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Thread: War technology

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    Japan sends biggest warship to protect US supply vessel

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    Japanese television showed the Izumo leaving the port of Yokosuka

    Japan has dispatched its biggest warship, in the first such operation since it passed controversial laws expanding the role of its military.
    The helicopter carrier Izumo is escorting a US supply vessel within Japanese waters.
    The US ship is heading to refuel the naval fleet in the region, including the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group.

    North Korea has threatened to sink the Carl Vinson and a US submarine, amid rising tensions in the region.
    It also carried out a failed missile test on Sunday, despite repeated warnings from the US and others to stop its nuclear and missile activity.
    The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo says the Izumo is the pride of the Japanese navy, and is by far its biggest ship.

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    The 249m-long Izumo can carry up to nine helicopters, and resembles US amphibious assault carriers, reported The Japan Times.

    Kyodo news agency said it was leaving its base in Yokosuka south of Tokyo to join the US supply ship, and accompany it to waters off Shikoku in western Japan.
    Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan is gradually pushing the limits of what its modern and powerful military is allowed to do, and with tensions high on the Korean peninsula, Mr Abe appears keen to try out the new laws for the first time, our correspondent says.

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    The article is about the launch.
    Relevant to the thread is according to the article there are fourteen military spy satellites going up.
    Classified, which probably means waiting for details to get leaked.


    SpaceX Launches US Spy Satellite on Secret Mission, Nails Rocket Landing

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday (May 1) to boost a classified spy satellite into orbit for the U.S. military, then turned around and touched down at a nearby landing pad.

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    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the NROL-76 spy satellite on a classified mission for the National Reconnaissance Office on May 1, 2017. The mission launched from Pad-39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

    It was the 34th mission for SpaceX, but its first flight for the Department of Defense, a customer long-pursued by company founder Elon Musk. The privately owned SpaceX once sued the Air Force over its exclusive launch services contract with United Launch Alliance (ULA), a partnership of Lockheed-Martin and Boeing.

    Monday's 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) liftoff of a classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) officially broke ULA's 10-year monopoly on launching U.S. military and national security satellites.

    For now, the military's business is a fraction of more than 70 missions, worth more than $10 billion, slated to fly on SpaceX rockets. But with up to 13 more military satellite launches open for competitive bidding in the next few years and ULA's lucrative sole-source contract due to end in 2019, SpaceX is angling to become a major launch service provider to the Department of Defense.

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    US anti-missile system 'operational' in South Korea
    The US military says its controversial Thaad missile defence system is "operational" in South Korea.

    A spokesman said the system was now able to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the South.
    But officials have told reporters that full operational capability is still some months away.
    Tensions have been rising around the Korean peninsula, with repeated threats from North Korea and the presence of a group of US warships and a submarine.

    On Monday, two US bombers took part in a joint drill with South Korea's air force in what the US said was a routine operation.
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    US bombers flew over Korean peninsula in joint drill: South Korea

    Seoul: North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic US bombers flew over the area in a training drill with the South Korean air force.
    The two supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers were deployed amid rising tensions over North Korea's dogged pursuit of its nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of United Nations sanctions and pressure from the United States.

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    B-1B Lancer

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    It is commonly called the "Bone" ...

    Mission
    Carrying the largest conventional payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

    Features
    The B-1B's blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. Forward wing settings are used for takeoff, landings, air refueling and in some high-altitude weapons employment scenarios. Aft wing sweep settings - the main combat configuration -- are typically used during high subsonic and supersonic flight, enhancing the B-1B's maneuverability in the low- and high-altitude regimes. The B-1B's speed and superior handling characteristics allow it to seamlessly integrate in mixed force packages. These capabilities, when combined with its substantial payload, excellent radar targeting system, long loiter time and survivability, make the B-1B a key element of any joint/composite strike force.

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    The B-1 is a highly versatile, multi-mission weapon system. The B-1B's synthetic aperture radar is capable of tracking, targeting and engaging moving vehicles as well as self-targeting and terrain-following modes. In addition, an extremely accurate Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System enables aircrews to navigate without the aid of ground-based navigation aids as well as engage targets with a high level of precision. The addition of a fully integrated data link (FIDL) with Link-16 capability provides improved battlefield situation awareness and secure beyond line of sight reach back connectivity. In a time sensitive targeting environment, the aircrew can use targeting data received from the Combined Air Operations Center or other command and control assets to strike emerging targets rapidly and efficiently.

