Information operations · Information Warfare

Capability / Strategy / History Ad Hoc Update (40)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

This particular compilation reminds me of my grandmother’s corn pie, it’s full of goodness and flavor! I’d say crunchy, too, but I’m having problems making that comparison.

Pay very close attention to the very last posting, Iran is becoming a drone superpower.

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Much interesting reading:

  1. Grid hardening the traditional way;
  2. AI, satcom, GNSS updates;
  3. Much on air power and USAF programs – NGAD, RPVs, B-2A, F-22, F-15, F-35, F-117A activity at Nellis, RAF P-8A, and other programs;
  4. Army programs – including rotary wing and French hover platform;
  5. Naval programs;
  6. SpaceX update;
  7. WW2 performance enhancing drugs;
  8. 737MAX updates;

The Pitfalls of Writing About Revolutionary Defense Technology – War on the Rocks

Technology as a source of military innovation is hot stuff within the U.S. defense establishment right now. Anyone following the flow of information

Dr Peter Pry | New Legislation Could Protect Electric Grids the Old Fashioned Way |

While the July 13 blackout allegedly resulted from no foul play, a natural or manmade EMP or cyber-attack could potentially blackout much or all of North America for weeks, months, or permanently.

The Coming AI Metamorphosis – Defense One

Artificial intelligence may destabilize everything from nuclear détente to human friendships. We need to think much harder about how to adapt.

The German Navy Is Building A Laser Cannon | The National Interest

Say what?

Air Force satellite communications get more resilient signal

The latest addition to the Wideband Global SATCOM system will provide increased resilience and a stronger signal for war fighters.

Are LEO satellites approaching a breaking point for the Pentagon?

The Space Development Agency could take advantage of commercial broadband constellations enabled by falling satellite costs.

Can commercial satellites revolutionize nuclear command and control?

According to one Air Force official, commercial satellite capabilities could increase the survivability of nuclear command and controls, while also providing a cheaper alternative to military-owned satellites.

Galileo: Europe’s version of GPS suffers major outage – CNN

Europe’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is suffering a major outage, after being offline since Thursday.

Europe’s GPS System Totally Down After Major Technical Issue Hits Its Satellites

Galileo, Europe’s answer to GPS has been brought down by a massive and as yet unexplained technical failure.

The Case for Fifth-Generation and NGAD Airpower | Air Force Magazine

The case for 5th generation fighters is built on all-aspect stealth; superior aerodynamic performance; advanced automated sensors; and the power of automated information fusion.

AFRL to Test Skyborg Autonomy Algorithms This Summer | Air Force Magazine

The Air Force’s unmanned Skyborg project will get its first flight test this summer, putting autonomous flight controls to work on a “small, but representative, high-speed surrogate aircraft” aircraft.

The Invisible Anniversary Of The B-2 Bomber

Wednesday marks another anniversary that is less well known than man’s first landing on the moon, but of significant consequence — the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the B-2 stealth bomber. Here’s how it’s transformed U.S. power projection, and at an underappreciatedly reasonable cost.

30 Years of America’s B-2 Bomber

America’s deadly batwinged bomber just turned the big 3-0.

U.S. Air Force commemorates the 30th anniversary of B-2 test flight – Defence Blog

