Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Capability / Strategy / History Ad Hoc Update (31)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting/

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Major themes over the week include AI / sensors, space developments esp. Falcon Heavy and Stratolaunch, fighter programs, strategy reports, new rotary wing programs, updates on other programs, Israel’s Rampage supersonic ASM, history reports, and finally the 737 MAX and its woes.

AI Is Already Keeping Tabs on 1 Million Clearance Holders – Defense One

Trusted Workforce 2.0 tools regularly scan a set of data sources for anomalies in the behaviors of more than a million federal and private workers.

Could artificial intelligence save the Pentagon $15 billion a year?

A Silicon Valley billionaire believes his artificial intelligence software can help the Air Force break down its upkeep and have more aircraft at the ready. Here’s how it could become one of the Pentagon’s biggest investments in AI to date.

Pentagon confirms deploying new passive sensor against cruise missiles, aircraft, drones – Defence Blog

Pentagon recently has confirmed deploying of prototype passive sensor systems for long-range surveillance against cruise missile, fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and unmanned aircraft systems threats. According to Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson head of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, the U.S. Army is currently being fielded the new Long-Range Persistent Surveillance (ALPS) passive sensor to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. European Command, and U.S. Central Command in support of a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statements (JUONS). “The Army demonstrated the ability to integrate ALPS into the Army IBCS in 2018. Once fully integrated into Army IBCS, the ALPS passive sensor will provide continuous, 360-degree, long-range surveillance against fixed and rotary wing aircraft, UAS, and CM threats,” said Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson. The ALPS prototype systems will be provided to meet Combatant Commands’ identified needs and to conduct an operational assessment. This program will also develop and integrate ALPS into the Army Integrated Air & Missile Defense (AIAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) to improve the Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) posture of the Army’s Air and Missile Defense architecture. The new ALPS is of one of the most classified surveillance systems of the U.S. Army. At this moment, the characteristics of the new system are not released, and even there is no information about its appearance. The most common configuration is transportable, according to Air Power Twitter account, 100-foot trailed tower and a conex-based processing shelter. According to available information, the new ALPS is able to detect and identify many types of fixed and rotary wing aircraft and cruise missiles in flight. The database within ALPS is said to have the capacity to store around seven hundred different types of theaters, includes Russian cruise missiles that were used during a military operation in Syria.

Army fielding new ALPS to detect cruise missiles, aircraft, UAS |

The Army has begun deploying a new prototype Long-Range Persistent Surveillance passive sensor developed to meet urgent needs from commanders in Europe, the Pacific and U.S. Central Command, launching a two-year campaign to provide improved capability to detect enemy cruise missiles, aircraft as well as unmanned aircraft systems. Lt. Gen. James Dickinson, head of Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, revealed the modernization project — launched two years ago in response to a request from U.S. European…

‘The 21st-Century Space Race Is On’ – Foreign Policy

Michael Waltz, Congress’s first Green Beret, talks about the new Space Force and America’s budding commercial launch industry.

The Case for a Space Force | Defense News Weekly, April 12, 2019

The Pentagon’s leaders are laying out the case for a Space Force—and defending it on Capitol Hill. We’ll also look at the ongoing transformation of the U.S. Army and honor an Air Force legend.

Making the case for a Space Force–and how it will fight

Hear from Pentagon leaders about the role of a Space Force at the Space Symposium in Colorado.

Mark Stitz on Twitter: “History has just been made by @SpaceX by landing Falcon Heavy’s center core and both side boosters after today’s satellite launch in Florida! All 3 rockets can now be used in other launches! AMAZING!!…”


In Photos: The Amazing Triple Rocket Landings of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Launch of Arabsat-6A | Space

See photos of SpaceX’s historic second Falcon Heavy rocket launch on April 11, 2019.

SpaceX revenue ‘inflection point’ for Falcon Heavy second flight: Banker

It wasn’t the rocket’s debut but “there’s been a lot of anticipation” for the massive Falcon Heavy rocket’s first commercial launch.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Sticks Triple Rocket Landing with 1st Commercial Launch | Space

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy completed its first commercial launch on April 10, lofting a communications satellite called Arabsat-6A into orbit.

Watch SpaceX Attempt a Triple Rocket Landing During Falcon Heavy Launch Thursday! | Space

SpaceX will attempt to pull off the first triple rocket landing during the launch of its first commercial Falcon Heavy mission today (April 10). Here’s how to watch.

See all 3 of Falcon Heavy’s boosters land after launch – CNN Video

For the first time, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launched with a customer’s payload on board. It’s also the first time Elon Musk’s space company landed all three boosters after launch.

Giant six-engine aircraft lands its first flight in California

The behemoth, twin-fuselage Stratolaunch jet lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port and climbed into the desert sky 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.

Stratolaunch First Flight Video, Images

The hulking Stratolaunch, with its two fuselages, six engines, and 385-foot wingspan, has finally taken flight.

Boeing: F-15

This page provides the information you need for Advanced F-15.

Boeing: Put to the Test: The Advanced F-15 is ready for the fight

Test team proves out new capabilities of the Advanced F-15.

Boeing: Fast Gas: This Pit Crew’s Vehicle Goes 1,875 mph

Boeing Test & Evaluation team uses Air Force combat technique to make Advanced F-15 testing more efficient.

Boeing: F-15E Tests Fastest Fighter Jet Computer in the World

The Advanced Display Core Processor II recorded its first flight in a U.S. Air Force F-15E July 8 and proved out what is arguably the fastest fighter jet computer in the world.

