Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
CSIS report on surprise – the author makes some valid points, and nation state opponents are usually not entirely dumb.
Mostly updates on multiple programs – F-35 problems are beginning to cascade, and this will continue as other deficiencies pile up. Some very interesting history items.
Strategy / History / Capability Publications
Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in “Off Guard,” a series on surprise in war inspired by a new CSIS study . Surprise is back. A generation of war where the U.S. military had overwhelming capabilities pushed surprise into the background. But today, surprise is ready to catch America off guard once more.
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It is impossible to understate the impact looming from the rate of acceleration in machine learning. I believe almost everyone is oblivious to, or blissfully unaware of the implications for the entire human race.
Instead of single interceptors rising to meet an enemy missile, think about swarms of sub-launched UAVs armed with explosives, sensors, and brains.
BAE Systems is developing software to enable teams of manned and unmanned aircraft to share common mission picture, exchange vital information despite jamming.
Tokyo is reportedly looking to modify a Western jet for its own purposes.
Pilots at the USAF’s two F-35 training hubs are suffering from a severe shortage of spare parts and limited capacity to repair those that are broken.
The effort could rack up a price tag of up to $10.8 billion for development and $5.4 billion for procurement of upgrades to the F-35 between fiscal years 2018 through 2024.
Favorable foreign exchange rates are helping push down the price of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for Denmark, the Danish government has said.
The first Italian F-35A Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing), based at Amendola air base, in southeastern Italy, have achieved the IOC (Initial Operational Capability), the Italian Air Force has announced. Since Mar. 1, 2018, the first five stealth aircraft assigned to the Aeronautica Militare have been supporting the SSSA (Servizio Sorveglianza Spazio Aereo – Air Space Surveillance Service) with a Standard Conventional Load (SCL) that includes the AIM-120C5 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) missile. This means that, if needed, the 5th generation aircraft can undertake regular QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) shifts or be diverted from a different mission to intercept and identify unknown aircraft.
Support for a low-cost, light attack aircraft to fight terrorists is the strongest it has ever been.
The U.S. Air Force is foregoing a significant threat awareness and survivability upgrade for the Boeing F-15C and redirecting that funding toward “more critical needs,” such as Eagle life-extension efforts. The service notes in a newly released report on Air Force acquisition programs that the F-15C will not receive the Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability System (Epawss) upgrade being developed by BAE Systems. The service originally planned for 413 upgrades, covering both …
The competition to replace the Boeing B-52 bomber’s outdated Pratt & Whitney TF33-103 engine could get underway in early 2019, the U.S. Air Force says.
Two more technical problems means more bad news for the Air Force’s KC-46 program.
As delivery of Boeing’s first KC-46A tanker to the U.S. Air Force slips further, the service will likely delay retiring the first KC-10s.
The contract will allow the General Atomics to evaluate and develop electromagnetic railguns
America’s best-selling military aviation magazine
The Azarakhsh anti-tank missile looks like the American Sidewinder missile…and just might be.
IARPA director Jason Matheny provided a brief rundown of programs his agency is funding to reduce the cognitive burden on analysts.
A concerted response is needed to boost the resilience of global society to natural or man-made disruption of space-dependent services.
While small satellites remain popular around industry circles, the question of whether the technology is resilient enough for military utility remains an open question.
The Russian defense ministry says it has received the first Ilyushin Il-76MD-M, a modernized variant of the in-service Il-76MD transport aircraft.
Populations are not fragile flowers – far from it. Treating them as a national-security resource can boost a society\’s resiliency, and even its deterrence.
The Army is signaling it might be moving away from large programs to allow greater flexibility to insert new capability when needed.
