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AIR FORCE'S FIRST SPACE PAYLOAD LAUNCH FROM AUSTRALIA
Saturday, September 19, 2020
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DART rocket launched from Koonibba Rocket Range

.Source: Sean Jorgensen-Day, DEWC Systems


DART rocket launched from Koonibba Rocket Range

Source: Sean Jorgensen-Day, DEWC Systems


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CANBERRA -- A DART rocket carrying a Defense payload has launched September 19 from Koonibba Rocket Range in South Australia, marking the first commercial rocket launch to the edge of space from Australia.

At just 3.4 meters long and weighing 34 kilograms, the DART rocket is a fraction of the size of rockets launched by NASA and SpaceX.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said space was an increasingly important domain, which is why the Government is investing $7 billion over the next decade in space capabilities as part of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan.

"The rocket will carry a prototype radio frequency receiver unit designed for Air Force.

"The payload, carried on a DART rocket, provides a stepping stone for Air Force to explore how advanced rapidly deployable networked sensors can be employed to provide information across Defence networks," Minister Reynolds said.

"Air Force’s Plan Jericho has sponsored this prototype, developed by DEWC Systems, and marks an exciting future for Australia’s space capability."

"As space is becoming more congested and contested, the Government is investing $7 billion over the next decade in space capabilities as part of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the DART rocket launch is a partnership between Government and industry, demonstrating future opportunities for both commercial and government applications.

"Air Force’s advanced sensing capability is being enhanced by working with leading Australian industry partners, Southern Launch, DEWC Systems, and Dutch company, T-Minus Engineering," Minister Price said.

"The rocket is unlike any rocket ever launched in Australia, and is part of what is known as ‘New Space’ technologies - small rockets carrying reduced sized satellites using commercially available technologies".

The rocket launch forms part of Air Force’s Plan Jericho advanced sensing program to detect and track challenging targets. The program also includes high altitude balloon launches.

The launch of the DART rocket from the Koonibba Rocket Range is being done in consultation with the local Aboriginal community, and marks the start of commercial space launches from South Australia.

Source:  Australia DoD
Associated URL: Click here to visit
Author: A. Dardine, Defense Electronics 

 
U.S. JOINT FORCES SINK EX-USS CURTS DURING VALIANT SHIELD LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE
Friday, September 18, 2020
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.Source: US Navy


Source: US Navy


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PACIFIC OCEAN -- U.S. joint armed forces conducted a multi-platform live-fire missile exercise, Sept. 19, involving surface, air, and subsurface launched ordnance to sink the decommissioned frigate USS Curts (FFG 38) as part of exercise Valiant Shield 2020.

The sinking exercise (SINKEX) combined an orchestrated sequence of live ordnance targeting the ex-USS Curts, including air-launched ordnance from fixed and rotary wing squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, embarked aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), surface launched missiles from cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and Shiloh (CG 67), a subsurface launched missile from Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Chicago (SSN 721), as well as various supporting Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft.

"This exercise demonstrates our ability to bring overwhelming firepower from the sea whether that comes from under the surface, on the surface, or from the air," said Capt. Steven DeMoss, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. "We have this capability in every theater across the globe and can employ these weapons at the place and time of our choosing."

Air Force assets included tanker support from KC-135s and KC-10s of the 909th Air Refueling Squadron and 9th ARS, respectively.

"The SINKEX provided unique, high end, tactical training for our air wing aviators," said Capt. Michael Rovenolt, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5. "The experience gained by our crews can only be achieved with live fire events like this one and cannot be replicated through simulated engagements. Our ordnance and maintenance teams got the satisfaction of seeing their labors produce actual results on a maritime target...very rewarding for them."

Valiant Shield is a U.S. only, biennial field training exercise (FTX) with a focus on integration of joint training in a blue-water environment among U.S. forces. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.

"The entire evolution showcases CVW-5’s ability to fully integrate with our joint teammates to provide ready, dynamic maritime superiority anywhere within the Pacific AOR," Rovenolt said. "Utilizing a decommissioned ship for targeting during missile exercises allows participants to take advantage of maximum-level realism in warfighting engagements. It also affords warfare commanders the opportunity to employ engagements from a myriad of available platforms that bring U.S. joint strike capabilities to bear."

This is the eighth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006. Participants include USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS America (LHA 6), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45) and multiple surface ships -- approximately 100 aircraft and an estimated 11,000 personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps. Valiant Shield focuses on integration of training in a blue-water environment to enable real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and cyberspace in response to a range of mission areas.

Source:  U.S. Navy
Associated URL: Click here to visit
Author: MC1 Gregory Juday 

 
U.S. PREPARED TO SELL ADDITIONAL ARMS TO TAIWAN
Friday, September 18, 2020
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F/A-18C with AGM-84 SLAM-ER under the right wing

.Source: US Navy


F/A-18C with AGM-84 SLAM-ER under the right wing

Source: US Navy


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TAIPEI -- The United States is planning to conclude a new multi-billion dollar arms deal with Taiwan.

According to local and international media sources, President Trump is offering long-range strike missiles to Taiwan. Boeing manufactures the AGM-84H SLAM-ER (Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response). This missile can be fired from F-15 fighters from a distance beyond the reach of Chinese air defense systems. The SLAM-ER has a range of 270 kilometers.

Also, Taiwan could receive the Lockheed Martin-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). Other weapons that Taiwan is looking to acquire include advanced anti-armor missiles, naval mines and General Atomics-made unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

Source:  Forecast Intelligence Center
Associated URL: Click here to visit
Author: L. Dickerson, Senior Analyst 

 

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