US Navy Placed a $9.4 B Order for Submarines

(STL.News) The U.S. Navy has placed a $9.4 billion order with General Dynamics Electric Boat for the first Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine.

The deal includes funds to finish construction of the future USS Columbia and buy materials for the second one – the future USS Wisconsin.

Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, program executive officer for Columbia, said during a briefing with reporters that the Columbia-class “will be the largest, most advanced, most capable submarine ever produced by this nation,”

The U.S Navy and Electric Boat have been building prototypes of unique parts of the new submarine for a number of years.

Pappano said. “We’ve done quite a bit of early advanced procurement and construction to shake out the defense industrial base,”

The Columbia-class is being built by General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut and U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding division in Virgi

USAF Northrop Grumman RQ-180 – Possible Sighting – Stealth Drone

(STL.News) The United States’s shadowy stealth spy drone, RQ-180, may have been spotted for the first time.

Actor Rob Kolinsky captured it flying over his house and posted it on Instagram.  He uploaded the picture with the caption: “This thing flew over my house several weeks ago and I still have yet to identify it,” adding that it was shaped like a B-21 but painted in white.

Kolinsky added, “I was not going to post it but I thought that if it were really classified, they wouldn’t be flying it in broad daylight like this,”

Aviation Week Network classified the object as Northrop Grumman RQ-180 unmanned aircraft system, whose presence in the US Air Force has never been acknowledged.

“A picture has surfaced showing a new aircraft generally matching Aviation Week’s understanding of the shape of what is commonly known as the RQ-180 unmanned aircraft system (UAS),” reported Aviation Week, adding that the picture was taken in d

US approves sale of 4 “Weapons Ready” MQ-9 to Taiwan

(STL.News) The Trump administration has notified Congress that it approved the sale of $600 million in armed MQ-9B drones and related equipment to Taiwan.  The deal will enable Taiwan’s to acquire four “weapons ready” remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment.

This is the latest in a series of arms transfers for the island.

Viewers may note that the US Department of State before this has approved the sale of 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp called HIMARS ( High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) Missiles, and 6 MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets in a deal worth $1.8 billion.

The administration has also approved plans for a $2.37 billion sale of Harpoon missile systems to Taiwan

Deadly Combo-SU 30 MKI Armed with Brahmos Hits Target

Deadly Combo-SU 30 MKI Armed with Brahmos Hits Target in Bay of Bengal

(STL.News) Indian Air Force has carried out yet another successful test firing of air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Sukhoi-Su 30 MKI fighter.  The BrahMos was launched to target a ship in the Bay of Bengal around 4000 km or 2485 miles away.  It was the longest-range test of the fighter-missile combo conducted by Indian Air Force.

This is the second time that the missile has been successfully test-fired from an aircraft.

The jet used in the test was from the Thanjavur-based Tigersharks squadron and it took off from Halwara airbase in Punjab

It is important to note that IAF squadron in Thanjavur is a specialist squadron that has a maritime role.  The squadron is also known as the ‘dominator of the Indian Ocean Region’ is armed with air launched BrahMos.

To cover the distance, the Su-30 MKI needed multiple refueling by Ilyushin-78 midair