The state firefighting service of California collaborated with a unit of California Air National Guard and deployed military wartime drones in order to receive real time photos and videos of the massive wildfire which spread across the area. According to a report by USA Today, this is only the third time such collaboration had taken place. The Reaper MQ-9, operated by the 163d Attack Wing at March Air Reserve Base in the Riverside County, will fly five miles above and transmit relevant information to commanders on the ground. This also includes information about spot-fire detection. Scott McLean, Deputy Chief of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said, "It's out of the way."
The Chinese military, Thursday, strongly condemned and opposed the trespassing of an Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) into Chinese airspace. India, on the same day, claimed that the UAV "lost control" and entered into Chinese territory through the Sikkim (a state in India) border. According to a report by the Hindustan Times, an Indian news website, India replied to the incident, Thursday, claiming that the UAV was on a "regular training mission," lost control and crossed the border area from Sikkim. A statement by the Indian Defense Ministry said: "An Indian UAV which was on a regular training mission inside the Indian territory lost contact with the ground control due to some technical problem and crossed over the LAC [Line of Actual Control] in the Sikkim Sector. As per standard protocol, the Indian border security personnel immediately alerted their Chinese counterparts to locate the UAV."
The Falcon 9 used for the mission launched 10 Iridium satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch got 10 satellites into orbit, SpaceX is contracted to launch 75 of these communication satellites for Iridium and with Monday's launch has successfully put 30 into orbit. After the launch and deployment of the satellites the first stage of the rocket then entered Earth's atmosphere again and landed upright on the drone ship "Just Read The Instructions." The third launch of a bath of 10 Iridium satellites took place at Vandenberg Air Force base in California.
Elon Musk's company SpaceX is planning two rocket launches and recoveries both happening in a span of just 48 hours. The two launches will occur on different coasts of the country from one another, the first at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the second from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The second launch of the 48-hour period is scheduled for 8:37 a.m. EDT Monday from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This is the third launch SpaceX will conduct for Iridium, the company has contracted SpaceX to launch 75 communications satellites for them.
"The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. Carla Babb, the Pentagon correspondent for Voice of America (VOA) tweeted Tuesday saying the sources have confirmed that the Iranian-made drone shot down by the U.S. fighter jet was being operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday it would exert new control over the skies of western Syria in response to the downing of a Syrian fighter jet by the U.S. Air Force on Sunday, reports said. "From now on, in areas where Russian aviation performs combat missions in the skies of Syria, any airborne objects found west of the Euphrates River, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles belonging to the international coalition, tracked by means of Russian land and air anti-aircraft defense, will be considered air targets," CNN reported citing the Defense Ministry statement. The U.S. military has established a roughly 50-kilometer "deconfliction" ring around al-Tanf and has warned the pro-Assad forces -- through a Russian deconfliction channel -- that movement within the zone could be considered hostile and the Iranian drone was outside that deconfliction area when it was shot down, the Washington Post reported citing a U.S. defense official.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) recently tested autonomously flying F-16 fighter jets in collaboration with Lockheed Martin. The tests could mark a big leap for military drone technology as these jets could be used in the future for large scale air-to-ground strikes. "This demonstration is an important milestone in AFRL's maturation of technologies needed to integrate manned and unmanned aircraft in a strike package. We've not only shown how an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle can perform its mission when things go as planned, but also how it will react and adapt to unforeseen obstacles along the way," Capt. Andrew Petry, AFRL autonomous flight operations engineer, said in a press release issued Monday by Lockheed Martin.
In order to counter the growing nuclear threat from North Korea in the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. is expected to deploy an unmanned aircraft system to South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, citing a Seoul military official. The attack drone will be deployed to strengthen strike capabilities against ground targets in the North, the official told the South Korean news agency. Also on Monday, South Korean air force said that it had begun a week-long drill named "Soaring Eagle" to practice the country's readiness against any possible threat from its northern neighbor. The reclusive country said that the launches were a part of exercises targeting U.S. military bases in Japan.
Just days after China announced plans to grow its defense budget, the country's largest missile maker has started developing military drones with stealth abilities that can evade anti-aircraft weapons, local media reported Thursday. The move comes as China continues to advance in its military modernization program amid growing threats from its neighbors and the West. Amid tensions with U.S. over the South China Sea, and the recent threats from North Korea after its missile launches, China, which is ranked third in the list of biggest military in the world has stepped up research into military drones. Tensions between China and the U.S. erupted after Beijing's island building and military advancement in the disputed South China Sea, through which over $5 trillion of maritime trade passes annually.
The skies over the United States were a little more crowded than usual following a test by the Department of Defense that sent more than 100 drones scattering across the sky, according to a report from the BBC. A total of 103 of the miniature, unmanned flying vehicles were released from a trio of Three F/A-18 Super Hornets, a popular Navy fighter aircraft. Called Perdix drones, the flyers have a wingspan of just 12 inches and move entirely autonomously--no human control required. Footage of the devices in action from October 2016, taken from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, was recently released by the Department of Defense. In it, the drones can be seen being released into the sky and swarming together, making use of the collective brain that controls them.
China exported military drones worth hundreds of millions of dollars to over 10 countries, state-run media said Thursday. Shi did not name the countries that bought the drones, the numbers of drones sold or the exact deal value, but said that the academy's most valuable sale was worth "hundreds of millions of U.S. The academy is also planning to get an export license for the new CH-5, which made its first test flight last August, and can launch air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs, Shi said. SIPRI said Chinese weapons were mainly bought by other Asian countries, and named Pakistan as the biggest buyer.