The Doomsday Jet

The Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post, with the project name “Nightwatch”, is a strategic command and control military aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). The E-4 series was specially modified from the Boeing 747-200B. The E-4 serves as a survivable mobile command post for the National Command Authority, namely the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and successors. The four E-4Bs are operated by the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron of the 55th Wing located at Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska. An E-4B is denoted a “National Airborne Operations Center” when in action, it is to be a command platform in the event of nuclear war.

 

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The E-4B is designed to survive an EMP with systems intact and has state-of-the-art direct fire countermeasures. Although many older aircraft have been upgraded with glass cockpits, the E-4B still uses traditional analog flight instruments, as they are less susceptible to damage from an EMP blast.[

The E-4B is capable of operating with a crew up to 112 people including flight and mission personnel, the largest crew of any aircraft in US Air Force history. With in-flight aerial refueling it is capable of remaining airborne for a considerable period (limited only by consumption of the engines’ lubricants and food supplies). In a test flight for endurance, the aircraft remained airborne and fully operational for 35.4 hours, however it was designed to remain airborne for a full week in the event of an emergency. It takes two fully loaded KC-135 tankers to fully refuel an E-4B. The E-4B has three operational decks: upper, middle, and lower.

 

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In January 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced a plan to retire the entire E-4B fleet starting in 2009. This was reduced to retiring one of the aircraft in February 2007. The next Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates reversed this decision in May 2007. This is due to the unique capabilities of the E-4B, which cannot be duplicated by any other single aircraft in Air Force service, and the cancellation in 2007 of the E-10 MC2A, which was considered as a successor to the EC-135 and E-8 aircraft, and could also perform many of the same tasks of the E-4B. As of the 2015 federal budget there were no plans for retiring the E-4B. The E-4B airframe has a usable life of 115K hours and 30K cycles, which would be reached in 2039; the maintenance limiting point would occur some time in the 2020s.

All four produced are operated by the U.S. Air Force, and are assigned to the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron (1ACCS) of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Maintenance and crews are provided by Air Combat Command. Operations are coordinated by the United States Strategic Command.

When the President travels outside of North America using a VC-25A as Air Force One, an E-4B will deploy to a second airport in the vicinity of the President’s destination, to be readily available in the event of a world crisis or an emergency that renders the VC-25A unusable. When the President visits Honolulu, Hawaii, an E-4B has often been stationed 200 miles away at Hilo International Airport on Hawaii Island.

 

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Battle Staff Cabin

 

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A right front view of an E-4 advanced airborne command post (AABNCP) on the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) simulator for testing.

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An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also sometimes called a transient electromagnetic disturbance, is a short burst of electromagnetic energy. Such a pulse’s origination may be a natural occurrence or man-made and can occur as a radiated, electric or magnetic field or a conducted electric current, depending on the source.

EMP interference is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels a powerful EMP event such as a lightning strike can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures. The management of EMP effects is an important branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.

Weapons have been developed to create the damaging effects of high-energy EMP. These are typically divided into nuclear and non-nuclear devices. Such weapons, both real and fictional, have become known to the public by means of popular culture.

U.S. is developing new Super-Drone

DARPA is building a drone to provide ‘persistent’ surveillance virtually anywhere in the world

 

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is on track to unveil a working prototype of its “Tern” drone system in 2018 that could eventually give the Navy and Marines persistent surveillance and strike targeting “virtually anywhere in the world.”

If it’s implemented, the Tern program would see fully-autonomous drones on small-deck ships throughout the world that can take off and land vertically. Once in flight, they transition to wing-borne flight at medium 

altitude and become the eyes and ears for its ship for long periods of time.

Among the things the Navy wants is a drone that can provide surveillance capability and strike targets, but with greater range than a traditional helicopter. It also would likely be used to gather signals intelligence from foreign adversaries — one of the main missions for US submarine forces.

 

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Tern, short for Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node, is a joint program between the Office of Naval Research and DARPA, the Pentagon’s research and development arm. The agency just funded a second Tern test vehicle for the next year that’s being built by Northrup Grumman.

