Category Archives: Aviation

Opinion: Marines Face Painful Transition in Age of Austerity

Opinion: Marines Face Painful Transition in Age of Austerity

Three U.S. Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron One Six Six (HMM-163) provides support during the Air show’s Marine Air-ground Task Force (MAGTF) demonstration in 2005.

Three U.S. Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters, assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron One Six Six (HMM-163) provides support during the Air show’s Marine Air-ground Task Force (MAGTF) demonstration in 2005.

On Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Hagel announced some of the possible effects of sequestration on the Department of Defense. Among the possibilities is the prospect of a Marine Corps with a strength of just 150,000 Marines, down from the current 202,000—a cut of more than 25 percent. Read More

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