Boeing: F-15EX

This page provides the information you need for F-15X. We invite you to sign up to receive the latest updates from Boeing.

Boeing: F-15

This page provides the information you need for Advanced F-15.

Boeing releases concept images of its new Advanced Eagle fighter aircraft – Defence Blog

U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has released concept images depicting the new F-15EX Advanced Eagle fighter aircraft. Boeing launches a new update for the website as part of the promotional activities of its new upgraded version of the F-15EX fighter jet, commonly known as Strike Eagle on Steroids. With new concept images, Boeing reveals additional details of new fighter jet purpose-built for the U.S. Air Force. F-15EX leverages $5B+ in technology investments over the past decade to bring the U.S. Air Force the world’s most modern variant of the undefeated F-15. Complementing other aircraft, the F-15EX enhances the air combat capabilities of the fleet to ensure the U.S. remains ahead of current and emerging threats. The Advanced Eagle will have unmatched weapon station capacity up to 29,500 lbs. of a payload supported by 12 certified air-to-air hardpoints and 15 certified air-to-ground hardpoints.

F-35A crash: Japan’s defense minister addresses security concerns, procurement plans

Japan’s defense minister was asked about the possibility of China or Russia attempting to salvage the crashed F-35 from the seafloor, among other issues related to the Joint Strike Fighter. MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan has started combing the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean for the wreckage of its F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, two days after the aircraft crashed into waters off northern Japan. Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, addressing the media on Friday morning Tokyo time, said the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has deployed a submarine rescue vessel to search the depths in the area where the F-35A crashed. The area is estimated to be about 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) deep. The pilot of the crashed F-35, who the Japan Air Self-Defense Force identified as 41-year-old Maj. Akinori Hosomi, is still missing. He was taking part in an air combat training mission with three other F-35s on Tuesday evening when the pilot and aircraft lost contact with other members of the flight and disappeared from radar approximately 85 miles (135 kilometers) east of Misawa Air Base in the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu. The Misawa-based aircraft disappeared soon after Hosomi — who had 3,200 flight hours under his belt that included 60 on the F-35A — told the other pilots taking part to end the training portion of the flight. No other communication was subsequently heard from him, and none of the other pilots saw the aircraft crash. The disappearance of the aircraft triggered a large search operation by ships and aircraft belonging to the Japanese self-defense forces. According to the U.S. Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet, the destroyer Stethem and several P-8A Poseidon multimission aircraft also took part in the search. Some wreckage from the F-35 was subsequently sighted in the water, which confirmed the fate of the missing jet.

The Hunt for “Grey April”: The Massive Search Operation for a Missing Japanese F-35. – The Aviationist

U.S. Joins Search Operation for Missing JASDF F-35 Lost in 10,000 Feet of Water. Sections from the left and right rudders of a Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A Lightning II, serialled 79-8705, the first of 13 Japanese F-35s assembled at the Nagoya FACO (Final Assembly and Check-Out), that disappeared in the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 were located by Japanese authorities at approximately 21:45 local on Tuesday, only hours after the aircraft was reported missing. The aircraft disappeared from a flight of four F-35As at 19:27pm (10:27 GMT) 135km (84 miles) east of Misawa, in north-eastern Japan. The search continues for the aircraft’s pilot, whose identity has not been released but is being described as “a major in his 40’s”. A report filed by journalist Jon Sharman in The Independent on April 10, 2019 quoted Japanese authorities as saying, “The pilot had signaled he wanted to abort the mission before losing contact.”

The search is on for a lost F-35A stealth jet that Russia and China would love to find | War Is Boring


U.S. sends its spy plane to area where Japanese F-35A crashed – Defence Blog

Pentagon has confirmed on Friday that high-altitude U-2 reconnaissance aircraft joins the search for F-35A fighter jet and missing Japanese pilot. According to the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Air Force U-2 tactical reconnaissance plane has joined the search for Hosomi and the F-35A Lightning II fighter he was flying when it disappeared just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Previously several sources reported the appearance of a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft in the area south of the crash point of F-35. The U-2, commonly known as Dragon Lady, delivers critical imagery and signals intelligence to decision makers throughout all phases of conflict, including peacetime indications and warnings, low-intensity conflict, and large-scale hostilities. It is worth noting that U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula in an interview with the Business Insider, expressed his concerns about if Russia or China find crashed F-35A fighter jet first. “Bottom line is that it would not be good” for the future of US airpower if Japan or the US don’t quickly recover the jet, David Deptula told. Russia and China may be interested in finding the wreckage and the plane itself to further explore them. According to the Defense News, the pilot of the crashed F-35, who the Japan Air Self-Defense Force identified as 41-year-old Maj. Akinori Hosomi, is still missing. He was taking part in an air combat training mission with three other F-35s on Tuesday evening when the pilot and aircraft lost contact with other members of the flight and disappeared from radar approximately 85 miles (135 kilometers) east of Misawa Air Base in the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu. The Lightning II went down approximately 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base, its home field in northeastern Japan, just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. A search team found parts of the downed aircraft’s left and right rudders in the water about two hours later, the JASDF said Wednesday. It’s the first loss of an F-35A, a fifth-generation fighter, anywhere in the world. A Marine Corps F-35B, capable of short takeoffs and landings, crashed in September near the Marine air station in Beaufort, S.C.

