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China | Daily Rapid Fire | Europe - Other | Iraq | Launch Vehicles | Middle East - Other | Submarines | USA

SpaceX, Pentagon Tests Fail Right After Launch

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* The Pentagon aborted the test flight of a hypersonic weapon shortly after launch early this morning. Washington Free Beacon. * A SpaceX rocket exploded during a test flight on Friday. Video. * In each case, nobody was hurt. Test failures happen, otherwise tests wouldn’t be necessary. US Navy and Friends * 2 Chinese flankers conducted a reckless intercept of a US P-8 patrol aircraft over international waters (but in China’s EEZ) on August 19, according to the US Navy, while the Chinese say they remained within safe distance. * Last week the US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations released his 2015-19 Navigation Plan [PDF], mixing reminders on planned acquisitions over the period with posture elements. There’s an increasing presence in the Pacific, but in the longer run the critical submarine fleet is set to shrink [Stars and Stripes]. Europe * Denmark plans to modify [Politiko, in Danish] 1 or more frigates, to make them useful for missile defense tracking [Xinhua]. The Iver Huitfeldt Class uses the same Thales APAR and SMART-L radars that the Dutch are modifying for missile defense on their De Zeven Provincien Class frigates. Note that SMART-L is the long-range tracking radar, APAR the fire control […]

* The Pentagon aborted the test flight of a hypersonic weapon shortly after launch early this morning. Washington Free Beacon.

* A SpaceX rocket exploded during a test flight on Friday. Video.

* In each case, nobody was hurt. Test failures happen, otherwise tests wouldn’t be necessary.

US Navy and Friends

* 2 Chinese flankers conducted a reckless intercept of a US P-8 patrol aircraft over international waters (but in China’s EEZ) on August 19, according to the US Navy, while the Chinese say they remained within safe distance.

* Last week the US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations released his 2015-19 Navigation Plan [PDF], mixing reminders on planned acquisitions over the period with posture elements. There’s an increasing presence in the Pacific, but in the longer run the critical submarine fleet is set to shrink [Stars and Stripes].

Europe

* Denmark plans to modify [Politiko, in Danish] 1 or more frigates, to make them useful for missile defense tracking [Xinhua]. The Iver Huitfeldt Class uses the same Thales APAR and SMART-L radars that the Dutch are modifying for missile defense on their De Zeven Provincien Class frigates. Note that SMART-L is the long-range tracking radar, APAR the fire control radar. If they want tracking-only, looks like the Danes will just modify the SMART-Ls.

Middle East

* Iran has reportedly sent M-60 tanks [War is Boring] to help fight ISIL in northern Iraq. They’re more vulnerable than modern tanks, and it remains to be seen how much they will really help.

* The Islamic State has clashed with Lebanese forces [Daily Star], and is threatening to kill captured Shiite soldiers unless Hezbollah leaves Syria. But people who routinely use human shields in war will likely be immune to this tactic.

* Calls are mounting in the US to strike at ISIL in Syria, but one concern [WaPo] is whether US forces would have intelligence that’s good enough to lead to effective attacks. See also the video below, from the NYT:

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