Russia Keeps Provoking NATO Planes: SecAF

A Russian Su-27 fighter flies over the Kamchatka Peninsula. In April, a Su-27 intercepted an American reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea in a series of hostile fly-bys in 2016 alone, the Air Force’s top civilian said.

 

The Russian air force has not shown any good faith toward NATO aircraft policing Baltic airspace in recent months by conducting a flurry of unsafe maneuvers and flybys, the top civilian leader of the Air Force said Monday.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the German air force, which oversees the mission, reported “more than 30 scrambles between the end of August and the start of November this year, intercepting Russian aircraft flying near civilian air routes with their transponders turned off.Continue reading

Air Force: U.S. falling behind China, Russia in race for hypersonic weapons

China last tested its hypersonic technology in April. / Artist rendering.

 

China and Russia are winning the race in the development of “game-changing” hypersonic weapons, making the U.S. vulnerable to a future attack, according to a U.S. Air Force study.

The unclassified summary of the report, “A Threat to America’s Global Vigilance, Reach, and Power: High-Speed, Maneuvering Weapons,” was produced by a blue-ribbon panel of experts for Air Force Studies Board at the National Academies of Science. The summary was made public last month. Continue reading

STAR WARS: Russia could use ‘KAMIKAZE’ satellites to attack US spacecraft and EARTH

MOSCOW could use satellites to attack other spacecraft or Earth, senior US scientists and military bosses have spectacularly warned.

In a terrifying scenario plucked straight from the pages of a James Bond espionage thriller, the experts said Russia could use kamikaze satellites to take out vital space infrastructure or “swallow” smaller satellites.

Spacecraft could also be manipulated to attack targets on Earth in a conflict reminiscent of a Star Wars movie. Continue reading

Washington is Quietly Reinforcing Europe’s Northern Flank

Norwegian soldiers, U.S. Marines, Dutch and U.K. Royal Commandos do an integrated air insert during a training event for Exercise Cold Response 16, March 3, 2016, around the city of Namsos, Norway.

Norwegian soldiers, U.S. Marines, Dutch and U.K. Royal Commandos do an integrated air insert during a training event for Exercise Cold Response 16, March 3, 2016, around the city of Namsos, Norway. (U.S. Marine Corps / Master Sgt. Chad McMeen)

 

 

Much is being done to counter Russian ambitions in the High North, and yet much more remains to be done.

The recent stream of senior U.S. defense officials to Nordic countries underlines American concerns about potential friction in northern Europe, and Washington’s efforts to boost defense and deterrence there. Defense Secretary Ash Carter stopped in Norway in early September, while his deputy Bob Work, who has been to the region three times over the last two years, paid an early-October visit to Finland’s capital, Helsinki. Shortly thereafter, Air Force Secretary Deborah James made her own trip across the region. (Go back to last year, and Senate Armed Services Committee chair John McCain was in Norway and Sweden to discuss regional security.)

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Toying with a World War (II)

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) -While jihadi militias pursue their military offensive launched on the weekend in Aleppo, the German government is increasing its pressure on Russia. “As the most important supporter of the regime” in Damascus, Moscow must provide “a sound agreement for Aleppo,” demanded German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. But it was in fact the militia that broke the ceasefire initiated by Russia late last week and it was they who were also preventing the evacuation of the civilian population by firing at the escape corridors, as a British journalist reported from Aleppo. Similar practices are being used by the militia in the Iraqi town of Mosul, however these are being described for what they are, i.e. the IS is using civilians as “human shields.” The German government is intensifying its pressure on Russia, at a moment when Moscow is reinforcing its military strength in the Eastern Mediterranean with the deployment of an aircraft carrier battle group near the Syrian coast, aimed at achieving an equal footing with the western powers. A German Bundeswehr frigate is accompanying the French aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” in the same region, where the Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” is going. Particularly the German Green Party leadership is raising demands for declaring a no-fly zone over Syria – preparing another escalation, risking a direct war with Russia.

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The big Mosul offensive is stuck, halted by ISIS

Less than a day after its launch, the big Mosul offensive prepared for more than a year by the US, the Iraqi army, Kurdish forces and others, ground to a halt Tuesday Oct. 17, debkafile’s military sources report – although none of the parties admitted as much.  Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi said his troops were busy opening up corridors for some million civilians to escape, while US sources suggested that the Islamic State would use primitive chemical weapons against the advancing Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Both had the ring of cover stories to account for the spearhead forces, the Iraq army’s 9th Armored Division and the Federal Police special anti-terror units, being thrown back Tuesday on their way to Mosul from the east and the south, while still 10-15km short of the city. They sustained heavy losses in lives and hardware.