F-35 deploys to Middle East for first time

The F-35′s arrival comes a little more than a month after B-1B Lancer bombers completed their deployment at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar

U.S. Air Force F-35A 5th Generation Aircraft Have Arrived in UAE for Type’s First Deployment To The Middle East. – The Aviationist

F-35A Lightning IIs from active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have arrived at Al Dhafra. Four Lightning II belonging to the active duty 388th and reserve 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, have just arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE, for the F-35A’s first deployment to the Middle East. Flying as “Trend 41” and supported by three tankers (“Gold 91-93”), the F-35s made a stopover in Moron Air Base, Spain. Additional F-35s are on their way along the same route. Four F-35A landed at Moron on Apr. 15: AF 15-5180, -5181, -5163, -5176). Based on reports, at least 12 F-35A Lightning II should deploy to the UAE.

U.S. Air Force deploys F-35A to the Middle East for support of Coalition forces – Defence Blog

The U.S. Air Force decided to deploy its newest 5th generation fighter jets to the Middle East to support of coalition forces, the Department of Defence said on Monday. Airmen from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings here deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates last week to support the United States Air Force Central Command mission in the Middle East. The aircraft arrived on April 15. “For those of us who have been a part of the F-35 program for a while, this is a huge milestone,” said 388th FW commander, Col. Lee Kloos, to a group of Airmen gathered in Hill’s Deployment Control Center. “You’re the first. We’re proud of you and we’ll be watching you as you bring this jet’s capabilities to bear in support of our nation’s defense.” As the first deployment to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility, the Airmen are prepared and trained for the AFCENT mission. “As the first operational F-35 wing in the Air Force we’ve been working toward this since we received our first jets in 2015,” said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, 4th Fighter Squadron commander. “We have been successful in two Red Flags, we’ve deployed to Europe and to Asia. Our Airmen are ready for this mission.” The group of Airmen is made up of pilots from the active duty 4th Fighter Squadron and Reserve 466th Fighter Squadron, as well as active duty and Reserve Airmen in the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, and personnel in other support functions. For many Airmen, like Staff Sgt. Riley Curry, who have been in the F-35A program their entire career, this is their first deployment. They said getting ready for the deployment was the hard part, but carrying out the mission is second nature. “It’s a neat to be on our first deployment and part of the first operational F-35A deployment, but we’re going out to do our job – the same one we do here every day,” said Curry, a munitions controller with the 388th Maintenance Squadron. The F-35A, the conventional takeoff and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, is America’s most advanced multi-role stealth fighter. “We are adding a cutting edge weapons system to our arsenal that significantly enhances the capability of the coalition,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command. “The sensor fusion and survivability this aircraft provides to the joint force will enhance security and stability across the theater and deter aggressors.” Because of the stealth and advanced technology designed into the F-35A, it can survive and operate in air space other aircraft cannot. Its ability to gather and pass threat and target information to other platforms, improves lethality, survivability and adaptability of the entire force, leaders say. “The F-35A provides our nation air dominance in any threat,” said Gen. David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. “When it comes to having a ‘quarterback’ for the coalition joint force, the inter-operable F-35A is clearly the aircraft for the leadership role,” he stated.

The F-35 Plays Starring Role In Exercise “INIOCHOS 2019” in Greece – The Aviationist

The multinational exercise saw the participation of assets from Greece, Israel, UAE, Italy and the U.S. Exercise “INIOCHOS” is a yearly medium-scale exercise hosted by the Hellenic Air Force at the facilities of the ATC (Air Tactics Center) at Andravida Air Base, located in the Northwest Peloponnese, Greece.

Take a Look at the Two Planes That Almost Replaced the F-22 and F-35 Stealth Fighters | The National Interest

History could have been way different.

From the archive: Australia’s first F-22 pilot – Australian Aviation

This interview from the Australian Aviation archive with RAAF SQNLDR Matt Harper, Australia’s first F-22 Raptor pilot, is from the May 2011 magazine.

B-21 Raider Stealth Bomber First Flight Coming in 2021

The B-21 Raider will replace the B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit as America’s leading heavy bomber.

Is This Russia’s ‘Hunter’ Stealthy Flying Wing Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle? – The Drive

The new image appeared as a specially configured Su-57 emerged with markings indicating it will be directly involved in the drone’s test program.

Air Force to Begin Shifting Research Funds to These Kinds of Next-Gen Weapons – Defense One

The Pentagon’s continues to shift focus toward Moscow and Beijing with a new push for tomorrow’s drone swarms and smart missiles.

These are the five areas where the Air Force wants to see an explosion of technology

The Air Force released its new science and technology strategy on April 17. WASHINGTON— The Air Force has a new science and technology strategy, and it’s built around the idea that it needs to generate leap-ahead capabilities like the 1950s-era Century Series that spawned six new fighter jets in five years. To do that, the service wants to restructure about 20 percent of its S&T efforts into “vanguard programs” that will tie together different developmental efforts across the Air Force’s research institutions and experiment with them to see whether it shows promise.

