Two Air Force supersonic bombers flew low over the Korean Peninsula Sunday in a show of force after North Korea test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile.
The exercise -- part of a 10-hour mission with South Korean and Japanese fighter jets -- was “in direct response to North Korea’s escalatory launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” a Pacific Air Forces statement said.
A suspected Hwasong-14 missile -- the second ICBM North Korea has tested successfully so far this month -- was fired late Friday from Mupyong-ni in the country’s far northwest and splashed down into the Sea of Japan about 620 miles east of the launch site, a Pentagon statement said.
The Guam-based B-1B Lancers first flew into Japanese airspace and were joined by two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter jets, the statement said. The bombers then flew over the Korean Peninsula and were met by four South Korean F-15s. After a low pass over Osan Air Base, the pair returned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
The aircrews took part in “intercept and formation” training throughout the mission, the statement said.
A similar drill took place after North Korea launched its first ICBM on July 4, though that one involved the Lancers firing inert weapons at a range in South Korea.
The Air Force said the missions show solidarity with its allies South Korea and Japan, where the U.S. has a combined force of about 80,000 servicemembers.
“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, said in the statement. “Diplomacy remains the lead; however, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.