The 9th Division and its newly-supplied heavy US Abrahams tanks were stopped at al-Hamdaniyah outside Mosul and retreated, recalling a previous defeat at ISIS hands in June 2014, when troops of the same division fled under Islamist attack, leaving their tanks behind. Continue reading

The US Air Force Just Dropped Two Fake Nukes

The tests in the Nevada desert come as tensions rise with Russia and the Pentagon seeks to replace its aging nuclear arsenal.

A pair of U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers dropped two 700-pound faux nuclear bombs in the middle of the Nevada desert within the past few days. Now the Pentagon wants to tell you about it.

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US Air Force set to replace intercontinental nuke arsenal

While the last Minuteman II was deployed in the early 1990s, which still run off 1970’s floppy disc era technology (See also HERE), Russia and China have both developed and deployed their advanced nuclear weapons. To make matters worse, if the GBSD’s being developed will be “phased in” during the 2030 decade, that is at least a 15 year window of opportunity for China and Russia to strike an ancient America with its 40 year old nukes — if their shelf life is even that long.

 

Hidden underground in steel-and-concrete silos across rural America, more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles point to the skies, poised for launch — and ready to obliterate cities across the world.

First designed in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, the Minuteman nuclear weapons are starting to show their age, and replacement parts are difficult to find for the weapons designed in an analog age.

Also aging are their silos, many built in the 1950s and now rusting as water seeps through the decaying concrete. 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

Service Chiefs: Troops Will Head for Exits if Budget Cuts Persist

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Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, testify on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP/Susan Walsh)

 

Caps on defense spending limit training, force service members to use old gear and may lead to an exodus of troops from the armed services, the four service chiefs told lawmakers Thursday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps warned that a return of sequestration budget caps would promote fiscal uncertainty and take a deep toll on rank-and-file morale.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 put a temporary stay on a half-trillion dollar tranche of defense budget cuts, but the armed services must plan around the reductions for five more years if Congress does not again act to avert them. Continue reading

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

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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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WMD back in Iraq? Pentagon says U.S. planes destroyed ISIL’s chemical weapons facility

The Pentagon said U.S. warplanes eliminated a “significant chemical threat” to Iraqi civilians by bombing a complex of buildings near Mosul that Islamic State militants had converted from pharmaceutical manufacturing to chemical weapons production. Continue reading

Boeing Needed International Help to Build New Training Jet

U.S. Air Force training planes made with a lot of Swedish help, delivered by Russia. If this isn’t a signal America has lost its edge, we probably don’t want to know what else might be around the corner.

 

Boeing partnered with Swedish company Saab to design their candidate for the Air Force's next advanced trainer aircraft.

Boeing partnered with Swedish company Saab to design their candidate for the Air Force’s next advanced trainer aircraft.


A decade of layoffs forced the US giant to seek engineering and manufacturing talent from partner Saab.

It seemed so all-American: a U.S. aviation giant unveiling its newest military jet to flashing lights and thumping heavy-metal music. But the sleek twin-tailed T-X — Boeing’s candidate to become the U.S. Air Force’s next pilot trainer — couldn’t have made it to the dolled-up St. Louis hangar without a good deal of international help.

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US Air Force Flies All Three Bombers in Pacific Op

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A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fly over Guam after launching from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for an integrated bomber operation Aug.17, 2016. This mission marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command’s strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting integrated operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. (Photo by Sandra Welch/U.S. Air Force)

 

The U.S. Air Force flew its three strategic bombers — the B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress — in what was billed as the first-ever integrated bomber operation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The flight took place Aug. 17 at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, according to a press release and photos from the service. The news quickly circulated on social media. Continue reading

U.S. Nukes at Turkish Airbase at Risk of Being Seized by ‘Hostile Forces,’ Report Says

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A United States Air Force cargo plane maneuvers on the runway after it landed at the Incirlik Air Base, on the outskirts of the city of Adana, Turkey, July 31, 2015. Credit: AP

 

Some 50 nuclear bombs at a launching pad of the U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS come under criticism after the failed military coup in Turkey.

Incirlik, located just 110 kilometers (70 miles) from the border with Syria, is a major NATO base and a crucial launching pad for the U.S.-led coalition battling ISIS.

“Whether the U.S. could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question,” said the report by the Stimson Center, a Washington-based nonprofit institution devoted to enhancing international peace, according to AFP. Continue reading