It’s Official, The Navy’s Next Anti-Ship Cruise Missile Will Be The Naval Strike Missile

The U.S. Navy has awarded its long-awaited Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems contract to Raytheon, which had joined together with Norwegian defense contractor Kongsberg to offer the Naval Strike Missile, or NSM. The service sees the weapon as an important anti-ship and land-attack weapon capability for the Littoral Combat Ship and its future frigates, but the selection could also pave the way for adding the missiles to other types of ships and for other services to acquire air- and ground-launched versions.

The Pentagon included the fixed-price deal, valued at more than $14.8 million, in its daily contracting announcement notice for May 31, 2018. The contract has additional options and could be worth nearly $850 million in total. Under the stated terms, the Raytheon-Kongsberg team will supply the weapon systems, consisting of NSMs in canisters, deck-mounted launchers, and a fire control system. In addition, the contract includes funds for mission support and training equipment and other services.

Kongsberg's NSM is a sub-sonic, sea-skimming cruise missile with a range of around 100 miles primarily geared toward taking out enemy ships. The weapon navigates to the general target area using a combination of GPS, inertial navigation system (INS), and terrain recognition, and can either fly over or around islands and other land masses. According to the Norweigan firm, the INS offers an effective backup in the increasingly likely event that an opponent disrupts the GPS connectivity.

In its terminal stage of flight, the missile switches to an infrared imaging seeker to home in on the target. Using a built-in database of representative ship types, the weapon can automatically discriminate between the intended target and other objects, which gives it a high degree of accuracy and makes it much less susceptible to electronic warfare tactics and countermeasures.

A Naval Strike Missile flies out of its launcher during a test.

The missile’s guidance system also gives it a secondary land-attack capability. With its range, though, this is hardly a comparable capability to long-range land attack cruise missiles, such as the Tomahawk.

The NSM also makes random movements in its terminal stage of flight to help avoid enemy close-in defense systems and has low-observable or "stealthy" characteristics to make it more difficult for adversaries to spot in advance.

Raytheon and Kongsberg are also cooperating on the air-launched Joint Strike Missile, or JSM, which is an improved derivative of the NSM. This is a more robust multi-role weapon with more than double the range depending on its flight profile, a larger warhead, and various other upgraded features.

The weapon has a two-way datalink allowing the firing platform to send updated targeting information to it while it’s still in flight or send it heading in a different direction altogether. It is possible that some of these features will eventually migrate to the NSM or that a sea-launched version of the JSM will become available.

Of course, its capabilities notwithstanding, the NSM was more or less a shoe-in for the deal after competitors Boeing and Lockheed Martin, who had offered an updated version of the long-serving RGM-84 Harpoon. The very stealthy Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), respectively, dropped out in May 2017. Boeing complained that the Navy was asking for a far less capable weapon than Harpoon and Lockheed Martin suggested that the requirements looked tailored to one specific offer – an apparent reference to the one from the Raytheon-Kongsberg team.

Harpoon has long been the Navy's go-to anti-ship weapon and despite continued upgrades, the underlying design is becoming increasingly dated. It is possible that the NSM might eventually serve as a partial replacement with the anti-ship variant of the Tomahawk taking over the long-range anti-surface warfare role.

The <em data-recalc-dims=Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Cowpens fires a Harpoon anti-ship missile during a training exercise." />

Neither company has lodged a formal complaint about the contracting process so far. The Navy is undoubtedly hoping it can still avoid any protests now that it has effectively sole-sourced the contract.

It already plans to add the Over-the-Horizon Weapon Systems to some of its two distinct classes Littoral Combat Ships, subvariants known as Small Surface Combatants, which would give these perpetually underwhelming ships a stand-off anti-ship and land attack capability they desperately need to be useful in anything but the most low-threat environments. At present, the only weapons on the bulk of these ships are a 57mm rapid-fire gun, RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile close-in defense system, and various smaller automatic cannons and machine guns.

In 2014, the service actually installed NSM launchers on the flight deck of the Independence-class LCS USS Coronado as part of a test. In 2016, that same ship received Harpoons on its forward deck as part of an experimental configuration to further validate the basic concept of rapidly adding over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles to the ships. The Navy is also planning to add smaller Hellfire missiles to the ships for additional close-in protection, primarily against swarms of small boats.

The Navy’s latest budget request for the 2019 fiscal year includes more than $18 million for a total of eight individual over-the-horizon missiles in their launch canisters for the LCS specifically. The accompanying budget outlay sees the service purchasing 12 more in each of the next three fiscal years and then 20 additional missiles in fiscal year 2023, for a grand total of 64 weapons by that point. Millions more would pay for the launcher and fire control components.

The NSM is also a key component of the Navy’s plans for its future guided missile frigates, or FFG(X). The service wants to pick one of five proposed ship designs by 2020 and see the first one delivered three years after that. The plan is to buy a fleet of 20 of the ships at a unit cost of nearly $1 billion.