    The B-1B's onboard self-protection electronic jamming equipment, radar warning receiver (ALQ-161) and expendable countermeasures (chaff and flare) system and a towed decoy system (ALE-50) complements its low-radar cross-section to form an integrated, robust defense system that supports penetration of hostile airspace. The ALQ-161 electronic countermeasures system detects and identifies the full spectrum of adversary threat emitters then applies the appropriate jamming technique either automatically or through operator inputs.

    Current modifications build on this foundation. Radar sustainability and capability upgrades will provide a more reliable system and may be upgraded in the future to include an ultra high-resolution capability and automatic target recognition. The addition of Link-16 and FIDL combined with associated cockpit upgrades will provide the crew with a much more flexible, integrated cockpit, and will allow the B-1 to operate in the fast-paced integrated battlefield of the future. Several obsolete and hard to maintain electronic systems are also being replaced to improve aircraft reliability.

    Background

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    Watch the US missile defense in Korea that has China spooked knock out an incoming missile

    US defense officials confirmed on Tuesday that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD missile defense system has been successfully deployed in South Korea.
    THAAD, the world's most advanced missile defense system, has both China and North Korea spooked, as its powerful radar could potentially spot and knock down Chinese missiles, and persistent rumors say it could be bad for the health of South Koreans in the region, despite evidence to the contrary.

    But THAAD is a purely defensive weapons system. The missiles do not even carry warheads, and rely solely on kinetic energy to smash incoming missiles without detonating their high explosive, or possibly nuclear payload.
    In the clip below, see how THAAD knocks out an incoming missile threat.

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    Lockheed's Catapult-Launched Drone Called Fury Lingers 15 Hours Over the Battlefield

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    The drone can act as a surveillance, communications relay platform.
    Fury, which looks a little like a pumpkin seed with bat wings, can operate for more than 15 hours at altitudes up to 15,000 feet. An in-house project funded on the company dime, Lockheed's new drone is designed to give ground troops or warships their own surveillance or communications platform. The 17-foot-wingspan drone doesn't need a runway to operate. Instead, it's launched from a truck or deck-mounted catapult and can be recovered by flying it into a recovery net.

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    Really enjoying this thread. What do you hear about the current status of the A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog). It was to be retired or upgraded, on again off again. I've great affection for that platform. Thanks

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    Thanks, but be aware that I am not in any way an armchair weapons expert, nor do I play one online.
    I am just taking these things as I see them mentioned in the news and then looking for public information.
    The weapons industry is unfortunately far too large a subject.
    So I don't know anything about the Warthog's current status.
    If it gets used somewhere and mentioned...

    But, since you mentioned it, here's a couple reminders of its shock and awesomeness:

    Actually, this clip from a year ago has some information.
    Of real concern to everyone is that corrupt politicians will endanger our troops by killing off an effective weapon in order to get lucrative contracts for their districts for the manufacturing of less effective weapons.
    The 'military-industrial complex' is corrupt as hell.

    A-10 Warthogs Blast ISIS
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    Feeding the Most Monstrous Plane Ever Invented: A-10 Thunderbolt Loading/Firing
    US Crew team loading Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II with gbu bombs, AGM-65 Maverick air to ground missiles and bullets/shells for the hyper powerful GAU-8 Avenger 30mm cannon. On this video you can hear the most famous plane cannon sound aka the "A-10 brrrt" at the the end of the video filmed during a training shooting at Air Gunnery Range in northern Michigan against old apc (US made M113) used as target.

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    Forget North Korea. The Next Nuclear Crisis Festers On The India-Pakistan Border

    Terrorism is fueling fears of unintended war between the two bitter enemies.
    WASHINGTON ― While President Donald Trump is focused on North Korea’s nuclear madman, a more alarming threat is rising in South Asia: an explosive mix of nuclear weapons, terrorism and hair-trigger war plans.

    Pakistan, already a major nuclear weapons power with well over 100 warheads and the missiles to carry them, is racing to expand its arsenal of short-range tactical weapons meant as a deterrent against India, its larger, more powerful neighbor and blood enemy. India is thought to have around 100 nuclear warheads of its own. (North Korea is estimated to possess enough fissile material to make several warheads.)

    But it’s not the numbers of weapons between India and Pakistan that most worry analysts and diplomats. It’s the instability of their nuclear stand-off and the possibility that an accident, a miscalculation or a terrorist attack could ignite a catastrophic nuclear war.

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    Pakistan displays its nuclear-capable NASR missile battery during a military parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2017.

