Pacom Nominee: China Military Islands Now Control South China Sea

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping / Getty Images

 

Admiral urges rapid U.S. buildup of hypersonic and medium-range missiles to counter China threat

China has deployed electronic attack systems and other military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea and is now capable of controlling the strategic waterway, according to the admiral slated to be the next Pacific Command chief.

Additionally, the command nominee Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a written statement this week that the military urgently needs hypersonic and other advanced weaponry to defeat China’s People’s Liberation Army in a future conflict. Continue reading

Pentagon: Missile threats increasing

(Photo by: Jacquelyn Martin) John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told lawmakers that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing. (Associated Press/File)

 

Senior Pentagon and military officials this week outlined the growing array of missile threats facing the United States from China, Russia and other states, including maneuvering hypersonic weapons.

John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing.

“The United States, allies and partners confront a security environment that is more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory,” Mr. Rood told the subcommittee on strategic forces, in a likely preview of the Pentagon’s forthcoming Ballistic Missile Review, a major study that will highlight missile threats and the Trump administration’s plan for a multilayered missile defense network to counter them.

Adversaries including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are expanding their missile forces in three ways, Mr. Rood said. They include increasing the capabilities of current missile forces; adding new and unprecedented types of missiles to their arsenals; and better integrating missiles into foreign states’ use of coercive threats, military exercises and war planning.

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China, Russia’s Sophisticated Anti-Satellite Capabilities Alarms US

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Russia and China have developed increasingly sophisticated space countermeasure weapons to destroy US satellites, according to a new report.

Evidence “strongly indicates” that “China has sustained a broad effort to develop a broad range of counter-space capabilities,” the US-based Secure World Foundation said in its April 2018 report. Continue reading

Trump: ‘We Have the Air Force. We Will Have the Space Force’

 

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to create a military force for outer space during an address to members of the U.S. Marine Corps at Miramar Air Station in California.

Trump said he has developed a national strategy for space that recognizes it is a “warfighting domain.” He likened his proposed space force to other branches of the U.S. armed forces. Continue reading

Russia eyes military satellite grouping to counter US space warfare plans

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The Russian military’s announcement comes just two weeks after remarks by US Air Force top brass that America must prepare to fight and win wars in outer space.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu emphasized Tuesday that Russia must deploy a modern orbital constellation of military satellites to support the army and navy. Continue reading

Fewer planes are ready to fly: Air Force mission-capable rates decline amid pilot crisis

The F-22 saw an 11.17 percentage point reduction in mission-capable rates in 2017. It was one of several airframes that saw similar dips, contributing to an overall decline in mission-capable rates across the Air Force. (Tech Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth/Air Force)

 

The readiness of the Air Force’s aircraft fleet is continuing its slow, steady deterioration — and this could spell trouble for the service’s effort to hold on to its pilots and its ability to respond to contingencies around the world.

According to data provided by the Air Force, about 71.3 percent of the Air Force’s aircraft were flyable, or mission-capable, at any given time in fiscal 2017. That represents a drop from the 72.1 percent mission-capable rate in fiscal 2016, and a continuation of the decline in recent years.

Former Air Force pilots and leaders say that this continued trend is a gigantic red flag, and warn it could lead to serious problems down the road.

“It scares the heck out of me,” said retired Gen. Hawk Carlisle, former head of Air Combat Command. “It really does.”

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Top Air Force General: Space Warfare Coming

TruNews

 

But Congress May Change Who Is Responsible For Winning That Fight In The Very Near Future.

During a speech Friday at the Air Force Association Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla., Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein warned U.S. military forces could be engaged in space warfare within “a matter of years.” Continue reading

Air Force makes way for the B-21 Raider to replace B-1B, B-2 bombers

 

The U.S. Air Force has rolled out plans to phase out the B-1B and B-2 bomber fleets as it makes way for the new B-21 Raider, which is currently under development by Northrop Grumman.

Air Force officials on Monday made public their bomber fleet plans during a Pentagon press briefing for the service’s 2019 fiscal year budget request. Continue reading

US F-22s intercept Russian fighter jets, fire warning flares

Two U.S. F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Thursday, officials said. (Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Air Force)

 

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Wednesday.

