Inside the Ring: Pentagon Studies Ways to Counter Hypersonic Missile Threat from China, Russia

Navy Phoenix missiles like this one may be used to acquire hypersonic flight test data. (NASA)

 

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has launched a study of innovative ways to counter advanced missile threats such as ultra-high-speed maneuvering hypersonic missiles.

“MDA understands the emerging threat posed by hypersonic glide vehicle and maneuvering ballistic missile warheads and is evaluating programs and technologies to address this threat,” MDA spokesman Chris Johnson told Inside the Ring.

The agency recently released a request for information that will seek to identify weapon concepts for defense against future advanced threats such as hypersonics, he said. The responses are due Friday and will be used to develop an “analysis of alternatives” planned for 2017. Continue reading

Robots poised to take over wide range of military jobs

Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute. (K.C. Alfred / Union-Tribune)

 

The wave of automation that swept away tens of thousands of American manufacturing and office jobs during the past two decades is now washing over the armed forces, putting both rear-echelon and front-line positions in jeopardy.

“Just as in the civilian economy, automation will likely have a big impact on military organizations in logistics and manufacturing,” said Michael Horowitz, a University of Pennsylvania professor and one of the globe’s foremost experts on weaponized robots.

“The U.S. military is very likely to pursue forms of automation that reduce ‘back-office’ costs over time, as well as remove soldiers from non-combat deployments where they might face risk from adversaries on fluid battlefields, such as in transportation.” Continue reading

Mattis: U.S. Could ‘Moderate’ NATO Support if Allies Don’t Pay More

James Mattis / AP

 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis told NATO allies on Wednesday that they need to contribute more money to the alliance’s common defense if they do not want to see the United States “moderate its commitment.” Continue reading

China Boosting Nuclear Capabilities, Narrowing Gap With US, Russia

“The DF-5’s strengths are obvious. This is a powerful liquid-fuel missile which weighs 183 tons. Its energy potential is so great that it [led to China] creating a family of space launch vehicles based [upon this missile]. It is capable of delivering a powerful front section with ten warheads and the means of overcoming ballistic missile defenses to the US,” Vasily Kashin said.

 

China is likely to change the rules of the game in the Asian-Pacific region: in the coming years Beijing may narrow the gap with the US in terms of strategic nuclear capabilities, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik, referring to Beijing’s flight test of advanced DF-5C intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

There appear to be more and more reasons to expect China to make a spectacular breakthrough in the field of nuclear weapons development, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik, adding that this could lead to radical changes in the ongoing geopolitical game over Asia-Pacific.

On January 31 Bill Gertz, a senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, reported that Beijing had flight tested “a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads,” dubbing it a “dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.” Continue reading

Trump Is Being Sabotaged by the Pentagon

President Trump says he wants the US to have better relations with Russia and to halt military operations against Muslim countries. But he is being undermined by the Pentagon.

The commander of US forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges, has lined up tanks on Poland’s border with Russia and fired salvos that the general says are a message to Russia, not a training exercise. http://russia-insider.com/en/us-tanks-fire-salvos-poland-warning-against-russia/ri18767

How is Trump going to normalize relations with Russia when the commander of US forces in Europe is threatening Russia with words and deeds? Continue reading

China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

cctv-warheads

 

Multi-warhead weapon tested amid growing tensions with the United States

China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.

The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.

The missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in central China and flew to an impact range in the western Chinese desert.

No other details about the test could be learned. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross suggested in a statement the test was monitored. Continue reading

Trump could reset Star Wars at full throttle toward militarization of space

US Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten’s statement that Russia and China will soon pose a threat to American spacecraft resembles nothing so much as an attempt to justify the militarization of space by the Pentagon, Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov told RIA Novosti.

Speaking at Stanford University’s Center for Security and Cooperation, the commander of US Strategic Command highlighted the importance of “deterrence in space.” Continue reading

Iran Caught Importing Missile Technology

Iran-President-Hassan-Rouhani.jpg (485×340)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani / AP

 

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, or DPSU, announced late last week that it had seized at least 17 boxes filled with missile components bound for Iran, according to IHS Jane’s.

