Military News

Pentagon Denies Downed U.S. Drone Report in Crimea

HunterThe Pentagon is denying reports by Russian sponsored media companies that a U.S. Army drone crashed while flying an intelligence mission over Crimea.

An unnamed Pentagon official told ABC News the report was false because the U.S. is not flying any drone missions over Crimea, the segment of Ukraine that Russian troops are stationed.

Rostec, a Russian state owned media company, reported the U.S. drone was flying at 12,000 feet when a cyber attack forced it to make an emergency landing. The Voice of Russia reported the drone was an MQ-5B Hunter with the “66th U.S. brigade of military intelligence with the main location in Bavaria.”

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Few Attacks Could Knock Out U.S. Electric Grid

electrical_substation

A few well-coordinated attacks could knock out the U.S. electrical grid, according to a news report.

Nine, to be precise.

Strikes against just nine key substations during a period of peak usage would be enough to leave the country dark for weeks or possibly months, according to an article by Rebecca Smith of The Wall Street Journal. That’s based on a previously unreported study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

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U.S. May Seek License for Russian Rocket Engines

Atlas V AV-026 OTV-2; LO2 tanking prior to launch

Even as President Barack Obama debates how to punish Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, the U.S. government is reviewing how it might obtain a license for domestic production of Russia’s RD-180 rocket engine, an official said.

The U.S. relies on the engines to launch military and spy satellites into space. United Launch Alliance LLC, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., is the sole provider of medium– and heavy-lift rockets under a program called Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, or EELV. It uses the RD-180 as the main engine on its Atlas V boosters.

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F-35 Nickname Controversy Brewing with Reaper

F-35 sea trialsNew military aircraft get their official nicknames and with time they receive an unofficial nickname from the ranks. Some unofficial nicknames like the A-10 Warthog or the B-52 BUFF stick. Others like the B-2 Boomerang don’t catch on quite as well.

Last month, a panel of F-35 pilots were asked at a Navy conference in San Diego if the Joint Strike Fighter has received an unofficial nickname yet. The F-35’s official nickname is the Lightning II.

Recognizing the gravity of the moment, a colonel in the audience yelled out to the panel, “here’s your chance to make history.”

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