Mark Gunzinger, Carl Rehberg, Jacob Cohn, Timothy A. Walton, Lukas Autenried | An Air Force for an Era of Great Power Competition | CSBA

The report summarizes insights and recommendations developed during a CSBA study of the U.S. Air Force’s future aircraft inventory. As required by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the report proposes a force planning construct and associated force structure necessary for the United States to support the 2018 National Defense Strategy. This construct would require the Air Force to size and shape its future force to sustain strategic deterrence, defend the U.S. homeland, and be prepared to defeat major acts of aggression by China and Russia as part of the Joint Force. The report recommends creating a future aircraft inventory that would be more lethal and better able to operate in future contested and highly contested environments compared to today’s force. It also advises the U.S. Air Force to develop and field this force over the next fifteen to twenty years instead of attempting to reach a specific inventory target by 2030. Significantly increasing the size of the Air Force’s aircraft inventory to reach an objective force by 2030 would require it primarily to procure aircraft that are in production now or are about to enter production. This could reduce funding to develop new weapon systems and create significant gaps in capabilities that would be needed beyond 2030.

Mitchell Institute Releases New Policy Paper Ensuring the Common Defense: The Case for Fifth Generation Airpower

The Mitchell Institute’s fundamental objective is to provide creative, insightful policy options to better empower our nation’s leaders.

Army Secretary Reveals Weapons Wishlist for War with China & Russia – Defense One

Army Secretary Mark Esper says he wants to shift money away from light vehicles and cargo helicopters made for “different conflicts” of the past.

The Impact of Great Power Competition on the U.S. Navy | The National Interest

The Navy is being asked to prepare for a major war but also conduct all of its regular duties. Can the Navy and American shipbuilding keep up?

Oklahoma will be the future home of XQ-58A Valkyrie – Defence Blog

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. has announced on 17 April that Oklahoma will be the future home of the XQ-58A Valkyrie long-range, high subsonic unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The XQ-58A Valkyrie, a runway independent UAV capable of long-range flights at high-subsonic speeds developed in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), will be produced at the Kratos Unmanned Aircraft production facility in Oklahoma City. “Kratos is excited to announce that Oklahoma will be the future home of the XQ-58A Valkyrie. Kratos and the state of Oklahoma share a commitment to supporting our armed forces. As our company continues to grow and develop and build high-performance, low-cost technologies like the Firejet and the Valkyrie, we are proud to be doing so here. Oklahoma’s skilled workforce will help us keep America safe,” said CEO of Kratos Eric DeMarco. The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator completed its inaugural flight March 5, 2019 at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona.

Resolution close on KC-46 delivery pause

The Air Force and Boeing are close to a resolution to foreign object debris that is plaguing the KC-46 production line.

Boeing awarded $65M contract for Small Diameter Bomb – Defence Blog

U.S. defense contractor, Boeing was awarded a $65 million contract for Small Diameter Bomb Increment I miniature munitions, according to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) report. The indefinite-delivery and indefinite-quantity contract provides for integration, sustainment and support of the Small Diameter Bomb Increment I miniature munition and carriage system on various Foreign Military Sales aircraft platforms. According to DoD’s report, this support includes all testing, engineering, management, technical, and logistical activities associated with Small Diameter Bomb Increment I weapon system with various aircraft and associated systems. The Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb is a precision-guided munition that enables aircraft to attack more targets in a single mission. The weapon is suitable for fighter aircraft, bombers and unmanned combat aircraft. The Small Diameter Bomb system is the next generation of low-cost and low collateral-damage precision strike weapons for internal and external carriage. With a range greater than 60 nautical miles, SDB’s precision guidance and compact size allow today’s warfighters to surgically prosecute more targets per sortie. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, various Air Force test ranges, and in each respective country. Work is expected to be complete by April 15, 2029. This contract involves foreign military sales to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Israel, South Korea, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Singapore and any other future country with an approved letter of offer and acceptance.

Boeing gets $21 million “bunker buster” bomb contract modification – Defence Blog

Boeing, one of the biggest U.S. defense contractor, has received a $21,6 million contract modification for GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator or commonly known as “bunker buster” bombs, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Defense on 12 April. The modification to the previously awarded contract calls for the extends the ordering period an additional four years and increases the order ceiling price to cover the extension. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be complete by July 18, 2023. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity. For reference, super bombs so big that only two can be carried at one time. The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator is a 30,000-pound class GPS-guided “bunker buster” bomb designed to accomplish a difficult, complicated mission of reaching and destroying adversaries’ weapons located in well-protected facilities. Some source said that “bunker buster” bomb by the U.S. Air Force to be able to penetrate up to 200 feet of concrete before exploding. It is more powerful than its predecessor, the BLU-109.

The Hellfire missile replacement is coming soon to the pilots’ arsenal

The Joint Air-to-Ground Missile is designed to replace multiple legacy missile systems.

U.S. Army isn’t impressed with lightweight munition offerings for unmanned aircraft

The Army has looked at lightweight precision munitions out there and hasn’t found one with which it wants to move forward.

U.S. Army expects flight test of a land-based hypersonic missile in 2023 – Defence Blog

The U.S. Army will continue to focus on developing new weapon systems over the next five years, including long-range hypersonic missile system. Army Secretary Mark T. Esper while testifying before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee on Capitol Hill said that the U.S. Defense Forces plans are to develop a long-range hypersonic weapon, extended range cannon artillery, long-range cannon and precision strike missile, also known as Prism. “All of those programs in combination, both the acquisition piece of it and the fires piece of it, will reestablish U.S. dominance in fires” Milley said. The Army plans to invest $1.2 billion over the next five years toward a hypersonic weapon, which is being developed in collaboration with the Air Force and Navy. A flight test of a land-based hypersonic missile, which can travel five times the speed of sound, is expected in fiscal 2023, Esper said. Last month, the U.S. Army has announced that CUBRC Inc., a leading Research, Development, Testing and Systems Integration company, has been awarded a $23,2 modification to contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command. “CUBRC Inc., Buffalo, New York, was awarded a $23,208,996 modification (P00010) to contract W31P4Q-15-D-0015,” the U.S. Defense Department said on Friday. The modification contract includes research and testing of high-speed vehicle concepts and analysis of supersonic and hypersonic vehicles and their components. Work on the high-speed vehicle concepts is expected to be completed by Feb. 22, 2020, with the US Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) in Maryland functioning as the contracting activity.

