Friday, February 5, 2016

Northrop Grumman teases new 6th gen fighter in You Tube advert - "Just wait."

Monday, February 1, 2016

UCLASS to become a unmanned aerial tanker.

The Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) effort is being retooled as primarily a carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling platform as part of several Pentagon naval aviation mandates as part if the the service’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget submission, USNI News has learned.

The shift from UCLASS to the new Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) will be made alongside an additional buy of Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets over the next several years and accelerated purchases and development of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The trio of budget moves seeks to blunt the Navy’s looming strike fighter shortfall, move more stealth capability sooner into the carrier air wing and create a development path for future unmanned systems onboard the service’s fleet of nuclear carriers, according to the rationale the Pentagon put forth to the service several defense officials told USNI News.

The budget submission – in part informed by the Pentagon’s UAV strategic program review (SPR) led by Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work – will also include 15 F-35C JSFs in 2017 and plan for an additional 14 Super Hornets in FY18, USNI News undersatnds.

“That study found that you need a mix of all of these things,” a defense official told USNI News on Monday.

USNI News understands there may also be efforts to accelerate developments of the Block 3F JSF software – now slated to reach initial operational capability in August 2018 and the major barrier for the Navy to regularly deploy F-35Cs.

The revelation of the budget mandates also comes mere days after the Navy kicked off the Analysis for Alternatives for its next generation air dominance platform – also known as F/A-XX. The program or programs that will replace the capability of the Super Hornets in the early 2030s.

Last year, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said the F-35C would be “almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly,” he said in address at the Navy League’s 2015 Sea-Air-Space Exposition.

Mabus later said UCLASS was to act as the bridge to autonomous unmanned strike platforms and predicted “whatever F/A-XX looks like — it should be unmanned,” he said in May.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Japan has a stealth fighter ...

x-2ReutersA prototype of the first Japan-made stealth fighter is pictured at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' factory in Toyoyama town, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, January 28, 2016. Picture taken January 28, 2016.
On Thursday, Japan joined the US, Russia, and China as one of the only countries to produce its own fifth-generation stealth fighter.
Japan's X-2 stealth fighter prototype is the country's answer to the American made fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II, Russia's T-50, and China's J-20.
The X-2 also called the "Shinshin" which translates to "Spirit of the Heart," has been in development for over a decade costing Japan a cool $294 million ( 2.3 billion yen).

Friday, January 29, 2016

Iran flies drone over US aircraft carrier


Iran flew a surveillance drone over a US aircraft carrier and took “precise” photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill, state media has reported. The US navy said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near a French and American carrier earlier this month, but couldn’t confirm it was the same incident.

The reported overflight by the unmanned aircraft came after a series of naval incidents between Iran and the US in the greater Persian Gulf, including test rocket fire by the Islamic Republic and its brief capture of American sailors who strayed into its territorial waters.

The US navy said it did not open fire as the drone was unarmed and not threatening the ship’s safety, but the incident again highlighted that tensions remain between America and Iran in Gulf waters despite their recent diplomatic detente.

The Associated Press could not independently verify the footage, published on Friday by Iranian state television and the semi-official Fars news agency, which has close ties to the Revolutionary Guard.

Commander Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the US navy’s 5th fleet based in Bahrain, said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and “directly over” the USS Harry S Truman on 12 January as the vessels were in international waters in the Persian Gulf.

He said the navy launched a helicopter that determined the drone was not armed and “posed no danger to the ship” as the carrier was not conducting flight operations at the time. His comments implied that had there been active takeoffs and landings of US aircraft, the situation might have changed.

Stephens called the drone’s flight “abnormal and unprofessional”. He added that the US navy was “not in a position to verify the authenticity of the video as there are countless examples of similar footage to be found on the internet”.

The report by state television said the drone flight occurred on the third day of the naval exercise, suggesting it happened on Friday.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

First Cyberspace Weapon System Attains Full Operational Capability (FOC) Status

by AFSPC Public Affairs

1/19/2016 - Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. -- A major milestone was achieved on 7 January 2016 when the Air Force Intranet Control (AFINC) Weapon System became the first cyberspace weapon system to reach FOC status.

Achieving FOC means the AFINC weapon system is fully capable to serve as the top-level defensive boundary and entry point for all network traffic into the Air Force Information
Network. The AFINC weapon system controls the flow of all external and inter-base traffic through standard, centrally managed gateways.

The AFINC weapon system consists of 16 Gateway Suites, 15 SIPRNET Nodes, 200+ Service Delivery Points, two Integrated Management Suites, and is operated by the 26th Network Operations Squadron (26th NOS) located at Gunter Annex, Montgomery, AL.

"It was an amazing team effort to achieve FOC," said Lt Col Omar Velasco, 26th NOS commander. "We couldn't have done it without our Air Force Lifecycle Management Center Program Office at Hanscom AFB, HQ AFSPC and 24th Air Force staffs, and most importantly our dedicated military, civilian, and contractor personnel employing the AFINC cyber weapon system to sustain and defend the Air Force network."

The AFINC weapon system replaced and consolidated 100+ regionally managed disparate Air Force network entry points into 16 centrally managed access points for all traffic through the Air Force network. The AFINC weapon system provides greater agility to take defensive actions across the network. AFINC was officially designated a weapon system by the Air Force Chief of Staff in March 2013 and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in May 2014.

"As the first line of defense for our network, the 26th NOS team is responsible for more than one billion firewall, web, and email blocks per week from suspicious and adversarial sources," stated Col Pamela Woolley, 26th Cyberspace Operations Group commander. "Our network is under constant attack and it is a testament to the dedication of our 26th NOS team that our network reliability and traffic flow remains consistently high."

The AFINC Cyberspace Weapon System serves more than 1M Air Force users at 237 sites worldwide. Their infrastructure is among the largest in the world, yet operated and maintained by a single Air Force unit. As the weapon system and 26th NOS operations have evolved, their mission set now includes intelligence gathering, cyberspace surveillance and reconnaissance, interdiction, and security.

After declaring the AFINC weapon system FOC, Brigadier General Stephen Whiting, HQ AFSPC Director of Integrated Air, Space, Cyberspace and ISR Operations stated, "This is a great achievement for the Air Force and the first cyberspace weapon system to achieve FOC. We look forward to continued rapid progress and maturation of the Air Force Cyberspace mission. As we all know, our mission is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace."

Other cyberspace weapons systems include the Air Force Cyberspace Defense Weapon System, the Cyber Security and Control System Weapon System, the Cyber Command and Control Mission System Weapon System, the Cyberspace Defense Analysis Weapon System, and the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter Weapon System


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