Sunday, November 12, 2017

China Claims Next Aircraft Carrier Will Have an Electronic Catapult

People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and Chinese defence industry officials are claiming that the second of China’s indigenously built aircraft carriers, the Type 002, will be equipped with an electromagnetic catapult, according to a report in the South China Morning Post .

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Terminator Times #35

Drones (UAVs):


The USAF is allowing more airmen to become drone pilots.

The USMC can now print drones with its expeditionary forces.

The US Navy's ONR tested the Nomad UAV on the USS Coronado.

The US Navy has one less competitor in the Stingray unmanned tanker procurement: Northrop has dropped out.  This is a bad sign because NG was seen as the leading contender.  It strongly implies Northrop thinks the competition will not complete or be badly mismanaged,

It appears the MQ-25 Stingray has gone weirdly pear shaped: there are rumors the Stingray will be an unmanned F-18 modified for tanking.  That might be the only way to get the stingray on the deck by 2019 like the Admirals want.  It would explain Northrop's withdrawal.

DARPA has funded the development of a drone that disappears after a single use.

The US Missile Defense Agency has awarded a contract for a laser test program to General Atomics as a precursor to placing a laser on a UAV, probably some variant of GA's Avenger.

Azerbaijan's Heron drones have been spotted at a new base.

The Bolivian Army demonstrated new UAVs, apparently from China.

China will resupply its South China Sea bases with its AT200 cargo drone.

China's Sunic-Ocean unveiled its SU-H2M VTOL drone.

Pakistan claims to have shot down an Indian spy drone.

Portugal is looking for a mini UAV system.

Russia delivered over 30 new drones to its western forces.

Spain has ordered the Fulmar mini UAV system.

The Swiss government is embarrassed because its officials witnessed the testing of the Hermes 900 in the Golan Heights.

Turkey has started manufacturing suicide drones, the Alpagu and Kargu.

The Cormorant UAV got its Safran helicopter engine.

Vanilla Aircraft demonstrated a less than 500 kg UAV that can fly for more than 5 days.

The future of drones gets discussed: higher autonomy, smaller and deadlier, operational challenges, and teaming deployment.

Ogres and Bolos (UGVs):

Russia is procuring armed robots for combat.

Robo Boats (USVs):

China's Yunzhou unveiled its M80B USV for ocean recon.

Robo Subs (UUVs):

The USMC sees a need for multiple types of UUV in the littorals.

Kazakhstan established an MRO facility for UUVs.

Lockheed won a contract to design an Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle.

Skynet (AI):

Google and other tech companies are warning China could outpace the US in AI technology by 2025.

Counter Drone:

China's Digitech is developing counter UAV systems.

Russia has stood up a dedicated drone killing unit.

Friday, November 10, 2017

A/2017 U1: Our First Known Interstellar Visitor


A small, recently discovered asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.

This unusual object - for now designated A/2017 U1 - is less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and is moving remarkably fast. Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.

A/2017 U1 was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA. Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), was first to identify the moving object and submit it to the Minor Planet Center. Weryk subsequently searched the Pan-STARRS image archive and found it also was in images taken the previous night, but was not initially identified by the moving object processing.

link.

Some are starting to call A/2017 U1 'Oumuamua.'

Is likely to find its next star in around a quadrillion, yes, quadrillion! years.  (get over the math envy, one friend said)

What is the rotation rate of A/2017 U1 and does it have a comet-like tail?

A/2017 U1 appears to be very red and lack absorption lines.

A/2017 U1 seems to have formed in a warm environment, not like the outer solar system.

A/2017 U1 is likely to be interstellar in origin.

Could A/2017 U1 have formed in a local stellar association?

What does A/2017 U1's detection mean about the universe?

What does A/2017 U1 imply about planetary formation?

Thursday, November 09, 2017

A Databus for Quantum Computers

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation, however, because quantum systems are very sensitive to environmental noise. Although systems can be protected from noise in principle, researchers have been able to build only small prototypes of quantum computers experimentally. One way to reduce the error rate is by encoding quantum information not in one single quantum particle but in several quantum objects. These logical quantum bits or qubits are more robust against noise. In the last few years, theoretical physicists have developed a whole range of error correction codes and optimized them for specific tasks. Physicists Hendrik Poulsen Nautrup and Hans Briegel from the Institute of Theoretical Physics of the University of Innsbruck and Nicolai Friis, now at the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Vienna, have found a technique to transfer quantum information between systems that are encoded differently.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Russia's View of American History Podcast