Modernization isn’t everything: US Army has alternative plans for certain aviation platforms

As the Army works to establish a modernized force by 2028, it’s ironing out what has to be done with its current fleet to fulfill future missions.

The Power of PDAS | Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin has been a technical innovator of Army Aviation mission equipment for more than three decades.

Pilots of V-280 Valor helicopter received cutting-edge 360-degree vision – Defence Blog

Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin Corp has announced on 15 April that cutting-edge Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor (PDAS) system took flight for the first time aboard the V-280 Valor, Bell Helicopter’s next-generation tiltrotor aircraft in a series of flights overFort Worth, Texas, in March. According to a news release put out by Lockheed Martin, PDAS is a multi-functional sensor system that generates high-resolution, 360-degree imagery around the aircraft to enhance situational awareness for pilots and other users. The PDAS system captured complete spherical infrared imagery while operating in a high-speed, tactically relevant flight environment and generated real-time imagery. “Conducting PDAS flight tests on the V-280 is an exciting first step toward delivering a level of situational awareness unavailable on today’s Army rotorcraft,” said Rita Flaherty, strategy & business development vice president at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “With its embedded, multi-functional sensors, PDAS is the ideal foundation for an integrated survivability suite that will enable Army aircrews to own any environment and universally detect and defeat incoming threats.” Specifically designed for current and future vertical lift aircraft, PDAS consists of six infrared sensors distributed around the aircraft linked to aircrew helmets and cockpit displays via an open-architecture processor. During testing, engineers demonstrated PDAS’s ability to provide simultaneous coverage to multiple independent displays. Aircrews benefit from its all-weather pilotage imagery while transported ground troops can survey the environment for tactical information and threats. While PDAS is currently generating imagery for two users, the system will ultimately support up to six users, which could include pilots in other aircraft and mission commanders on the ground. Planned capability upgrades will demonstrate additional integrated survivability suite capabilities like Multi-Modal Sensor Fusion (MMSF). MMSF blends data from multiple types of sensors to restore aircrew situational awareness in degraded visual environments and enables navigation in GPS-denied zones. For reference, the Bell V-280 Valor is a tiltrotor aircraft being developed by Bell and Lockheed Martin for the United States Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The aircraft was officially unveiled at the 2013 Army Aviation Association of America’s (AAAA) Annual Professional Forum and Exposition in Fort Worth, Texas. The V-280 made its first flight on 18 December 2017 in Amarillo, Texas.

Bell V-280 flies with system that can see through aircraft

Lockheed Martin’s Pilotage Distributed Aperture System took flight in Bell’s V-280 Valor, giving the pilot and crew a 360 degree view outside the aircraft.

MDHI reveals new MD 969 Combat Explorer helo | Jane’s 360

MD Helicopters Inc (MDH) has revealed a new military derivative of the twin-engined MD 902 Explorer, dubbed the MD 969 Combat Explorer. The MD 969, which was showcased at the HAI HELI-EXPO event in Atlanta, Georgia, on 5 March, shares the same basic outer mould line as its civilian stablemate and

MD Helicopters develops one of the deadliest attack helicopters in its class – Defence Blog

MD Helicopters has given further details of its MD 969 Twin Attack Helicopter at the 2019 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit (formerly AAAA). According to the well-known helicopter maker in the world, first introduced just last month at the annual HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta, MD Helicopters has enhanced the military capabilities of its twin engine MD 969 with the addition of a custom, 7-shot Common Launch Tube (CLT) System designed by Systima Technologies. “Powerful, agile and elegant, the MD 969 is first and foremost an advanced twin-engine light attack helicopter that delivers impressive endurance, speed, maneuverability, and unmatched safety,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters, Inc. “With the integration of this innovative and adaptable Common Launch Tube System – a capability not currently offered on any light attack helicopter – the MD 969 will be a true force multiplier; creating the performance and capability benchmark for future twin-engine light attack helicopter advancements.” Able to deploy a range of guided munitions, sensors and small UAS/UAVs, the MD 969 CLT System can be configured with up to 7 lightweight AGM-176 Griffin missiles, making it one of the deadliest, precision-strike attack helicopters in its class. Subsequent CLT payloads, including a range of munitions and tactical off-board sensors (TOBS), will further expand the operational profile of the MD 969 Twin Attack Helicopter. “The CLT is part of a flexible, roll-on/roll-off launch system that is easily integrated into existing platforms,” said Tom Prenzlow, President, Systima Technologies, Inc. “The highly capable launcher has already allowed SOCOM forces to rapidly field a wide range of precision weapons and sensors necessary to support their people. We’re excited to be working with MD Helicopters to bring this level of mission flexibility to the MD 969 Twin Attack Helicopter.” In addition to precision munitions like the Griffin, the Systima Common Launch Tube System will also allow MD 969 operators to launch ground sensors and sonobuoys, as examples, thereby expanding operational capabilities related to border patrol and piracy prevention. The ability to launch small UAS/UAV will provide increased situational awareness for both ground and air-based warfighters when line of sight is obstructed or on-board sensors are insufficient. This functionality will be a game-changer for light attack helicopter operations. “I am proud of the rapid pace of our innovation which incorporated this adaptable launch capability into the MD 969 Twin Attack Helicopter,” Tilton continues. “Our focus on delivering the right aircraft to the battlefield in real time is the driving force behind our technology roadmap. With partners like Systima Technologies who share our commitment to serving the warfighter and our passion for delivering innovation and excellence, I am confident the next generation of MD Helicopters military aircraft will be as iconic and enduring as those that came before.”