This year, Whiteman Air Force Base commemorates the 30th anniversary of the B-2 Spirit’s (s/n 82-1066 / AV-1) inaugural test flight on July 17, 1989, from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, California. For three decades, B-2 crews have participated in five major military operations and countless training engagements. The bomber has completed missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and, most recently, Libya. The B-2 was also the first aircraft over Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, for which aircraft and crew hold the record for longest combat mission at 44.3 hours. The stealth bomber has been a vital component of America’s national defense and stands as a symbol of the Air Force’s global strike capabilities. “The combination of range, payload and stealth is really what makes the B-2 unique in all these fights,” said Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, 509th Bomb Wing commander and a command pilot who is now responsible for the combat readiness of the Air Force’s only B-2 base. “Our adversaries don’t know when a conflict is going to heat up or when Whiteman (AFB) is going to be called into the fight.” B-2 expertise and dedication is shared here at Whiteman AFB following the 2008 total force integration of the 509th BW and the 131st BW, a Missouri Air National Guard unit. This shared responsibility includes training, maintenance and combat operations around the globe and is necessary for the success of this program. “At the heart of the stealth enterprise are the men and women in uniform and civilian experts who work tirelessly to provide an asset of unmatched capability,” Schreiner said. “With their expertise and dedication, the B-2 will remain an invaluable asset to our nation for years to come.” With its unique flying wing design and advancing avionics systems, the B-2 Spirit is more lethal and innovative today than it was 30 years ago. Airmen conduct daily testing and maintenance, long-duration training missions and readiness exercises to keep the B-2 Spirit operational. The stealth bomber is a vital component of America’s national defense and stands as a symbol of the Air Force’s global strike capabilities, 30 years from its inaugural test flight.

US ‘Raptor regret’ raises questions and possibilities

A US Air Force combatant commander in Australia for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 has expressed regret from within the USAF about allied access to the world’s leading fifth generation fighter aircraft,

F-22 Raptor pilots conduct ‘hot seat’ training – Defence Blog

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor pilots from the 43rd Fighter Squadron out of Tyndall Air Force Base conducted ‘hot seat’ training. According to 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, ‘hot seat’ training designed to increase the amount of combat sorties that are flown. This increase can be very advantageous for the Air Force in future operations. This training, where a pilot gives control of the jet to another pilot, and ‘hot pits’, Pantograph Fueling Stations, gave the pilots more training time in the air. If the aircraft didn’t record anything unsafe during flight, the next pilot can take it on another flight without turning over the jet to maintenance. “We’re taking one pilot already in the seat of the jet when it comes back and swapping it for another pilot on the spot,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Peters, 325th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “That way the jet never gets officially released back to maintenance—another pilot just accepts it. [Assuming the aircraft did not record anything unsafe during flight] they do a face-to-face brief, then the incoming pilot can take the jet and launch it from there.” Once on the ground, pilots taxied the aircraft through safety checks and up to the ‘hot pit’ for refueling. One after another, the pilots made their pitstop and received fuel without turning off the engines and waiting on a fuel truck to arrive. In turn, the pilots took their jet to the next pilot in line, bypassing the checklist maintainers use to get the jet back in the air. “Since Hurricane Michael devastated Tyndall AFB and the surrounding area, it took a lot of time, energy and effort to bring our operation at Eglin AFB up to full capacity,” said Lt. Col. Jefferey Peterson, 43rd Fighter Squadron director of operations. “During that transition, we absorbed additional pilots, from both active duty and reserves, as a result of the 95th FS having their jets and people split up across the F-22 community.” According to Peters, pantograph fueling stations at Eglin made hot-pit refueling ideal; it would be wasted potential if they didn’t use it. Maintainers use the systems for pitstop style refueling of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, and fuel trucks. They are designed to eliminate safety and environmental liabilities associated with rubber hoses. “Normally we would fly ten [jets] on the first go and eight on the second for a total of 18 sorties,” said Master Sgt. Dustin Holman, 325th AMXS aircraft section chief. “For ‘hot seats’ we fly eight, six and six for a total of 20 sorties.” On a normal day, the 325th AMXS prepares 13 jets. Three are left as spares, while the other ten are sent on sorties. Only 11 are needed for hot-pit refueling and rapid crew swaps. This reduces the amount of time it takes to get a new pilot in the air; saving time and producing more sorties with less aircraft. When the team gets an opportunity they are also able to send out ten jets on the first go, six on a second and eight on a third, for a total of 24 sorties. Making this method very flexible and valuable for catching up with sorties and make up for the time lost after the hurricane. According to Holman, the 43rd Fighter Squadron is the first F-22 squadron to use these methods. They began practicing before Hurricane Michael struck and now are using them to maximize their training time. “Using this concept of hot pitting with rapid crew swaps, or hot seat operations as we have been calling it, our team has been able to drastically increase sortie production to levels we have never seen in the history of our organization,” Peterson said. “The hot seat operations concept has been a paradigm shift that is among the most important innovations we have put into effect since the hurricane.”