Ivan Kurilla is a Professor of History and International Relations at the European University at St. Petersburg. He specializes in the history of the US–Russian relations, especially during American antebellum and Civil War period. He’s the author of Zaokeanskie partnery: Amerika i Rossiya v 1830-1850-e gody (Partners across the Ocean: The United States and Russia, 1830s–1850s). His scholarship in English includes “Abolition of Serfdom in Russia and American Newspaper and Journal Opinion” in New Perspectives on Russian-American Relations, edited by Norman Saul and Russian/Soviet Studies in the United States, Amerikanistika in Russia: Mutual Representations in Academic Projects, edited with Victoria Zhuraleva and published by Lexington Books.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Russia Will Launch 4th Borei Nuclear Missile Sub in November

The first advanced version of the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine Project 955A Borei-class (North Wind) – the Knyaz Vladimir (Prince Vladimir) – will be floated out this coming November, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, said in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.

“In the near future, the Severodvinsk-based Sevmash Shipyard will float out a new nuclear-powered missile underwater cruiser, the Knyaz Vladimir, from the slipway. The event will take place in November,” he said.

Korolev earlier said that the fourth Borei-class boomer was supposed to have been floated out in August.

The Knyaz Vladimir was laid down in 2012 and will become the fourth submarine in the series of eight Borei-class underwater cruisers and the first submarine of the advanced Borei-A Project.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Stealth Saga #67

KF-X:

The baseline twin engine design has been decided on, but refinements are still being made.  The first prototype roll out is expected in 2022 with an ambitious 2026 entry into service.  The Indonesian variant, called the IF-X is apparently virtually the same as the KF-X, except it will lack stealth coatings and also lack an internal weapons bay.

J-20:

China is moving the J-20 into production.

This stealth fighter is operational.  Really.

Su-57/PAK-FA/T-50:

The Russians are claiming the Su-57 will be (or can be) upgraded with 6th generation fighter capabilities.

FGFA:

More reports the Indian Air Force does not want to continue their participation in the Su-57 program.

Sixth Generation Fighter:

Lockheed scored the laser portion of the SHIELD program, something that will likely lead to a weapon for fifth and especially sixth generation fighters.

The US has been working on a new long range AAM for two years.

Northrop patented a kinetic kill anti missile system for stealth aircraft.

Model 401:


Scaled Composites flew their Model 401 for the first time.  The aircraft looks like a cross between the 1960s Quiet Bird and the General Atomics Avenger.

B-21:

Is the B-21 meant to be a high altitude bomber?

Will the B-21 have morphing wing technology?

B-2:

The B-2 got a night time photo op.

Some interesting details on how the B-2 trained for potential strikes on North Korea.

The B-2 flew over Japan for the first time.

F-117:

In 2006, the largest known formation of stealth aircraft flew over Holloman Air Force Base.

F-22:

Six F-22s have deployed to Britain at RAF Lakenheath.

One of them landed with an open missile bay.

Upgrades to the F-22s might cost $1.7 billion over 11 years.

F-35:

An overview of the F-35 program.

The F-35 had a week of good and bad news.

Corrosion issues are delaying F-35 deliveries by a month.

F-35 deliveries were lagging behind already.

Serious, serious spare parts issues are hitting the F-35 program: depots are six years behind on maintenance already.

F-35s are getting a significant software update.

The USAF has graduated its 500th F-35 fighter pilot.

The USAF has sent one F-35A to Eielson AFB for testing in preparation of the arrival of two F-35 squadrons in 2020.

Two F-35As participated in a South Korean air show.

12 F-35As are being deployed to Japan.  They stopped at Hawaii along the way.

As many as 108 F-35As may not get the most recent software that allows them to be considered combat coded.

The first internationally assembled F-35B has flown its first short take-off and vertical landing.

F-35Bs in Japan performed a night refueling exercise.

The US Navy has been forced to shift qualifying the VFA-125 on the F-35C from the Lincoln to the Vinson by hurricane Irma.

F-35 data was stolen from an Australian defense contractor through hacking.  None of it is supposed to be classified.

The RAF has increased the F-35's risk rating.

A rumors are spreading about an attempted SAM attack on an Israeli F-35I after the Israelis ground their F-35s for a supposed bird strike.

A RNAF F-35A has been sent to Eielson AFB for the second stage of the drag chute testing.