“The DPSU said that, during an inspection of the aircraft on 19 January, its personnel had found 17 boxes with no accompanying documents, which the aircraft’s crew said contained an aircraft repair kit,” according to the report. “Three boxes contained components that were believed to be for a Fagot anti-tank guided missile system, the rest contained aircraft parts.” 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

The Pentagon’s New Drone Swarm Heralds a Future of Autonomous War Machines

 

On Oct. 26, 2016, a pair of Hornets flying above an empty part of California opened their bellies and released a robotic swarm. With machine precision, the fast-moving unmanned flying machines took flight, then moved to a series of waypoints, meeting objectives set for the swarm by a human controller. The brief flight of 103 tiny drones heralds a new age in how, exactly, America uses robots at war.

The Pentagon’s worked with Perdix drones since 2013, with the October flight using the military’s 6th generation of the devices. F/A-18 Hornets, long-serving Navy fighters, carried the drones and released them from flare dispensers. The small drones were the subject of an episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes, and they move so fast they’re hard to film. Below, in a clip from the Department of Defense, the drones are barely visible as dark blurs beneath the fighters. Continue reading

US Special Forces deployed at Russian border to defend Baltic states ‘scared to death’ by Vladimir Putin

US Special Operations forces will work with Lithuanian special ops troops shown here on a joint exercise PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

 

The troops will help train local forces and add to intelligence gathering operations carried out by the CIA

US Special Forces have been deployed close to the border with Russia as part of a “persistent” presence of American troops in the Baltics.

Dozens of special ops solders are being stationed along Europe’s eastern flank to reassure Nato allies Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The move will also allow the US to monitor Russian manoeuvres amid fears of further destabilisation following its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Continue reading

Ankara threatens to ground US fighters at key Turkish air base

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said Wednesday that his country would consider not allowing the US to use its Incirlik Air Base in light of Washington’s refusal to help the Turkish air force carry out operations in the area of the Syrian city of Al-Bab. He said the US lack of assistance “is leading to serious disappointment in Turkish public opinion” that “is leading to questions over Incirlik.” Continue reading

Pentagon: Iran Seeking New Missiles, War Equipment

Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Joseph Dunford / AP

 

Says American cash has not fueled Tehran’s buildup

Pentagon officials are downplaying declarations by Iran that it is spending some $1.7 billion provided by the United States on new advanced weapons systems, while also acknowledging that the Islamic Republic continues to build its military arsenal at an increasing rate, according to a Defense Department assessment obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, informed Congress in an unclassified communication last week that the Pentagon does not believe Iran has spent some $1.7 billion awarded by the United States as part of what many described as a “ransom” payment to purchase new military equipment. Continue reading

Pentagon: China Threatened to Bankrupt Defense Contractor

Not only is espionage in the form of technology theft a serious issue, but the Chinese have also been manufacturing microchips Americans use [i.e. Huewei smartphones — founded by a PLA engineer on behest of the CCP (See also HERE)]… and it’s not limited to the average American consumer, but the U.S. military as well.

 

U.S. President Barack Obama walks past Chinese President Xi Jinping / AP

 

Incident involving jet fighter logistics highlights aggressive Chinese cyber espionage

A U.S. defense contractor was threatened with bankruptcy by Chinese hackers seeking jet fighter logistics secrets, according to the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

A report earlier this month by the Joint Staff’s J-2 intelligence directorate revealed that the American contractor, a company involved in classified defense work, was threatened by Chinese hackers, according to Pentagon officials familiar with the report.

The Chinese demanded access to the company’s intellectual property, and said unless the company secrets were provided, China would steal the data, reverse engineer it, and then sell it internationally in a bid to force the company into bankruptcy. Continue reading

US Defense official: Chinese warship stole US underwater drone

 

(CNN) A US oceanographic vessel Thursday had its underwater drone stolen by a Chinese warship literally right in front of the eyes of the American crew, a US defense official told CNN Friday.

In the latest encounter in international waters in the South China Sea region, the USNS Bowditch was sailing about 100 miles off the port at Subic Bay when the incident occurred, according to the official. Continue reading