Air Force could arm fighter jets with future lasers

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 5:00 AM

Air Force Research Laboratory Executive Director Jack Blackhurst talks about plans to arm a fighter jet with a laser. Video produced by Barrie Barber.

The Air Force has a target date to install a laser on a fighter jet by 2021.

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which leads the service branch work in military applications of lasers, awarded a $26.3 million to Lockheed Martin to develop an airborne laser pod.

AFRL has launched the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstration initiative to expand the use of lasers.

“The Air Force is very interested in moving out in directed energy,” AFRL Executive Director Jack Blackhurst said in an interview with this newspaper earlier this year. “For many years, we in the laboratory have been testing directed-energy technology, both in the laser and in the high-powered microwave (field), and the leadership has now decided that it’s time to move the technology into the field and actually implement this into the Air Force weapon systems.”

RELATED: New office at Wright-Patt will test weapon systems technology

As the size of lasers has shrunk, the Air Force has made gains to stabilize the future weapon systems in fast-moving aircraft flying through turbulence – one of the biggest technical challenges, according to Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, commander of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson.

The service branch is aiming to have laser-equipped combat jets sometime between 2030 to 2035, she said.

“We don’t have a specific transition point,” she said in an interview with this newspaper. “This is one of the technologies though that we have looked at as having some strong potential” to gain air superiority over adversaries.

Air Force officials have not said what aircraft the laser, which fires invisible beams at the speed of light to disable a target, would be tested on.

RELATED: House defense leader at Wright-Patt, says AF pilot shortage growing

Pawlikowski, a former AFRL commander, was a prior director of the Air Force’s airborne laser system program office, which put a chemical-powered megawatt-producing laser into a the modified Boeing 747. The laser-armed jumbo jet shot down a ballistic missile in a February 2010 test, according to the Air Force. The jet was pulled from the test fleet at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in 2012.

Lockheed Martin has researched airborne laser “for well over 20 years,” said Katharine Scruggs, a company spokeswoman.

RELATED: Ohio Air Guard tanker flight part of U.S. bomber flight near Korean peninsula

“It’s a completely new and different challenge to get a laser system into a smaller, airborne test platform,” Rob Afzal, a Lockheed Martin laser researcher, said in a statement. “…The development of high-power laser systems like SHEiLD show laser weapons system technologies are becoming real.”

Marijuana dispensaries in Vegas get high marks from Black Friday shoppers

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 4:51 AM

Marijuana in Nevada was available on Black Friday at dispensaries in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Marijuana in Nevada was available on Black Friday at dispensaries in Las Vegas.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A Las Vegas marijuana dispensary added a new twist to Black Friday.

>> Read more trending news

“I’m Black Friday shopping for marijuana,” said 32-year-old Steven Smith as he waited outside the The+Source marijuana dispensary, The Las Vegas Journal-Review reported.

Smith was hoping to score a free 1 gram pre-rolled joint with any $20 purchase, offered to the first 250 customers.

“It’s a lot better than waiting in an alley,” said Greg Brown, 53. “I’m in line, making new friends. It’s just amazing.”

It was the first Black Friday in which Nevada cannabis dispensaries were able to sell to adults 21 and over in the general public, instead of just to medical marijuana card holders. Recreational marijuana sales became legal in Nevada on July 1, the Journal-Review reported.

“I think we’re collectively celebrating the end of prohibition,” Andrew Jolley, CEO of The+Source, told the Journal-Review. “What it means for the cannabis movement and overcoming the unjustified stigmas of the past. I’m excited for all of those reasons.”

At Essence Cannabis Dispensary, people lined up around the the corner awaiting the store’s 10 a.m. opening.

“They’re very excited. We’re fully staffed, all the registers going. It’s fun for them,” Essence CEO Armen Yemenidjian told the Journal-Review. “And it’s historic for us to be able to be part of Black Friday.”

Cannabis shoppers could choose from discounted marijuana flower strains and edibles, buy-one-get one free sales and even some free cannabis, the Journal-Review reported.

Brown said the stop at the dispensary was his first on Black Friday and one he needed to survive the chaos of shopping at retail stores, the Journal-Review reported.

“This is the first one,” Brown said. “After this, I can wait in line smoothly.”

North Korea replaces border soldiers after defection

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 3:12 AM

United Nations Command spokesman Colonel Chad G. Carroll shows a surveillance TV footage containing the moment of defection of a North Korean soldier.
AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
United Nations Command spokesman Colonel Chad G. Carroll shows a surveillance TV footage containing the moment of defection of a North Korean soldier.(AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)

After dramatic video surfaced of a North Korean guard defecting across the border into South Korea, Kim Jong Un’s government has replaced nearly all of the soldiers who were stationed at the site where the escape took place Nov. 13, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“North Korea replaced almost all of its troops, if not all, at the Joint Security Area for their failure to prevent the defection,” said Kim Young-woo, chairman of the South Korean National Assembly's defense committee. “It was obviously a part of punishment for failing their mission to deter the North Korean soldier's escape. North Korea has always punished those responsible for similar failures.”

North Korea, meanwhile, planted trees and dug a trench at a section of the Military Demarcation Line, according to Marc Knapper, the chargé d'affaires at the US Embassy in Seoul. Knapper tweeted a photo of dramatic video released by the United Nations Command on Wednesday. The video showed a North Korean soldier's daring dash to freedom while being fired upon by his former comrades.

After the defector's vehicle got stuck in a gutter close to the border, he jumped out and ran toward the South Korean side, CNN reported.

>> WATCH: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

The 24-year-old soldier, known only by his last name -- Oh -- has regained consciousness after being shot and was undergoing treatment, CNN reported.

Oh is the third member of the North Korean armed forces to defect this year.

More than 40 bullets were fired at him from pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle, South Korea's military said last week. South Korean troops did not return fire.

Oh had lost more than 50 percent of his blood by the time he arrived by air at Ajou University Hospital, his surgeon Lee Cook Jong told reporters Wednesday.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east
  • US 35 west ramps to I-75 north and south, RAMP CLOSURE Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. - Dec. 1 at 5 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 west to James H. McGee Boulevard to US 35 east to I-75 north and south 

DARKE COUNTY 

  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
SHELBY COUNTY  
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will be open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 

Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named Time's person of the year

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 1:34 AM

President Donald Trump said he
President Donald Trump said he "took a pass" at being named Time's Person of the Year.(NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he “took a pass” at being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” but the company’s chief content officer said there “wasn’t a speck of truth” in the president’s social media comment, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” Trump tweeted from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending his Thanksgiving holiday. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” Trump wrote. 

The magazine issued a statement that disputed the President’s tweet, CNN reported.

“The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6,” the magazine wrote on its Twitter feed.

Time Inc.’s chief content officer, Alan Murray, tweeted that the President's tweet didn't have “a speck of truth.”

“Amazing. Not a speck of truth here — Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named TIME's person of the year,” Murray tweeted.

The President was named Time’s “person of the year” in 2016 after his victory over Hillary Clinton.