Norwegian F-35As were to return to Norway on November 2nd (they landed).

Turkey is interested in the F-35B.

The F-35 is increasingly important to Lockheed's profitability.

Orbital ATK will be building composite components for the F-35.

Counter Stealth:

The US Navy's newish E-2D Hawkeye is intended (supposedly) to watch for Chinese stealth fighters.

Iran is building air defenses with stealth aircraft in mind.

Friday, November 03, 2017

China Claims Will Fly HOTOL Space Plane in 2020

China plans to launch its reusable spacecraft in 2020, according to a statement from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation Tuesday.

Unlike traditional one-off spacecraft, the new spacecraft will fly into the sky like an aircraft, said Chen Hongbo, a researcher from the corporation.

The spacecraft can transport people or payload into the orbit and return to Earth.

link.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Terminator Times #34

UAVs (drones):

The US Army is looking at unmanned medevac & resupply.

DARPA and AFRL are taking aim at drones with lasers.

A USAF Reaper drone was shot down over Yemen (video).

The US Navy has released its final RFP for the MQ-25A Stingray tanker.  (GA released some details on its entry).

The US Navy is also buying more Blackwing UAVs.

The US Navy turned its Fire Scout VTOL UAVs into mine hunters (IOC was declared).


Australia has begun deploying its VIDAR equipped ScanEagles to operational roles.

Australia is also test deploying S-100 VTOL UAVs.

Australia is buying an undisclosed number of Blackhornet 2 micro UAVs for its platoons.

A Belgian UAV crashed in Portugal.

The British awarded small contracts to develop UAVs.

France is looking for UAVs to be used in urban operations.

Israeli UAV manufacturers now face tougher export rules.

Japan awarded Northrop a contract for its Global Hawks.

Libya has acquired Iranian UAVs from somewhere.

Russia may be buying its UCAV tech from...Iran.

Russia's most dangerous drone weapons are its jammers and other electronic warfare assets.

Russia is finding it needs to accelerate development of unmanned systems due to its involvement in the Syrian war.

South Korea is making progress on its unmanned variant of the Little Bird helicopter.

Ukraine unveiled a new combat UAV system.

AeroVironment has upgraded its Puma UAV for a heavier payload.

Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences and tapped one of Aurora's execs to head of Boeing's Phantom Works.

General Atomics has transitioned its Gray Eagle production to the ER variant.

IAI & Brazil is attempting to sell their Heron derivative to civilians.

IAI is also demonstrating its Air Hopper VTOL for casualty evacuation.

IAI is testing an enhanced version of its Panther VTOL UAV for South Korea.

UGVs (Bolos, Ogres & Terminators):

The US Army awarded a UGV contract.

The US Army will also release RFPs for two UGV systems next year.

The US Army is about to send UGVs out for its Squad Maneuver Equipment Transport tests.

Finland's Patria bought a stake in Estonia's Milrem.

Ukraine unveiled its second generation UGCV, the RSVK-M2.

Meet RoMan.

GM's SURUS builds on its work for the US Army with the ZH2 Colorado.

Polaris' little trucks can be converted into self driving vehicles.

Qinetiq's Titan SMET entry was developed from its smaller MAARS.

Stratom has entered the UGV market with its XR-P.

USVs (robo ships):

Liquid Robotics' Wave Glider gets a profile at War is Boring.

UUV (Robot Subs):

The US Navy just stood up its first UUV squadron.

The US Navy awarded contracts to Boeing and Lockheed for the XLUUV.

META:

NATO in general is pushing for more autonomous mine hunting.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

China's new Cruiser may be Comparable to the US Navy's Ticonderoga Class


Chinese state television has broadcast the first clear, overhead view of the Chinese navy’s first Type 055 cruiser. The image confirms what foreign analysts have expected since the new cruiser began taking shape in 2014.

The Type 055 carries no fewer than 122 missiles in vertical cells — any mix of anti-air, anti-ship and land-attack models. That matches the weapons-loadout of the U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers … and exceeds the armament of every other surface warship in the Pacific region.

The new cruiser could enter service as early as 2018.

The Type 055 — which is an estimate 590 feet long and displaces at least 10,000 tons — represents a new class of warship for the Chinese navy. When Beijing launched its naval rearmament program in the 1990s, it focused on building large numbers of small- and medium-size corvettes, frigates and destroyers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Paleolithic Papers #16

Genus Homo:

H. sapiens (modern humanity):

Humans are still evolving.

