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.
This weekend should be full of rocket launches if the weather cooperates. Elon Musk's company SpaceX is planning two rocket launches and recoveries both happening in a span of just 48 hours. The first is scheduled for Saturday evening and the second is planned for early Monday morning EDT. 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. Musk Tweeted about the two launches and posted a photo from a past launch on Instagram.
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. The Gray Eagle aircraft will be deployed to a U.S. military base in the southwestern town of Gunsan -- about 111 miles south of Seoul, the report said. However, it is still unclear when the system will be installed. The Gray Eagle is capable of striking military facilities in the north of the Military Demarcation Line separating the two Koreas, the official told Yonhap.
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. "Drones have become an indispensable weapon in modern warfare because they can play an important role in high-resolution reconnaissance, long-distance precision strikes, anti-submarine operations and aerial combat," Wei Yiyin, deputy general manager of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, told the China Daily. China has been working to develop new weapons, including stealth fighters and aircraft carriers but has clarified that its investment to upgrade its military prowess has no hostile intent. 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.
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. The Asian powerhouse also plans to sell unmanned aircraft capable of launching laser-guided bombs. Chinese drones "have bigger payloads, which means they can carry more weapons" than their rivals, Shi Wen, chief drone designer at the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics, told the China Daily newspaper. 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. dollars." The report added that the drones are named Cai Hong, which means rainbow.