Jun 15, 2017

New drones will travel 1,200 mph and keep up with fighter jets

The F-35. (U.S. Department of Defense/Flickr)

Drones could soon fly fast enough to scout ahead of super-sonic jets and fend off enemy attacks, reports the Washington Post, an enormous advance from current drones that are used primarily for surveillance.

The drones, developed by Kratos for the Pentagon's Silicon Valley lab, can travel 4,000 miles, at 1,200 mph, and fly alongside the workhorse F-16 or F-35 stealth jets.

Why it matters: A question is whether the drones, reusable and costing just $2-$3 million each, can fly autonomously. But, flown alongside jets costing $100-$150 million, they are potentially a real value play to the degree they can serve as decoys and draw off enemy fire. As of now, the new drones are still partly reliant on a pilot to monitor them.

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America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Health