U.S. Air Force seeks sharp growth to stay ahead of China, Russia

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U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., taxi upon landing at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, U.S. seeking shelter from Hurricane Florence in this September 12, 2018 handout photo. Senior Airman Isaiah J. Soliz/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force is predicting it will need to grow sharply over the next decade or so, boosting the number of operational squadrons by nearly a quarter to stay ahead of increasingly muscular militaries in China and Russia, officials said.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that the preliminary analysis drew partly from classified intelligence about possible threats in the 2025 to 2030 time frame, showing that the service, at its current size, would be unable to preserve America’s edge.”The Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do,” Wilson told a small group of reporters ahead of a speech on Monday that will lay out her arguments. Continue reading

How a potential Chinese-built airport in Greenland could be risky for a vital US Air Force base

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Snow blows near the U.S. Air Force’s Thule Air Base on March 25, 2017, in Pituffik, Greenland. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

 

WASHINGTON — With less than 60,000 people spread across more than 830,000 square miles, Greenland relies heavily on air transport to move supplies and people up and down its coast.

So when the local government issued a solicitation to build three new airports, the move made sense from a business perspective. The project would be expensive, but would improve commerce and make life on the island easier for its residents.

Then a Chinese company — owned by the government in Beijing, and once blacklisted by the World Bank — put forth a bid, and a simple request for proposals transformed into a project with international diplomatic ramifications.

Continue reading

China ‘nearing mass production’ of J-20 stealth fighter after engine problems ironed out

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China’s new J-20 stealth fighter could soon go into mass production as earlier problems with its engine have now been resolved, sources say. Photo: EPA

 

Improved power train will give Chinese jet ability to fly undetected at supersonic speeds, on par with United States’ F-35

A new and improved engine designed to make China’s J-20 stealth fighter a world-class combat jet should be ready for mass production by the end of the year, military sources have said.

The WS-15 engine features cutting-edge single-crystal turbine blades and has been in development for several years, but Chinese technicians have struggled to get it into mass production. Continue reading

General: ‘The Homeland is No Longer a Sanctuary’

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(Photo Credit: Sr. Airman Delano Scott/U.S. Air Force)

 

Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said the threat of ‘near-peer’ adversaries like China and Russia is growing rapidly.

The four-star Air Force general in charge of the U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command is warning that the American homeland is no longer a sanctuary from the dangers of the rest of the world. Continue reading

Air Force Doubles Down on Hypersonic Weapons Development with 2nd Contract

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High Speed Strike Weapon (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

 

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a second contract to develop a new hypersonic weapon that would move five times the speed of sound.

The service on Monday awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a contract — not to exceed $480 million — to begin designing a second hypersonic prototype, according to a release.

“We are going to go fast and leverage the best technology available to get hypersonic capability to the warfighter as soon as possible,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. Continue reading

“War In Front Of Me” – New Chinese Military Video Shows Off Range Of Advanced Weaponry

 

A new video produced by China’s military that features the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) showing off a wide range of the country’s latest military technology has gone viral after its publication to social media on August 1st, the day China commemorated ‘Army Day’.

The just over two-minute video, called “I am a Chinese soldier” is an over the top patriotic tribute emphasizing a combination of personal sacrifice, loyalty, and a sense of esprit de corps in belonging to an elite, modernized military. Continue reading

Russian Electronic Warfare Against US Troops In Syria Enters Dangerous Phase: Report

Does the USS Donald Cook incident from 2014 ring a bell to anyone?

 

 

“All of a sudden your communications won’t work, or you can’t call for fire, or you can’t warn of incoming fires because your radars have been jammed and they can’t detect anything” — a retired Army colonel who specializes in electronic warfare told Foreign Policy.

A new report details the Pentagon’s growing alarm at increased instances of Russian electronic jamming attacks on American troop positions in Syria, which number according to public Pentagon statements at 2000 or more, located on and near a dozen or more “secret” bases mostly in Syria’s northeast and embedded among the mostly Kurdish US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Continue reading

China Leaving US Behind on Artificial Intelligence: Air Force General

Straight from the U.S. Air Force: America is behind, China is ahead.

Both Russia and China have stirred the pot throughout the Middle East, having America chase endless amounts of terrorists, all while losing sight on being prepared for a conventional war. Two decades of distractions have left America behind and extremely vulnerable.

 

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U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Deputy Chief of Staff, talks about ISR’s future during an interview on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, April 13, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Laura R. McFarlane)

 

China’s massive investment in artificial intelligence technologies may soon leave the U.S. at a major disadvantage, a top Air Force general said Thursday.

“Speed is of the essence in the digital age,” said Lt. Gen. VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance on the Air Staff at the Pentagon.

She painted a grim picture: While “great instigator” Russia has the desire to do ambitious experiments with A.I., China already has the means. Continue reading

Russia’s Supersonic Bombers To Launch Hypersonic Missiles

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This could be problematic for the Americans, as Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, recently warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. is extremely vulnerable to future attack via hypersonic threats. Hyten even stressed we [U.S.] are falling behind in the technological know-how to defend the homeland from the danger, as Russia advances its hypersonic program.

