Tag: Military

Trump’s Space Force Logos Are Just As Dumb As Space Force, According Professional Designers

According to astronaut Mark Kelly and plenty of other experts, Donald Trump’s Space Force is, simply put, a pretty dumb idea.

Nonetheless, last night the president’s reelection campaign released a slew of possible Space Force logos–and they’re right in line with the stupefyingly bad design Trump’s team is known for.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence announced the Space Force concept last June, proposing a new branch of the military that will be aimed at space.

We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal,” Trump said at the time. The idea was met with widespread derision from Kelly and others, for several reasons.

The United States already has a Space Command. It’s been around since 1982. Space defense is also one of the U.S.




Air Force’s core missions, which currently involves monitoring space from natural and third-country threats, protecting military satellites, and foiling Mulder and Scully’s efforts to unveil an alien conspiracy to take over Earth.

Before we get to the logos, let’s take a moment to breathe, because these logos aren’t official in any way. They weren’t created by anyone at the Pentagon, NASA, or any other federal agency.

They were created by the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign PAC. And, as Parscale notes, they’re going to be used to “commemorate” the Space Force with a new “line of gear.”

In other words, this is for merch. Still, let’s take a look.

The first logo is a blatant copy of the current NASA logo, aka the “meatball,” which was designed by NASA employee James Modarelli, in 1959.

The Trump knockoff replaces the classic mid-century typeface with an anachronistic 1980s font, which itself bastardizes the beautiful NASA Worm logo, from 1975.

Meanwhile, the swoop is now an inexplicable shade of mustard, and space itself is now a red state. I guess it’ll match the MAGA hats?

The second logo returns to dark blue, eliminating the delta wing but retaining the white orbital line and some of the “stars” of the NASA logo.

It features a strangely stylized 1940s novella version of a rocket, its powerful engine fumes symbolized by . . . an inverted “flammable” icon. An oddly kerned, Art Deco-tinged typeface completes this atrocity.

Here we have what looks like a poor misrepresentation of the retired space shuttle trying to escape the deadly embrace of a red space snake. Your guess is as good as mine on this one.

Perhaps the most absurd aspect of this project is the fact that the Trump-Pence 2020 campaign is asking people to choose a logo for a military branch that doesn’t exist, and probably never will.

Even if Space Force–and the further needless spending on the military-aerospace-industrial complex it would enable–is realized, its identity will be developed according to the Pentagon’s standard government-contracting processes.

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Donald Trump Wants ‘Space Force’ By 2020

Mike Pence, the US vice president, has announced plans to create a standalone “Space Force” by 2020, becoming the sixth branch of America’s military.

Mr Pence said the “time has come” for America to “prepare for the next battlefield” and secure America’s “dominance” among the stars.

Space Force’ is the name given by Donald Trump to the idea of a new, free-standing military department focussed specifically on space. Currently such issues largely fall under the Air Force.

Mr Trump has strongly championed the idea of creating a space-focused military service with the same stature as the Air Force and the Army, turning his dreams of a “Space Force” into a rallying cry for supporters at political events.

His 2020 reelection campaign sent a fundraising email on Thursday asking supporters to vote on their favourite Space Force logo for future Trump campaign merchandise, offering a choice of six.




Mr Trump – who tweeted “Space Force all the way!” on Thursday – and his supporters point to how adversaries such as China and Russia are increasingly deploying satellites as proof that action is needed.

There is a fear that America has become increasingly reliant on satellites for communication, navigation and intelligence and could be left exposed if the equipment is attacked.

However detractors insist setting up a standalone military department would be bureaucratic and counter-productive.

James Mattis, the US defence secretary, has previously voiced such concerns – though now appears more supportive.

There are currently five branches to the US armed forces: The Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. Space Force would become the sixth.

The first step would be creating a US Space Command by the end of the year. The Trump administration would then seek funding and the legal approval to create a standalone military department next year.