AVX Aircraft, L3 Technologies unveils innovative attack reconnaissance helicopter design – Defence Blog

On 15 April, L3 Technologies-led team unveiled first images of innovative attack reconnaissance helicopter design. L3 Technologies and AVX Aircraft team developing a new version of a high-speed helicopter for competing for Phase 1 of the U.S. Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)-Competitive Prototype (CP) program competition. According to a statement released L3, the innovative design solution will exceed the reconnaissance and light-attack mission of FARA with a high-performing and survivable platform. AVX-L3 CCH will meet 100 percent of mandatory requirements and exceed 70 percent of them. The CCH design, combined with rigorous engineering and production processes and certifications, will deliver a safe, performance-driven, affordable aircraft capable of operating in highly contested airspace and degraded environments for extended periods. “This FARA-CP solution provides L3 and AVX an opportunity to demonstrate the agility and innovation that sets our team apart in support of the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of L3 Technologies. “We are collaborating to deliver a prototype that provides powerful leap-ahead capability for our warfighters at an affordable life-cycle cost.” The companies’ next-generation single-engine design, paired with a wing for lift during high-speed forward flight, provides leap-ahead capabilities in a faster, lighter and more lethal aircraft that requires less maintenance through its life cycle, featuring:

What will be the fate of the Chinook? Even the Army isn’t sure

Has the Army made up its mind about not fielding the CH-47F Block II helicopter to the conventional force? Boeing hopes not.

The Army’s Plan To Save The Wounded In Future War « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

Even with faster medevac aircraft, uparmored ambulances, and more medical personnel at the front, will casualties get to life-saving care within the “golden hour”?

US clears Japan for $1.2B missile package to defend against ballistic threats

The approval for the potential sale in response to a request by Japan includes a package of 56 SM-3 Block IB missiles.

Camo netting, an age-old tool, is being re-engineered for the modern battlefield

Advances in technology help soldiers break up both heat and electronic signatures to better fight undetected.

Army and special operations snipers put new ghillie suit to the test

The new suit would replace the existing setup, which is rarely used by snipers, who often make their own suits.

All-Seeing HD Cameras Could Solve Tanks’ Biggest Weakness

The BAE Systems Multifunction Vehicle Protection Sensor gives tankers a high definition, 360 degree view from their tank.

Indian purchasing agency OKs tank buy, but negotiations with Russia stand in the way

NEW DELHI — India’s highest defense procurement body, the Cabinet Committee on Security, has approved purchase of 464 Russian T-90MS main battle tanks for $1.92 billion, but it’s unlikely the Ministry of Defence will sign a contract unless Russia agrees to boost local industrial co-operation for the tanks. The T-90MS tanks are to be produced by state-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory under license from the Russian original equipment manufacturer Uralvagonzavod. India wants Uralvagonzavod to increase local production of the tanks from 40 percent to 80 percent, said a senior MoD official. A senior official with the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board said: ”Till now India has received 310 plus 347 T-90 tanks from Russia, whether fully formed or assembled in Heavy Vehicles Factory.” But he added that full localization is impossible, thus a large amount of the assembly process will be imported. A senior Indian Army official noted that the gunnery portion of the tank comes “factory-fitted from Russia, with some minor equipment being made by OFB.” The official added that OFB does not produce engines or transmissions, which are approximately 40 percent of the cost of a T-90MS tank. Another Army official, citing the lack of a robust technology transfer deal, that this venture will prove expensive because it does not cover life cycle support and upgrades. The Army has inducted 1,100 T-90 tanks, of which 300 have been directly imported from Russia.

Marine Corps plans to replace LAV with modern Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle – Defence Blog

Marine Corps Systems Command has confirmed on 16 April that the Marine Corps plans to begin replacing its legacy Light Armored Vehicle with a modern Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle late in the next decade. The new Marine’s armed reconnaissance vehicle will provide reconnaissance capability. The primary mission equipment is an observation package. Sensors include a thermal imager, daylight camera and a laser rangefinder. Combined with the vehicle’s GPS and inertial navigation system the operator can accurately mark targets or points of interest and pass that data to the digital battlefield network. The ARV will be highly mobile, networked, transportable, protected and lethal. The capability will provide, sensors, communication systems and lethality options to overmatch threats that have historically been addressed with more heavily armored systems. “The ARV will be an advanced combat vehicle system, capable of fighting for information that balances competing capability demands to sense, shoot, move, communicate and remain transportable as part of the naval expeditionary force,” said John “Steve” Myers, program manager for MCSC’s LAV portfolio. Since the 1980s, the LAV has supported Marine Air-Ground Task Force missions on the battlefield. While the LAV remains operationally effective, the life cycle of this system is set to expire in the mid-2030s. The Corps aims to replace the vehicle before then. Marine Corps Systems Command has been tasked with replacing the vehicle with a next-generation, more capable ground combat vehicle system. In June 2016, the Corps established an LAV Way-Ahead, which included the option to initiate an LAV Replacement Program to field a next-generation capability in the 2030s. Preliminary planning, successful resourcing in the program objectives memorandum and the creation of an Office of Naval Research science and technology program have set the conditions to begin replacing the legacy LAV with the ARV in the late-2020s.

