The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, gives a keynote address during the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) Expo, July 21, 2017. This is a slide from his presentation.

 

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

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The future of the Air Force is fighter pilots leading drone swarms into battle

CONCEPT ART OF MULTIPLE VALKYRIE DRONES IN COMBAT The Valkyrie is designed for an Air Force “Low Cost Attritable Strike UAS Demonstration.” In other words, it’s a drone that’s inexpensive enough to lose sometimes. Image courtesy of Kratos

 

Cheap, unmanned wingmen could add punch and protection to fighter formations.

The future of the United States Air Force is a human-piloted, $100 million stealth jet guiding flocks of $3 million drones that glide effortlessly into position powered by turbo fans. Thanks to the Air Force Research Lab and drone-maker Kratos, that future of combined human/robot formation is already being tested.

There are many good reasons to want a human in the cockpit of a plane, including their judgement, fast-thinking skills, and the capability to respond to unexpected threats. Continue reading

Congress considering restart of F-22 program

Lockheed debuts C-130J variant for special operations forces

 

The House Armed Services Committee is currently reviewing a classified report it ordered last year on restarting production of the F-22 Raptor, according to a spokesperson for the committee.

“I can confirm that we received the report and are reviewing it,” HASC spokesman Barron Youngsmith told UPI, declining to comment further due to the classified nature of the review. Continue reading

US Air Force Grounds F-35s at Arizona Base

An F-35A Lightning II on static display at Luke AFB, Arizona, in April 2016. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

 

Base officials halted local flights after five pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The U.S. Air Force has grounded 55 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Arizona’s Luke Air Force base following five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The pilots “reported physiological incidents while flying” but a backup oxygen system turned on, allowing them to land safely, Capt. Mark Graff, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon, said in an email Friday afternoon.

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SEAL Team 6 is training for a decapitation strike against North Korea’s Kim regime

A Navy SEAL emerges from the water during a training exercise. [US Navy Photo]

 

The annual Foal Eagle military drills between the US and South Korea will include some heavy hitters this year — the Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, Army Special Forces, and F-35s, South Korea’s Joon Gang Daily reports.

The SEALs, who will join the exercise for the first time, will simulate a decapitation attack, or a strike to remove North Korea’s leadership. Continue reading

China stealth fighter enters service as Beijing vows to narrow gap with U.S.

China unveiled its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai on Nov. 1, 2016. /Reuters

 

As part of its ambitious military buildup aimed at narrowing the gap with the United States, China has put into service its J-20 stealth fighter and vowed to build a “first class” navy and develop a marine corps.

Chinese state television’s military channel confirmed in a March 9 report that the J-20 had now entered service, but gave no other details. Continue reading

F-35 Program Delayed Again, Costing At Least $500 Million

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has been delayed again and will cost at least $500 million more, according to correspondence between the Pentagon and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) revealed Tuesday afternoon that the Defense Department had confirmed the seven-month delay in the F-35’s system development and demonstration phase, or SDD. McCain has long been a harsh critic of the F-35 program for its delays and accompanying cost overruns, and President-elect Donald Trump has more recently took aim at Lockheed Martin’s development of the fifth-generation stealth fighter jets for its “out of control” costs. Continue reading

China’s spies gain valuable US defense technology: report

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

 

According to the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Chinese cyber espionage is a “major problem” for America

China has gained military benefits in recent years from stealing defense secrets through industrial and cyber espionage carried out by its intelligence services, according to a US congressional report.

“In recent years, Chinese agents have extracted data on some of the most advanced weapons and weapons systems in the US arsenal, such as jet fighters and unmanned submersible vehicles,” states the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, released on November 16.

“The loss of these and other sensitive defense technologies undermines US military superiority by accelerating China’s military modernization and giving China insight into the capabilities and operation of US weapons and weapons systems,” the report adds. Continue reading

Canada’s Military–A Shameful Shadow of Its Once Glorious Past

Caption: Destroyer HMCS Athabaskan (iStock.com/OlegAlbinsky)

 

Canada’s military services can no longer defend the nation’s borders—much less its citizens. According to the new commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, Vice Adm. Ron Lloyd, Canada’s last destroyer, hmcs Athabaskan, will be retired from service in the spring of 2017, leaving the nation to rely on its allies for defense for at least the next seven years. Over the previous decades, Athabaskan and other similar vessels provided the capabilities of command and control for both the Royal Canadian Navy and the area air defense. By next spring, the Navy will be left with only 12 frigates, 12 coast defense vessels and 4 submarines. Canada will need to rely on the United States for its area air defense.

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China cyber espionage continues

U.S. Cyber Command recently reported within secret government channels that China is continuing aggressive cyber espionage against American companies.

