Hyper-sonic weapons are at the center of a secret arms race being waged between the United States, Russia and China, according to Politico magazine.
In one test, a missile built by Boeing flew more than 230 miles in just four minutes. In another, a prototype designed by Lockheed Martin blasted off like a rocket and streaked back through the atmosphere at more than 20 times the speed of sound. China has reportedly tested its version over a lake in Inner Mongolia. And in February, Russia joined the fray when it tested a model that intelligence experts assert could be designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
The New York Times is reporting that Google — or the many products and services now under the holding company Alphabet — provides the connecting tissue between U.S. forces and Kurdish militias fighting against ISIS in war-torn Syria, according to DefenseOne.
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Reporter Rukmini Callimachi writes from the battlefield that fighters are using Android-powered Samsung tablets and Google Earth to track their battle lines and coordinate close air support with the U.S. military.
Top Air Force officials have spent more than a year trying to kill off the A-10 Thunderbolt —nicknamed the “Warthog,” the ugly but much-loved and much-feared ground-support warplane — on the grounds that money to support the A-10 could be better spent on more futuristic projects, such as the F-35 Lightning II fighter plane.
Ground troops love the A-10, however, not least because its seven-barrel, 30 mm Gatling-type cannon can fire a stream of incendiary rounds at enemy positions at the rate nearly 4,000 rounds per minute, a veritable buzzsaw of destruction that slices through tank armor and reinforced bunkers walls like the proverbial hot knife through butter.
Not coincidentally, rising tensions with Russia over the Ukraine has led the Air Force to send a dozen additional A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to Europe this fall as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the service announced Tuesday, according to Air Force Times.
The 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia will send 12 of the planes and crews to Central and Eastern European NATO countries as part of a show of force to keep Russia at bay and reassure jittery NATO allies.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.