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    OK, now I'm starting to get a wierd sense of deja vu based on sci-fi I read in the late 50's and early 60's about weapons that couldn't exist.
    If you read the same things I did, the idea of death dealing drones in the air was 'fantastical'.
    As is the idea of robots storming a beachhead...


    The Marines’ Latest Weapon Is a Remote-Controlled Robot With a Machine Gun

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    The U.S. Marine Corp has begun testing Multi-Utility Tactical Transports (MUTTs) equipped with .50-caliber machine guns.
    Though currently controlled by a marine via remote, the military is interested in created an autonomous version in the future.

    Remote-Controlled Warfare

    Few images of war are as iconic as the 1944 storming of the beach at Normandy, but due to new military technologies, tomorrow’s version of D-Day will undoubtedly look much different. Weaponized drones will likely fill the air, and instead of soldiers streaming out of the water, we could see amphibious hovercrafts that move as quickly across the land as they do the sea. Aboard those craft might be the latest high-tech military tool, the Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT).

    Each MUTT is roughly the size of an ATV and is operated remotely using a joystick and tablet. General Dynamics designed the vehicles to transport food, water, and other supplies, and the Marines recently tested MUTTs with a far more powerful piece of cargo on board: a .50-caliber machine gun.

    01:44
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    With a series of cameras and sensors providing accurate imaging and heavy-duty tracks that have no trouble navigating across rough terrain, MUTTs could prove to be an invaluable military tool, particularly in conditions that would be extremely hostile for soldiers to navigate. As one soldier told Business Insider, “It’s a mobile platform where it doesn’t get fatigued. It doesn’t need water. It needs very little maintenance, and it’s always in the fight, so that’s a great asset to have.”

    Armed and Autonomous

    A remote-controlled MUTT does clearly have several advantages over a similarly equipped soldier, but according to a senior Marine officer, the military isn’t content with the system as it currently stands.
    “Eventually, what we hope to do is go to systems that are more truly autonomous, that I can say, ‘Hey, go cover my right flank,’ and it’s going to go do the things it needs to do in order to make that happen,” the officer told Business Insider. “And then if it does get in the situation where the weapons systems malfunction, it can either fix itself or then I’ve got to send a marine to go fix it.”

    The idea of an autonomous system armed with a machine gun having its “weapons systems malfunction” will no doubt worry Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and the thousands of others who signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. They assert that we need to draw a distinct line between a robot directly controlled by a human — like these current MUTTs — and ones that operate autonomously.
    “Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations, and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity,” the letter reads. “There are many ways in which AI can make battlefields safer for humans, especially civilians, without creating new tools for killing people.”

    Unless a ban is enacted, however, there’s nothing stopping the military from pursuing such tech advancements. Even if the practice does become illegal in one nation, that wouldn’t necessarily prevent others from developing such tech. Truly, the wars of the future will look much different, but whether those differences keep us safer or not is still up for debate.

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    North Korea tests missiles designed to defeat U.S. THAAD defense system

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    The North Korean regime launched test missiles last year in flights precisely designed to avoid interception by rocketing them into much higher altitudes, the Congressional Research Service reported. (Associated Press/File) more >

    North Korea has tailored its spate of ballistic missile tests to defeat the U.S.-stationed defense systems ready to protect the South and Japan from descending warheads, a report to Congress says.
    The bellicose North regularly flight-tests a panoply of ballistic missiles that could, in war, be capped with miniaturized nuclear warheads and strike its two democratic neighbors and U.S. allies.
    The U.S. military has matched this threat by first stationing Patriot anti-missile batteries and then announcing that the wider-range, mobile THAAD system is now in place to shoot down incoming warheads.

    Pyongyang, the North’s capital, has been watching.

    The Congressional Research Service reported that the regime launched test missiles last year in flights precisely designed to avoid interception by rocketing them into much higher altitudes. The result: The re-entry warhead will descend at a steeper angle and faster speed, “making it potentially more difficult to intercept with a missile defense system,” the CRS said.
    In another maneuver, the CRS said, “North Korea has also demonstrated an ability to launch a salvo attack with more than one missile launched in relatively short order.”
    “This is consistent with a possible goal of being able to conduct large ballistic missile attacks with large raid sizes, a capability that could make it more challenging for a missile defense system to destroy each incoming warhead,” the report said.

    In a third tactic, North Korea has tested submarine-launched ballistic missiles — the first in 2015 — that could be targeted at South Korea from outside THAAD’s radar field.

