Saturday, March 21, 2020

Stealth Saga #58

Sixth Generation Fighters:

The USAF has stated manned fighters could start being replaced by UCAVs within 5 years.

Elon Musk agrees and stated the era of the manned fighter has passed.

The US Navy will cut F/A-18E/F production to speed up their next generation fighter.

France and Germany have started the demonstrator phase for the FCAS program.  Spain will join.

The French Neuron UAV will inform the FCAS program.

Dassault blames politics for the demise of the Anglo-French 6th gen fighter project.

Loyal Wingmen:

The USAF is plotting the course for when the Loyal Wingmen will be introduced.

The USAF/Kratos Valkyrie gets compared to the F-35 for capabilities vs cost.

The Australian/Boeing Loyal Wingman ATS is progressing.


Elbit will provide TF/TA systems for the South Korean KFX system.


The Su-57 has been spotted testing the new engine.


The B-21 renderings show subtle differences between the B-2 and the B-21.


B-2s flew to Iceland and exercised with Norwegian F-35s and USAF F-15s.

A B-2 deployed to the Azores.

B-2 DMS-M upgrades will be limited to the cockpit.


A stripped F-117 has been placed on a government website for sale on a government surplus website.

An F-117 has been spotted over Star Wars Canyon again.


F-22s and F-35s exercised in Hawaii.

For F-22 & F-35 demo pilots, aggressive maneuvering is the norm.

Watch F-22s arrive in Singapore.

F-22s returned from a short notice deployment in Qatar.

Watch an F-22 do a slo-mo take-off and vertical climb.

F-22s and CF-18s intercepted Tu-142s off Alaska.


500 F-35s have been delivered.

The Pentagon is unsure if the new approach will fix the ALIS issues and lacks performance metrics for the system.

Captain Kristin "Beo" Wolfe joined the F-35 demo team.

Lot 9 and new F-35s are getting cracks after using their guns.

The newest F-35A squadron is showing off the F-35A's capabilities at Red Flag.

F-35As in the Middle East found a GBAD system.

F-35A store separation tests have completed ahead of schedule.

The F-35B will be flying at the Singapore airshow.

F-35Bs exercised off the USS America (which is flying the Captain America flag) in the South China Sea.

USMC F-35Cs have arrived at Miramar.

The first F-35C pilot has earned the Britannia award.

Australia and Britain are opening an F-35 reprogramming facility in the US.

Indonesia wants to buy the F-35 instead of the Su-35.

Israel is buying another 25 F-35Is.

The Japanese F-35 production line shutdown due to the COVID-19 virus.

The JASDF 302 Squadron emblem has been unveiled.

Norwegian F-35As in Iceland.

Norwegian F-35As (and others' Eurofighters) intercepted Tu-142s.

Lockheed could be financially liable for unmet SDD requirements.

F-35 profitability might suffer with the loss of Turkish manufacturing.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

A Chinese Destroyer Fired a Laser on a US Navy Aircraft

A Chinese destroyer lased a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft that was operating over international waters about 380 miles west of Guam, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement.

The laser could not be seen by a human eye but was captured by sensors on the airplane, which is a variant of the Boeing 737 that has been upgraded with sensors and systems to support tracking surface and undersea targets.

The incident, which PACFLT called “unsafe and unprofessional,” took place on Feb. 17 and was just announced by the Navy.

Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems, PACFLT noted in its statement.

The destroyer involved appears to be Hohhot, a Type 052D or Luyang III-class destroyer in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. This destroyer, pennant number 161, is among the newer Chinese destroyers and entered the fleet last year, according to news reports.

The PACFLT statement says the lasing violates both bilateral and multilateral agreements between the U.S. Navy and PLAN, including a 2014 agreement that specifically notes that the use of lasers could cause harm to personnel or damage to equipment.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Terminator Times #69

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones):

The US has ended a secretive UAV program with Turkey over Turkey's actions in Syria.

