US Air Force drops new ‘bunker buster' bomb for first time

by Gareth Jennings

The new GBU-72 bunker buster bomb being dropped from an F-15E Strike Eagle during a series of tests now announced by the US Air Force. (US Air Force)

The US Air Force (USAF) has performed the first test drops of its new Boeing Guided Bomb Unit‐ (GBU)-72 Advanced 5K (A5K) Penetrator, releasing the ‘bunker buster' bomb from a Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle.

The service announced on 12 October that it had dropped the 5,000 lb weapon (the 5K in its moniker) on several occasions during a series of tests from late July through to early October.

“That series included the first-ever weapons load, flight and release of the weapon 23 July,” the USAF said. “The test series, deemed a success by the Armament Directorate's Direct Attack Division, consisted of three flights”. The USAF noted that the final drop took place into the Elgin Air Force Base (AFB) range in Florida on 7 October, marking the end of the flight trials planned by the 780th Test Squadron and performed by the 40th Flight Test Squadron.


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South Korea developing space weather forecast and warning system for military applications

by Alessandra Giovanzanti

On 19 October DAPA announced that South Korea is developing a new space weather forecast and warning system to help prevent the operational disruption of key military assets due to changes in space weather. (DAPA)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 19 October that the country is developing a new space weather forecast and warning system to support the operation of key military assets.

The new system will foresee changes in space weather conditions and prevent potential disruptions and malfunctioning of onboard communication and navigation systems, specifically Global Positioning System (GPS), thus ensuring stable operations of military assets such as high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles, satellites, and precision-guided weapons, said the agency in a statement.

Cheong Gyu-heon, head of the Command, Control, and Communication Division at DAPA, said this will be the first locally developed system of its kind capable of “accurately observing changes in space weather”, adding that this capability will also help “expand the military use of the space domain”.


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RAF receives seventh Poseidon MMA

by Gareth Jennings

The seventh of nine P-8A Poseidons to be received by the UK bears the name William Barker VC, after a First World War pilot who flew with the same 201 Squadron that operates the maritime multimission aircraft. (Crown Copyright)

The seventh of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) arrived in the United Kingdom on 19 October.

Aircraft ZP807, named William Barker VC after a Canadian pilot who served with the RAF's 201 Squadron during the First World War, flew into RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to join the previously delivered ZP801 Pride of Moray, ZP802 City of Elgin, ZP803 Terence Bulloch DSO DFC, ZP804 Spirit of Reykjavik, ZP805 Fulmar, and ZP806 Guernsey's Reply. The final two Poseidons are scheduled to arrive before the end of the year.


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North Korea says it test-launched new SLBM on 19 October

by Gabriel Dominguez & Mark Cazalet

Images released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) indicate that Pyongyang tested what appears to have been a new short-range submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on 19 October.

The weapon's design appears to be similar to that of the 9M723 missile series used by the Russian-made Iskander short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) system. According to KCNA the “new SLBM type”, a model of which appears to have been unveiled at a defence exhibition held on 11 October in Pyongyang, was test-launched by the country's Academy of Defence Science from the same submarine – referred to as ‘8.24 Yongung' – the country said it used to conduct its first SLBM test from a submarine in 2016.

No further details were provided, but the KCNA released an image showing a submarine bearing the number ‘824' on its sail. North Korea is known to operate one Gorae-class diesel-electric ballistic missile submarine (SSB), which it has used as an experimental testbed rather than a full SSB. This 66.75 m long diesel-electric boat, which was first seen in 2014, has a small rectangular opening containing one missile tube, according to Janes Fighting Ships.


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The US Air Force (USAF) has performed the first test drops of its new Boeing Guided Bomb Unit‐ (GBU)...

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