    Lockheed Martin, the maker of THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense), says its system is “designed to counter mass raids” by launching up to 72 interceptors from one battery against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles to protect troops as well as cities. The U.S. military positioned the battery and radars 135 miles south of the capital of Seoul on an abandoned golf course.

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    An F-35 pilot explains how the stealth fighter can have a crushing psychological effect on the enemy

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    Retired US Marine Corps Maj. Dan Flatley will never forget the crushing feeling of helplessness he felt the first time he faced a stealth jet while he was flying in an F/A-18.

    "I remember indelibly the moment in which the AWAC (airborne early warning and control plane) called out to me that there was a Raptor [an F-22 stealth fighter] in front of me at very close range that made me uncomfortable," Flatley told Business Insider in a phone interview.
    "I had no way of targeting him, no way of defending myself."

    Despite years of training to stay focused and level headed under the extreme pressures of air-to-air combat, a sense of dread set in.
    Before even seeing the F-22, Flatley had already surrendered his composure, and therefore his ability to effectively fight back.

    Years later, Flatley would come to pilot the F-35 and even design the curriculum for training pilots in the fifth-generation fighter, where he would tap into the crushing psychological effect of fighting a plane you can't find.
    While the F-35 represents the most expensive weapons system of all time, and is a frequent target of government critics who chastise the program for going over budget and schedule, Flatley says the real strength of stealth fighters doesn't show up in any budget.

    "What the public doesn’t realize is how dominant the difference in information is," said Flatley. While the F-35 performs similarly to legacy jets in some areas like speed, turning, and range, there's a huge, ever-growing information gap between what the F-35 pilot sees and what an F-18 pilot sees.
    The F-35 features six cameras stationed around the jet and a helmet display that allows pilots to literally look through the jet as if it wasn't there. It features the only infrared radar on a US fighter since the F-14, and uses unprecedented sensor-fusion capabilities to paint an incredibly vivid picture of its surroundings for miles out.

    On top of all that, it's stealth. So while the F-35 sees everything, it's seen by almost no one.

    Legacy jets, with the help of AWACs " may have a general idea that there’s an F-35 out there, but they don’t know exactly where we are," said Flatley.
    The distinct information disadvantage causes pilots to get tunnel vision, according to Flatley.

    "Everything they see becomes the F-35 out there," said Flatley. "Every radar hit, every communication is about the stealth jet. They want to illuminate or eliminate a threat they can’t handle."
    The fear and paranoia caused by the presence of stealth jets in a battle has a widespread effect on adversaries that " includes extremely capable legacy jets and certainly includes everything available to adversaries," said Flatley of updated F-16s, F-15s, and even enemy air defenses like Russia's S-400.

    Even extremely capable operators fall prey to the F-35's psychological advantage. "It has nothing to do with their skill or technology. They’re at such a technological disadvantage," said Flatley. "I've seen guys in F-18s turn directly in front of me and show me their tails cause they have no idea I’m there."
    In the end, "It aggregates to a completely inept response to what we’re doing in the air," said Flatley. "People are so hellbent on shooting down the stealth fighter that they invariably make mistakes that I can exploit."

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    SEE ALSO: Here's why the F-35 once lost to F-16s, and how it made a stunning comeback

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    Not tech, but relevant:


    What War With North Korea Looked Like in the 1950s and Why It Matters Now

    The brutality of the Korean War has largely been overlooked by U.S. history, but the conflict has long shaped Washington's troubled political relationship, or lack thereof, with North Korea. As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threaten to ignite a new battle in the region, the scars of the past seem to resonate more powerfully in the Korean Peninsula than in the West.
    During the course of the three-year war, which both sides accuse one another of provoking, the U.S. dropped 635,000 tons of explosives on North Korea, including 32,557 tons of napalm, an incendiary liquid that can clear forested areas and cause devastating burns to human skin. (In constrast, the U.S. used 503,000 tons of bombs during the entire Pacific Theater of World War Two, according to a 2009 study by the Asia-Pacific Journal.) In a 1984 interview, Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, claimed U.S. bombs "killed off 20 percent of the population" and "targeted everything that moved in North Korea." These acts, largely ignored by the U.S.' collective memory, have deeply contributed to Pyongyang's contempt for the U.S. and especially its ongoing military presence on the Korean Peninsula.
    "Most Americans are completely unaware that we destroyed more cities in the North then we did in Japan or Germany during World War II... Every North Korean knows about this, it's drilled into their minds. We never hear about it," historian and author Bruce Cumings told Newsweek by email Monday.