An F-15C Combat Pilot’s Perspective on F-15 Versus F-35 | RealClearDefense

As a young 26-year-old fighter pilot, I had the glorious honor of flying F-15C’s during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. While stationed with the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), I was…

Is the F-15 2040C Israel’s Solution for a New “Advanced Eagle”? | The National Interest

The search has ended.

Six cutting-edge F-35 fighters supported by Voyager tankers arrived in UK – Defence Blog

Second F-35 Lightning fighter jet squadron arrived in the UK after long flight supported by Voyager tankers from MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina. UK Defence Minister Mark Lancaster has welcomed the arrival of a second training squadron of state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning jets to RAF Marham, including the UK’s 18th jet. According to a statement released by Royal Air Force, six of the cutting-edge aircraft took the 10-hour flight from MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina. The formation included the UK’s 18th Lightning fighter jet, demonstrating the UK’s progress towards meeting the projected order of 138 aircraft over the life of the program. 207 Squadron will formally stand up on 1 August 2019 and the first F-35 pilot course at RAF Marham is due to commence in early-September.

Israel Air Force receives two additional F-35 “Adir” fighter jets – Defence Blog

The Israel Defense Forces announced that on 14 July the Israeli Air Force has received two new F-35 “Adir” fighter jets. “Today, two additional F-35 “Adir” planes landed at the Nevatim Airbase. The planes will join the F-35 “Adir” aircraft array, which was declared operational in the Israeli Air Force in December 2017,” a statement issued by Israel Defense Forces said. Israeli officials said the jets were purchased to ensure the Israeli Air Force’s “aerial superiority in all its missions, primarily the defense and security of the State of Israel and its airspace.” Two F-35 fighter jets landed in Israel Sunday, the army said, bringing the number of fifth-generation stealth aircraft that the military says it has in its arsenal up to 16. The jets are part of an acquisition of 50 F-35s. The first jets arrived in Israel in December 2016 and by the end of 2019 Israel would have 20 F-35s. “The continued acquisition of the F-35 aircraft is another expression of the long-term military cooperation between Israel and the United States,” the statement read, stressing that the Israeli Air Force was the first in the world, outside of the United States, to operate the F-35. In June, the F-35 aircraft participated in the “Tri-Lightning” military exercise, led by the United States, with the participation of the British Air Force.

Security Breach? This Chinese Company Produces Key Parts of the F-35 | The National Interest

Not good.

Combat Aircraft on Twitter: “Aggressor F-117? Incredible new images revealed –” / Twitter

Aggressor F-117? Incredible new images revealed | Combat Aircraft

America’s best-selling military aviation magazine

The Retired F-117A Nighthawk Is Doing…Something…in the Desert

Retired in 2008, the F-117A Nighthawk is doing who-knows-what in the California and Nevada deserts.

UAWire – Israel to produce 1000 Barak 8 missiles for India

One of the largest Israeli arms exporters Rafael (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.) signed a contract with KRAS company to produce 1,000 medium-range missiles for the Barak 8 anti-aircraft missile systems, developed jointly by Israel and India. The amount of a deal is $100 million. Under the terms of the agreement, KRAS will act as a subcontractor and will be responsible for the assembly, integration, and testing of missiles in India. KRAS is a joint venture between Rafael and the Indian Kalyani Group. The deal was concluded within as part of the program for the supply of 18 Barak 8 missile launchers and 450 missiles for the Indian Air Force, as well as 14 air-defense missile launchers with 500 missiles for the Indian Armed Forces. The total amount of the contract signed in 2017 is $2.5 billion.

