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U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle catches fire in Poland – Defence Blog


A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle caught fire in Poland Saturday afternoon.

The incident according to an eyewitness happened near Gorzekaly village in northern Poland on 18 January.

As firefighters arrived, they found a Stryker armored vehicle involved in flames, according to Orzysz 998 volunteer fire brigade. Four fire brigades took part in the firefighting operation: WSP Bemowo Piskie, OSP Drygały, OSP Orzysz, JRG Pisz.

No one was injured in the fire. Two Soldiers were in the vehicle at the time the fire began and reported hearing a loud noise before smoke began seeping into the back of the cab.

The eight-wheeled Stryker combat vehicle is the U.S. Army’s Stryker Brigade Combat Team primary combat and combat support platform. Significantly lighter and more transportable than existing tanks and armored vehicles, the Stryker fulfills an immediate requirement to provide Combatant Commanders with a strategically deployable (C-17/C-5) and operationally deployable (C-130) brigade capable of rapid movement anywhere on the globe in a combat ready configuration.

The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) combines the capacity for rapid deployment with survivability and tactical mobility. The Stryker vehicle enables the team to manoeuvre in close and urban terrain, provide protection in open terrain and transport infantry quickly to critical battlefield positions.

Photo by Orzysz 998
Photo by Orzysz 998

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Boeing achieves significant milestone with new Laser Weapon System – Defence Blog


The world’s largest aerospace company Boeing announced that its Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) recently completed a series of key demonstrations with the U.S. Air Force and Army.

The high-energy 5kW CLWS successfully completed several demonstrations of its capabilities, validating its readiness for deployment, according to a recent company news release.

Test operators used handheld, game-style controllers to acquire, track and disable small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in flight. With the CLWS in a fixed-site configuration on a standard shipping container, the first-time system operators successfully defeated approximately 30 targets.

“We received great feedback on the ease of use and maturity of the CLWS system, and its seamless integration into the command and control (C2) network,” said Boeing CLWS Program Manager Kurt Sorenson. “In the past year, Boeing has demonstrated CLWS capabilities with first-time military operators at five test venues. They successfully engaged and defeated hundreds of UAVs with a very high success rate.”

CLWS contains an integrated counter-Unmanned Aerial System package, including a radar system for detection and a high-resolution sensor system for target identification and aimpoint selection. During the MFIX engagement, the system was successfully tasked to provide target verification using its “slew to cue” capability, which allows the radar sensor to tell the camera where to point and engage the target.

Two other High Energy Laser (HEL) weapons originally developed and delivered by Boeing were also successfully demonstrated: the Army Mobile Expeditionary High Energy Laser (MEHEL) on the STRYKER platform, and the large-aperture, higher-power Army High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (HELMTT).

“Boeing’s continuous development of a range of high-energy laser weapons, from the Compact Laser Weapon System to higher-power, tactical-class systems, demonstrates the maturity of the technology,” said Ron Dauk, Boeing Laser & Electro-Optical Systems program manager. “Our proven CLWS systems are ready to provide Force Protection capability for Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) to today’s warfighter.”

Boeing delivered multiple CLWS units in 2018 to a U.S. Department of Defense customer. These units have been deployed overseas for nearly six months as part of a limited user evaluation.

CLWS on Container at Ft. Sill. The Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) successfully demonstrated defeat of fixed and rotary wing targets in the fixed-site container configuration during the Ft. Sill demonstrations. Photo courtesy of the Boeing Company.

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Pentagon concerns spike in pro-Russian sentiment among U.S. troops – Defence Blog


The U.S. military officials have concerned the spike in pro-Russian sentiment among the households of military members.

More than 1,000 U.S. adults responded between Oct. 24 and Oct. 30, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points to the second annual national defense survey conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. Almost 46% of the households of military members viewed Russia as an ally even considering the increase in tension between the two countries.

The Voice of America has reported that while a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concerned.

“There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion,” Defense Department spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason told VOA.

“This is not only through discordant and inflammatory dialogue but through false narratives designed to elicit sympathetic views,” she said, adding, “we are actively working to expose and counter Russian disinformation whenever possible.”

The Deutsche Welle reported that in order to manipulate public discussions, especially in times of elections or referendums, information providers controlled by the Kremlin have purposefully disseminated disinformation, extremely hyperpartisan news and populist narratives. This is not an extension of pluralism of opinion through balanced and objective information that is acceptable in the sense of a free public sphere, but rather illegitimate interference.

These novel disinformation campaigns exploit the increased information overload experienced by people in the digital world. They flood the information space with a multitude of lies, half-truths or absurd news.

A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the Russian propaganda uses every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to users’ interests to influence they.

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“Mystery” missile battery spotted on roof of building across street from White House – Defence Blog


NBC News reported Tuesday that the White House and the U.S. Capitol were put on temporary lockdown following an airspace violation in Washington D.C., according to law enforcement sources.

The Secret Service said in a statement that the brief lockdown was due to a “potential violation of the restricted airspace in the National Capital Region.”

During lockdown also was spotted point of mystery air defense system atop a building across the street from the White House.

Sara Cook, a CBS News producer covering the White House, tweeted out an image showing a missile battery in the roof of a building near the White House.

Andrew Leyden wrote in response to Sara Cook tweet: “There are several types of anti-aircraft missile batteries around DC, near DCA, JBAB, Carderock and other locations. That one you spotted was actually put in place many many years ago.”

According to some sources, the air defense system that was spotted is an element of AN/TWQ-1 Avenger pointed on the roof of the New Executive Office Building (NEOB), a U.S. federal government office building in Washington, D.C.. The building is located at 725 17th Street NW, on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue. To the south is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), which is next to the White House.

The Drive said that the AN/TWQ-1 is more typically seen mounted on a Humvee, but can be positioned in fixed emplacements, as well. It is armed with the two four-round launchers for the FIM-92 Stinger missile and a .50 caliber M3P machine gun.

Another Twitter user wrote: “Isn´t it quite normal that in/around Washington DC and especially around the hill/White House several defense installations are available? I would be more confused if there are not such things in place?!…as well as they hopefully change positons random to screw up observers!”

As to ‘lockdown’, U.S. Capitol Police confirmed that access to the Capitol Complex buildings was halted “for a short time.” The situation was cleared at 9:12 a.m., Capitol Police said, about 45 minutes after the aircraft was first reported in the restricted airspace.

A spokesperson for NORAD said in a statement later Tuesday that the object could have been “a flock of birds or a weather balloon.”

The event was “resolved without incident,” the spokesperson said.

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U.S. Army orders 30mm automatic chain guns – Defence Blog


The U.S. Army has awarded a contract to Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC, part of Northrop Grumman, to deliver 30mm automatic chain guns and bevel gears.

The contract, from U.S. Army Contracting Command and announced by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $8 million.

According to a statement issued Friday, Alliant Techsystems Operations was awarded an $8 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of the M230 30mm automatic gun and the bevel gear.

The U.S. Department of Defense also noted that work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 19, 2024.

The M230 chain gun is a 30mm, single-barrel automatic cannon developed by Hughes and now manufactured by Northrop Grumman. It is an electrically operated chain gun, a weapon that uses external electrical power (as opposed to recoil or expanding gas generated by the firing cartridge) to cycle the weapon between shots.

A 30mm automatic M230 chain gun is located under the fuselage. It provides a rate of fire of 625 rounds a minute. The helicopter has a capacity for up to 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

The gun has a positive cook-off safety for open bolt clearing and double ram prevention. Spent casings are ejected overboard through the bottom of the gun.

Photo by Capt. Brian Harris

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