US UAV downed in Black Sea following mid-air collision with Russian Sukhoi Su-27

by Zach Rosenberg

USAF MQ-9 Reaper in Afghanistan. The Reaper is equipped with what is believed to be the ‘Gorgon Stare' wide-area airborne surveillance system (WAASS). The MQ-9 downed in the Black Sea may have been equipped with a similar system. (United States Air Force)

A US Air Force (USAF) General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed into the Black Sea on 14 March, following what the Pentagon said was an aerial collision with a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter.

The collision occurred at 07:03 Central European Time when one of two Su-27s that intercepted the UAV struck its rear-mounted propeller, “causing US forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters“, according to a statement by US European Command.

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said US Air Forces Europe commander General James Hecker. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”


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USMC plans to buy high-power ULTV variant

by Aaron Lin

A marine programs a counter-unmanned aircraft system on a Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System (LMADIS) during a predeployment training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. (US Marine Corps)

The Ultra Light Tactical Vehicle (ULTV) programme – a US Marine Corps (USMC) replacement for the ageing Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) – will now include a variant with more exportable power, according to Janes analysis of budget documents.

The fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget request is the first time the ULTV-High Power (ULTV-HP) has funding for procurement, adding up to roughly USD5.99 million for 40 vehicles in that year. USMC justification documents indicate that it “provides exportable electrical power generation in support of the requirements for [the] kill web integrating system”.


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Feature: Arctic formations taking shape in US Army

by Meredith Roaten

A convoy of Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles perform command-and-control operations for the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center training rotation in Fort Greely, Alaska. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

Life in the Arctic can shift from -40ºF with 20 to 30 mph winds one week to the snow melting away as temperatures climb closer to 40ºF every day the next week. This kind of chaos makes the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation an excellent trial for new US Army equipment and operations in contested environments, top service officials told Janes .

Investment in the region has remained stagnant, but nonetheless, formations in the region like the 11th Airborne Division are trying to grow beyond a support capacity and embrace the Arctic warfare mission described in Department of Defense (DoD)- and service-level strategies for addressing the growing threat of a contested Arctic.


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US Navy CNO cites importance of logistics, new weapons development

by Michael Fabey

The USN CNO noted the need for the development of directed energy weapons, such as the laser system shown in this artist's rendition. (Lockheed Martin)

Recent US Navy (USN) operations in the Red Sea have underscored the importance of logistics, according to Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the USN chief of naval operations (CNO).

Adm Franchetti also noted the importance of developing new weapons and related capabilities to match emerging threats.

The CNO made the comments during a discussion for Defense One that was shown online on 27 March.

“I've focused a lot especially on contested logistics and the need to think creatively about how to resupply our ships that are out there on the pointy end,” Adm Franchetti said. “We've been able to do that.”


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/terror-insurgent-group/latest/us-uav-downed-in-black-sea-following-mid-air-collision-with-russian-sukhoi-su-27

A US Air Force (USAF) General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehi...

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