Northrop Grumman

Will Winston make these a deal breaker in negotitions?

These would appear  to be very handy for sorting out the Chinese.

I’ll bet when Winton reads this he will make them a bottom-line for his coalition negotiations.

Zach Rosenberg at Killer Apps explains about some cool new toys.

In the past few weeks, the Pentagon and its major contractors have been trotting out their designs for the aircraft of the future — from a stealthy, hypersonic spy plane to a combat, carrier-hopping drone to a futuristic bomber. But ironically, none of these planes will likely define the U.S. armed forces of, say, 2030. It’s the wild weapons they’ll carry that could be military game-changers.

The crown jewel is the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B), being designed under tight secrecy. LRS-B is supposed to replace either the B-52 or B-1 or some combination thereof (nobody’s quite sure yet). Designed for penetrating strike and nuclear weapons, it is this bomber that is meant to lead any bombing campaign, slipping into enemy airspace undetected and dropping bombs on the most heavily-defended targets. Northrop Grumman (which designed the B-2) and a Boeing-Lockheed team are both designing competitors, but details are scarce — nearly everything about the program is classified.

The hypersonic missiles are cool too.

[M]issiles are going to be smarter and capable of new things, not just blowing things up. Rather than risk people and valuable airplanes, why not just let the missile do the work? It’s getting easier to pack missiles full of fuel and electronics, making them more like miniature drones than the old dumb-bombs. Some missiles, like Raytheon’s new MALD-J, contain small radar jammers and can be fired almost 600 miles from the target.

Future versions could have electronic surveillance equipment, sending data back home, or even the means to inject viruses into computer networks. Also look forward to things like the Israeli IAI Harop, a hybrid missile/UAV that can circle overhead for long periods of time, waiting for a whiff of electronic scent and guiding itself in.

One promising development is the High-Speed Strike Weapon, a hypersonic ground attack missile, capable of launching from thousands of miles away and streaking towards the target too fast for anyone to hit. At least, that’s the idea. At that speed it might not even need a warhead, destroying targets with sheer kinetic energy. The program is in its infancy, and sustained hypersonic flight is very tough — but we’ll see. Come 2030 there could be B-52s — among the oldest aircraft in the inventory — launching hypersonic cruise missiles by the dozen.

I think we should be looking at drones…and I’m not talking about officers straight out of Basic Training either.

And what of the drones used so widely today? After Afghanistan winds down there will certainly not be a need for as many as we now have. But a potential Predator replacement, the MQ-X, is dead in the water, and while the USAF is closely watching the Navy’s experiments with the X-47B carrier-hopping drone, there are no concrete plans to buy anything at the moment. But it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t put those new capabilities onto UAVs, and indeed there are persistent rumors of secret bomb-carrying UAVs flying in the desert, but nothing concrete and verifiable has yet emerged.

If I was advising Winston then I’d say make the drone  bottom line and the give-way can be the hyperspnic missiles…you can still fire older style missile from the drones and their bang is much better for the buck.

Killer Robot Drones are Awesome

Drone technology is awesome, that is unless you are a terrorist having a little visit from a Hellfire missile.

But opposition is hotting up, and predictably it is the woofters at the UN who are agitating the most. Foreign Policy has a list of the killer drones.

With the United Nations Human Rights Council debating the development of lethal robots at its meeting in Geneva today, Human Rights Watch is ramping up its campaign to get world governments to preemptively ban the use of killer robots that can decide to attack a target without consulting their human controllers first. Despite the fact that the Pentagon has said thatU.S. drones will not be able to fire weapons without “appropriate” levels of human control, HRW worries that battlefield necessity will do away with such voluntary restrictions.

“While a positive step, [DOD’s policy on lethal drones] is not a comprehensive or permanent solution to the potential problems posed by fully autonomous systems,” reads a May 28 Human Rights Watch statement. “The policy of self-restraint it embraces may also be hard to sustain if other nations begin to deploy fully autonomous weapons systems.”  Read more »

Army Blimp spotted airborne


The US Army is now flight testing their LEMV:

A football field-sized blimp belonging to the U.S. Army was spotted over New Jersey skies Tuesday.

Dubbed the Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, it’s the army’s latest aerospace project,Wired reported. YouTube user jmeriney revealed the blimp in a video he posted on Wednesday.