Navies, companies push for torpedo-killing torpedoes

Naval forces worldwide are pushing the idea of anti-torpedo torpedoes, essentially aiming to translate the promises of missile defense technology to undersea warfare.

Britain wants a large submarine drone, and it already has jobs lined up for the vessel

The British government has launched a competition to test a large, unmanned submarine’s ability to gather intelligence and perform other roles.

The Black Hornet became indispensable. Now the UK is ordering more.

The reintroduction of the Black Hornet into the armed forces of the United Kingdom follows a decision to cut the nano-UAV from its inventory in 2016 and 2017 as part of an overall reduction in unmanned systems

French Army eyes robots, change in force size as it prepares for future wars

Innovation and a sufficiently populated Army are key factors in whether France will be prepared for a high-intensity conflict, say the military’s strategic thinkers.

Israel inks deal with Elbit for advanced ‘artillery of the future’

Israel’s future artillery effort could solve operational challenges the country faces in the north, potentially in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

Tareq Alsaadi Goblin not exploded ? Fullymax batteries with Xnova motor.. more power??? – YouTube

Switzerland: The Nation with No Air Force? | The National Interest

The Swiss air force is down to just 10 ready fighters with full-time pilots.

Philippines’ New Anti-Submarine Helicopters Delivery in the Headlines with Inspection Voyage | The Diplomat

A look at the status of a capability that would constitute a major boost for Manila.

Israel reportedly used new supersonic Rampage missiles during airstrikes in Syria – Defence Blog

The Israeli Air Force is reportedly successfully used new supersonic Rampage stand-off air-to-surface missiles for the firі time during a recent airstrike on Syrian military positions. Israel has reportedly conducted a number of strikes on sites around Masyaf in the predawn hours of Saturday morning. Satellite imagery analysis company ImageSat confirmed that Israel targeted the base in Masyaf. A large hangar and three nearby buildings were destroyed in the attack on the facility, near the city of Masyaf in the western Hama province, according to the satellite images analyzed and distributed by ImageSat International. Some sources, included a military analyst Babak Taghvaee, have reported that Israeli Air Force could use for the first time its newest supersonic missile, called the Rampage. A new supersonic air-to-surface missile designed for the annihilation of high-quality targets has been developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industry Systems (IMI). The new missile is an accurate supersonic, long-range air-to-ground assault missile with a warhead, rocket engine and advanced navigation suit which allows for precision targeting at a very low mission cost compared to existing solutions. Early, Boaz Levy, General Manager and Executive Vice President of IAI’s Rockets and Space Group told Jane’s that: Rampage is a supersonic all-weather day/night ASM with a stand-off range of 100s of kilometers. Among the missile features are its ability to control and monitor the extent of its shrapnel, which will make its strike surgical, accurate and with minimum collateral damage despite the fact the missile spends a lot of time in the air from the minute it is launched until it strikes its target. The missile adjusted to all offense platforms including the Israeli air force F-15, F-16 and F-35 fighter jets and should be used against anti-aircraft batteries, enemy’s headquarters, armament storages, and logistic bases among others.

UAWire – Israel may have used latest Rampage missiles in last Syria attack

The Israeli Air Force may have used the latest Rampage air-launched ballistic missiles during its operation to destroy an Iranian center in Syria where surface-to-surface missiles supplied by Hezbollah were being stored. This theory was proposed by the military analyst Babak Taghvaee on Twitter. He claims that Israel resorted to using Rampage missiles out of fear of possible losses if Syria were to activate its S-300 aerial defense systems. “Israel Air Force successfully used Rampage for first time. Due to the danger of Syria Air Defense Force’s S-300PM-2s, Israel Air Force had to use the rocket to target a rocket/ ballistic missile factory + weapon warehouses of IRGC proxies in Masyaf, Syria on 13/04/2019,” Babak Taghvaee wrote. The Rampage was first demonstrated in June 2018. Russia compared it to its own Kinzhal missile, primarily due to its aeroballistic trajectory that makes it difficult to intercept. The Russian news outlet believes that the missile is the reason behind the success of the Israeli operation. Various news outlets reported that Israel destroyed a Syrian S-200 aerial defense system during its attack. The Israeli-developed Rampage air-to-surface missile can be fired from 4th and 5th generation fighters and used to destroy enemy aerial defense systems and other facilities. It is 4.7 m in length, has a range of 150 km, and carries a 150 kg warhead.

IAI, IMI unveil Rampage stand-off air-to-surface missile | Jane’s 360

Israel Aerospace Industries and IMI Systems have disclosed co-development of a new stand-off precision air-to-surface missile (ASM) system – designated Rampage – designed to address protected high value targets including command and control (C2) centres, air bases, maintenance centres, and

IAI and IMI unveil innovative co-development: Rampage, supersonic, long range accurate air-ground assault rocket for annihilation of high quality targets – IAI


IMS, IAI develop missile undetected by enemy

Two of Israel

The Rampage: Supersonic missile developed to destroy high quality targets – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

The missile can be fitted to the Israel Air Force’s F-15, F-16 and F-35 fighter jets and is meant to be dropped outside areas protected by air-defense systems.