Did modern humans leave Africa to attempt to escape a drying climate?

Facial phenotypes support a multiple dispersal for modern humans.

Modern human spit contains some surprises about our hominin ancestry.

It appears settling down and abandoning, or at least reducing the nomadic life style, allowed technology to start developing faster 64,000 years ago.

Some of the mutations associated with white skin have an African origin.

Did Paleolithic humans realize the dangers of inbreeding and have breeding networks?

A child from 2,000 years ago in south africa gives hints that modern humans originated 300k years ago.

Rock art in Australia appears to show the extinct giant bird Genyornis.

H. neanderthalensis (Neandertals):

DNA analysis of different Neandertal populations advances our understanding of hominin evolution.  (psst, the Altai Neandertals were the hillbillies of their world).

DNA analysis also suggests a higher percentage of Neandertal DNA survives in modern populations.

Neandertals appeared to grow at a similar rate as modern humans.

How thick was the enamel of the Neandertal canine teeth?

Were Neandertals distilling and using tar?

Neandertal City aka Gibraltar, gets profiled.

Rethinking the Upper Paleolithic Transition in Grotte Mandrin.

What was the mechanism that caused the Neandertals to go extinct and be replaced by modern humans?

What traits are tied to the introgression of Neandertal genes into the modern Human line?

H. georgicus:

The Georgian hominins from Dzudzuana and Satsurblia caves are described.

H. erectus:

A trackway from H. erectus in Kenya is studied.

Genus Paranthropus:

P. bosei:

The probable source of herpes has been claimed: Paranthropus bosei.  Yes, friends, one human ancestor couldn't keep it zipped.  I'm looking at you, H. erectus.  Like we REALLY believe the watering hole story, Upright Man.

Genus Australopithecus:

A. anamensis:

Where did A. anamensis live?  What sort of environment was it?

META:

The fossils trackways from the Greek hominin from 5.7 million years ago are in danger.

How facial features have evolved in hominins through time.

Chimps can learn to use tools without being taught.

Savannah living chimps don't seem to eat more meat than their forest cousins.

The rest of their dietary comparison is here.

Tool using macaques are wiping out shellfish populations.

Was bipedality in hominins a by-product of developmental processes?

The differences in loading on the 3rd metacarpal heads in humans and chimpanzees.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bigelow, United Launch Alliance Plan Lunar Orbiting Space Station in 2022


Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance said Oct. 17 that they are cooperating on the development of a habitat orbiting the moon that they hope to build in a public-private partnership with NASA.

The companies said they are working together on a concept for a “lunar depot” using an expandable module provided by Bigelow and launched by a next-generation ULA rocket that could support both NASA and commercial uses as soon as 2022.

Under the concept, a ULA Vulcan 562 rocket would launch the Bigelow B330 module into low Earth orbit. The module would remain in Earth orbit for up to a year to undergo tests and be visited by crews.

ULA would then launch two more Vulcan rockets, each placing an Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage (ACES) upper stage in orbit. One of the ACES would refuel the other, which would then dock with the B330 and send the module into a low lunar orbit.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Russian Experimental Nuclear Warheads Were Deployed in Parallel

It appears that we have an answer to the question of what kind of "experimental warheads" were tested in the September 12 Yars launch. And a confirmation of a guess made on Twitter by @artjomh shortly after the test. The image above is from that post - it's from a textbook they use at the Bauman University. According to The Diplomat's Ankit Panda, Russia tested "an independent post-boost vehicle (IPBV) configuration for a three-warhead version [of the Yars ICBM]." The Bauman textbook calls it "an RV with independent (parallel) deployment." As can be seen from the image, each RV is sitting on top of its own mini-bus, which is different from a more common configuration, when one bus deploys RVs one after another.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pondering the Precambrian #6

Proterozoic:

NeoProterozoic:

There is evidence of a potential blacksmoker vent from the NeoProterozoic.

Ocean subduction evidence has been found in China.

Comb Jellies appear to have be the oldest divergent, yet still living, branch of animals.

Ediacaran:

An Ediacaran protist fossil seems to show how those organisms' reproduction in action.

Evidence of the opening of the Iapetus Sea in Russia during the Ediacaran has been uncovered.

The submerged Batavian Knoll is a microcontinent with evidence of the assembly of Gondwana.

Biostratigraphical evidence is coming together for the Ediacaran from China.

