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Military Tech

  • Does Trump actually want the F35 programme or not?

    A few weeks ago, US president-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to blast Lockheed-Martin's F35 fighter jet programme. The programme was slammed for cost overruns and failing to deliver in a few areas, causing Lockheed-Martin's stock to briefly drop. Now, Trump's pick for defense secretary, James Mattis, has said that the president-elect actually supports the programme. According to Defense News, Mattis said Trump just wants "more bang for his buck". "It's not my role to comment on the president-elect's statements except to say that it shows he's serious about getting the best bang for the dollar when it comes to defense dollars, and...

  • Questions raised over Ukraine artillery hacking

    A cybersecurity expert has questioned claims that Russian intelligence hacked Ukrainian artillery units with malware to track their location. Security firm Crowdstrike issued a report last month, finding that malware had infected Ukrainian artillery units who used an application called POPR-D30. The artillery operators used the Android app to calculate firing corrections for the D30 howitzer. Crowdstrike's report found that an infected version of the app was floating around, adding that the infected version was sending the artillery units' location to Russian intelligence. The report added that Russia may have used the malware to get a fix on Ukrainian artillery emplacements and destroy...

  • Now Ukraine’s artillery is affected by malware

    We've already seen malware being used to disrupt power stations and other infrastructure. But a new form of malware has been affecting Ukraine's artillery pieces. According to security firm CrowdStrike, hackers crafted the X-Agent malware into an Android app used by Ukrainian artillery operators. The legitimate version of the app allows operators of the D-30 howitzer to quickly process targeting data, reducing processing time from minutes to "under 15 seconds". And it's seen quite a lot of downloads, with roughly 9000 users, it's been claimed. The malware should be a big concern for militaries around the world The security firm found that X-Agent was able to...

  • Russia tests ‘anti-satellite’ missile

    Russia has conducted a successful test of an anti-satellite missile, it has been reported. According to the Washington Free Beacon, it was the third successful test of the PL-19 Nudol missile out of five tests in total. The missile was launched from a base in central Russia on 16 December and was monitored by the USA, the publication added. According to CNN, US intelligence didn't track any debris, suggesting that a target wasn't destroyed during the test. Russia purportedly says that the missile is intended for defence against ballistic missiles. An anti-satellite missile could wreak havoc on a military's capabilities, targeting communications and spy satellites as well...

  • Donald Trump to cancel F-35 fighter programme?

    US president-elect Donald Trump has slammed numerous companies and people, but defense firms haven't been in his crosshairs too often. However, this week saw Trump slam Lockheed-Martin for the horribly expensive, much delayed F-35 fighter jet programme. "The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th," the president-elect tweeted on Monday. The tweet saw Lockheed-Martin's shares dip by over 4% before closing down by 2.47%. The F-35 programme has courted a ton of negative publicity Lockheed Martin's fighter jet has been hit with numerous cost overruns and delays. In...

  • Canada a step closer to cancelling F-35 fighter deal

    The F-35 fighter jet has been beset by problems over the past few years, from numerous delays to issues with target tracking and weapon firing. In fact, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly vowed to cancel the purchase of the controversial fighter jet. Now, the country has announced plans to purchase 18 older Super Hornet fighter jets as an "interim measure", CBC reports, putting the country closer to officially cancelling the order. The country's defence ministry has also called for an "open and transparent" competition to select a replacement for the CF-18 jets. According to Popular Mechanics, the...

  • Fighter pilots to soon have drone wingmen

    The USA's heavy use of drone strikes serves as more evidence of the technology's increased involvement in conflicts around the world. But unmanned aircraft are set to be more than just a standalone solution for "surgical" strikes. At least if the USA and Japan's new programmes are anything to go by. Both countries have announced drone wingmen to partner up with traditional manned aircraft. In other words, they're preparing for a future where manned and unmanned aircraft operate side-by-side. USA's more conventional approach The USA's Loyal Wingman Initiative is expected to see last-generation unmanned F16 fighters paired up with the latest F35 fighter jets. According...

  • F35 fighter jet still has ‘significant’ tech issues

    The Lockheed Martin F35's troubles have been well-documented, ranging from major software issues to a horrendous price tag. But is one of the most advanced military jets in history making good progress? According to a Secretary of Defense memo, spotted by Bloomberg and the Project for Government Oversight, the F35 is "on a path toward failing" to deliver the full capabilities for the programme by 2018. The memo added that the Department of Defense was paying US$400-billion for the programme. The memo noted that the military jet would be unable to perform close air support operations as effectively as the older F16,...