British military scrambles to speed up work on hypersonic engines, weapons

The future Tempest fighter aircraft could be in line for a high-Mach propulsion system.

Singapore wants to dump its four old Boeing tankers

As the KC-135s were built in the United States, any disposal method will need the approval of the U.S. government before proceeding.

Boeing Defense on Twitter: “The first @RoyalAirForce #P8A Poseidon takes to the skies for its first flight. RELEASE:” / Twitter

Boeing released video of UK P-8A Poseidon’s first flight – Defence Blog

U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has released footage showing the first flight of newest British P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The first Boeing P-8A Poseidon for the United Kingdom Royal Air Force (RAF) took off from Renton, Wash. at 10:00 a.m. Pacific on July 12, marking the first flight of this inaugural UK P-8A. During the 90 minute flight key testing took place before the aircraft touched down and moved to the next phase of preparation before customer delivery, installation of military systems. UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Royal Air Force personnel, along with Boeing P-8 program leaders, were on hand to witness the takeoff and landing of the recently painted aircraft, number ZP801. “This is a great milestone in the UK P-8A Poseidon’s journey to the UK, as we are one step closer to its arrival in Scotland,” said Air Commodore Richard Barrow, the senior responsible owner for the UK’s P-8A program. “The platform will enhance the UK’s maritime patrol capability with advanced, state-of-the-art technology.” The RAF P-8A Poseidon fleet will support maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and anti-ship warfare for the UK, and will increase protection of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. The first of nine P-8As ordered by the UK now moves to the P-8 Installation and Checkout facility in Tukwila, Wash., where mission systems are installed and further testing happens before final delivery to the customer later this year. When the aircraft is delivered it will first fly to U.S. Naval Air Station Jacksonville for additional preparation and training by UK personnel before flying home to the UK. The RAF will take delivery of ZP801 later this year and it will move to the UK in early 2020. The United Kingdom is one of six international customers for the P-8A Poseidon. As a direct commercial sale, India has received eight of the P-8I variant to date with four more in production. The U.S. Navy is on contract to receive 111 with the potential for additional quantities based on the fleet’s needs. As a cooperative partner with the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Program Office, Australia began receiving their P-8A aircraft in 2016 with eight delivered and four more in production; Norway will begin receiving their five P-8As in 2022; both New Zealand and South Korea have signed agreements with the U.S. Navy to purchase four and six aircraft respectively.

USAF taps Lockheed Martin for providing replacement JASSM anti-jam GPS receiver – Defence Blog

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a modification to previously awarded contract for providing a replacement joint air to surface standoff missile (JASSM) anti-jam GPS receiver with a new JASSM Anti-Jam GPS Receiver (JAGR) due to obsolescence. The contract modification, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $10.1 million. This contract provides a replacement for the current JAGR due to obsolescence. Work will be performed at Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2023. According to Lockheed Martin, JASSM is a long-range, conventional, air-to-ground, precision standoff missile for the U.S. and allied forces. Designed to destroy high-value, well-defended, fixed and relocatable targets, JASSM’s significant standoff range keeps aircrews well out of danger from hostile air defense systems. A 2,000-pound class weapon with a penetrator/blast fragmentation warhead, JASSM employs precision routing and guidance in adverse weather, day or night, using a state-of-the-art infrared seeker in addition to the anti-jam GPS to find a specific aimpoint on the target. Its stealthy airframe makes it extremely difficult to defeat. JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B, B-2, B-52, F-16 and F-15E. The B-1B also carries JASSM-ER. Internationally, JASSM is carried on the F/A-18A/B and the F-18C/D aircraft.

Iran is becoming a drone superpower | TheHill

Not all of Iran’s claims regarding its drones are accurate, but Tehran’s bragging is no reason to scoff at its abilities.