Congress has the ultimate sign-off – meaning that the US president alone cannot create Space Force. The proposals are likely to trigger a political battle on Capitol Hill.

The White House said in a statement that “President Trump knows that space is integral to our American way of life and economic prosperity, and is a vital domain for national defence.”

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Trump’s Space Force Push Reopens Arguments About Military in Space

President Donald Trump’s call this week that to create a sixth branch of the U.S. military — which he called the “Space Force” — has reopened a wider debate about whether such a move is necessary to better manage military space activities.

While the idea of a separate, space-focused military branch is not new, Trump’s surprise announcement caused a buzz on social media and news outlets.

When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” Trump said in a speech before a meeting of the National Space Council at the White House Monday (June 18).

“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.” That’s a big statement.




Trump’s remarks follow decades of discussion on a separate space branch, including a recent 2017 attempt to create a new U.S. Space Corps.

At the time, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee drafted legislation for the new corps in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

While the U.S. secretary of the Air Force was supposed to oversee this new branch, the U.S. Space Corps would have had its own seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Senior military officials did not universally approve the proposal, and it was ultimately withdrawn.

But some space experts say Trump’s announcement may at least spur more discussion about how to best manage space activities.

The United States has worried for many years about the security of its satellites and how to best protect them, said Barry Strauss, a military and naval historian who is a humanistic studies professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

But it’s hard to say how a Space Force would change things, because the U.S. Air Force already oversees the military’s space asset procurement budget with participation from the other military branches, pointed out Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Also, there are concerns about how to protect satellites without breaking international treaties and, more pressingly, generating more space debris by firing offensive weapons at satellites.

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How Sidewinder Missiles Work?

The Sidewinder AIM-9 (air intercept missile 9) is classified as a short-range, air-to-air missile. Simply put, its job is to launch from an airborne aircraft and “kill” an enemy aircraft (damage it to the point that it goes down).

Missiles like the Sidewinder are called smart weapons because they have built-in seeking systems that let them home in on a target.




The technology of smart weapons really got going in the decade following World War II. Most early guided weapon prototypes were built around radar technology, which proved to be expensive and problematic.

These missiles had their own radar sensors, but obviously could not carry their own radar transmitters.

For the guidance system to lock on an enemy plane, some remote radar system had to “illuminate” the target by bouncing radar beams off of it.

In most cases, this meant the pilot had to keep the aircraft in a vulnerable position after firing in order to keep a radar lock on the enemy until the missile could find it.

Additionally, the radar equipment in the missile was large and expensive, which made for a high-cost, bulky weapon. Most of these missiles had something around a 90 percent failure rate (nine shots out of 10 missed their targets).

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China’s New Stealth Fighter Is Finally Combat-Ready

China’s long-anticipated J-20 stealth fighter aircraft have arrived … kind of.

In a post on the state outlet Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government announced that the fighter jet — created to counter the capabilities of the American F-22 Raptor — has entered service in the People’s Liberation Army with “comprehensive combat capabilities.”

The J-20, like the F-22 Raptor, uses a specially-shaped airframe and advanced materials to minimize its radar signature — making it hard for enemies to detect by conventional means.

The advanced aircraft has long been the subject of intense speculation, with details about its design and technology trickling out in dribs and drabs.

While the J-20 is operational, it doesn’t yet have the capabilities to match its American counterparts, the South China Morning Post, a major Hong Kong newspaper, reported.




Two military sources told the Post that the J-20s in service aren’t equipped with the WS-15 engines they were built to fly with.

According to the Post’s reporting, a WS-15 engine exploded in 2015 during a ground test, indicating quality-control issues with the single-crystal turbine blades necessary for the powerful turbofan engine.

The operational J-20s, the Post reported, are instead equipped with less powerful, modified WS-10B engines designed for the previous-generation Chinese fighters, the J-10s and J-11s.

And even with enhancements for use in the J-20, they aren’t powerful enough to enable the J-20s to “supercruise” like U.S. stealth fighters.

