A US Air Force Global Hawk drone crashed and destroyed itself last year as a consequence of the aircraft’s “erroneous” data, according to an incident investigation report published by the military this week.
A Northrop Grumman contractor in Palmdale, California, launched the $79 million aircraft before it went into a self-pilot mode. “Navigation is via inertial navigation with integrated global positioning system updates,” according to official descriptions of the aircraft’s components.
“The RQ-4 employs a quad-redundant Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) configuration. The system utilizes two different INS/GPS systems for greater redundancy. The system consists of two LN-251 units and two Kearfott KN-4074E INS/GPS Units.”
Those Kearfott navigators were switched off by the craft’s operators shortly after the drone lifted off, according to an investigation into the event, which happened in June 2017.
The drone, “having failed to detect the erroneous nature of LNA’s navigational data, sent control inputs to right the fake roll data,” the report notes. “This included keeping a full throttle, even while the [RQ-4] was in an unusual nose low attitude… the [RQ-4] regained roll control, but airspeed continued to increase.”
It appears that user error in flipping off the aircraft’s navigators was a deeper cause of the incident. Investigator Col. Jeremy Thiel opined in the report, “I also find by a preponderance of evidence that disabling the [broken drone’s] two Kearfott KN-4074E navigators after takeoff substantially contributed to the mishap.”
It’s not clear why the navigators were switched off.
An F-35B crashed in South Carolina Friday in the first accident involving the US military’s most expensive and technologically advanced aircraft, a spokesperson for the US Marines told. “It was an F-35 bravo out of the training quadrant, in Beaufort,” the spokesperson confirmed when asked about reports that a military aircraft had crashed earlier in the day. The pilot ejected safely, according to a local police report.
Swedish Military Resists Feminists’ Push for ‘Multicultural’ Spelling Alphabet
While feminists push for adding names like Khaled, Doris and Laila into the phonetic alphabet to promote “inclusion,” the military suggests this step would endanger communication as the phonetic alphabet must “sit in the backbone.”
The official Swedish spelling alphabet used by the military and the police, is not sufficiently “equal” or “diverse” and must be enhanced with female and Arabic names, the Frederika Bremer Association and the Equalisters NGO demanded in an opinion piece published in Sweden’s leading daily Dagens Nyheter.
The spelling alphabet, also known as the radio alphabet and the telephone alphabet, is a set of words used to denote certain letters to avoid misunderstanding in oral communication. The Swedish spelling alphabet originated in 1891 and consists of traditional Swedish names like Adam, Bertil, Erik, Sigurd, Tore and Yngve.
The feminist groups want to replace the men’s names in the alphabet to become more “inclusive” and better reflect Sweden’s increasingly multicultural society. According to the feminists, there is “no excuse” for having names representing Swedish men exclusively.
“Including more than just men with traditional Swedish names is primary to visualize the diversity of society. We need to be able to speak with a language that is everybody’s. The government needs to be open and inclusive,” they wrote.
Therefore, names like Khaled, Doris and Laila should be included in the alphabet, they claimed.
“Time to include more than just Swedish men when we spell out,” the Frederika Bremer Association wrote.
“[The alphabet] has looked the same since the 19th century and it’s time to reflect today’s Sweden. Basically, it is a democracy issue about how we want the public conversation to observe like. We want the society to be open and inclusive. The alphabet used today by government institutions and in radio communication sends the improper signals,” Seher Yilmaz, the chairwoman of the Equalisters told Swedish Radio.
“With our unusual alphabet, we would like to provide the authorities and the general public with a concrete tool for increasing gender equality and improving representation,” the groups claimed.
The Armed Forces retorted that it would imply an excessive effort to change the spelling alphabet.
“This should sit in the backbone in times of combat, otherwise things can derive complicated,” Armed Forces press officer Jesper Tengroth explained. “[The spelling alphabet] should be used under difficult conditions, under stress. When abroad, we had to switch to the English alphabet, and noticed that it wasn’t easy,” he emphasized.
According to Tengroth, the Swedish Armed Forces concentrate on increasing their operational ability and prioritize gender-neutral draft and push for more women in commanding positions.
Dating back from 1884, the Frederika Bremer Association (FBF) is Sweden’s oldest women’s rights organization. It is a member of the International Alliance of Women, which has general consultative status with the United Nations.
The Equalisters is a non-profit association founded in 2010 to promote gender equality, diversity and unprejudiced representation.
Rights Groups Say Australia Must Freeze Military Exports Used in Yemen Strikes
Three international human rights organizations in a letter called on Australia’s defense and foreign affairs ministers to end supplying arms to Saudi Arabia until Riyadh halts unlawful airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a press release.
“The Australian government should cease supplying military assets to Saudi Arabia until it halts unlawful airstrikes and other unlawful attacks and credibly investigates alleged war crimes,” a press release accompanying the letter said on Thursday.
The letter, signed by HRW, Save the Children, and Amnesty International, said that Australia admittedly wants to become one of the world’s largest military exporters but must ensure these weapons are not used in violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws.
On Thursday, the Yemeni cabinet ended the mandate for a UN human rights agency after a report accusing the government’s Gulf allies of being behind most civilian casualties in the war. The UN report said the Saudi-led coalition made limited effort to minimize civilian deaths, launching airstrikes at residential areas, weddings, and clinics.
Last week, the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states announced the launch of another large-scale military offensive to liberate the embattled city of Al Hudaydah from Houthi militants.
Yemen has been engulfed in an armed clash between the government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015.
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