The nuclei and nucleoli in the embryos found in Ediacaran China's Weng'an Biota.

Understanding the Ediacaran paleoecologies.

Should the extinction of Cloudina lucianoi mark the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary?

Could Ediacaran rangeomorphs actually burrow?

Cryogenian:

It appears the Sturtian Snowball Earth episode began circa 717 million years ago.

Tonian:

The Tonian/Cryogenian boundary has been proposed for specific spots in Scotland.

A vase shaped microfossil has been found in the Tonian deposits around the world.

There appears to have been a mass extinction during the Tonian prior to the Snowball Earth episodes.

Mesoproterozoic:

There is evidence Archean granites were reworked and uranium deposited during the Calymmian in the Olympic Dam Breccia in Australia.

Eukaryote fossils were found in Calymmian deposits in China.

Are some fossils that are normally thought to be NeoProterozoic (Tonian/Cryogenian) found in the MesoProterozoic deposits of Russia?

At the dawn of the Mesoproterozoic, at the Statherian/Calymmian boundary, Australia made contact with northwestern Laurentia and began a long slide along its margin.

Paleoproterozoic:

Evidence of an island arc from the Paleoproterozoic came from West Africa.

There may have been two island arcs in Finland during the PaleoProterozoic.

How the Francevillian formation formed in the Rhyacian.

The microfossils of the Francevillian Biota get examined.

Evidence from India for proto continents in the Rhyacian.

Archean:

Findings from the NeoArchean from the North American Craton support local evidence of plate tectonics.

Did the development of carbonate platforms in the NeoArchean pave the way for the Great Oxygenation Event?

Is there evidence of biogenic atmospheric oxygen during the MesoArchean?

The emergence of the continents may have happened over multiple differentiation events.

Evidence of life was found in EoArchean sediments from Labrador, Canada.

Hadean:

Caution should be taken when examining Hadean zircons.

Did life form in warm little pools?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Commercial Crew Launches Schedule Slip

The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements.


[...]

Targeted Test Flight Dates:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: November 2018

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: April 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): August 2018

Editor’s Note: Note the careful wording of this latest press release: “most recent publicly releasable dates.” So, how far are the latest slips? Here is where they were in July.

Previous Targeted Test Flight & Milestone Dates (July 20, 2017):

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: June 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: August 2018
Boeing Operational Readiness Review: September 2018
Certification Review: October 2018

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: February 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): June 2018
SpaceX Operational Readiness Review: August 2018
Certification Review: September 2018


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Russia's Central Bank Will Block Websites Using Cryptocurrencies

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday crypto-currencies were risky and used for crime, as Russia’s central bank said it would block websites selling bitcoin and its rivals - a change of tone from a month-old promise to legalize the market.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

China's Land Based Carrier Mockup is Changing

A recently published image of modifications made to China’s land-based aircraft carrier development facility at Wuhan reflects the ongoing work supporting the development of the country’s third aircraft carrier, commonly known as the Type 002.

Published in Chinese online forums in early September, the image shows that the height of the island's forward upper superstructure on the carrier mock-up has been increased to facilitate faring in the array panels of the phased array radar.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Stealth Saga #66

AMCA:

The Indians have a lot of work before they have their own stealth fighters.

J-20:

The J-20 is now officially in military service for China (here, too).

The J-20 outclasses its regional rivals.

A J-20 has been spotted with the WS-10 engine (G variant?  maybe?).

Su-57 (PAK-FA):

Some are calling the Su-57 underpowered.

The 9th Su-57 was delivered to the Russian air force and it shows progress with the design.

Some are still saying the Su-57 is underpowered.

PAK-DA:

KRET is designing new electronic warfare equipment for the PAK-DA.

KF-X:

The fraud probe into KAI has cast a pall on the KF-X program and found circumstantial evidence of corruption in the program.  The former head of KAI has been arrested.  A VP has committed suicide.

6th Generation Fighters:

Lockheed teased a concept again for its 6th gen fighter that reminds everyone of the F-23.

The US sixth gen fighter could be revolutionary.

BAe is optimistic on the use of lasers by fighters.

BAe has a stealthy UAV concept.

Will China outfit its own sixth generation fighter with a new type of radar?

B-21:

The USAF is keeping costs in check for the developing B-21.

How many bombers the US needs vs what the budget realities are.

F-117:

The F-117 might be officially retired, but its still flying.

F-22:

The F-22 appears to still be the best air superiority fighter out there so far.