Only two other countries, the U.S. and Russia, build “fifth-generation fighters” like the J-20.

The U.S. has the F-22 Raptor as well as the uber-expensive, slow-to-arrive F-35. Russia flies the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA stealth fighter. India and Japan also have fifth-generation fighters in development.

The exact definition of “fifth generation” is a bit vague.

But public documents from China Power, an American project geared toward researching Chinese power suggest that fifth-gen aircraft are stealthy even when armed, can cruise at supersonic speeds and involve advanced computing, sensors and electronics.

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China Announces Plan For Hypersonic Jet That Can Reach New York From Beijing In Two Hours

A team of Chinese researchers has claimed to have designed a hypersonic jet that could travel at 6,000km/h, five times faster than the speed of sound.

The team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said the plane would be able to transport passengers and cargo from Beijing to New York in two hours – the journey currently takes an average of 13 and a half hours.

Cui Kai, who headed up the research, published a paper on the new design in this month’s Physics, Mechanics and Astronomy journal, in which he said: “It will take only a couple of hours to travel from Beijing to New York at hypersonic speed”.




The team said they had tested a scaled-down model of the jet in a wind tunnel, and that it reached speeds of 8,600km/h with low drag and high lift. To compare, Concorde’s top speed was 2,179km/h.

The design, dubbed the I Plane, features two layers of wings to reduce turbulence and drag while creating more lift.

Talk of hypersonic travel has been ramping up of late. “It’s certainly within the realm of possibility,” Dr Kevin Bowcutt, senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics for Boeing Research and Technology, told NBC last month.

I think we have the technology now where we could actually do it.

Boeing has dipped its toe in the water with its X-51A WaveRider, and it is now reportedly working with Lockheed Martin to develop a jet-powered hypersonic aircraft – although both are keeping schtum about the design.

Supersonic commercial planes – those that travel faster than 1,236km/h, the speed of sound – are likely to be the precursor to hypersonic jets.

Boom Supersonic, for example, plans to produce passenger aircraft that can travel at MACH 2.2, or 2,335km/h, that will enter service in 2023.

These jets could carry 50 passengers, flying from New York to London in three hours and 15 minutes. But it won’t come cheap; fares are expected to cost $2,500 one way.

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China’s New Space Lasers To Take Out Satellites Leaving West At Mercy Of Beijing Missiles

The lasers will take out US and European satellites from the ground killing off the Washington’s ability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles in retaliation.

ven basic military communications may become impossible if the super-powered lasers take down key communications network satellites.

Electromagnetic railguns and high-power microwave weapons are also being developed, according to military expert Richard Fisher.

And he claims the push to produce these futuristic weapons is to neutralise US intelligence along with communication and navigation satellites.

Ground-based radars would first be used to identify enemy satellites, with precision targeting ensured by a special camera.




And a deployable membrane telescope would then focus the laser’s beam on the target, before obliterating it.

Mr Fisher said: “The Chinese government would not hesitate to use the lives of its astronauts as a shield to deceive the world about the real purpose of its space station.

“Having gained the advantage of surprise, the combat space station could begin attacks against key US satellites, thus blinding the US to the launch of new combat satellites that would attack many more US satellites.”

Military secrecy means it is difficult to know the full extent of the laser weapons programmes, which are believed to be capable of destroying enemy satellites in orbit from its position in low-Earth orbit.

But published research has provided some insight into the huge levels of government support being pumped into the development of such arms.

The idea was first proposed by researchers Gao Ming-hui, Zeng Yu-quang and Wang Zhi-hong in the journal Chinese Optics in December 2013.

They claimed anti-satellite weapons will be “very important” in future wars, with the space-based laser systems likely to have a substantial part to play.

It is thought the five-ton chemical laser could even be operational as soon as 2023, if the Chinese military which oversees the country’s space programme can fund the research.

