Hypersonic worries

 

In this undated artist's rendition released by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) showing the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2). The Falcon HTV-2 is an unmanned, rocket-launched, maneuverable aircraft that glides through the Earthís atmosphere at incredibly fast speeds, Mach 20 (approximately 13,000 miles per hour). The hypersonic glider is scheduled for launch atop a Minotaur rocket on Wednesday Aug.10,2011 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.  The Hypersonic Test Vehicle-2 is an experiment in extremely high speed flight technologies by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (AP Photo/DARPA)

 

The U.S. is falling behind strategic rivals in the race to develop advanced hypersonic weapons, a new Air Force study reveals.

The Air Force Studies Board of the National Academies of Science reports that Russian and Chinese hypersonic missile advancements expand the power gap and pose a threat to the U.S.

“The United States may be facing a threat from a new class of weapons that will effectively combine speed, maneuverability, and altitude in ways that could challenge this nation’s tenets of global vigilance, reach, and power,” Chairman of the Air Force Studies Board Mark J. Lewis asserts.

“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward-deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” a summary of the report explains.

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How Trump Can Fulfill Reagan’s Defense Vision


Growing terrorist attacks, accelerating nuclear-weapon/ballistic-missile threats, and atrophying U.S. military capabilities – President-elect Donald Trump faces a dangerous, complex world.

250px-lgm-30g_minuteman_iii_test_launch#10 missile Squadron
To get a sense of just how dangerous that world is, consider this: Rogue states and even terrorists have or could soon have the ability to knock out the American electric grid, using a nuclear weapon detonated high above the United States.
According to 2008 testimony by members of the congressionally appointed EMP Commission, many months of outage caused by such an electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack would return life in our just-in-time economy to 18th-century conditions, without the benefits of the then-existing agrarian society – leading to the death of most Americans from starvation, disease, and societal collapse.

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Polish JASSM-ER response to oniks

Camera:   DCS620C Serial #: K620C-01357 Width:    1728 Height:   1152 Date:  11/23/99 Time:   9:29:32 DCS6XX Image FW Ver:   1.9.6 TIFF Image Look:   Product Counter:    [1918] Shutter:  1/500 Aperture:  f8.0 ISO Speed:  200 Max Aperture:  f5.0 Min Aperture:  f32 Focal Length:  60 Exposure Mode:  Shutter priority AE (S) Meter Mode:  Color Matrix Drive Mode:  Continuous Low (CL) Focus Mode:  Single (AF-S) Focus Point:  Center Flash Mode:  Normal Sync Compensation:  +0.0 Flash Compensation:  +0.0 Self Timer Time:  10s White balance: Preset (Daylight) Time: 09:29:32.187

Coming hot on the heels of the announcement that Russia is deploying anti-ship missiles (Oniks cruise missiles that are built to target ships and ground targets with a range of roughly 280 miles as well as S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles) in the Kaliningrad enclave that borders Poland, the U.S. has supported the sale of standoff missiles to Poland, the Defense Department said in a notice to Congress on Monday.

The State Department has approved the foreign military sale to supply the Polish government with the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles Extended Range, or JASSM-ER, made by Lockheed Martin Corp., according to an announcement from the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

In addition to the U.S. Air Force (which this fall received its 2,000th munition), the weapon is used by the governments of Finland and Australia. Poland is its third international customer.

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First direct clash – IDF and ISIS

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A number of ISIS fighters were killed after exchanging fire in the first direct clashes between Israel and the Islamic State on Sunday in the southern Golan Heights. In the incident, the Shuhada al-Yarmouk organization, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, exchanged fire with Israeli forces. No soldiers were wounded.

Several mortar shells exploded following a brief exchange with the IDF’s Golani Brigade before Israeli air forces spotted a car armed with a heavy machine gun. The aerial vehicle bombed the car and it appeared as if its four occupants were killed.

A senior military officer said the car carrying the machine gun was several hundred meters from the border.

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EPA fracking wrong….again

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The one item the “keep it in the ground” crowd can celebrate as good news for them (and bad for the rest of us) is the Obama administration’s arbitrary and disgraceful Arctic offshore drilling ban.

As Jazz Shaw at Hot Air wrote: “Barack Obama seems determined to leave some unpleasant going away presents for his successor on the domestic energy front.” Given that he didn’t think there would be any need to handicap his successor, it seems likely that Obama and his outgoing administration are just warming up.

The EPA has a lot of nerve imposing anything new between now and President-Elect Trump’s inauguration, given its egregious five-year mishandling of the Pavillion, Wyoming fracking groundwater controversy.

The Associated Press published a barely noticed November 10 story about its resolution (the Wyoming “Pavillion Groundwater Report Fact Sheet” is here; bolds are mine throughout this post):

WYOMING STUDY: FRACKING LIKELY NOT BEHIND WELL WATER PROBLEM

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