Made by military aircraft manufacturer Northrop Grumman, the LEMV is designed to be a lighter-than-air cargo surveillance airship that can fly without a pilot.

It can float above combat zones for 21 days straight, and is equipped with high-tech sensors that can monitor insurgents from above, the Wall Street Journal reported. While the blimp can only travel up to 30 miles an hour, it consumes 10 times less fuel than other vehicles with comparable assets.

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King of Jordan denounces Al-Qaida

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

King Abdullah II has come out and denounced the terrorists of Al-Qaida.

This was nothing to do with the West. This targeted Jordanian citizens — innocent men, women and children.

Abdullah said that “all Jordanians are unified, in that they want the people who are responsible for these crimes to be brought to justice.”

“If we know where they are, even if it’s beyond the borders of Jordan, we will give it the best shot possible to bring these people to justice,” he said.

“The majority of the country poured out to denounce what Zarqawi and al-Qaida did, calling for Zarqawi to be brought to justice, for him to burn in hell,” Abdullah said.

“Iraq needs to succeed … if the Middle East will succeed.”

In further news;

I also had a read of the King of Jordans website and found a message posted in November last year. Here are some very useful quotes from the text.

Others, who claim to belong to Islam, have done gruesome and criminal acts in its name.

The message that is under attack is the message of tolerance, revealed by the Almighty to His prophet Muhammad, God’s prayers and salutations be upon him, and carried after him by his orthodox successors and household members: a message of brotherhood and humanity; forming a righteous religion that embraces the entire sphere of human life, upholding what is good and forbidding what is wrong, accepting of others, and honouring all human beings.

Islam honours every human being, without distinction of colour, race or religion:

We have honoured the sons of Adam, provided them transport on land and sea, sustained them with good things, and conferred on them special favours above a great part of our creation (Al Isra’a: 70)

Islam also affirms that Muslims, when spreading the call of God, are called to act gently on earth.

Invite to the way of the Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious (Al Nahl: 125)

Because the Islamic mission is based on reason, Muslims are to shun violence and cruelty, and speak with kindness and respect:

It is part of the Mercy of God that thou dost deal gently with them, wert thou severe or harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about thee. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. (Aal Imran: 159)

Islam clarified that its message is to bring mercy to all peoples:

We sent thee not save as a Mercy for all creatures (Al Anbiya’a: 107)

Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Unto Him, emphasized the concepts of compassion and tenderness in Islam when he said, “Mercy from the Most Merciful is bestowed on those who have mercy on others, and those who have mercy on creations of God on earth, The Almighty in the Heavens will have mercy on you.”

Islam calls for treating others as one desires to be treated. It urges tolerance and forgiveness, qualities that elevate human life:

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto in degree, but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from God (Shura: 40)

Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will be between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate (Fussilat: 34)

Islam calls for treating others justly, safeguarding their rights and possessions:

And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety (Al Maida: 8)

God commands you to return trusts to their owners, and if you judge between people, you shall judge with justice (Al Nisa’: 58)

“So give full measure and full weight and wrong not mankind in their goods, and work not confusion in the earth after the fair ordering thereof” (Al A’raf: 85)

Islam dictates respect for conventions and pledges, and condemns treachery and treason:

Fulfill the Covenant of God when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after you have confirmed them, indeed you made God your surety (Al Nahl: 91)

Islam upholds human life. There is to be no fighting against non-fighters; no assault on civilians and their properties, on children in their mothers’ laps, on students in the schools, on older men and women. To assault the life of a human being is equivalent to assaulting the right to life of all – and this is one of the gravest sins, for life is the basis for the continuation of humanity.

If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people. And if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people (Al Ma’ida: 32)

Islam respects balance, moderation, and equanimity:

Thus have we made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Apostle a witness over yourselves (Al Baqara: 143)

On religious grounds, on moral grounds, we denounce the contemporary concept of terrorism which is associated with wrongful practices wherever they come from – including assaults on peaceful civilians, killing prisoners and the wounded, unethical practices such as the destruction of buildings, and ransacking cities. These despotic attacks on human life transgress the law of God, and we denounce them. As the Qur’an says:

Take not life which God hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law (Al Anaam: 51)