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  18. #63 What's the Deal With China's Surface Skimming Anti-Ship Drone-Missile Hybrid? 
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    What's the Deal With China's Surface Skimming Anti-Ship Drone-Missile Hybrid?

    Could this emerging weapon system become yet another effective threat layer in China's ever-expanding anti-access/area-denial maritime bubble?

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    The news that China is working on an anti-ship drone-missile hybrid of sorts has been bouncing around social media as of late, after a photo and details about the weapon surfaced recently. The system is centered around a wing-in-ground-effect optimized airframe—a concept made famous by the Soviet Union's enigmatic Ekranoplans, and in particular, the giant Caspian Sea Monster. Ground effect craft can efficiently skim very low over the ground at high speeds by leveraging the decreased drag and increased lift that occurs as a result of an aircraft's wings interacting with the air directly above the planet's surface.

    Although some were quick to think this weapon system is some sort of an elaborate unmanned combat air vehicle, that is almost certainly not the case. It seems pretty clear that it is far more expendable missile than anything else. After being launched from a shore battery, it would likely skim out to a target area at relatively high speed and very-low altitude. Then its onboard radar seeker would search for and prosecute an end-game attack solution of its target much like a standard anti-ship cruise missile. It would then slam into a ship and detonate what would be a far larger payload of explosives than a traditional anti-ship missile would carry.
    The weapon is supposedly designed to fly as low as three feet above the water's surface for an hour and a half, and deliver a whopping 2,200-pound explosive payload onto its target. Overall, the weapon weighs 6,600 lbs fully loaded. The system's seeker, engine, and possibly other components like its navigation system are likely ported over from existing, reliable anti-ship missile systems, such as the C-602/YJ-62, C-704, C-802/YJ-8 series of missiles.

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    If you think about the highly and expensively trained and equipped specialist soldier as 'tech', then this is like being told you're gonna run out of bullets.
    For what it's worth, I predict the return of conscription.
    Good for employment and good for the economy.
    Less war is bad for profits.
    That is not said or intended cynically.



    Elite troops are being worked too hard and spread too thin, military commander warns
    WASHINGTON

    The breakneck pace at which the United States deploys its special operations forces to conflict zones is taking a toll, their top commander told Congress on Thursday.

    Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, called the rate at which special operations forces are being deployed “unsustainable” and said the growing reliance of the U.S. military on its elite troops could produce a dangerous strain.

    “We are not a panacea,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We are not the ultimate solution to every problem, and you will not hear that coming from us.”

    About 8,000 U.S. special forces are currently deployed in more than 80 countries, Thomas said. Many are at the forefront of advising missions in Syria and Iraq as well as counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan. There are about 500 special operators in Syria.

    Senators said they were worried about the military’s overreliance on special forces, who are increasingly being called on for missions outside their usual range.

    “Our combatant commanders around the world have developed a seemingly insatiable demand for the unique capabilities of our special operators,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Armed Services Committee.

    The operational tempo is also wearing on the commanders, who in recent months have been called on to take the lead in anti-terrorism efforts and in monitoring the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

    Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said it was a “growing myth” that the U.S. “can use special forces and nothing else to achieve goals.”
    Special forces are involved in operations against terrorist groups across the world, including the Islamic State and al Qaida in the Middle East and al Shabab in Somalia. On top of that, they are being assigned to a wide range of other conflicts, from “countering Russian aggression to preparing for contingencies in Korea,” Thomas said.

    Thomas said special operators had engaged in “continuous combat over the past 15 and half years.”

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    I think it's reasonable to say anything the Air Force builds and won't talk about is 'War Technology'...


    Air Force space plane lands after secret mission

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    Technicians in hazmat suits "safe" the Air Force X-37B space plane after an unannounced landing at the Kennedy Space Center early Sunday to close out a clandestine 718-day mission. NASA's iconic Vehicle Assembly Building looms in the background.
    U.S. Air Force

    An unpiloted military space plane, launched by an Atlas 5 rocket in May 2015, glided to an unannounced landing on the long shuttle runway at the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, closing out a 718-day mission. It was the first Florida landing of a returning spacecraft since Atlantis flew home in the program's final mission in 2011.

    Sonic booms rumbled across central Florida around 8 a.m. and a few minutes later, the Air Force tweeted that the Boeing-built X-37B space plane -- a compact, delta-wing craft equipped with a payload bay, a solar power boom and a sophisticated computer control systems -- had returned from orbit and landed safely.

