Weapon Wednesday – Israel First to Use the F-35

GETTY IMAGESJACK GUEZ

The Israeli Air Force says its F-35A fighters recently participated in two separate air strikes, which would be the first use of the F-35 in combat.

The IAF did not offer much detail, leaving it unclear whether the fighters fired any kind of weaponry or simply acted in some kind of support capacity.

Israeli Air Force head Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin told participants at a IAF leadership conference, “We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It had become part of our operational capabilities. We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts.” According to the Jerusalem PostNorkin made the remarks while standing in front of a photograph of a F-35 flying over Beirut, Lebanon. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Stryker Drone Killer

General Dynamics

The U.S. Army has taken note of the explosion of cheap, unmanned drones on the modern battlefield and is working to field a variant of the Stryker armored vehicle to shoot them down. The new variant will go to brigade combat teams fielding the Stryker vehicle, including an armored cavalry regiment in Europe. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Alaskan First Defense Radar

AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND

On a cold, windswept island in the remote Aleutian islands chain lies one of the largest radars ever built. At the farthest edge of the American frontier 1,455 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska, sits Eareckson Air Station, home of the radar code-named Cobra Dane. The radar, permanently facing westward, is a silent sentry against surprise missile attack. read more

Weapon Wednesday – New Infantry Sniper Rifle

HECKLER AND KOCH

The U.S. Army has chosen a new rifle designed to allow infantry squads to hit targets at greater ranges. The Heckler and Koch G28 designated marksman rifle will give infantrymen a weapon guaranteed to penetrate enemy body armor at longer ranges than existing M4 carbines. The move is an acknowledgement that the Army could someday fight enemies equipped with advanced body armor, which is part of the Army’s reorientation to the world of conflicts between large powers. read more

Weapon Wednesday: New Air Force B-21

Getty Images

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to start mothballing the B-2 Spirit and B-1B Lancer fleets in preparation for the next-generation stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, according to Aviation Week. The nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber and conventional B-1B supersonic bomber fleets will ultimately be retired to free up funds to support the B-21 program, which is expected to field the first aircraft in the mid-2020s. read more

U.S. Army Hyper Velocity Projectile

U.S. ARMY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SGT. MATTHEW HULETT

Faced with a growing number of missile threats, the Pentagon is looking to the U.S. Army’s field artillery to shoot down those incoming threats. An innovative system called the Hyper Velocity Projectile would allow the Army’s heavy howitzers and the Navy’s deck guns to fire projectiles that can down incoming ballistic missiles. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy to Unveil Laser Weapon at RIMPAC 2018

U. S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JOHN PHILIP WAGNER, JR

Weapon Wednesday – Ukraine to Get the Javelin

from Popular Mechanics:

The U.S. Is Sending Deadly Javelin Missiles to Ukraine

U.S. Marine Corps photo by SOI-East Combat Camera, Lance Cpl. Andrew Kuppers.

Weapon Wednesday – Warthog Gets a Propellar

 

My Favorite Attack Aircraft Ever! A-10 Warthog

A partial replacement for the A-10 Warthog has reached a key milestone, with lawmakers backing a $400 million investment in the program. The OA-X program, designed to procure a light attack/observation aircraft, could see up to 300 aircraft purchased by the U.S. Air Force to take over aerial warfare in low-intensity conflicts.

The Air Force took one step closer to fielding a fleet of up to 300 light attack aircraft. Funding for the OA-X, or Observation, Attack, Experimental aircraft was included by Congress in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, other

A-29 Super Tucano in OA-X trials.

wise known as the 2018 Defense Budget.

OA-X is an attempt to develop a low cost weapon and sensor platform for close air support duties. The Air Force expects to use the aircraft over conflicts that don’t involved high tech adversaries like Russia or China, where the biggest threat is a light anti-aircraft cannon or a shoulder-fired surface to air missile. OA-X could have supported U.S. forces against the insurgency in Iraq, or today’s conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and the Philippines.

This summer, four candidates for the program, the Textron ScorpionHawker Beechcraft AT-6 WolverineEmbraer/Sierra Nevada Super Tucano A-29, and Air Tractor AT-802U were all tested at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico in a variety of simulated missions from convoy escort to supporting friendly ground troops in contact. Earlier this fall the Air Force proposed sending two of the aircraft, the Wolverine and Super Tucano to fly real missions in a conflict zone.

Continue reading