Radar Sweep

National Guard Helicopter Crashes in Texas, Killing Three

The Washington Post

Three people were killed and another was injured March 8 when a National Guard helicopter crashed in Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border. A UH-72 Lakota helicopter carrying three National Guard members and a U.S. Border Patrol agent crashed about 2:50 p.m. local time while conducting operations near Rio Grande City, according to a news release from Joint Task Force North, based in Fort Bliss. Two of the National Guard members and the agent were killed. The third trooper was injured.

Biden’s Armageddon Moment: When Nuclear Detonation Seemed Possible in Ukraine

The New York Times

President Biden was standing in an Upper East Side townhouse owned by the businessman James Murdoch, the rebellious scion of the media empire, surrounded by liberal New York Democrats who had paid handsomely to come hear optimistic talk about the Biden agenda for the next few years. It was Oct. 6, 2022, but what they heard instead that evening was a disturbing message that—though Mr. Biden didn’t say so—came straight from highly classified intercepted communications he had recently been briefed about, suggesting that President Vladimir V. Putin’s threats to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine might be turning into an operational plan.

F-35A Officially Certified to Carry Nuclear Bomb

Breaking Defense

The F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has been operationally certified to carry the B61-12 thermonuclear gravity bomb, a spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) tells Breaking Defense. In a statement, JPO spokesman Russ Goemaere said the certification was achieved Oct. 12, months ahead of a pledge to NATO allies that the process would wrap by January 2024. Certain F-35As will now be capable of carrying the B61-12, officially making the stealth fighter a “dual-capable” aircraft that can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons.

DOD Developing ‘Gremlin’ Capability to Help Personnel Collect Real-Time UAP Data


The Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office is producing and refining a new deployable surveillance capability—the Gremlin System—to enable personnel to capture real-time data and more rapidly respond to unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP) incidents as they occur, the acting chief of the office told DefenseScoop during a press briefing.

Biden, Pentagon Urge Congress to Pass National Security Funding Bill

Defense One

The Pentagon’s top money man has a message for the Hill: It’s past time to vote on the president’s supplemental funding request for Ukraine, Israel, and the Middle East. “Not trying to be a hater, I mean, this Congress has not gotten a lot done,” Michael McCord, the Pentagon’s chief financial officer, said March 7 during the McAleese defense conference in Washington, D.C. “We have passed [continuing resolutions]; we have shown that we can do that. We have avoided default, but we're looking for proactive things as well as avoiding completely falling off the cliff. And coming together and getting things done has proven problematic.”

Military Commanders Rejoice at New NATO Members Amid Huge Joint Exercise and Russia’s Looming Shadow


U.S., Finnish, and Norwegian military officials flanked a representative from the newest NATO member, Sweden, on March 8 as congratulations were shared and Russia remained top of mind. Sweden officially joined NATO on March 7, ending centuries of neutrality, amid the largest NATO exercise since 1988. It was a clear sign to the Kremlin that its full-scale invasion of Ukraine has not gone unmet, and that Nordic countries—along with the U.S. and other NATO allies—are prepared to defend their own borders.

PODCAST: Building Tomorrow’s Space Force Architecture: Industry Insights

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

In Episode 172 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, host John “Slick” Baum chats with Scott Forney, the president of electromagnetic systems at General Atomics, along with Col. Charles Galbreath, USSF (Ret.), and Maj. Gen. Larry Stutzriem, USAF (Ret.). They explore the construction of this enterprise through an industrial base vantage. GA-EMS is a lead actor helping build out this new space architecture alongside the Space Force. They’re involved on the Tranche 2 effort with the Space Development Agency and building part of the replacement for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, while also pioneering domain awareness technology in the cislunar region.

France Prepares for Space Wars in ‘AsterX’ European Exercise

Defense News

In silent orbit around Earth, a potentially hostile satellite approaches an allied communication node, intentions unknown. French Space Command has determined the move is deliberate, and intelligence shows the enemy spacecraft is equipped with a robotic arm that would allow it to de-orbit the friendly asset. The French-led blue team moves a “patroller” satellite into a protective position – a capability France is working on, but now lacks—to block any hostile action by the U.S.-led red team. While fictional, the scenario played out on March 7 during Europe’s largest space wargames is credible and based on real capabilities, said Colonel Mathieu Bernabé, who is leading the exercise.

BlackSky Secures Back-to-Back US Air Force Contracts


Earth imaging and analytics company BlackSky won a $3.5 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to supply satellite imagery and analysis in support of “global moving target engagement,” the Air Force said March 8. This award comes on the heels of a research contract last year, and a $2 million award announced March 4 to supply the Air Force satellite imagery data and access to the BlackSky data analytics platform. Under the $2 million contract, the AFRL will use the data for studies and to help train artificial intelligence models focused on detecting and tracking moving objects and targets from space.

‘Political Decisions’: Saab CEO Says NATO Rushed E-3 Replacement Decision in Favor of E-7 Wedgetail

Breaking Defense

After losing out to Boeing on NATO’s initial Allied Future Surveillance and Control (iAFSC) program to replace E-3A Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, Saab CEO Micael Johansson voiced frustration, alleging that alliance procurement authorities rushed a quick decision in favor of the E-7 Wedgetail out of fear of the planes being delivered behind schedule.

Proposed Aid Port to Gaza Will Need 1,000 Troops, Two Months to Build

Task & Purpose

More than 1,000 American troops will be needed to build the military’s planned temporary port off the coast of Gaza for bringing in aid. That’s according to the Pentagon, which said the effort will take time—approximately 60 days to complete. The planned maritime port was announced this week, with President Joe Biden detailing it at the State of the Union on March 7. On March 8, Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder elaborated on details, saying the temporary pier will take close to two months to actually be built and made operational. That’s with the U.S. military “starting immediately” in mobilizing resources for the effort.

One More Thing

Stratolaunch Achieves 1st Powered Flight of TA-1 Hypersonic Vehicle at Mach 5

Interesting Engineering

U.S. aerospace company Stratolaunch just made a name for themselves with the first powered test flight of its new hypersonic research vehicle. The vehicle, called Talon-A-1, was launched from the belly of the giant Roc carrier aircraft on March 9, off the coast of California. It soared at speeds close to Mach 5, which is five times the speed of sound, before plunging into the ocean as planned. In an earlier test back in May 2023 the vehicle (TA-0) could only perform gliding maneuvers and send telemetry data.