    The spacecraft are believed to fly as orbital test beds for advanced technology sensors and other systems but the program is classified, and the Air Force provides almost no details on the nature of the space plane's missions, what might have been accomplished or when the reusable craft might fly again.

    But before OTV-2 took off on its just-ended flight, the Air Force acknowledged two experiments: a NASA materials science project and one to test an Aerojet Rocketdyne Hall-effect thruster, which generates low but steady thrust by accelerating electrically charged xenon ions. The thrusters are used aboard Advanced Extremely-High Frequency military communications satellites.

    But in general, the X-37 program is conducted in near total secrecy.

    Joan Johnson-Freese, a space policy analyst at the Naval War College, said before the most recent launching that the X-37B appears to be what the Air Force claims, a technology demonstrator and testbed. But she said the secrecy surrounding the program likely will continue fueling interest among potential adversaries.
    "What's interesting to me is it's being done in such an opaque manner," she said. "If the Chinese were doing this, oh my God, there would be congressional hearings on a daily basis and programs being ginned up to respond to it. It has capabilities that other countries aren't sure about, and so they're going to be very nervous about them. If it's a highly maneuverable space vehicle, that has some pretty significant implications."

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    There's more information and speculation here:
    Top-secret X-37B military space plane could land in California this week
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    I have no intention of expanding this thread into 'tactics', but today I had the odd coincidence of reading this headline:

    North Korea detains another American over alleged hostile acts
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    I thought "Step 2, start taking hostages."
    And then saw this headline:


    North Korea’s ‘Hostage Diplomacy’: Kim Uses Detained Americans as Leverage
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    Russian Fighter Jet Comes Within 20 Feet of U.S. Navy Craft

    On May 9, 2017, a Russian SU-27 came within approximately 20 feet of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon while the U.S. Navy aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace, according to Captain Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for U.S. Naval Forces Europe.
    She added that the interaction &was considered safe and professional by the P-8A's mission commander.

    U.S. Navy aircraft and ships routinely interact with Russian ships and aircraft in international seas and water and most interactions are safe and professional, she said.

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    Russia's F-15 Killer: Why America (and the World) Fears the Su-27 Flanker

    To the West, most of the legendary Soviet aircraft of the Cold War came from the design bureau Mikoyan Gurevitch, which spawned such aircraft as the MiG-15 “Fagot,” MiG-21 “Fishbed,” MiG-25 “Foxbat” and MiG-29 “Fulcrum.” The single best Soviet fighter of the Cold War, however, was Sukhoi’s Su-27 “Flanker.” Intended both to defeat U.S. fighters over central Europe in a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict and to patrol the airspace of the Soviet Union against U.S. bomber incursions, the Su-27 survived the end of the Cold War to become one of the world’s premier export fighters.

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    Russian Su-27 DEFEATS US Air force F-15 in combat exercise

    These are comments tagged to the video.
    I can't find an actual 'article'.
    Maybe someone else will, preferably, not Russians


    Published on Feb 17, 2014
    The Pentagon purchased two Russian-made Su-27 fighter jets from Ukraine. The United States will reportedly use the Russian jets to train effective counter-operation efforts.
    The Russian jets are a serious competition for the US F-15 fighters. The jets of Russia's renowned Sukhoi design bureau proved to be more successful than their US competitors during a number of tests. The Pentagon has been trying to obtain the Russian warplanes, and Ukraine helped the nation do it legally.
    The news about the deal between the USA and the Air Force of Ukraine appeared on the US-based website Strategypage.com. The website said that Russia's Su-27 fighters were technically similar to F-15 jets, although the Russian planes were 30 percent cheaper.

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    America's F-15 Eagle vs. Russia's Su-35 Fighter: Who Wins?

    September 10, 2015

    The Boeing F-15C Eagle has been in service with the U.S. Air Force for nearly 40 years and will likely serve for decades to come. Over the years, the mighty F-15 has been upgraded to keep pace with evolving threats, but does the venerable Eagle still have what it takes to dominate the skies?

    The answer is yes—absolutely. The Eagle may be old, but it’s still one of the best air superiority fighters flying. The only operational aircraft that is definitively superior to the F-15 in most respects is the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor—other machines have the edge in certain aspects, but the F-15C is still competitive overall despite what the business development departments at various rival contractors might say.

