The US Navy has now deployed the new W76-2 low-yield Trident submarine warhead. The first ballistic missile submarine scheduled to deploy with the new warhead was the USS Tennessee (SSBN-734), which deployed from Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia during the final weeks of 2019 for a deterrent patrol in the Atlantic Ocean.
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett’s space adviser Shawn Barnes has emerged as a main point man in the standup of the U.S. Space Force as a separate military branch under the Department of the Air Force. Barnes has been Barrett’s right hand on all things space since she took office in October and worked with her during the confirmation process.
On Jan. 28, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced that it had awarded $13 million to defense contractor Northrop Grumman for its Glide Breaker program, an experimental effort to develop interceptors to take out highly advanced and highly maneuverable hypersonic missiles.
The Jan. 5. attack by al-Shabaab killed three Americans came as the Pentagon considers a further drawdown of its African presence.
In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Jan. 27.
U.S. Air Force aircraft and Airmen assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, are participating in a flying training deployment to Monte Real AB, Portugal. The training will focus on maintaining joint readiness while building interoperability capabilities with NATO and other U.S. Air Force assets.
The Defense Department official leading the development of an ambitious plan to independently certify military contractors’ cybersecurity practices will review a final version of the plan on Jan. 31 and shared key details for its implementation.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and Blue Origin are developing a new test facility for the Blue Origin BE-7 lunar lander engine at the AFRL rocket lab at Edwards AFB, Calif. Capital improvements, funded by Blue Origin, will allow BE-7 testing in a simulated space-like environment. Planned work includes adding liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant capabilities, along with other facility upgrades.
More than a decade after the Air Force officially confirmed its existence, details about the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone and its operational exploits remain extremely limited. Now, newly released documents offer additional insights into the deployment of some of these secretive flying-wing unmanned aircraft to South Korea in 2009.