The F-22 is being used as an aerial scout in Syria.

The first F-22 flew 20 years ago.

F-35:

Some are complaining that Congress is giving the F-35 a pass for its problems.  Those problems are claimed to be being worked on.

The USAF expects OBOGS testing on the F-35 through the end of 2017.

F-35 ejection seats are still problematic.

The F-35 was to join the F-22 in South Korea's ADEX.

Silicon Valley style software development might be coming for the F-35 (and F-22).

Some F-35As may not be combat coded and stick with the 2b software.

USMC F-35Bs (with radar reflectors) participated in exercises with South Korea and Japan.

The F-35B might be placed in rotational deployment to South Korea (along with the F-22).

USMC's VMFA-121 practiced hot loading the AIM-120s onto F-35Bs.

USAF airmen are helping with the F-35C aviator carrier quals.

The USS Abraham Lincoln is testing the F-35C at sea.

Australia has ordered the Small Diameter Bomb II for its F-35As and the US approved the order.

The British have outlined their plans for the F-35 IOC.

The Brits consider both their CVs necessary for the F-35 trials.

Two more F-35s were delivered to the Israelis.

The Japanese assembled F-35As are falling behind schedule.

Japan wants to start integrating locally made parts into their F-35s starting in 2018.

Pratt & Whitney finished testing the adaptive fan for the F135 engine and is offering depot upgrades for the F-35 (but not with the new engine yet).

META:

A crash by a classified plane and death of its pilot (Lt Col Eric Schultzhas people wondering what aircraft had been flying.  

Friday, October 06, 2017

Musk's Grand Plans for Space


Musk unveiled the BFR architecture to get people to the Moon, Mars, etc.

Some criticism and skepticism is coming over the architecture.

Some are already calling the BFR the 'son of the shuttle.'

Thursday, October 05, 2017

South Korea has Banned Initial Coin Offerings

South Korea’s financial regulator on Friday said it will ban raising money through all forms of virtual currencies, a move that follows similar restrictions in China on initial coin offerings.

The Financial Services Commission said all kinds of initial coin offerings (ICO) will be banned as trading of virtual currencies needs to be tightly controlled and monitored.

“Raising funds through ICOs seem to be on the rise globally, and our assessment is that ICOs are increasing in South Korea as well,” the regulator said in a statement after a meeting with the finance ministry, the Bank of Korea and the National Tax Service.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Russia is Apparently Testing 'Experimental' Nuclear Warheads

On September 12, 2017 the Strategic Rocket Forces performed a successful launch of a silo-based Yars ICBM from Plesetsk to the Kura test site in Kamchatka. According to the official release by the Ministry of Defense, quoted in the media, the goal of the launch was to "confirm reliability of a party of missiles of this class." The statement also said that "experimental warheads successfully reached their targets."


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Terminator Times #33

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones):

An American drone appears to have crashed in Turkey.

The US ARFL has funded an extended range desert hawk demonstration.

The USAF showed off its Reaper control center at Holloman AFB.

USAF Reapers are increasingly becoming the workhorses of the drone strikes.

The USAF is planning drone strikes in the Philippines.

The USAF is working with SOCOM on ThunderDrone, a rapid prototyping event for swarming drones.

The USAF has new simulator software for its USAFA cadets to learn to fly drones.

The USAF pilot that shot down an Iranian drone has been IDed by Reuters.

A US Army Blackhawk on security patrol in support of the UN General Assembly was hit by a commercial drone and suffered damage.

The US Army has deployed its Grey Eagle UAVs to the Philippines.

The USMC's 'Ripper Lab' has 3d printed a quadcopter.

The USMC has started equipping its infantry squads with quadcopters.

The US Navy's X-47B has been rolled out with refueling tanks attached.

The US Navy has tightened its requirements for the MQ-25 Stingray tanker, 15,000 lbs of fuel at 500 nm, which could double the strike range of the carrier airwing.

The US Navy Research Lab is attempting to fly a drone for three days in its Hybrid Tiger Program.

A US Navy LCS (USS Coronado) used a UAV to observe and target over the horizon for a missile strike.

General Atomics' competitor to the upgraded X-47B is supposed to be optimized for the Navy's tanker role.

Did a drone interfere with the USN Blue Angels?

Military bases in the US would be are allowed to shoot down civilian drones that cross into the base.

DARPA is looking into air launched drones that can carry and fire air to air missiles. with its Flying Missile Rail project.