    Perhaps the most advanced threat the F-15 is likely to encounter is the Russian-built Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E. While there are more advanced threats in development, those aircraft are likely to be too expensive to ever become commonplace. The Su-35 isn’t the most common potential threat out there, but there is a good chance it will proliferate. Indonesia has reportedly decided to purchase the Su-35, and we know that the Chinese have had discussions about a potential purchase.

    The Su-35 is a genuinely dangerous war machine, and in many metrics, it matches or even exceeds the capabilities of the latest upgrades for the F-15. In terms of pure kinematic performance, the Su-35 is slightly slower than the F-15C in terms of max speed but it can out accelerate the Eagle with its powerful twin Saturn Izdeliye 117S engines, which put out 31,900lbs of thrust each. Further, when the jet is relatively lightly loaded, it can maintain supersonic speeds without the use of its afterburners.

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    Iran just tested an advanced torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz

    Iran has tested an advanced high-speed torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz. The test is not only a provocation, but the torpedo is also a new threat to vessels in the international choke point.
    According to a report by FoxNews.com, the torpedo in question is called the Hoot, and appears to be a variant of the Russian Shkval, a rocket-powered torpedo capable of reaching speeds of 250 miles per hour, with a range of six miles. This torpedo could cover that distance in about a minute and a half.

    According to GlobalSecurity.org, Russia designed the Shkval as a “revenge weapon” for use by submarines to take out a ship or submarine that fired on them. The original Shkval was tipped with a nuclear warhead.
    The 16th Edition of Combat Fleets of the World notes that an export version has about a 450-pound high-explosive warhead. Combat Fleets reported Iran was developing a variant of the Shkval known as the Dalaam.

    The torpedo is a particular threat given the confined nature of the Strait of Hormuz, which is as narrow as 21 nautical miles.
    The Shkval can be fired from any 21-inch torpedo tube — which means that the entire Iranian submarine force, three Kilo-class submarines and at least 16 Ghadir-class minsubs based on a North Korean design, plus another class of minisub called the Qa’em, can use this weapon.

    Iran has engaged in a number of provocations in recent months, including harassment of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) in April and close encounters with the missile-range instrumentation ship USNS Invincible (T AGM 24).
    Iran also has handed off advanced weapons like the Noor anti-ship missile to various rebel and terrorist groups — and some of those missiles were subsequently used in attacks, notably against an Israeli corvette in 2006 and multiple attacks on the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) last year.

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    Russia Has a Super Torpedo That Kills Submarines at 200 Miles Per Hour (And America Can't Match It)

    Imagine the sudden revelation of a weapon that can suddenly go six times faster than its predecessors. The shock of such a breakthrough system would turn an entire field of warfare on its head, as potential adversaries scrambled to deploy countermeasures to a new weapon they are defenseless against. While a lull in great power competition delayed the impact of this new technology, the so-called “supercavitating torpedo” may be about to take the world by storm.

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union placed a heavy reliance on its submarine fleet to negate America’s advantage in naval forces. The U.S. Navy was not only tasked to help protect the flow of reinforcements into Europe in the event of World War III, it also threatened the Soviet Union directly and would have hunted down and sunk her ballistic missile submarines. The USSR at first used sheer numbers of diesel electric submarines, then more advanced nuclear attack submarines, to whittle down the odds.

    One of the most innovative underwater weapons developed by the Soviet Union was the VA-111 Shkval (“Squall”) supercavitating torpedo. Highly classified, Shkval was virtually unknown before the end of the Cold War and only became common knowledge in the mid-1990s. Powered by a rocket engine, it was capable of astonishing speeds of up to 200 knots an hour. But in a world where physics ensured most ships and underwater weapons topped out at 50 knots, how did Russian engineers accomplish such a breakthrough in speed?
    Traditionally, torpedoes use propellers or pumpjets for propulsion. Shkval, on the other hand, uses a rocket engine. That alone is enough to make it fast, but traveling through water creates major drag problems. The solution: get the water out of the path of the torpedo. But how, exactly does one get water of the path of an object in the middle of an ocean?

    The solution: vaporize liquid water into a gas.

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    New rifle, bigger bullets: Inside the Army's plan to ditch the M4 and 5.56

    After carrying the M16 or one of its cousins across the globe for more than half a century, soldiers could get a peek at a new prototype assault rifle that fires a larger round by 2020.
    Army researchers are testing half a dozen ammunition variants in “intermediate calibers,” which falls between the current 7.62 mm and 5.56 mm rounds, to create a new light machine gun and inform the next-generation individual assault rifle/round combo.

