Full production of Russia’s Tu-160 bomber restarted after 30 years

In an echo of the Cold War, Russia's first newly manufactured Tupolev Tu-160M (NATO designation Backfire) supersonic nuclear heavy bomber completed its maiden flight on January 12, reaching a height of 600 m (2,000 ft) during its 30-minute test.

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DARPA moves to phase 2 in long-endurance Manta Ray drone program

DARPA has awarded Phase 2 contracts in its Manta Ray program, which aims to build a series of underwater drones capable of taking on long-range, long-endurance, autonomous ocean missions without any human support for charging, maintenance or logistics.

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General Atomics’ new Mojave drone packs a punch of 16 Hellfire missiles

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has unveiled its latest fixed-wing drone, the Mojave, which can carry an unprecedented weapon load of up to 16 precision air-to-ground Hellfire missiles and operate from short, rugged airstrips.

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Cold War Russian hypersonic test missile sold at auction

In a live online sale on November 6, Auction Team Breker offered one of the four remaining CIAM-NASA Hypersonic Flying Laboratory (HFL) "Kholod" hypersonic test bed missiles, which sold to an undisclosed European company for €27,700 (US$32,100).

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US Navy conducts live-fire ground test of hypersonic missile motor

The US Navy has conducted a successful live-fire ground test of the first stage of the US' common hypersonic missile. It was the first test to include the thrust vector control system for maneuvering the rocket in flight.

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US Air Force to install nuclear micro-reactor at Alaskan base

The US Air Force is installing a nuclear micro-reactor at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. Scheduled to go into operation by 2027, the commercially-owned pilot plant could lead to next-gen micro-reactors being used in other remote locations.

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HMS Prince of Wales launches Banshee drones in fighter attack drill

The Royal Navy's latest supercarrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has launched jet-propelled drones from its flight deck for the first time as an experiment to see if autonomous aircraft can replace crewed fighters in simulated in-coming attack exercises.

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Rolls-Royce to re-engine entire US B-52 bomber fleet

Rolls-Royce North America has been tapped to build the replacement jet engines for the venerable Cold War-era B-52 Stratofortress nuclear heavy bomber, with the company's F-130 turbofan engine to power the giant aircraft for the next three decades.

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Construction begins on the Royal Navy’s first Type 31 frigate

A major shipbuilding program for the Royal Navy is now underway, with the first steel being cut for HMS Venturer, the lead ship of the Type 31 Inspiration class frigates, which will replace the navy's aging Type 23 frigates.

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UK awards contracts to field test laser weapons on sea and land

The British Ministry of Defence has given three four-year contracts worth £72.5 million to consortia led by Thales and Raytheon UK to develop laser and radio frequency demonstrator weapons to be mounted on Royal Navy ships and British Army vehicles.

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