The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Security Affairs approved the plan to purchase hundreds of Eitan armored fighting vehicles, developed by IAI, IMI and Rafael, said in announcing by Israeli Defense Ministry. Starting in 2020, the eight-wheeled, lightweight Eitan vehicle will begin replacing the IDF’s current M113 fully tracked APCs. It combines technology from the Merkava tank and the Namer APC, but at a cheaper price. According to the Times of Israel, the upgrade is partially in response to lessons learned from the 2014 Gaza war, and is intended to give troops greater speed and mobility, as well as better security, the statement said. “We can now state that within a decade, the IDF ground forces will undergo a dramatic upgrading of its capabilities,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said, noting that much of the technology would be developed and built in Israel, boosting the economy. Weighing in at 30 to 35 tons, a prototype of the Eitan, Israel’s first 8×8 wheeled APC, was first revealed in early August 2016. The Eitan APC’s ability to navigate roads and varied battlefield environments up to 90 kph means it does not require the assistance of a military truck to move around, giving it an edge over other battle vehicles.
Artillery-spotting drones and guided shells are not the only growing developments in the Russian army.
Russian-led separatist fighters have released video footage showing the improvised 23 mm heavy sniper rifle called the Separatist. The Separatist is a self-made heavy sniper rifle that fires a massive 23mm projectile developed by militants who took over government buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine and were consistently labeled as “separatists” and “terrorists” by the Ukrainian government and the western media. According to the video, the new sniper rifle is capable fires at the maximum range of 3,000 m. Its primarily intended to defeat enemy forces hidden behind fortified walls and to destroy light armored vehicles. The 23mm sniper rifle designed on a special heavy-duty, adjustable tripod assembly designed to absorb some of the inherently violent recoil natural to a weapon of this caliber. The rifle has a number of disadvantages, including high weight and low accuracy.
The new rifle is the same weapon issued to army snipers.
The Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP, has announced today that Rheinmetall has been selected by the Australian Government to provide its next generation 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs) as part of plans to modernise the Australian Army under the Land 400 Phase 2 Project. The multi-billion dollar project will see Rheinmetall deliver at least 211 of the latest generation Boxer 8×8 vehicles, with Rheinmetall’s advanced Lance 30mm turret fitted to the reconnaissance variants. To deliver the project Rheinmetall will establish a state of the art Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) near Brisbane in partnership with the Queensland State Government. The MILVEHCOE will serve as the focal point for the execution of the program and a base for the establishment of an export orientated military vehicle industrial complex in Australia. The MILVEHCOE will support the Australian Governments Defence Export Strategy that was recently announced by the Australian Minister of Defence Industry, The Honourable Christopher Pyne MP. Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall AG commented, “It is a privilege for Rheinmetall to have been selected by the Australian Government to deliver this landmark military vehicle program. The program, one of the largest in the history of Rheinmetall, will continue our successful partnership with the Australian Government that has been delivering the latest generation of military trucks to the Army.” The Boxer 8×8 provides an unparalleled level of capability in a highly mobile, survivable, adaptable vehicle that will see Australia join leading nations already using the vehicle including Germany, The Netherlands and Lithuania. The Lance turret fitted to the vehicle utilises the latest technologies that allow the Boxer CRV to be uniquely aware of its environment, with advanced systems to automatically detect, characterise and track threats on the battlefield. The turret features a range of scalable effects, including non-lethal systems, the latest air-burst cannon technologies and a guided anti-tank missile system that allows the crew to engage the most aggressive threats on the battlefield. Ben Hudson, global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, said, “We are honoured to have been chosen by the Australian Government at the conclusion of the rigorous Land 400 Phase 2 selection process. I must pay tribute to the Rheinmetall team and our Australian partners that have contributed to Land 400; their tireless dedication over the last three years will ensure that the Australian Army receives a vehicle that allows them to fight, survive and win on the battlefields of today and tomorrow.” The MILVEHCOE will allow Rheinmetall to transfer cutting edge technologies to Australia in the areas of military vehicle design, production, turret systems, sensors, survivability, simulation and through life support. This transfer of technology, coupled with the scale of the Land 400 based Australian design and manufacturing, will underpin the establishment of an export oriented military vehicle industry that will collaborate with academic institutions in companion technologies and see significant development in small to medium businesses around Australia that cooperate with Rheinmetall through the MILVEHCOE.