DARPA is starting an infrastructureless launch and recovery system program for UAVs.

The Valkyrie has had a successful 4th flight and expanded its flight envelope.

Kratos has started XQ-58A production despite the delay in the production contract by the USAF.

Details of the USAF RQ-170's first trip to South Korea emerge.

A USAF General thinks the Reaper would be the ideal SOCCOM overwatch aircraft.

The USAF is abruptly ending Reaper procurements.

And CENTCOM wants more Reapers.

The USAF has stated UAVs could start replacing manned fighters in mid 2020s.

The USMC is seeking medium and long endurance ISTAR UAVs.

The first USN Tritons arrive in the west Pacific.

The USN demoed flying EA-18G Growlers as unmanned aerial vehicles by another Growler.

The Australian/Boeing Loyal Wingman ATS is progressing.

Australia will buy a 2nd Triton.

The Bahamas have bought UAVs.

The British are planning a large UAV demo off the HMS Prince of Wales.

China unveiled a 3 engine variant of the Tengen TB001.

Egypt has deployed its Wing Loong II drones to western bases.

The French Neuron UAV is informing the FCAS 6th gen fighter effort.

The Houthis attacked Saudi Arabia with drones again.

Indonesia approved the plan to procure ScanEagle UAVs.

Israel's drone sector is changing.

Morocco has received 3 Harfang UAVs from France.

Portugal has added VTOL UAV capabilities to its OPV ships.

Russia has ordered an updated Forpost UAV.

Russia accused Turkey of illegally sending its drones into Idlib, Syria.

South Korea has set up a new squadron to operate its Global Hawks.

South Korea is developing UAV engines.

Syria shot down two drones near Hmeimim airbase.

A Turkish drone was shot down in Idlib.

BAe's PHASA 35 has flown for the first time.

BGJX unveiled more details about its JH-1 Dragon VTOL UAV.

CIAC is attempting to pitch its UAV to the Colombian military.

Controp is working on a a quad copter for surveillance.

Edge unveiled its Garmousha VTOL UAV.

Elbit will demo the Hermes 900 for civilian applications for the UK.

General Atomics received more funding for Reapers, $7.8M.

General Atomics will extend its partnership with Cobham in Australia.

General Atomics demonstrated laser comm to orbit for a OAV.

General Atomics unveiled the Defender UCAV: it looks like the Avenger's big brother and suspiciously like the Avenger twist I posited here.

IAI introduces the Heron II.

IAI signed an MOU with Indian companies to locally produce UAVs.

Leidos completed the purchase of Dynetics.

Watch a Lockheed drone recovery go very wrong.

Piaggio's administrator has called for bids for the purchase of the drone company.

PT Len is developing UAV mission payloads.

Safran is working on fixing the Patroller UAV after a crash.

ST Engineering unveiled its Veloce VTOL UAVs.

UAVOS continues to work on VTOL UAVs.

UAVOS will demo maritime search and rescue with its ISR350-5 VTOL UAV.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Bolos & Ogres, & Terminators, oh my!):

The artillery branch of the US Army is seeking autonomous ammo haulers for the artillery.

Autonomous supply vehicles may increase safety for the US Army convoys.

Milrem is showcasing its updated Themis UAV.

ST Engineering has a new remote weapon station for UGVs.

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (ro-boats):

DARPA lays out its goals for NOMARS.

The USN is working on resiliency for its USVs.

The USN is starting initial low rate production of the CUSV as part of the Unmanned Influence Sweep System.

Britain has procured a MANTIS T12 USV.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (robo subs):

DOT&E states the Knifefish needs more development.

Huntington Ingalls is prepping for US Navy demand in UUVs.  They bought Hydroid.

Northrop will integrate its sonar systems on L3 Harris UUVs.

Software Bots:

The Pentagon has established ethical guidelines for AI work.


Former democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for a ban on autonomous weapons.

DARPA is pushing forward with its Assured Autonomy program.