A draft RFP has been issued for an incendiary bunker-buster bomb:
The Defense Department is laying plans to demonstrate by 2018 a next-generation bunker-busting bomb armed with a new payload -- "kinetic fireball incendiaries" -- that could be used to destroy chemical or biological weapons stored in fortified, underground facilities.
Next month, the Air Force plans to ask industry for proposals to develop and demonstrate a Heated And Mobile Munitions Employing Rockets (HAMMER) munition, incorporating a kinetic fireball incendiary payload into the standard, steel warhead casing the U.S. military uses to house payloads that smash through concrete fortifications, according to a draft solicitation.
"HAMMER will demonstrate the ability to penetrate into representative targets with a BLU-109B/ 2,000-lb. Class hard target penetrator warhead, dispense a payload of Kinetic Fireball Incendiaries (KFI) and defeat representative chemical and/or biological equipment and agent stimulants while mitigating the release of any viable WMD stimulants into the surrounding area," states a draft request for proposals published on July 16 on Federal Business Opportunities.
Document: Air Force Draft RFP For HAMMER Munition
While JSF operational aircraft still have flight restrictions, test aircraft do not:
Flight restrictions remain for Joint Strike Fighter operational aircraft until an engine investigation wraps up, but limits have been removed for test aircraft, according to the F-35 joint program office.
All three F-35 variants were grounded after a fire broke out aboard an Air Force F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing jet at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, on June 23. All Navy and Air Force aircraft returned to flight the week of July 15, but under a restricted flight envelope.
"Flight restrictions will be lifted when root cause of the engine failure and the associated fix is identified," F-35 communications director Joe DellaVedova wrote in a July 30 statement to InsideDefense.com.
The outgoing head of Air Combat Command spoke on manned and unmanned aircraft this week:
The outgoing head of Air Combat Command this week questioned the public's "love affair" with unmanned aircraft and talked up the capability of the manned U-2 spy plane, which the Air Force wants to retire.
Speaking at a July 29 Air Force Association forum in Washington, Gen. Mike Hostage also rejected the notion that a next-generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform would be an unmanned, MQ-X type of aircraft.
Hostage offered a stark assessment of the strategic importance of unmanned aircraft, which the Air Force has spent billions of dollars developing even though they are largely limited to permissive environments.
News on a new Asia Pacific exercise:
U.S. Pacific Command has announced it will host Fortune Guard 2014, the first-ever multinational Asia Pacific proliferation security exercise, next week.
The "debut exercise" will be the first in a new series of annual Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) exercise rotations in the Asia Pacific, according to a July 29 announcement from PACOM.
"The exercise is designed to address the full range of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) interdiction-related skill sets, from whole-of-government rapid decision making to operational tactics, through a tabletop exercise, port exercise, and live exercise at sea," PACOM states. "Fortune Guard 2014 will also feature an interactive academic seminar that focuses on regional WMD proliferation threats and trends, regional architecture and nonproliferation, and the development of counterproliferation interdiction as a global norm."
More PACOM news:
U.S. Pacific Command is implementing the Army's "Pacific Pathways" concept as part of the Obama administration's pivot to the Asia Pacific region, according to the PACOM commander.
Under the Pacific Pathways concept, the Army plans to develop small units that will be forward-deployed to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crises in the region.
Some new documents of note:
The July 16, 2014, Defense Department document "provides overarching doctrine for special operations and the employment and support for special operations forces across the range of military operations."
The July 16, 2014, Defense Department document "provides doctrine for planning, executing, and managing operational contract support in all phases of joint operations."
The July 18, 2014, memo "outlines the Administration's multi-agency science and technology priorities for formulating FY 2016 Budget submissions to the Office of Management and Budget."
On July 29, 2014, the State Department released its annual, "detailed assessment of the adherence of the United States and other nations to obligations undertaken in all arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements or commitments to which the United States is a participating state." The report determines that Russia is in violation of its obligations under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.
-- John Liang