US Reaper drones were flown to monitor the impact of the recent hurricanes in the US.

Argentina has unveiled its own MALE UAV design.

Australia has retired its Heron 1 UAVs and is sending personnel to learn how to operate the US MQ-9.

Australia is planning on equipping its army with mini and micro drones.

Belgium presented its new Raven UAVs (these are quite similar to the ones the Ukrainians apparently hate from the US).

Britain has the right to upgrade its Protector drones independent of US approval.

A British RAF Reaper stopped a public execution by ISIS.

British Watchkeepers are flying again and now have a comint mission.

Canada tried and failed to buy second hand drones.

China's CH-4  UCAV has been getting upgrades.

China's CASC is building an app to control UAVs.

China's CH-5 UCAV has been live fire testing new precision weaponry.

China's Tengoen unveiled multiple concepts for UCAVs.

Colombia has decided to shelve its indigenous IRIS drone, relegating it to a test asset, to work with AirBus on a new effort.

The European competitor for the MQ-9 Reaper will be a twin turboprop.

France is arming its Reapers.

Iran has stated its drones will continue patrolling the Persian Gulf.

On multiple occasions, Iran's drones have harassed US Navy fighters as the F/A-18Es have attempted to land on their carrier.

Iran has a weird drone war movie.

Iran has unveiled a drone base.

Israel is about the declare full operational capability of its Hermes 900 fleet.

Did an Israeli drone maker conduct an attempted strike on Armenian troops?  Israel has pulled the export license for the company to Azerbaijan.

Israel's Elbit Skylark 3 got operational approval.

IAI is still waiting on Germany's approval of the Heron TP procurement.

IAI is pitching its Harop loitering munition for maritime warfare.

Israel shot down a drone that entered the Syrian DMZ.

Israel's APG unveiled a new version of its Peres VTOL UAV.

Israeli Defense Forces will continue to use DJI drones despite some security concerns.

A multinational UAV competition was held in Kazakhstan.

Macedonia is building a UAV base in cooperation with the American 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

Philippines will receive six ScaEagle UAVs.

Poland unveiled its DragonFly loitering munition.

Russia will demonstrate new VTOL and fixed wing UAVs soon.

Russia has flown a demonstrator for its UAV intended for frigate sized ships.

Russia claims its 6th gen fighters will be unmanned.

Russia is claiming it has 50 requests for its UAVs.

Russia has claimed to have developed specialized weapons for its drones.

In Syria, a drone flown by al'Nusra was shot down by a Russian MANPADS.

Taiwan is making progress on its MALE UAV.

Take a look at Taiwan's UAV control stations.

Taiwan has also unveiled its own antiradiation drone.

A Florida company staffed by ex Israeli soldiers has equipped with a sniper rifle and grenade launcher.

General Atomics has test flown its extended range Gray Eagle drone for 42 hours.

General Atomics is pursuing a very large order for its Avenger UCAV to an international customer.

General Atomics drone pilots got shown up by video gamers.

Leonardo is confident on the start of a clean sheet VTOL UAV program by the British.


Lockheed UK developed the Outrider sub launched UAV.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Ogres and Bolos):

The US Army is looking into autonomous capabilities, including UGVs, for its field commanders.

The US Army is experimenting with integrating robotic systems into its hunter killer teams.

The USMC is getting serious about buying robotic vehicles for its infantry.

BAe Systems has developed its Ironclad UGV.

Germany's Rheinmetall outlined multiple missions for its UGVs.

MILREM is considering its 4th and 5th gen versions of its TheMIS UGV.

Northrop has entered the UGV fray with its new Nomad.

Roboteam secured orders from the US and Israel for its mini UGVs.

Ukraine's Fantom UGV is undergoing more weapons tests.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (Robo Ships):

The US Navy is poised to order at least one more ACTUV (SeaHunter) USV.

China is readying the SeaFly USV for production.

China's CASC unveiled its concepts for combat USVs.

Indra of Spain demonstrated its USV off of Galicia.

Israel's Elbit has demoed some anti sub capabilities of its USV.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (Robo Subs):

The Proteus UUV has been demonstrated.

SRS discussed its Fusion hybrid UUV.

META:

The US Navy is testing multiple unmanned compliments to future warships.

The US Navy is also looking into how to power its unmanned systems.

The Brits are planning lots of unmanned systems in their navy while the USN urged some caution.

Will the world restrict autonomous weapon systems?