If all goes to plan, Tern will move to ground-based testing in early 2019, before being tested at sea later in the year.

“We’re making substantial progress toward our scheduled flight tests, with much of the hardware already fabricated and software development and integration in full swing,” Brad Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, said in a statement.

“As we keep pressing into uncharted territory—no one has flown a large unmanned tailsitter before—we remain excited about the future capabilities a successful Tern demonstration could enable: organic, persistent, long-range reconnaissance, targeting, and strike support from most Navy ships.”

 

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Tern isn’t the only drone program DARPA is working on. The agency has also been working on something called “upward falling payloads,” a program that would station drones in water-tight containers around the world’s oceans until they are called to the surface.

Here’s a concept video of how Tern is supposed to operate:

Vladimir Putin’s War Room makes Dr. Strangelove War Room look Puny

Vladimir Putin’s massive, triple-decker war room revealed

 

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MOSCOW — “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the war room!”

It could have been a scene straight out of “Dr. Strangelove” when President Vladimir V. Putin stepped into the Russian Ministry of Defense’s brand new, three-tiered, multibillion-dollar control center this week, for a war briefing that had its fair share of movie-like pageantry.

The fortified National Control Defense Center was Putin’s first stop after officials confirmed that the Russian charter jet crash that claimed 224 lives last month was the result of an act of terror.

On movie-theater-size screens, live broadcasts showed long-range strategic bombers taking off from Russian air bases to fly sorties over Syria. Putin instructed commanders in Syria to “make contact with the French and work with them as allies” as Russia seeks a central role in a proposed anti-terrorist coalition.

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But the real star of the show may have been the building itself, which is designed to be a new nerve center for the Russian military that will coordinate military action around the world, including ballistic missile launches and strategic nuclear deployments.

The building is roughly the equivalent of the U.S. National Military Command Center used by the Pentagon, but as one Russian state news agency noted in a breathless headline this week, “Russian Defense Data Center Outperforms US Facility Threefold: Official.”

The center, which is fortified and said to sit on top of a maze of underground tunnels, is on the Frunze Naberezhnaya on the left bank of the Moscow river, a little over two miles from Red Square.

 

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It was finished in 2014 and is part of a massive, decade-long modernization of Russia’s army, which has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but has also produced noted improvements, from the expertise of Russian troops deployed during the Crimea operation to the recent cruise missile strikes launched from the Caspian Sea.

The new national defense center also includes a helicopter pad that was deployed on the Moscow River late last year and can accommodate Russia’s Mi-8 transport helicopter. In case of a war, it would be the country’s premier communications center, and one Russian commander compared it to the military headquarters of the Soviet Union during World War II.

 

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Another room with a large round table and more giant monitors.

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Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said that the center is a step toward “forming a single information space for solving tasks in the interests of the country’s defense.”

As Worldviews noted during Russia’s International Army Games in August, Russia’s military has sought to raise its public profile through savvy media branding.

At the briefing, army personnel sat in color-coded rows with matching headsets and water bottles bearing the Russian army brand (their flagship store recently opened on Tverskaya Street here, Moscow’s equivalent of Fifth Avenue). The briefing was covered on Russian national television from at least four distinct camera angles.

Andrei Kolesnikov, a reporter who has covered Putin for the past 15 years and is known for his lyrical, fawning reports of the Russian president, waxed introspective as he covered the briefing Tuesday.

“When this building and this room were opened a year ago, I was somewhat perplexed: Yes, it all looks very persuasive, and the Pentagon might even only dream of something like this, if only in a nightmare. But why? Who will need these screens the size of small soccer fields with grandstands for viewers?

 

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“And here was the answer. Every spot was filled. Russia’s entire high army command were the viewers. Or was it like the warming bench, and at any moment everyone was ready to go on the field …”

Later in the piece, he added: “My soul of course was not filled with delight and trembling at the hellish power of this armada. But I was perturbed, yes, I was.”

The War Rooms from the movies take a backseat to this giant high-tech cavern.

