Marines Fire Anti-Ship Missile from Back of Unmanned Truck to Hit Target at Sea

Marines scored a direct hit in a first-ever live-fire test in which they launched a Navy missile from the back of an unmanned tactical vehicle to strike a surface target at sea.

The Marine Corps has combined two existing technologies to produce a deadly new way to hit targets offshore. Coined NMESIS, the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System can launch naval strike missiles from the back of a modified Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV, to destroy targets on land or at sea.

Raytheon Missiles and Defense, which makes the naval strike missile, announced Wednesday that the Marine Corps used NMESIS to hit a target in the water from Point Mugu Sea Range in California. The missile can take out targets from more than 100 nautical miles away.

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The U.S. military is getting a nuclear-powered space vehicle

A nuclear thermal propulsion system meant to operate in low Earth orbit may sound like the stuff of the future, but the future will come much sooner than most of us expect. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (better known by its acronym, DARPA)  just announced three companies will be designing America’s most futuristic engine – and it’s expected to be operational by 2025. 

This engine is not known by its acronym, DRACO, which stands for Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations. DARPA says the three big contractors designing over the next four years will be General Atomics, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin.

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South Carolina is becoming home to a quiet Qatari military aircraft project

The nation of Qatar, a tiny Gulf state known for its vast energy riches, tiny indigenous population, slave labor economy, and, of course, its troublesome connections to international terrorist organizations, has commenced a massive but under-the-radar spending spree in South Carolina. Through Barzan Aeronautical, a subsidiary of the Qatar defense ministry-controlled Barzan Holdings, Doha has targeted South Carolina as the location for a major military aircraft initiative. The state is home to several Qatar-friendly politicians and defense industry heavyweights.

Senator Lindsey Graham has held several face-to-face meetings with high-ranking delegations from the $320 billion Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which has pledged to invest billions into the state. Over the past couple of years, Graham has emerged as one of the major pro-Qatar voices in the Senate. He routinely takes to television and other media platforms to repudiate Qatar’s regional adversaries, while bolstering its allies.

The top donor to South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s recent successful gubernatorial campaign is a major Qatari lobbyist. Between 2017 and 2018, Imaad Zuberi, a lobbyist who represents the ultra-wealthy QIA, shelled out over $50,000 for McMaster’s campaign, according to campaign finance reports. Zuberi told associates that his donations to Republicans were a way to pay for further access to politicians, according to The New York Times.

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin—Former Member of Raytheon Board of Directors—Has Awarded Over $2.36 Billion in Contracts to Raytheon Since His Confirmation in January

The Pentagon has awarded the defense giant Raytheon Technologies over $2.36 billion in government contracts since Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III’s confirmation on January 22nd.

Austin was on Raytheon’s board of directors prior to his confirmation.

Austin at the time had made a commitment to resign from Raytheon’s board and recuse himself from all matters concerning Raytheon for four years and agreed to divest from his financial holdings in the company, amounting to between $500,000 and $1.7 million in stock.

These initiatives, however, have not prevented Austin from using his position to bolster Raytheon’s fortunes. Nor those of other defense contractors on whose board he has sat such as Booz Allen Hamilton, the world’s “most profitable spy organization,” according to Bloomberg News, and Pine Island Capital, a private equity firm that invests in military industry.[1]

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Northrop Grumman robotic MEV-2 spacecraft, in a first, catches active Intelsat satellite

Two aerospace firms accomplished an industry first on Monday, as a small Northrop Grumman spacecraft docked successfully with an active Intelsat satellite to provide service and extend its life.

Intelsat’s IS-10-02 satellite is nearly 18 years old, and operating well past its expected lifespan, but the Northrop Grumman-built spacecraft called MEV-2 will add another five years of life to IS-10-02, essentially re-fueling the satellite and giving it a new engine for control.

The companies hit a milestone in the growing business of servicing satellites while in space.

“Today’s successful docking of our second Mission Extension Vehicle further demonstrates the reliability, safety and utility of in-space logistics,” Tom Wilson, vice president of Nothrop Grumman’s strategic space systems said in a statement. “The success of this mission paves the way for our second generation of servicing satellites and robotics, offering flexibility and resiliency for both commercial and government satellite operators, which can enable entirely new classes of missions.”

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As Saudis Suck Up Weapons, US Accounts for Over 1/3 of All Global Arms Sales

A new analysis of global weapons sales published Monday revealed that the United States now accounts for well over a third of all arms exports worldwide over the last half decade and nearly half of these weapons of war were sold to nations in the Middle East—a region beset by war and conflicts unleashed and exacerbated by American foreign policy.

According to the new data on global arms transfers compiled and analyzed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a decrease in arms sales between 2016 and 2020 by Russia and China—the second and fifth exporters overall, respectively—was offset by increasing sales made by the other top five weapons exporters: U.S., France, and Germany. And while the sales remained steady compared to the 2011–2015 period, the report shows that the past decade still saw the highest levels of weapons sales worldwide since the height of the Cold War in the 1980s.

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