08:32 GMT +314 December 2019
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    JASSM air to surface cruise missiles on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base

    US Air Force Plans to Use Its ‘Golden Horde’ Weapons System ‘Against Adversaries’ – Report

    © Photo : U.S. Air Force/1st Class Christina Bennett
    Military & Intelligence
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    Popular Mechanics described the weapons system’s code name as “an odd choice” given that the Golden Horde was the Mongol empire’s western arm which ruled over the Slavic peoples between the 13th and the 14th centuries.

    The US Air Force (USAF) plans to “unleash a robotic “Golden Horde” on adversaries”, the American magazine Popular Mechanics reports.

    Golden Horde is being developed as a semi-autonomous precision weapon system which also stipulates the use of artificial intelligence and communications.

    The system is capable of obliterating one target with three incoming missiles, with the first one directly used for the destruction and the remaining two – for reconnaissance purposes pertaining to alternate targets.

    After that, the missiles “recommend to human controllers they be re-tasked to those targets and a human could approve or disapprove of the action”, according to the Popular Mechanics.

    The magazine noted that Golden Horde is expected to reduce the cost of guided munitions, increase the number of enemy targets struck and “minimise enemy efforts to fool missile strikes”.

    A number of advanced weapons is due to be further upgraded to work with Golden Horde, including Small Diameter Bombs I and II, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile ( JASSM), and Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD).

    The code name “Golden Horde” is “an odd choice for an Air Force weapons program” given that it was the name of the western arm of the Mongol empire ruling over the Slavic peoples between the 1240s and 1480, the Popular Mechanics said, adding that “in other words, it was a political entity.”

    NATO Call Russia Its Main Threat Again

    The magazine’s report followed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg again calling Russia the main threat to the alliance, blaming Moscow for becoming more assertive, actively investing in the creation of nuclear weapons and violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which was officially abandoned on 2 August.

    Russia insists that the allegations are unsubstantiated and accuses the US of violating the treaty by deploying defence systems in Europe with launchers capable of firing cruise missiles at ranges prohibited under the agreement.

    All this comes amid NATO’s ongoing eastward expansion, which was earlier described by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a relic of the Cold War, as well as an erroneous and destructive military and political strategy.


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