Tuesday, September 25, 2007

DC Exercise, Future Combat Syst.'s updates +Drills

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Residents in the national capital region may hear and see military aircraft zipping through the skies today -- but there's no need for alarm. The North American Aerospace Defense Command --or NORAD -- says that it will conduct in-flight training exercises, including F-16s and Coast Guard helicopters. NORAD has held such training exercises since the September 11th, 2001 attacks. It says it has responded to more than 2,300 possible air threats. Residents can expect the flights to occur throughout today, even early morning and late at night.

I/ITSEC Selects Alion Paper to be Presented at Annual Conference

Excerpt: "The paper looks at the Urban Resolve 2015 Experiment, conducted in 2006, and examines the successes and challenges encountered during the experiment. It also makes recommendations for streamlining integration among diverse simulations distributed over multiple sites. The experiment, which tested roughly 30 simulations that replicate an urban environment after a major crisis has occurred, involved more than 1,000 participants at 19 different sites across the United States. " (cont..)

TOPOFF 4 (update)

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Conducts Largest Counterterrorism Exercise To Date

US Army eyes miniature weapons for Future Combat System air vehicles

Range could use common propulsion section and family interchangeable warheads
Work is under way to design a new range of munitions specifically for use by the unmanned air vehicle element of the US Army's Future Combat Systems programme, with a version of the service's General Atomics Warrior potentially to be the first to benefit.
US military UAVs have until now used inventory weapons such as the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire and Northrop Grumman Viper Strike, but a new range of munitions could use a common propulsion section and a family of interchangeable warheads to deal with both stationary and moving targets.
Each munition is expected to be around 45cm (18in) long, weigh around 0.9kg (2lb) and to deliver smaller areas of effect than traditional missiles, possibly requiring them to be launched in salvoes, or to have a glide capability, the army says.
"We want lethality for a non-traditional enemy," US Army advanced science and technology directorate director Suzy Young told the US-European micro air vehicle competition and workshop in Toulouse, France. The service has also set out a long-term roadmap for innovative methods for target acquisition and tracking, she said, with FCS payload options including laser designators to highlight targets for armed unmanned ground vehicles.
The US Army meanwhile expects to test fire an air-launched version of Israel Aerospace Industries' gun-launched laser homing anti-tank weapon system from a Northrop MQ-5 Hunter UAV. The anti-armour missile weighs 13kg and has a maximum range of over 14km (7.5nm).

Senate Wants Robo-Copter, ASAP

US Army dalek assassins to pack mini-missiles?

The US Army is looking to develop a range of miniaturised guided missiles for use by its robot warriors of the future, according to reports. Each missile could be the size of a large party cracker.
Under its Future Combat System (FCS) programme, the US Army plans to kit itself out with all kinds of futuristic gear. Originally, this was to include a lot of robots - including a kind of autonomous droid tank and four different kinds of aerial death-mech - but budget worries have led to several of the machine warriors being deferred.
Some are still left, however, including the miniature flying-dalek Class I and the robotised helicopter Class IV (the class-IV, charmingly, is to be capable of Manned and Unmanned teaming, or MUM operations, in which it cooperates with ordinary fleshy pilots. We suggest SCHTUM, Sudden CHange to Targeting of Unsuspecting Meatsacks, for the day of the inevitable machine-army coup d'etat).
Not so much "Exterminate" as "Obliterate", then.
Thus far, flying kill-droids have tended to be armed with ordinary air weapons, for instance the Hellfire laser-guided missile. This is carried by air force Predators and Reapers, as well as ordinary old Apache attack helicopters. But Hellfires are big old five-foot jobs weighing 100 pounds. They're a bit heavy for little robots to lift. Sometimes, too, a Hellfire might be a bit of a sledgehammer when what you really wanted was a nutcracker.
Now, according to Flight International, the US Army plan to address these concerns. The plan is to develop a new class of mini-missiles, perhaps not dissimilar to the ones used for corridor scuffling by the little flying killbots at the end of Terminator 3.
Suzy Young, US Army advanced science and tech chief, told a killbot convention in France that "we want lethality for a non-traditional enemy", presumably referring to testy southwest Asians rather than the Governator and chums. It appears that each missile will be perhaps 18 inches long and weigh two pounds, even smaller and lighter than the Vietnam-vintage M72 LAW rocket.
(The LAW was always of dubious usefulness against its intended target - enemy tanks - but has long been popular among foot soldiers for taking out bunkers, blowing holes in walls etc. US Marines are still using it in Iraq, reportedly fitted with a new trendy fuel-air warhead.)
The LAW was a simple free-flying job, too, but the new droid-carried micro-missiles will be capable of tracking in on a laser dot at the very least. There are man-portable weapons which do this, or which can track an aircraft's heat exhaust, but they tend to be quite heavy and bulky.
The new US initiative seems to suggest a guided missile not much bigger than a tube of Pringles; one that could perhaps be carried by the new generation of man-portable, hand-launched silent mini-planes now going into action.
Latest-generation thermal imager kit might allow the new micro-missiles - or their launching droid motherships - to track the heat signature of individual humans in true sci-fi style. Flight reckons there will be a "family of interchangeable warheads", no doubt including fashionable fuel-air, armour piercing etc.
In many ways it seems a bit lazy of the US defence establishment to only develop these lightweight super-missiles for the convenience of robots. Many a cursing, overburdened human grunt of recent decades would have been glad to have a trouser-pocket thermobaric bomb rather than a mortar baseplate or similar.
The arms designers would contend, of course, that until very recently they were mainly looking to blow up enemy tanks - and you need a fairly big, fat missile for that. But it could be that in fact the weapons factories are working more and more for the robot army rather than the fleshy one...


Local health department to conduct Flu Drill http://www.themillennews.com/news/2007/0926/Other_Jenkins_News/007.html

The East Central Health District and the Jenkins County Health Department will conduct a mass immunization drill Oct. 2-4. The purpose of the drill is to test the organizations' capacity to provide mass immunizations in the event of a biological disaster. (cont..)

Anthrax drill is met with relief and skepticism (Update)http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/09/24/anthrax_drill_is_met_with_relief_and_skepticism/

Queshan 2007 military exercise heats up in central China http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-09/24/content_6786327.htm

Is India aligning in a new Cold War?http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/113308.html

Even as Russo-American tensions smoulder from Eastern Europe and Central Asia to the Arctic seabed, the US Secretary of State is denying the onset of a renewed Cold War. Yet, unmistakable signals of a counter-balancing effort by Russia and China were sent last month through the largest-ever war games of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a six-nation anti-US alliance (cont..)


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