While the Americans are behind the hypersonic curve, Russia has spent the last six months air-launching the Kinzhal hypersonic missile from the Mikoyan MiG-31 supersonic interceptor aircraft. Continue reading

The Havana Whodunnit: What Nation Just Built An “Unprecedented” Spy Radar Base In Cuba?

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A time sequence of the construction of radome containing parabolic antenna at Bejucal sigint facility. (Source: Victor Robert Lee & Digital Globe)

 

According to a new surveillance report from The Diplomat, exclusive satellite imagery from March 2017 to May 2018 reveals a newly expanded “signals intelligence” military facility near Bejucal, Cuba.

The report focuses on a massive radome sitting on top of an elevated concrete mounting structure. From satellite imagery, the structure looks like a giant golf ball, but it is actually a protective dome housing a super sophisticated radar antenna inside. As mentioned by The Diplomat, this radome is the first of its kind among the various spy antennas at Bejucal, which have been used to intercept electronic communications, ballistic missile monitoring, and tracking of satellites from the United States. Continue reading

Cyber Command moves closer to a major new weapon

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A proposal for the next generation cyber operations platform went out to industry recently, however, details are scarce. (J.M. Eddins Jr./Air Force)

 

The Air Force issued a formal proposal earlier this month for the Department of Defense’s long-awaited cyber weapon system, known as the Unified Platform, sources tell Fifth Domain.

DoD officials have said the Unified Platform is one of U.S. Cyber Command’s largest and most critical acquisition programs to date. Industry officials have said it is necessary to conduct cyber operations and is critical to national security. Continue reading

“This Is What It Feels Like To Be Offset”: China To Achieve “First Strike” Capabilities Using AI, US Officials Warn

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In comments made at a recent defense technology forum hosted by the hawkish Center for a New American Security, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as a former deputy secretary of defense warned that the United States will lose its military technological superiority to China in two years if it doesn’t immediately move deeper into fields such as artificial intelligence (A.I.), robotics, hypersonics, and big data.

Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work painted a dire picture while calling for the US to put its $700 billion defense budget into “areas that really matter” in order to keep up with China, which he said is quickly becoming the world’s leader in A.I., robotics, and machine learning — all of which the Chinese will harness toward “first strike” capabilities against US military networks.  Continue reading

US General Warns China Could Deploy Hypersonic Weapons On A “Large Scale”

As mentioned in a post from 2012, China has captured and monopolized over 90% of the planet’s rare earths. These will be stored and horded until the time is right to easily mass produce high-tech weapons as if they were cookies, such as drones and hypersonic missiles by the thousands, if not by the millions — while all at the same time putting a squeeze on much needed rare earths for the American military.

You’re looking at the possibility of war on a Biblical scale where the sky is blotted out by an enemy so numerous it’s like clouds covering the land.

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.

Ezekiel 38, 39

The average American cannot begin to fathom the repercussions.

You can read the story here: China’s Rare Earth Revenge

Also see: Rare Earth Market

 

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The United States could lose its military technological superiority to China by late 2020s if it does not spend its $700 billion defense budget wisely, like more investments in artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, and hypersonic missiles, former deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work and Gen. Paul Selva, vice-chairman of the Joint Chief warned Thursday at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) conference on “Strategic Competition: Maintaining The Edge.”

“We should be prepared to be surprised in any conflict with China, not only because it has invested heavily in modernizing its armed forces but also how it has invested in next-generation military technology,” said former Deputy Secretary Work.

China “wants to be a first mover” in artificial intelligence, by incorporating machine learning algorithms into submarines, drones, hypersonics, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). “That will be how they will get ahead of the United States,” Work warned. Continue reading

Lockheed Martin Awarded $929 Million Contract For Hypersonic Weapon To Counter Russia, China

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Lockheed Martin, the defense company behind F-35A Lightning II, a fifth-generation combat aircraft, won a $928 million contract April 18 to develop a hypersonic missile for the U.S. Air Force that will travel more than five times faster than the speed of sound to overcome Russian and Chinese missile defense systems.

According to Lockheed Martin, under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, the company will design and manufacture the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), a new air-launched weapon system. The missile will be capable of speeds higher than Mach five and could render Russian and Chinese ballistic missile defense interceptors useless. Continue reading

Russia To Build 5th-Generation Nuclear Sub With Hypersonic Missiles

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Vladimir Dorofeyev, CEO of Russia’s Malakhit Marine Engineering Design Bureau, told TASS in 2015 that “the work on the fifth-generation of submarines is already underway.” Now an anonymous source deep within the Russian defense sector told TASS on Thursday that the Husky-class fifth-generation nuclear-powered submarine will be armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles with a deployment date of 2027.

“The Husky has been included in the state armament program for 2018-2027. There are plans to start the experimental design work on the construction of submarines of this class from 2023 and deliver the lead vessel by the end of 2027,” the unnamed source said.

“Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles will become the main armament of the newest multipurpose submarine,” the source added. Continue reading