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For the first time ever, the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing flies the MQ‐9 Reaper in the airspace over the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif., July 30, 2014. Searchers are looking for a missing teacher last seen July 17 riding a motorcycle in the El Dorado National Forest. (Photo by Senior Airman Michael Quiboloy)

The MQ-9 Reaper drone made by General Atomics has flown the first-ever domestic search-and-rescue mission in California, officials said.

At the request of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Air National Guard on Wednesday launched the unmanned aerial vehicle to help search for a missing motorcyclist, according to a press release.

“This is the first time such a vehicle has been used by the National Guard to aid a search-and-rescue effort,” the release stated.
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F-35 training

The U.S. Marine Corps’ next-generation fighter jet will initially rely on a workaround to merge targeting data from multiple aircraft, a general said.

Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the service’s deputy commandant for aviation, on Monday discussed the issue during a conference call with reporters. He oversaw the recent operational readiness inspection of 10 F-35B jump-jet versions of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-built plane.  [Continue reading…]

Suspected Russian submarine discovered off the coast of Sweden.A 66-foot submarine with reported Russian script on the side was discovered by a private company off the coast of Sweden.

Discovered by the company, Ocean X, Swedish authorities are investigating video recorded by Ocean X to determine the submarine’s origin. It’s unclear how long the submarine has been there and old it is.

A diver for Ocean X, Stefan Hogeborn, told Reuter the hull remains “intact” and the hatches remain “closed.” [Continue reading…]

F-35ATwo F-35 Joint Strikes Fighters will perform at the EAA Airventure Oshkosh Airshow in Wisconsin in the F-35’s first commercial airshow appearance.

Joined by the F-35 will also be U.S. Air Force F-22s, the F-100 Super Sabre and the AV-8B Harrier on the airshow docket.

Last year, rumors swirled that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would make its international airshow debut at the Farnborough Air Show in London. However, problems following an engine fire caused officials to cancel the appearance.  [Continue reading…]

Next Gen BomberThe Air Force plans to announce a contract award for their new stealthy long-range bomber aircraft in September of this year, service officials told Military​.com.

The contract award for the aircraft was initially expected to arrive earlier this summer. In fact, this new timeline comes on the heels of a series of delays for the award.

The new Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRS-B, is slated to fly alongside and ultimately replace the existing B-2 bomber.

Senior Air Force officials told Military​.com that taking extra time at the front end of the process to make sure the selection is the right one will ultimately save much more time and money throughout the longer-term acquisition process. The service plans to field the new bomber by the mid-2020s. [Continue reading…]