An intelligence report disseminated earlier this month stated that one of China’s biggest cyber spying operations involved the theft of 1.65 terabytes of sensitive proprietary data from a major U.S. software company, according to a defense official familiar with the report.

The U.S. company was not identified by name. But the hacker group behind the data theft is part of the Ministry of State Security, China’s main police and intelligence service. Continue reading

F-35 May Never Be Ready for Combat

The F-35’s cannon door causes the plane to pull to one side, reducing the accuracy of the gun. (Photo by http://www.jsf.mil)

 

Testing Report Contradicts Air Force Leadership’s Rosy Pronouncements

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It’s been plagued by schedule delays, gross cost overruns, and a slew of underwhelming performance reviews. Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner. But a memo issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official, based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data, showed that the Air Force’s declaration was wildly premature.

Dr. Michael Gilmore’s latest memorandum is damning. The F-35 program has derailed to the point where it “is actually not on a path toward success, but instead on a path toward failing to deliver the full Block 3F capabilities for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion.” The 16-page memo, first reported by Tony Capaccio at Bloomberg and then by others, details just how troubled this program is: years behind schedule and failing to deliver even the most basic capabilities taxpayers, and the men and women who will entrust their lives to it, have been told to expect.

The Pentagon’s top testing office warns that the F-35 is in no way ready for combat since it is “not effective and not suitable across the required mission areas and against currently fielded threats.” (Emphasis added) As it stands now, the F-35 would need to run away from combat and have other planes come to its rescue, since it “will need support to locate and avoid modern threats, acquire targets, and engage formations of enemy fighter aircraft due to outstanding performance deficiencies and limited weapons carriage available (i.e., two bombs and two air-to-air missiles).” In several instances, the memo rated the F-35A less capable than the aircraft we already have. Continue reading

US Air Force Grounds F-35s It Just Declared Ready for War

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.defenseone.com/media/img/upload/2016/09/16/8642748355_fefcbcc0ff_o/defense-large.jpg

A U.S. Air Force pilot conducts preflight checks inside an F-35A Lightning II before a training mission April 4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 4, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by senior airman Brett Clashman)

 

 

On Aug. 2, the Air Force said 10 F-35s at Hill Air Force Base in Utah were ready for war. Forty-four days later, those planes have been grounded in the latest embarrassing setback for the most expensive project in Pentagon history.

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F-35 programme remains at risk at SDD conclusion, chief Pentagon test official warns

…and just a few weeks ago it was warned here that the F-35 program was touted as combat ready — out of rushed haste, not confidence.

 

Key Points

  • The Pentagon’s director of operational testing has warned that the F-35 programme is still at risk of failing to deliver its full combat capability at the conclusion of SDD
  • The USAF and the USMC have declared IOC with interim 3i combat software, while the USN has said that it will wait until 3F software is complete

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China’s Covert Weapons Procurement Revealed in Florida Case

‘Technology spy’ sought advanced jet engines, Reaper drone for reverse engineering

China’s government covertly tried to obtain advanced U.S. fighter jet engines and a Reaper drone in a high-technology spying operation uncovered by federal authorities in Florida.

A Chinese-born woman, Wenxia Man, was sentenced to 50 months in prison on Friday following her conviction for conspiracy to export restricted American defense articles, namely engines for F-35, F-22, and F-16 jets, and the Reaper, a front-line unmanned aerial vehicle used by the military and intelligence agencies. Continue reading

Global Ballistic Missile Threats Beginning to Outpace US Defense Capability

Global Geopolitics has warned at least nine times throughout the years that Chinese and Russian weaponry is either on par or will soon be more advanced than what the United States has:

China, Russia, Iran Closing Gap with Smaller, Older U.S. Military

Russia claims to have super weapon that disables western satellites and long range arms

Chinese bought division of IBM that manufactures computing servers for U.S. Navy Aegis cruisers

China Tests ICBM With Multiple Warheads

‘Stolen’ J-31 can beat American jets in dogfight, says US pilot

Pentagon: Military Losing Technological Superiority to China

Photos show second China stealth fighter prototype has test flight

Silent Running

Obama’s Lost in Space

The most America has done to mitigate this threat is to hastily rush the F-35 into service and claim it’s ‘combat ready’ — even though it has 419 known defects.

 

The United States should upgrade missile defense capabilities to be able to counter growing threats, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe said in a press release following the launch of two medium-range ballistic missiles by North Korea.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) —  North Korea fired two ballistic missiles from its eastern shore on Wednesday morning. One of the weapons landed into the Sea of Japan, the country’s exclusive economic zone.

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