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24 Jan 18. The largest non-nuclear bomb in America’s arsenal just got an upgrade. This bomb is six times bigger than the one the USAF has had for years. The Air Force has upgraded the United States’ largest non-nuclear bomb, a 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” capable of attacking hard and buried targets, according to Bloomberg Politics. Also known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, the GBU-57 has just completed its fourth upgrade, and its inventory is being retrofitted, Air Force officials told Bloomberg. The bunker-buster, which is manufactured by Boeing, can only be carried by the B-2 stealth bomber, and it can be used to hit nuclear or missile factories up to 200 feet underground. Three B-2 bombers were deployed to Guam this month, which the Air Force says was a planned rotation. When asked by Bloomberg, Capt. Emily Grabowski, an Air Force spokeswoman, declined to say if the GBU-57 was aboard. This comes less than a month from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and amid negotiations between North and South Korea, noted Stars and Stripes. The GBU-57 is six times bigger than the 5,000-pound bombs that have been used by the Air Force for years, and it carries more than 5,300 pounds of explosives, according to Bloomberg. It is 20.5 feet long, encased in hardened steel, and guided by Global Positioning System satellites, according to a description on the website of the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. (Source: Defense News)
24 Jan 18. Wanted: ‘Iron Man’ suits for special operations troops. U.S. Special Operations Command is once again seeking proposals for a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, according to a broad agency announcement posted in December.
Commonly dubbed an “Iron Man” suit, the announcement highlights TALOS’ role as part of a “long-term goal to develop technologies which can enhance SOF mission execution.”
“The intent is to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities to the SOF operator,” the announcement, which will remain open through December, states. “TALOS is an overarching vision to drastically improve the dismounted operator’s survivability and capability.”
This isn’t the first time the request has been pushed out, though. Back in September 2013, SOCOM made another broad agency announcement seeking TALOS suit prototypes, according to an Army news release.
“We sometimes refer to it as the Iron Man suit, frankly to attract the attention, imagination and excitement of industry and academia,” Michel Fieldson, then the TALOS lead, said in the release.
For this most recent announcement, the solicitation includes interest areas for contractors to focus on — such as technologies that minimize traumatic brain injury, reduce electromagnetic and acoustic signature, and protect against advanced rifle rounds.
“The vision provides a coordinating focus for many of [SOCOM’s] Science and Technology (S&T) efforts,” the announcement reads.
The tactical exoskeleton system outlined in the solicitation should be able to augment human strength, while maintaining operator mobility under heavy loads in an austere environment.
“The capability areas include enhanced warfighter protection, improved situational awareness, increased mobility, advancements in battlefield power generation and storage, and modernized ground force communication and control,” the announcement reads. “Each capability is approached holistically to ensure system-level operational effectiveness for the SOF operator.”
Other areas of interest include a user-interface that can provide microwave doppler imaging, as well as the ability to capture sounds 360 degrees around the operator’s viewpoint and display the sound’s origin in azimuth and elevation.
In order to power this behemoth, SOCOM is hoping for a backpack-sized battery “capable of providing up to severa