Israel Turns Artillery Rocket Into Supersonic ‘Rampage’ Air-Launched Stand-Off Weapon – The Drive

The manufacturer says it’s a cheaper alternative to other longer-range aerial weapons that will work with almost any jet combat aircraft.

EXTRA artillery rocket system – Wikipedia

Argentina Was Almost the First Country to Develop a Small, Supersonic Cruise Missile (Way Back in 1960) | The National Interest

A strange tale.

From Nazi Germany to Argentina — A Proposal for the World’s First Small, Supersonic Cruise Missile

Argentina was almost the first country to develop a small, supersonic cruise missile. Way back in 1960. On May 30 of that year, Dr. Reimar Horten — a former warplane designer for Nazi Germany — met…

Luftwaffe Finis: The End of the German Air Force 1945, Restored Color – YouTube

ZenosWarbirds Published on Jul 31, 2013 This this an exclusive documentary! Recently discovered color film of top Luftwaffe leaders and pilots taken as they fell into Allied hands at the end of World War II. You’ll see startlingly realistic color footage of Herman Goering, Albert Kesselring, Adolf Galland, Hans Ulrich Rudel and many more. Captured aircraft are shown as well, including an Me 262, the first jet fighter, and an FW 190. You’ll be amazed when you see these color images. I produced this documentary from unedited, silent footage. Get this video and more on our P-51 DVD with five more videos & 130-page P-51D pilot’s manual:, Zeno’s Warbird Videos Visit our aviation DVD store at for the World’s largest selection of World War 2 & vintage jet aircraft aviation videos. We have 100s of films in our library. We have licensed footage to major TV networks and cable channels. For more info see… Zeno

Historian Robert Caro on the Importance of Analog Research in a Digital Age

“Today everybody believes fast is good. Sometimes slow is good.”

Ancient DNA of Crusaders Reveals Warriors Were Also Lovers

A DNA study has cast new light on the genetic diversity of the Crusaders.

The Weakening Of Earth’s Magnetic Field Has Greatly Accelerated | Zero Hedge

Earth’s magnetic field is getting significantly weaker, the magnetic north pole is shifting at an accelerating pace, and scientists readily admit that a sudden pole shift could potentially cause “trillions of dollars” in damage.

Boeing 737 Max Crash: Why a Software Fix Is Taking So Long – Bloomberg

In the days after a Boeing Co. 737 Max 8 jet plunged into Indonesia’s Java Sea last October, company officials said they were moving quickly to update plane software suspected in the crash.

Boeing 737 MAX software upgrade ‘operationally suitable’: FAA panel – Reuters

A review by a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration panel into Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX aircraft found a planned software update and training revisions to be “operationally suitable,” the agency said Tuesday, an important milestone in getting the planes back in the air.

U.S.-Canada Rift Widens Over Training for Boeing 737 MAX Pilots – WSJ

A rift between the U.S. and Canada is growing over how to ensure the safety of Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX planes, as Ottawa’s focus on additional pilot training could lead to a delay in getting the jet back in the air.

Honeywell expects Boeing 737 MAX deliveries to resume in the second half of 2019 – Reuters

Honeywell International Inc on Thursday said it expects the production rate and deliveries of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets to resume in the second half of this year.

FAA panel says Boeing 737 Max software is ‘operationally suitable’

The company’s shares jumped by about 2% on the news.

Analysts Say Boeing Slow To ‘Own’ 737 Max Crashes : NPR

After a second 737 Max jet crashed in Ethiopia, it took Boeing weeks to speak openly about the role its flight control software may have played. Critics say that’s too long.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Faces Mounting Pressure From 737 MAX Crash

The high-energy CEO may need every ounce of energy he’s got as he grapples with one of Boeing’s worst crises ever.

Costs for Boeing Start to Pile Up as 737 Max Remains Grounded – The New York Times

As the situation drags on, the aerospace giant and the airlines that rely on its planes have been scrambling to adjust, and the costs are growing.

FAA meets with U.S. airlines, pilot unions on Boeing 737 MAX – Reuters

The Federal Aviation Administration met for three hours on Friday with representatives from the three major U.S. airlines that own now grounded Boeing 737 MAX jets and their pilots’ unions to discuss two fatal crashes and the path forward.

Southwest removes 737 Max from flight schedule through early August

Southwest Airlines has removed the Boeing 737 Max jet from its schedule through Aug. 5, which marks a key summer travel period.

Southwest Inspects 737 MAX Jet Engines After March Malfunction – WSJ

Southwest Airlines has conducted inspections on about a dozen engines on its grounded Boeing 737 MAX jets in an attempt to determine whether there is a component problem or manufacturing flaw.

Trump to Boeing: Fix and ‘rebrand’ 737 Max jet after fatal crashes

The president says the airplane maker should give its best-selling 737 Max a new name.

Trump urges Boeing to rebrand : The Standard

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Boeing Co to “rebrand” its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes.

Ralph Nader on Twitter: “Callous Trump on the dangerously designed Boeing 737 Max: “No product has suffered like this one.” Ignoring the Boeing-caused deaths of 346 innocents and the suffering of their families. “Rebrand” he tells Boeing via tweet, instead of RECALL and build a new plane. #AxeTheMax -R”