    The weapon designs being tested will be “unconventional,” officials said, and likely not one that is currently commercially available.

    Some intermediate calibers being tested include the .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .264 USA as well as other non-commercial intermediate calibers, including cased telescoped ammo, Army officials said.

    If selected by senior leaders, the weapon could resolve a close-quarters weapons debate about calibers that critics say dates to the 1920s and has influenced military small arms ever since.

    If successful, the new rifle and round combination would give troops a weapon they can carry with about the same number of rounds as the current 5.56 mm but with greater range and accuracy in their firepower — with little change in weight.

    The new rifle would likely replace the M16/M4 platform, which has been in the hands of troops since the 1960s and undergone multiple modifications and upgrades.
    Maj. Jason Bohannon, lethality branch chief at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Matt Walker, deputy director of the branch and a retired command sergeant major, spoke recently to Army Times about broad efforts in small arms weapons research and development.

    ‘Better option’

    Work on the new round began in recent years, Bohannon said, and much of the next steps in developing both the round and rifle will be driven by the Small Arms Ammunition Configuration study.

    The study has been going on since at least 2014, according to the Army.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by stvnsprngr Click here to enlarge
    Iran has tested an advanced high-speed torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz. The test is not only a provocation, but the torpedo is also a new threat to vessels in the international choke point.

    How dare Iran test a more advanced torpedo in its home waters! How terribly provocative. It's not like we have a carrier group in the Persian Gulf, fly military drones over Iranian airspace, or shoot down Iranian civilian airliners in Iranian airspace over Iranian territorial waters...

    I'm also wondering if one couldn't design and build little torpedo-platform-skiff drones -- or even mini-sub drones that could carry one of these bad boys on it, and then launch the torpedo when it was within range. Seems a viable weapon system in a confined area, such as the Persian Gulf.

    As a counter to such torpedoes, the USN is "quietly" arming its supercarriers with anti-torpedo torpedoes.


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    Chinese fighters buzz U.S. spy plane, underlining differences over surveillance, North Korea

    BEIJING — Two Chinese fighter jets this week buzzed a U.S. spy plane that sniffs out nuclear radiation as it flew over the seas between China and North Korea, underlining Beijing’s discomfort with American surveillance and differences in the countries’ approach to the threat posed by the regime in Pyongyang.
    A Defense Department official said the Chinese aircraft got within 100 feet or so of the U.S. plane.

    The incident, reported by the U.S. Air Force on Friday, comes as the two nations struggle to overcome discord over how to confront the nuclear and missile programs of North Korea, which depends on China as its main economic lifeline.
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    The WC-135 Constant Phoenix is a special-purpose aircraft derived from the Boeing C-135 and used by the United States Air Force. Its mission is to collect samples from the atmosphere for the purpose of detecting and identifying nuclear explosions. It is also informally referred to as the "weather bird" or "the sniffer" by workers on the program.
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    The Sukhoi Su-30MKK (NATO reporting name: Flanker-G)[1] is a modification of the Sukhoi Su-30, incorporating advanced technology from the Sukhoi Su-35 variant. Su-30MKK was developed by Sukhoi Company (JSC) in 1997, as a result of a direct Request for tender between the Russian Federation and China.[2] It is a heavy class, all-weather, long-range strike fighter, and like the Sukhoi Su-30, comparable to the American McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle. Su-30MK2 is a further improvement to Su-30MKK with upgraded avionics and maritime strike capabilities. The MKK and MK2 are currently operated by the People's Liberation Army Air Force, Indonesian Air Force, Vietnam People's Air Force, Venezuelan Air Force and the Ugandan Air Force.
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    The Air Force Assembled 30 A-10 Warthogs Just to Show That it Can

    The "Elephant Walk" in Georgia was a USAF show of force.

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    The U.S. Air Force just staged an "elephant walk" of A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack jets as a show of force. The May 22 exercise took place at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. In a statement on Facebook, the base stated the exercise "was conducted in order to demonstrate the wing's ability to rapidly deploy combat ready forces across the globe."

    The exercise involved 30 A-10 Warthogs of the 23rd "Flying Tigers" Fighter Group, as well as one HH-60G Pave Hawk and two HC-130J Combat King II transports of the 347th and 563rd Rescue Squadrons. The Air Force periodically stages such exercises around the world, including KC-135R tankers earlier this month and F-15 Eagle fighters in Okinawa in April. The phrase "elephant walk" dates back to World War II.

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