Weapon Wednesday – Drones Launched from Helicopters

altius drone army

U.S. Army
  • In a test at Yuma Proving Ground, the U.S. Army launched a drone from a Blackhawk helicopter.
  • The test validated the ability to launch drones from helicopters, a tricky proposition due to the downwash created by the helo’s rotors.
  • In the near future the Army will field helicopters armed with ALEs, drones equipped with both video cameras and explosive warheads.

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Weapon Wednesday – U.S. Military Project Blackjack

darpa

DARPA
  • The Pentagon wants mesh networks of small satellites capable of replacing its larger, more expensive satellites.
  • Project Blackjack’s satellites would replace one satellite with many, making for a more resilient system in wartime.
  • The first test satellites will launch in 2021. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Replacing the UH-60 Black Hawk

Defiant Vs. Valor: Inside the Head-to-Head Helo Battle To Replace the Black Hawk

The UH-60 Black Hawk is a helicopter legend, and the battle to replace it is heating up.

In 2022 the Army will choose a new aircraft to replace its Reagan-era UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Two contenders from Sikorsky-Boeing and Bell will battle it out to become the winner of the Service’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program and the Army’s next combat helo when it deploys in 2030.

But “helicopter” isn’t even the right word to describe these two aerial beasts.

black hawk

The Black Hawk helicopter.

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Weapon Wednesday – Navy’s First Submerged Circumnavigation

BETTMANNGETTY IMAGES
  • For much of their history submarines have spent most of their time on the surface, only submerging to make attacks.
  • But the arrival of nuclear power allowed a submarine to stay underwater indefinitely.
  • Operation Sandblast demonstrated to the world that submarines could now spend an entire patrol underwater. read more

Weapon Wednesday – The A-10 Will Keep Flying

Shah MaraiGetty Images
  • The A-10 Warthog, which first entered service in the late 1970s, will keep flying in Air Force service until 2040—or later.
  • The A-10 will only be restricted to combat against enemies with little or no air defenses, ending the jet’s career as a tank killer.

The U.S. Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 “Warthog” close air support jet in service until 2040. The jet, designed to dominate Cold War battlefields, will still be flying 50 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. That’s the good news. The bad news? The service is downgrading the jet’s mission, from one flying over tank columns on the ground to bombing bandits and insurgents in lightly defended airspace. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Humvee Replacement for Marine Air Defense

OSHKOSH DEFENSE
  • The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is the Pentagon’s replacement for the Humvee.
  • The Marine Corps wants an air defense version that can shoot down drones, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft.
  • The vehicle could carry lasers, rockets, missiles, jammers and other weapons, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy Carrier Acts as Army Base

USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3)

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cody Rich
  • The sea base USS Puller is acting as a base for Army Apache attack helicopters.
  • The helicopters could use the ship as an outpost to counter swarms of Iranian boats.
  • The same concept was used in the 1980s in a little known operation known as Prime Chance. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Submariners – What Pandemic?

RUSSIA-NAVY-DAY

OLGA MALTSEVAGetty Images
  • Warship crews—from aircraft carriers to submarines—are falling victim to COVID-19.
  • The virus is sidelining entire ships, including those from the Russian, Dutch, and U.S. navies while some submarine crews may not know of the pandemic at all.
  • In a rare move, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier captain has appealed to the media to save his crew. read more

Weapon Wednesday – The Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft

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LOCKHEED MARTIN
  • The U.S. Army plans to field a new armed scout helicopter, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), in the 2030s.
  • Two companies, Lockheed Martin and Bell, will now build prototypes of their FARA aircraft designs.
  • Lockheed Martin and Bell are expected to deliver prototypes in 2023, turning them over to the U.S. Army for testing.

The U.S. Army has selected Lockheed Martin and Bell as finalists to build Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, or FARA. Lockheed’s Raider X (pictured above) will go up against Bell’s 360 Invictus (below). Each company will build one prototype, with the winner chosen in 2023. The service wants to field the armed scout helicopter quickly to fill a critical gap left when the service retired the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Space Force Satellite Jammer

The U.S. Space Force has received its first “weapon,” the Counter Communications System.
CCS is designed to prevent nearby adversaries from accessing their own military satellite communications, cutting them off from their home countries.
In addition to the United States, Russia and China are working on their own satellite communications jammers. read more