Mr Fisher added: “As long as China demonstrates its willingness to exploit much of its space program for potential military missions, the US must possess options for at least neutralising potential threats, preferably short of threatening lives.”

The news comes just a day after it was revealed China had unveiled its latest military addition to the People’s Liberation Army’s airforce.

The new J20 stealth fighter jets are so advanced, they make Britain’s new US-built F35s look antique in comparison.

The futuristic Chinese aircraft have longer range, more internal fuel capacity and a larger weapons capacity – and equipped with unique WS-15 turbo engines capable of reaching supersonic speeds.

While the F-35’s top speed is 1199mph, the J-20s is a hefty 1,305mph.

However when fully operational the F-35 may offer significant advantage in terms of manoeuvrability as questions hang over the Chinese plane’s air-to-air capability.

The F-35 can also land vertically – meaning it can be used in many more theatres of operations.

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China Appears To Have Rushed Its J-20 Stealth Fighter Into Service

Chinese state media announced on Friday that the Chengdu J-20 stealth jet had officially entered into service as a combat-ready platform— but inside sources say it’s a long way from fighting fit and has an embarrassing flaw.

Citing military sources with knowledge of the J-20’s development, the South China Morning Post reported that the jets that entered service didn’t feature the engines China custom-built for the platform but used older ones instead.

The result is an underpowered, less stealthy jet that can’t cruise at supersonic speeds and is therefore not a true fifth-generation fighter.




The Posts’ sources pinned the jet’s troubles on a test in 2015 in which the custom-built engine, the WS-15, exploded — something they attributed to China’s inability to consistently build engines that can handle the extreme heat of jet propulsion.

It’s so embarrassing to change engines for such an important aircraft project several times … just because of the unreliability of the current WS-15 engines,” one of the sources told the Post.

It is the long-standing core problem among home-grown aircraft.

How old engines make the J-20 fight like an old fighter

The older engine, the WS-10B, is basically the same kind used in the J-11 and J-10 fighters in 1998 and 2002.

Without the new engines, the J-20 can’t supercruise, or fly faster than the speed of sound without igniting its afterburners, like the US’s F-22 and F-35 can.

Experts have assessed that the goal of the J-20 platform is to launch long-range missiles at supersonic speeds, but they won’t perform as well if they can’t fire at such speeds, Bronk said.

The major drawback from not having the ability to supercruise in this case would be having to choose between using a great deal of fuel to go supersonic or stay subsonic and accept shorter effective range from the fighter’s missiles and an inferior energy position compared to a supercruising opponent,” he said.

A senior scientist working on stealth aircraft who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of their work previously told Business Insider that the J-20’s design had a decent stealth profile from the front angle but could be exposed from others.

According to Bronk, the older engines may exacerbate that problem.

A US Air Force affiliate researching the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force told Business Insider that an analysis of imagery suggested the service’s 9th Brigade traded its Russian-made Su-30s for J-20s, but they disputed whether the jet was operational in the way Western militaries use the word

The researcher said that even for planes that aren’t stealth and as radically different as the J-20, that could take up to a year, adding that the new WS-15 engines most likely won’t be added until 2020.

So while China claims it has become the only nation other than the US to field a fifth-generation stealth jet, at the moment it looks as if it’s hardly stealth, hardly fifth-generation, and a long way from the field.

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The Chinese Military’s Next Generation: Exoskeletons

 

When looking at advances in technology, the hope is it will be used in non-violent or destructive ways; in other words, not for military use.

Unfortunately, thinking along these lines are unrealistic and with the current climate we are living in, the military will gladly accept anything with technology that can protect soldiers from harm, cause ultimate damage on the enemy and protect civilians from any kind of a missile attack.

Recently, an article described such an advance in military technology as China is working right now on a new generation of military exoskeletons.

Reportedly, they are moving closer to having Iron Man-like capabilities.




Writers Jeffrey Lin and P.W. Singer posted an article that looks at how China is working on advancing their technology when it comes to military exoskeleton’s.

