David Cenciotti, Tyler Rogoway of The Drive, Laura Seligman, Valerie Insinna and many others, aviation has also been a passion since I was a kid.
And it seems increasingly likely.
It would have been a Cold War Monster.
Don McCullin speaks about his photos from the Battle of Hue.
Ross Franquemont is a U-2 pilot and instructor at the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, based at Beale Air Force Base, California. Fortunately for the rest of the world, he is also a great photographer. In fact, the incredible images you can find in this post were taken by Ross during missions flown at high altitude (something around 70,000 feet) in the Dragon Lady aircraft. If you want to learn more about the iconic spyplane click here to read our recent article or use the search button on the right hand side of the site (type U-2 and find all the stories we have published on the U-2). Meanwhile, enjoy this unbelievable collection of photographs taken at the edge of space that Ross has allowed us to share with our readers.
A new analysis of data from two lunar missions finds evidence that the Moon’s water is widely distributed across the surface and is not confined to a particular region or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day …
The world’s forests are shrinking. For years, they’ve withstood a multitude of human impact.