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Rapid Fire August 21, 2012: UAV Aerial Refueling

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* President Obama sticks to presenting a binary choice “between sequester going through or tax cuts continuing for millionaires and billionaires” as if these were the only two possible options. * Australia passed legislation banning the use of cluster munitions. Australians don’t own such ordnance anyway, but that means that if the US presence grows in Australia, Americans won’t be allowed to stockpile such munitions there. The US is not a party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, whereas Australia signed it and is moving ahead to ratify it. * The US Navy will repair USS Miami, the submarine damaged by a fire started by a painter startled by his girlfriend. * DARPA and Northrop Grumman would like to demonstrate aerial refueling of high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAVs through their KQ-X program but that hasn’t quite happened yet. Last January NAVAIR announced it was at a similar stage: close, but not done. DARPA’s first “Autonomous Airborne Refueling Demonstration” happened in 2007 so this looks like a tough problem to solve. AviationWeek notes that KQ-X is a reversal from usual probe-and-drogue configurations. * The British Ministry of Defence plans cuts at the top. * Spanish Minister of Defense Pedro Morenes would like […]

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