MODERN AESA ARRAYS VULNERABLE TO ELECTRONIC AND CYBER ATTACK
The world of countermeasures and counter-countermeasures is alive and well when it comes to modern Active Electronically Scanned Array radar sets. No longer do you simply (and its not simple) attempt to jam an enemy’s radar using large swathes of electrons focused downrange. On the 21st century battlefield you literally attack a foe’s advanced radar and communications systems using viruses, malware, false commands, and worms. The old adage “sometimes your greatest advantage can become also your greatest vulnerability” may ring true in this case. lets hope the DoD and industry are focusing as much on the defensive security of our latest radar sets as their range, detection, and offensive electronic warfare capabilities.
A RA! RA! EDITORIAL ON NASA’S COMMERCIAL CREW AND CARGO PROGRAM
Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA Astronaut and test pilot, sings the praises of NASA’s push for commercial outsourcing of it’s low earth orbit space program. There are some nice arguments here but I find lots of talk about high risk market competition to fill a miniscule existing demand for such services to be downright puzzling. Do they think commercial low earth orbit access is like the Field Of Dreams where “if you build it they will come?” Maybe so, but that is a terrible business plan to hang billions of dollars on. Also, it would be nice to hear more from folks who do not make their living from the endeavors they so whole heatedly support. Mr Lopez-Alegria is the President of The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, so his opinion is extremely biased, which is fine, I would just like to see the other side of the argument showcased more often. None-the-less, the piece is still worth a read.
DOES NORTH KOREA PLAN TO TEST A NUCLEAR WEAPON SHORTLY AFTER THEIR “UNHA-3″ ROCKET LAUNCH?
North Korea’s actions are so wild that they are actually becoming predictable. Similar to 2009, it looks like the North’s program of starting their provocation sideshow with a ballistic missile test and following promptly with a nuclear test, maybe with a smattering of shorter range ballistic missile tests in-between as we saw in 2009, may be on the docket for this years festivities. Enhancing the whole setting of morbid showmanship is the 100th birthday of revolutionary North Korean strongman Kim Il Sun. The truth is that in the span of a few coming weeks, North Korea has the potential to tell the world that they are not only an operational military nuclear power, but that they can deliver that fact to the American homeland inside one of their clumsy rockets. Hang on gang it’s going to be a wild ride…
SPECIAL FORCES NIGHT RAIDS IN AFGHANISTAN STILL ON, WELL KIND OF…
Wired.com’s “Danger Room” reports that US lead Special Forces raids in Afghanistan have not stopped under the deal stuck between President Karzai and ISAF commanders. Loopholes, assumptions, and leveraging the murkiness of the agreement seem to be the order of battle for US operators going forward in the region concerning this new law. All this begs the question: was this new initiative a real response to Afghans outrage over the controversial raids? Or was this the Karzai Government doing what it does best, that being saying one thing to appease one group, while doing the opposite to satisfy another?
US ARMY TRANSPORT HELICOPTER FLEET IS TIRED AFTER FLYING 6X MORE THAN EXPECTED OVER THE LAST DECADE
We hear about a rapidly aging fighter and heavy transport fleet but we rarely hear about the US Army’s situation with it’s beaten down Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters which has seen continuous front line service for over a decade. Military.com does a great job presenting this issue and the decisions that Army faces regarding the situation, those being: reset, rebuilt, buy new, or neglect? The reality is that the US Army may not have a real choice in the matter as they continue to see their budget evaporate around them. Lets just hope that a conflict of necessity, where large-scale continuous helicopter transportation will be needed, does not erupt in our faces while we attempt to rest, and/or rebuilt our current force. It seems clear that Washington is fairly intent on having a decade or so “war holiday,” where we do not engage ourselves in a deep conflict during this self designated time of both fiscal and physical rebuilding. Sadly, this “conflict holiday” is a naive and arrogant concept as wars of necessity often erupt out of the nowhere, whether we like it or not.
B-1B LANCERS GETTING PREPARED FOR LITTORAL SEA WARFARE?
Apparently the USAF want’s the Bone to become it’s boat plinker on high!