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AF-7 Flight 185F-35 Joint Strike Fighter officials are in the early phases of mapping out a fourth software drop designed to ensure the fifth generation fighter can counter threats and weapons expected to emerge in the mid 2020’s and beyond, Air Force officials said.

“Block 4 will be that next block of software that we do. We will gather up all the requirements of what we need as a nation to counter the emerging threats that we can see even past what we can already do,” said Col. Carl Schaefer, the Air Force’s top Joint Strike Fighter integration official.

The fourth increment will build upon existing increments now in development, Schaefer added. [Continue reading…]

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{filenamebase}U.S. military leaders have approved funding to develop a hybrid, stealth motorcycle to be driven by special operations teams in the not too distant future.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a grant to integrate a multiple fuel, hybrid-electric power plant into a dirt bike built by BRD Motorcycles.  The hybrid electric engine will be built by Logos Technologies.

DARPA leaders forsee an electric bike that can drive for an extended range while producing nearly zero engine noise.  [Continue reading…]

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The Littoral Combat Ship program was one of the leading topics at the Sea Air Space Exposition outside Washington D.C. last week as Navy leaders continued to protect it from critics who said the ship is not built for the correct mission sets. A government watchdog even reported that 7th Fleet officials told investigators that the LCS is not suited for the Pacific.

The Navy’s director of surface warfare, Rear Adm. Tom Rowden, sat down with Military​.com last week to discuss the embattled program and why the Navy must continue to add these ships to the fleet. The video above covers his views on the program and where it must go from here. [Continue reading…]

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110301-N-7237C-009National Harbor, Md. — The Navy is modernizing its arsenal of Trident II D5 nuclear missiles in order to ensure their service life can extend for 25 more years aboard the Navy’s nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet, service leaders said.

The 44-foot long submarine-launched missiles have been serving on Ohio-class submarines for 25 years, Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, director of Strategic Systems and Programs said April 7 at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space exposition.

The missiles are also being planned as the baseline weapon for the Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine, so the Navy wants to extend their service life for at least an additional 25 years, Benedict said. [Continue reading…]

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Russia has amassed as many as 40,000 troops and dozens of fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and armored vehicles near Ukraine that could be mobilized within “hours,” according to a new assessment by NATO.

The analysis is based on satellite images captured by Longmont, Colo.-based company DigitalGlobe and released by the alliance on Thursday.

The pictures clearly show a build-up of Russian armament near the border with Ukraine, including Su-27/30 “Flankers” fighter aircraft, Mi-8 “Hips” and Mi-24 “Hinds” helicopters, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, an artillery battalion and possibly an airborne or Spetsnaz (special forces) battalion. [Continue reading…]

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