Dr. Strangelove

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‘You Only Live Twice”, James Bond.

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Awesomely Bad Music Video With Tanks and Suicide Drones

Azerbaijan’s Border Guard Has This Awesomely Bad Music Video With Tanks and Suicide Drones

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The internet really has radically defined the ways military and security forces, as well as defense contractors, can promote themselves, while also giving journalists and researchers copious amounts of extra material to pore over when looking for new and interesting tidbits. Case in point, a recent and slickly produced music video from Azerbaijan’s State Border Service, featuring a former contestant on The Voice of Azerbaijan, along with a full band, performing around tanks, armed helicopters, and patrol boats. It even includes the launch of Israeli-made suicide drones.

Azerbaijan’s border guard posted the music video, titled “Ways of the Queen” and staring Narmin Karimbayova and Nur Group, on its official YouTube channel, which is a thing that most definitely exists, on April 11, 2018. Joseph Dempsey, a defense researcher with the International Insitute for Strategic Studies, was among the first to notice that, in addition to a catchy song, the full production offered an unusually detailed look at some of the small Caucasus country’s most advanced weaponry. It also prominently features clips of dictatorial President Ilham Aliyev, who has run the country since 2003, when his father, Heydar Aliyev, died.

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The Camouflaged Military Bunkers of Switzerland

Switzerland is a politically neutral country, yet it has a strong military. All across the Swiss alps are military installation and bunkers carefully hidden so as to blend into the surrounding landscape. Some of them are camouflaged as huge rocks, others as quiet villas or barns that could open up in the event of an emergency to reveal cannons and heavy machine guns that could blow any approaching army to smithereens. Enormous caverns are dugout on the mountain side to function as ad-hoc airbases with hangars. Every major bridge, tunnel, road and railway has been rigged so they could be deliberately collapsed, whenever required, to keep enemy armies out. Highways can be converted into runways by quickly removing the grade separations in between the lanes.

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Is that a rock?

The country has nuclear fallout shelters in every home, institutions and hospitals, as well as nearly 300,000 bunkers and 5,100 public shelters that could accommodate the entire Swiss population if required. Switzerland also has one of the largest armies on a per capita basis, with 200,000 active personnel and 3.6 million available for service. Every male citizen under 34 years old (under 50 in some cases) is a reserve soldier. Soldiers are even allowed to take all personally assigned weapons to home. If anyone were to invade Switzerland, they would find a nation armed to the teeth.

In his 1984 book, La Place de la Concorde Suisse, acclaimed New Yorker author John McPhee quoted a Swiss officer as saying: “Switzerland doesn’t have an army, Switzerland is an army.” Indeed, Switzerland’s powerful citizen army has helped preserve the country’s neutrality and keep neighboring countries from invading Swiss territory. The country hasn’t been involved in any military conflict for 200 years.

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A bunker disguised as a house.

Fortification of the Swiss alpine region began in the 1880s. They were intensified and modernized during the World War and again during the Cold War period. But today, as a neutral country with no immediate threats to its borders, most of the bunkers lie empty and many are falling into disrepair. Some have been converted into shelters for homeless people, others house things like museums and hotels.

The Swiss government considered closing them down but the cost of decommissioning — an estimated $1 billion — far surpasses what it takes annually to maintain them. While the matter is still debated, the bunkers are likely to stay because they still provide use as fallout shelters. “Neutrality is no guarantee against radioactivity,” they say. In 1978, a law was passed requiring all new buildings to incorporate a shelter. If a family decides against building a shelter, they must pay for a place in the public shelter. Switzerland is the only country in the world that could provide protection to its entire population of 8 million, and more.

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Another bunker disguised as a barn.

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Major Gunboat Diplomacy

A show of force aimed directly at that lunatic dictator in North Korea.

Three U.S. Navy carrier strike groups are operated alongside one another in the Western Pacific through November 14th, 2017. The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), along with the Japanese helicopter carrier Ise and its destroyer escorts, are training to work cooperatively as a single punishing force.

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