The Russian fighters had crossed an agreed upon deconfliction line that runs parallel with the Euphrates River. The U.S. and its Syrian partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, operate on the eastern side of the Euphrates, and it’s a region Russia and its Syrian regime allies are supposed to steer clear from.

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US risks losing advantage in space to China and Russia, warn top Pentagon officials

The US advantage in space over countries such as China and Russia is being eroded, and the US military “must move faster to maintain a lead in this critical warfighting domain”, the Department of Defense (DoD) in Washington quoted Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and General John E Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), as saying on 2 December at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. Continue reading

President Trump Faces Creeping Coup

 

President Trump is being attacked from all sides. On Nov.18, Air Force General John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, that he would resist President Donald Trump if he ordered an “illegal” launch of nuclear weapons. It’s up to the general to decide if the order is legal or illegal! This is an extraordinary statement coming from a top official on active service! And it does not look like the general is going to resign or retire. It means he can afford it with no consequences to face. The statement came after Senate held the first congressional hearing in more than four decades on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike. Continue reading

Erdogan Rejects NATO Apology: “There Can Be No Alliance Like That”

Turkey’s megalomaniac is out shopping for excuses to turn on NATO and join the China-Russia axis… which eventually will happen.

 

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is refusing to let NATO off the hook for an inadvertent yet insulting gesture that prompted him to remove 40 Turkish troops from a joint military exercise in Norway.

Russia Today reports that Erdogan has rebuffed a NATO apology for what he called “impudence” after his name was included on an “enemies chart” shared with military officials participating in the exercises. Erdogan’s name was reportedly included alongside a photo of Turkish founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Continue reading

A top secret desert assembly plant starts ramping up to build Northrop’s B-21 bomber

Artist rendering of Air Force’s new B-21 bomber.

Artist rendering of Air Force’s new B-21 bomber. (Northrop Gruman)

 

A once-empty parking lot at Northrop Grumman Corp.’s top secret aircraft plant in Palmdale is now jammed with cars that pour in during the predawn hours.

More than a thousand new employees are working for the time being in rows of temporary trailers, a dozen tan-colored tents and a vast assembly hangar at the desert site near the edge of urban Los Angeles County.

It is here that Northrop is building the Air Force’s new B-21 bomber, a stealthy bat-winged jet that is being designed to slip behind any adversary’s air defense system and deliver devastating airstrikes for decades to come. The Pentagon is aiming to buy 100 of the bombers by the mid-2030s for at least $80 billion, though the exact amount is classified.

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Fighter jets with laser weapons set to take to the skies in 2021 as Lockheed Martin wins $26 million ‘Lance’ high-energy laser contract

 

  • ‘LANCE’ contract will build on technology from the Athena and Aladin lasers
  • $26.3m contract aims to design, develop, and produce system for fighter jets
  • An airborne platform is smaller, presenting more of a challenge, experts say

Lockheed Martin is working to develop a high-power fiber laser for fighter jets.

Under a $26.3 million contract from the Air Force Research Lab, the firm will design and produce a directed energy system for aircraft, with plans to test the technology by 2021. Continue reading

The Home Game Has Arrived: Lessons from the 10th Asymmetric Threat Symposium

 

Last week I was privileged to attend the 10th Asymmetric Threat Symposium. It’s not the first of these I’ve attended but was clearly the best. Maybe the participants felt less restrained by politics and thus spoke more directly to the issues we truly face. Or maybe the quality of experts is rising. For whatever reason, the event was candid and sobering, even for me. The event was held near our nation’s capitol and was sponsored by CACI International, the Center for Security Policy, and ISW (Institute for the Study of War). The title:  What Does It Take to Protect America? Combatting Global Asymmetric Threats.

While the rules of the event require that comments be shared without attribution, I’m pleased to offer a recap for our readers. You can read the agenda and see information about prior versions at www.asymmetricthreat.netThe speakers and panelists were impressive. In fact, I counted 36 stars on the shoulders (Admirals and Generals) of about a dozen participants, both active and retired, not to mention academic and civilian experts.

There were many important points covered and I’ll recap just a few:

First, the question was asked and answered. Are we already at war? Continue reading