New Yorker – For decades, flying saucers were a punch line. Then the U.S. government got over the taboo.
Aviationist – A local newspaper reported that the development of external fuel tanks for the F-35 is still ongoing and will possibly be complete in two years.
Defense News – The U.S. Air Force repelled a Chinese invasion of Taiwan during a massive war game last fall by relying on drones acting as a sensing grid, an advanced sixth-generation fighter jet able to penetrate the most contested environments, cargo planes dropping pallets of guided munitions and other novel technologies yet unseen on the modern battlefield.
War Zone – With the threat of China rising, the Pentagon is looking for new airfields and to expand existing ones for distributed operations in the Pacific.
Air Force – USAF warms to a new strategy and increased competition in the vital polar region.
Aviationist – Icarus Aerospace announced last week the partnership with CAE Defence & Security to provide their Wasp-M, the fully militarized version of their OV-10 Bronco-revamp called TAV (Tactical Air Vehicle), with the company’s digital Magnetic Anomaly Detection-Extended Role (MAD-XR) system, designed with reduced size, weight, and power requirements to allow smaller platforms such as unmanned aerial systems (UASs), helicopters and smaller fixed-wing aircraft to carry a MAD sensor for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions.
(Thanks to Alain)
Naval News – MQ-9B SeaGuardian maritime tests flights concluded off the coast of California on September 11th. They can probably be seen as the next step toward a worldwide export success. Indeed, if the first variant of the MQ-9 Predator-B mainly served as an ISR platform for above ground missions, the new MQ-9B SkyGuardian/SeaGuardian is likely to find much more customers in its maritime variant.
National Interest – James Holmes writes that Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. is a wrecker and a builder. The new U.S. Air Force chief of staff wants to uproot post-Cold War attitudes toward air warfare—attitudes premised on everlasting U.S. air supremacy—and implant a mindset premised on competitive entrepreneurship. Can he succeed?
– Forbes – Stratospheric balloons may solve one of the U.S. military’s thorniest problems: gathering intelligence in ‘Anti-Access and Area Denial’ environments, places where the defenses are too dangerous for aircraft to approach.
– National Interest – James Holmes writes that it will take more than a lone bomber mission from afar—no matter how impressive—to rattle Moscow’s complacency.
– Military.com – The Air Force’s B-1B Lancer bomber is about to move front and center in the U.S. military’s power-projection mission in the Pacific.
– War Zone – In what is a massive milestone for Boeing and potentially for unmanned aerial combat systems as a whole, the company officially rolled out the first of three pre-production unmanned teaming aircraft, which is the central component of a total system called the Airpower Teaming System.
– Air Force – Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. spoke with Editorial Director John A. Tirpak on Sept. 3 about the challenges of operating in the Pacific Theater, deterring China and Russia, a new force dispersal strategy, and lines of responsibility between regional commands.
– Air Force – Airpower can counter naval threats in the Asia-Pacific.
– New York Times Magazine – The new weapons — which could travel at more than 15 times the speed of sound with terrifying accuracy — threaten to change the nature of warfare.
– New York Times Magazine – Even soldiers who fight wars from a safe distance have found themselves traumatized. Could their injuries be moral ones?
– Global Guerrillas – The Russians have been using drone swarms against the Ukrainians to good effect (blowing up ammo dumps). Here’s one being used against a Russian base on the coast of Syria.
– War Zone – It seems that the age of drone swarms has arrived, and that’s a terrifying reality to comprehend.
– Boing Boing – How twenty-three innocent Afghani civilians were wiped out by self-deceiving drone operators seven and a half thousand miles away. An excerpt from Andrew Cockburn’s new book, Kill Chain.
– Air Force – China’s air base hardening efforts stand in stark contrast to America’s.
– Air Force – Airmen are working to overcome rising threats to their networks and runways.
– War on the Rocks – Very interesting article by T.X. Hammes on the current state of unmanned aerial vehicles and how the United States’ enemies may obtain and use them, and how they make high cost US defense assets very vulnerable.
– The Atlantic – Mark Bowden on how to think about drones.
– Wired – An interesting look at the contributions amateurs are making to the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.