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Jeff Head

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Military.com said:
The U.S.
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's
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has made its combat debut in Iraq.

Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) announced Tuesday that two Lightning II stealth jets -- the most advanced fighters in the U.S. military's inventory -- were used to conduct an "airstrike using a
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to strike an entrenched tunnel network and a weapons cache" belonging to the Islamic State deep in the Hamrin Mountains in northeast Iraq.


The operation, conducted in Wadi Ashai, Iraq, was meant to thwart a buildup of munitions and forces that could threaten coalition fighters in the area, according to an AFCENT news release.

Earlier this month, officials said that F-35 fifth-generation fighters from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at
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, Utah, deployed
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to keep watch in the region, marking the first time Air Force F-35s have deployed to the Middle East.

"The
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provides our nation air dominance in any threat," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said at the time of the
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. "When it comes to having a 'quarterback' for the coalition joint force, the interoperable F-35A is clearly the aircraft for the leadership role."

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The Air Force previously deployed F-35s to England and then to the Pacific in 2017.

Officials on Tuesday said the F-35A has "joined the Combined Joint airpower team" and is part of the remaining coalition of jets maintaining air superiority or conducting strikes in the region.

"The F-35A has sensors everywhere. It has advanced radar, and it is gathering and fusing all this information from the battlespace in real time," said Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, commander of the 4th Fighter Squadron and an F-35A pilot, in the AFCENT release. "Now, it has the ability to take that information and share it with other F-35s or even other fourth-generation aircraft in the same package that can also see the integrated picture."

Last year, the
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'
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variant deployed for the first time to the region aboard the
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following missions in the Pacific.
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in September.

Officials announced last May that the F-35 had
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after Israel's variant conducted strikes.

Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said that the Israeli F-35 aircraft, known as Adir, had "attacked twice in the Middle East using the F-35."

Israel declared initial operating capability of its Lockheed Martin-made "F-35I" -- its variant of the A-model -- in December 2017.

In November 2017, the U.S. Air Force's
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stealth jet made
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, targeting
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in the country with small-diameter bombs.

Officials did not say Tuesday whether the F-35A's strike against ISIS was successful.
Nice milestone for the F-35A and the US Air Force.

The US Marines conducted their irst combat mission with the F-35B in September of 2018.
 
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Jura

General

Jura

General
Feb 9, 2019
OK, Roper: Hypersonics Capability Less Than Two Years Away
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2/7/2019
now
DARPA preparing to test fly two hypersonic weapons
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is eyeing flight tests later this year for two hypersonic weapons, and it is teaming up with the US Army on developing such a ground-launched capability. However, at the same time, army leaders are drafting plans to consolidate duelling lines of effort within their hypersonic weapons' portfolio.

During a 1 May Defense Writers' Group breakfast with reporters, DARPA Director Dr Steven Walker fielded questions about ongoing projects inside the Pentagon's research arm including the development of two hypersonic weapons with the US Air Force (USAF) - the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) and the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC).

"[They are] two very different concepts but when you're talking hypersonic [weapons], it is good to have what I consider intended redundancy because it's a hard technology, making materials and propulsion systems that last in 3,000° Fahrenheit temperatures is not easy," Walker said.

The military envisions developing TBG as an air-launched rocket with speeds faster than Mach 5 and able to reach altitudes of nearly 200,000 ft. The HAWC is also designed to be air launched but is envisioned as a hypersonic cruise missile.

By the end of 2019, DARPA plans to flight test both weapons off a B-52 bomber. However, if qualifying challenges occur, Walker said the tests could extend into the early 2020 time frame.

"The bottom line is it is going to happen within a year from now and I think I'll keep my fingers crossed for having some good success stories coming," he added.

In addition to working with the USAF on TBG and HAWC, DARPA has partnered with the US Army on the Operational Fires (OpFires) development programme that is essentially a ground-launched capability with the TBG "front end", Walker explained. As part of the effort, the agency and army have awarded three companies with Phase 1 base effort contracts, which include booster preliminary design and proof of concept testing to demonstrate key elements of the propulsion system.

...
... and the rest is behind paywall at Jane's:
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Brumby

Major
U.S. deploying carrier, bombers to Middle East in warning to Iran: Bolton

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The United States is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East to send a clear message to Iran that any attack on U.S. interests or its allies will be met with "unrelenting force," U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.
Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Bolton said the decision was "in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings."
"The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces," Bolton said in a statement.
 

Jura

General
Apr 16, 2019
Apr 9, 2019
now
Panel: Unmanned Surface Vessels Will be Significant Part of Future U.S. Fleet
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hey Panel, remotely navigating over the World Oceans not an issue for you?
can't be:

"Another question is whether the Navy can develop a reliable communications network as a way to link to distant unmanned vessels."

inside
With billions planned in funding, the US Navy charts its unmanned future
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Jura

General
U.S. deploying carrier, bombers to Middle East in warning to Iran: Bolton

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yeah
Carrier And Bombers Ordered To Middle East Without Any Details On Supposed Iranian Threat
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The announcement came from National Security Advisor John Bolton in an official statement that lacked any specifics on what caused prompted it.

I go to bed now though LOL so follow the link if interested
 

Jura

General
Nov 23, 2018
tragicomic they don't ever mention actual combat value ("value") of some vessels being procured for example 35 LCSs Sep 18, 2018
, just aggregate number in Panel: Navy May Have to Choose Between New Ballistic Missile Subs or 355 Ship Fleet
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and now this made my day:

"However, the danger of chasing ship counts is that it could drive the Navy toward buying platforms it doesn’t need to meet a specific number, Richardson said."
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Jura

General
Mar 20, 2019
Yesterday at 8:27 PM
related:
Late is the new normal for Virginia-class attack boats
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now
Program Manager Says Industrial Base Can Handle Third Virginia-Class Sub
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Posted on
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The addition of a third Virginia-class submarine to the fiscal 2020 budget proposal won’t cause significant disruption to the industrial base because the program has given enough lead time before the sub needs to be built, the program’s manager said May 7 at Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space exposition.

Capt. Christopher Hanson, the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class program manager, acknowledged that the decision years ago to increase procurement from one sub per year to two caused “some vendors [to] struggle,” but that the industry is able to handle a third sub because enough lead time has been built in. The addition won’t cause a shock in the production line, Hanson said.

By adding a third sub to the budget, the Navy sends a “very clear signal of what’s coming,” allowing vendors to adjust and prepare, he added.

“If they get a clear signal, they will invest,” Hanson said. “That clear signal is hard to measure, but you definitely see the results in the vendor base.”

This request will allow the Navy to immediately get orders out to the vendors so they can fill those orders. And it’s not anything they can’t handle, Hanson said, arguing that they are simply asking the industrial base to deliver 11 subs instead of 10 over the next five years.

The Navy is still striving to get construction time of Virginia-class subs down to 60 months, although it has recently stalled in the area of 66 to 68 months. Hanson said the goal is still 60 months, although he acknowledged it was not a guarantee. “Would I bet my life on 60 months? Probably not.”
 

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