Category Archives: Aviation

Navy Takes Delivery of Next Generation Fire Scout

Navy Takes Delivery of Next Generation Fire Scout

The Navy atkes delivery of the first MQ-8C Fire Scout at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif. on July 19, 2013. Northrop Grumman Photo

The Navy takes delivery of the first MQ-8C Fire Scout at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif. on July 19, 2013. Northrop Grumman Photo

The Navy has taken delivery of the first of a planned two Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scouts test vehicles at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif. last week, Navy and Northrop officials told USNI News on Monday.

The MQ-8C — dubbed Fire-X by Northrop — is the next evolutionary step of the Navy’s rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle program following the 2012 cancellation of the Medium Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MRMUAS) program. Read More

Navy's Next Generation Communications Satellite Launches Amidst Murky Future

Navy’s Next Generation Communications Satellite Launches Amidst Murky Future

An Atlas V rocket launches the Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) 2 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on July 19, 2013. US Navy Photo via NASA

An Atlas V rocket launches the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) 2 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on July 19, 2013. US Navy Photo via NASA

The Navy has successfully launched its second satellite as part of its Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), designed to provide U.S. troops and allies with higher bandwidth communications options, according to the service.

On Friday, an Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. to send the second of five planned Lockheed Martin-built satellites in the MUOS constellation into orbit.

The launch comes, however, amidst a dispute in Italy over one of the four planned ground stations and a lack of next-generation radios able to utilize the higher bandwidth features of the new systems.

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Panama Finds Two Cuban MiGs on North Korean Ship

Panama Finds Two Cuban MiGs on North Korean Ship

Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Panamaniain investigators inspect a Cuban MiG 21 found hidden on a North Korean merchant vessel on July 21, 2013. REUTERS Photo

Panamanian officials have found two 1950s era MiG-21 fighters onboard a North Korean ship detained last week after authorities detained the ship after an initial discovery of components of a surface-to-air missile system originating from Cuba, government officials said on Sunday. Read More

Truman Carrier Strike Group Will Deploy Monday to Med, Middle East

Truman Carrier Strike Group Will Deploy Monday to Med, Middle East

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) during a live-fire exercise in April. US Navy Photo

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) during a live-fire exercise in April. US Navy Photo

The Navy plans to deploy USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on Monday from Naval Station Norfolk, Va. to the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Navy officials told USNI News on Thursday.

Truman — along with Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG-84), USS Mason (DDG-87) and Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG-64), USS San Jacinto (CG-56) — will relieve the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG), which is currently in the Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet area of operations. Read More

NAVAIR: X-47B Fails Fourth Trap Attempt

NAVAIR: X-47B Fails Fourth Trap Attempt

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS-D) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS-D) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). US Navy Photo

The Northrop Grumman X-47B failed to land on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on Monday in the Navy’s fourth and final attempt to land the unmanned autonomous vehicle, according to a late Tuesday statement from Naval Air Systems Command.

“Aircraft ‘Salty Dog 501’ was launched to the ship on July 15 to collect additional shipboard landing data. During the flight, the aircraft experienced a minor test instrumentation issue and returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, where it safely landed,” Naval Air Systems Command said in a statement to press. Read More

Unmanned Aircraft Help Navy Study Hurricanes

Unmanned Aircraft Help Navy Study Hurricanes

NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is capable of flight altitudes greater than 55,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours. NASA Photo

NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is capable of flight altitudes greater than 55,000 feet and flight durations of up to 30 hours. NASA Photo

Forget Moby Dick’s white whale – a tropical cyclone is by far the most difficult ocean beast to track. This rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms, most commonly known to North Americans as a hurricane once it reaches a certain size and speed, is typically several hundred miles wide with winds as fast as 155 miles per hour.

These vast storms are essentially a physics puzzle, in which the interaction of moisture, wind, air, heat and other elements can trick even the most knowledgeable scientists trying to forecast both the path and intensity of a hurricane. In the last decade, weather models have gotten much better at predicting path and landfall, but they have been less skillful when trying to estimate pressure and maximum wind speeds. Read More

Ronald O'Rourke on Coast Guard Acquisition

Ronald O’Rourke on Coast Guard Acquisition

The following is from Congressional Research Service’s Ronald O’Rourke June 26, 2013 testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Coast Guard Acquisition.

The Coast Guard’s FY2014 Five Year (FY2014-FY2018) CIP includes a total of about $5.1 billion in acquisition funding, which is about $2.5 billion, or about 33%, less than the total of about $7.6 billion that was included in the Coast Guard’s FY2013 Five Year (FY2013-FY2017) CIP. (In the four common years of the two plans—FY2014-FY2017—the reduction in funding from the FY2013 CIP to the FY2014 CIP is about $2.3 billion, or about 37%.) This is one of the largest percentage reductions in funding that I have seen a five-year acquisition account experience from one year to the next in many years.

About twenty years ago, in the early 1990s, Department of Defense (DOD) five-year procurement plans were reduced sharply in response to the end of the Cold War—a large-scale change in the strategic environment that led to a significant reduction in estimated future missions for U.S. military forces. In contrast to that situation, there has been no change in the Coast Guard’s strategic environment since last year that would suggest a significant reduction in estimated future missions for the Coast Guard. Read More

Greenert and Amos Talk Future of Navy and Marine Corps

Greenert and Amos Talk Future of Navy and Marine Corps

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as part of their national defense speakers series on July 11, 2013. US Navy Photo

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as part of their national defense speakers series on July 11, 2013. US Navy Photo

The commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations made the case for forward presence in an era of declining defense spending at a Washington to a national security forum think tank last week as events in Egypt threaten to spiral out of control.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert explained how the Navy and the Marine Corps can react quickly to situations citing the movement of USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and USS San Antonio (LPD-17) into the Red Sea following the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi from office as an immediate example of forward presence’s value and tailored forces. The ships were sent closer to the conflict, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen” in Egypt. “We can’t garrison and respond. It will be too late,” to handle a possible evacuation of Americans from the country, Greenert said. Read More

Jane's: Saudi Missile Site Could Hit Israel, Iran

Jane’s: Saudi Missile Site Could Hit Israel, Iran

An alleged ballistic missile site outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Jane's Photo

An alleged ballistic missile site outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Jane’s Photo

Saudi Arabia appears to have a previously undisclosed ballistic missile site possessing launch sites oriented toward Israel and Iran, according to an analysis of satellite images from Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The site — believed to use Chinese DF-3 ballistic missiles acquired by Saudi Arabia in the 1980s — is about 125 miles southwest of the capital of Riyadh near the town of Al-Watah.

According to the report, one launch pad is oriented toward Israeli targets — including Tel Aviv — while a second pad is set to send missiles in the direction of Tehran. Read More

New Age in Carrier Aviation Takes Off With X-47B Landing

New Age in Carrier Aviation Takes Off With X-47B Landing

Northrop Grumman's X-47B just before landing on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

Northrop Grumman’s X-47B just before landing on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July, 10 2013. US Navy Photo

The Navy has entered a new age in carrier aviation with the successful landing of the unmanned Northrop Grumman X-47B on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the service announced at 1:45 p.m. EST on Wednesday.

Call sign Salty Dog 502 left Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. shortly after 12:00 p.m. EST and flew to the Bush controlled through a complex series of algorithms and navigational sensors and landed on the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier guided not with a joystick and throttle controls but by an operator with a mouse and a keyboard.


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