Their latest powered exoskeleton is able to transport roughly one-hundred pounds of supplies, gear and ammunition. This would increase the self-sufficiency and combat capability of the infantry for the Chinese.

What Is an Exoskeleton?

Before moving on, it is important to understand first what an exoskeleton is and why the military would want to develop one.

Known as an exosuit, powered armor, hardsuit, power armor and an exoframe; a powered exoskeleton is a wearable machine that is mobile and powered using a system of hydraulics, electric motors, pneumatic’s, levers or a combo of technologies that enable movement of limbs with added endurance and strength.

Obviously, this would allow a soldier to perform important tasks on a mission that would not have been accomplished without using one.

Norinco Manufacturer’s Second-Generation Exoskeleton

Norinco is a manufacturer that is owned by China that produces heavy ground munitions and armored vehicles. They also have created its second-generation military exoskeleton.

The debut of this new exoskeleton boasts a designed body brace that will assist members of the infantry to carry roughly one-hundred pounds of ammunition, weapons and supplies.

Norinco had previously debuted its first-generation exoskeleton back in 2015 and comparing it to their new one, it has a streamlined harness, the battery is considered better, and a more robust pneumatic and hydraulic actuator.

This new generation is said to be lighter and most likely will lower the strain felt by the wearer of the exoskeleton; this would be more beneficial for soldiers finding themselves in a mountainous terrain.

The Implications for Combat Operations

The push by China to develop powerful exoskeletons will impact almost every area involving combat operations.  Their special operators and infantry would be able to transport heavy equipment over long distances as well as individuals being able to utilize body armor.

That is, if their plans become successful.  Also, the exoskeletons would look like the Americans concepts that include the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit – none of these can yet fly like Iron Man.

While the exoskeletons would not be able to accomplish the amazing feats as seen in Iron Man comics and movies, the more practical uses for soldiers would be to help completing many support tasks, which include repairing ships, loading supplies and getting missiles onto airplanes.

Meanwhile, China’s next generation of military Exoskeletons are one step closer to executing feats that were once considered to be science fiction; son, they will become science fact.

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Home-Made Drones Bombed A Russian Airbase, According To The Defense Ministry

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on January 8 that a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have attacked their airbase in Syria on the night of January 5th.

The drone strike is the latest of a recent flurry of mysterious attacks against Russian forces in Syria, and military officials are still clueless as to who’s behind them.

The Defense Ministry said that 13 small drones, what they described as a “massive application of unmanned aerial vehicles,” targeted two separate locations.




Seven of these were neutralized by Russian anti-aircraft defenses, while the rest caused no significant damage after exploding upon touching the ground.

Examining the captured UAVs, the Russian military discovered that they were crudely assembled. They carried locally made bombs fitted in small plastic fins under their wings.

It was the first time when terrorists applied a massed drone aircraft attack launched at a range of more than 50 km using modern GPS guidance system,” the Russian Defense Ministry’s official post said.

It’s hard not to think of that futuristic slaughterbots in that viral video, except that those were autonomous and the drones that attacked the Russians were most likely remotely controlled.

The use of drones for warfare isn’t something new, they have been used in various forms since the 19th century.

But swarms of small drones like the ones seen in Syria have only recently been employed in modern defense programs.

Defense contractor Duke Robotics has one such program in the works, with an ordinary-looking multi-rotor drone called the TIKAD — except it really isn’t your regular hobbyist drone. The TIKAD is armed with a high-powered rifle.

Advocates of drone warfare see it as the future of military operations, and one where the lives of human soldiers need not be put in harm’s way.

Deploying smaller drones could also end up becoming cheaper than using regular UAVs like the Predator.

So, as crude and rudimentary as those drones that bombed Russian forces were, the mysterious attackers are definitely up to something.

The incident was, indeed, the first time a swarm of drones had been weaponized for a military strike — but it most definitely won’t be the last.

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Pass it on: New Scientist