A growing number of countries have expressed its interest in the improved 8×8 Phantom-2 unmanned ground vehicle. The improved 8×8 Phantom-2 unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) with a light version based on the 6×6 wheeled platform was displayed during the Unmanned System Exhibition (UMEX) held in Abu Dhabi from 25–27 February. The UGV was developed by experts of Ukraine’s state-owned defence holding, UkrOboronProm. In 2017 using the hybrid warfare experience UkrOboronProm engineers worked to create e new version of the unnammed tactical multipurpose vehicle designed for reconnaissance and surveillance missions, fire support which is provided by heavy machine gun and guided anti-tank missiles and other means of damage. Phantom-2 is a unique unmanned wheeled modular complex with the possibility of creating an entire family of vehicles based on the platform including unmanned combat vehicle, a special unmanned ground vehicle for medical evacuation, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance/electronic warfare complex.
The industry leader in missiles and missile systems MBDA unveiled its new generation of long-range anti-ship missile Dimdex show in Doha, Qatar. During the DIMDEX 2018, the MBDA showcased Exocet MM40 Block 3 and Marte ER missiles and mock-up of modern coastal defence system. The Exocet MM40 Block 3 weapon system is the latest generation version of the Exocet family and is in operational service with several navies. Exocet MM40 Block 3 provides enhanced operational performance and technology upgrades, while minimising the impact on procurement and logistic support costs. Exocet MM40 Block 3’s Mission Planning software module automatically computes engagement plans to support firing decisions. The flexibility of the Exocet MM40 Block 3 weapon is further enhanced by the accuracy of the new navigation package, allowing optimised 3D approach trajectories and terminal attacks from different azimuths, at very low sea skimming altitude with simultaneous time on target. The terminal guidance relies on a sophisticated J-band active seeker to discriminate and select targets at sea and on the GPS accuracy for land targets. Exocet MM40 Block 3 is compatible with most of the logistic support assets already in service. Its launching system is interoperable with all MM40 versions, thus enabling a smooth transition to Block 3.
The French government must seek U.S. authorization before selling French Scalp cruise missiles with American components to Egypt, said Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
It’s called the SS-N-25 Switchblade.
Saudi Arabia moves closer to a deal for 48 jets as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wraps up a UK visit.
The A-29 Super Tucano turboprop attack aircraft of Brazilian Air Force (FAB) intercepted a twin-engine Piper Seneca turboprop with 500 kg cocaine cargo flying over the country’s airspace without a flight plan. According to the planobrazil.com, the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) intercepted the privately owned Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II aircraft with registration PR-EBF with more than 500 kg of cocaine at around 2 pm EST on Tuesday (6/3 ), in the region of Nova Fernandópolis (MT). The Brazilian Air Force aims to root out illegal aerial activity in the border regions with Bolivia and Paraguay, used for smuggling cocaine. The operation involves around 800 military personnel and more than 30 aircraft, including E-99 airborne early warning and control aircraft, R-35A and RA-1 reconnaissance aircraft, as well as AH-2 Sabre and H-60 Black Hawk combat helicopters.
Top five also includes France, Germany and China
Certainly, no one seemed concerned about it until Trump’s tariffs sent them scrambling to find out.
A new book challenges conventional wisdom.
The Spanish influenza cataclysm ignited 100 years ago this month. A startlingly dangerous molecular mutation, utterly unforeseen, ushered in a flu that swiftly tore through armies, public health defenses, and geographic barriers. It took full advantage of the disorder of World War I and the profound changes wrought by modernization. It leaped across oceans and sped along transportation pathways. Ultimately, it left in its wake over 50 million dead, before immunities and health systems caught up and the world eventually restabilized.