Able to perform as an anti-ship and limited land attack cruise missile, NSM could greatly expand the capabilities of these ships since they would not have to carry two different types of weapons to perform both roles. This means that LCS and frigates armed with the missiles could rapidly shift from anti-surface warfare missions to supporting operations ashore and back again without having to rearm. The system's relatively simple deck-mounted launchers also obviate the need to find trade space under the deck to install more complex vertical launch systems, such as the Mk 41.

An artist's conception of ship maker Austal's entry into the FFG(X) program firing an over-the-horizon missile.

But in buying the missiles for these ships, the Navy might open up a path for additional purchases within the service and elsewhere across the U.S. military. The containerized launchers would be relatively easy to add to almost any suitably sized ship, include the Navy’s new expeditionary sea bases and even logistics platforms.

The San Antonio-class landing platform dock ships would one particularly logical starting place since they have existing free space on top of the deck that ship maker Huntington Ingalls had originally been set aside as part of plans to install two Mk 41 eight-cell vertical launch systems. The Marine Corps has already expressed an interest in giving these ships, as well as the forthcoming Flight II San Antonios and other amphibious assault ships, greater offensive capabilities to support expeditionary and distributed operations.

Armed with a version of the NSM with updated networked capabilities, and coupled with the Navy’s existing plans to increase data-sharing between its ships and manned and unmanned aircraft, any ship armed with the missiles might be able to engage targets beyond the range of their own onboard sensors. As such, it might be even easier to add in this offensive capability without the need for more complex target acquisition upgrades.

The video below details the Navy's plans for an over-arching networked force.

That networking could expand to air- and ground-launched versions of the missile, as well. As noted, the JSM derivative already has a data-link built into its design.

Its physical shape is also tailored to the internal weapons bays on the F-35A and F-35C Joint Strike Fighters and could be adapted for external carriage on that aircraft and other planes. Norway already plans to integrate JSM onto its F-35As in the future.

A JSM inside one of the internal weapons bays on an F-35A.

On top of that, Kongsberg already offers the anti-ship focused NSM in a ground-launched configuration for coastal defense, as well, and it’s likely that it could modify the containerized launchers with relative ease to use the JSM. At the upcoming Rim of the Pacific exercises, the U.S. Army already plans to evaluate a truck-mounted NSM system for its own emerging anti-ship requirements.

The Raytheon-Kongsberg team may be able to develop a version of the JSM that fits inside a standard pod for the tracked M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the wheeled M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The Army, which has both the M270 and the M142, and the Marines, who employ the HIMARS only, are both interested in acquiring an anti-ship missile that is compatible with these systems.

Raytheon is already familiar with these launchers as it is in the process of developing an improved quasi-ballistic missile called DeepStrike, which will work in either launcher as a replacement the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile. Adding NSM or JSM to these systems would only increase their flexibility and that of various other platforms, since artillery crews could fire them from on board ships and then move them ashore as the battle progresses to strike targets further inland or to defend the beachhead against counterattacks from land or naval forces. They could also quickly switch back to firing guided rockets or other types of missiles, too.

A truck-mounted NSM launcher.

Networked together, various air, sea, and land platforms with NSMs and JSMs could also rapidly deploy the systems to different areas to create new vectors of attack. This could help disrupt an enemy’s planning process or even force them to abort a planned maneuver. Being able to quickly bring stand-off weapons to bear on a target area from multiple directions could be especially valuable in operations spread across a wide area where small outposts on land might be separated by large bodies of water, such as in the Pacific.

In the South China Sea, China is already looking to do much the same thing to try and limit the ability of foreign military forces, especially those of the United States, to operate in the area during a crisis by deploying long-range anti-ship cruise missiles, as well as surface-to-air missiles, on various man-made islands. Vietnam has sought to challenge those moves itself by positioning its own long-range guided rocket artillery onto islands it controls.

“The end result of my challenge shouldn’t be a simple exercise where we all high five at the end and then head back to the comforts of our services,” U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, then head of U.S. Pacific Command, said during a speech in 2017. “Service-specific systems must be able to talk to one another if any of this is going to achieve the effects that we’re looking for. Ideally, we’ll get to a point where we see the Joint Force as a network of sensors and shooters allowing the best capability from any single service to provide cross-domain fires.”

With the Navy’s purchase of the NSM, this goal looks one step closer to being a reality.

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The Average Monthly Payment for New Cars Is Higher Than Ever

The average monthly loan payment for a new vehicle rose another $15 in the last year, hitting an all-time record high of $523, according to a report from the credit reporting agency Experian. 72-month loans continue as the most common term length, but lenders are starting to dip into the 85 to 96-month bucket to help consumers who want to keep their monthly payments as low as possible.

In the company's newly released "State of the Automotive Finance Market Report," Experian says the average new vehicle loan amount also hit a new record of $31,455 over the first quarter of 2018, sharply increasing $921 from the previous year. They also reported that the average interest rate during the same timeframe was 5.17 percent for new vehicle loans.

"The dream of owning a new vehicle is becoming more elusive to the average American," said Melinda Zabritski, Experian's senior director of automotive financial solutions in a news release. "To reverse the trend, dealers and lenders need to better understand the data and explore different options to make new vehicle ownership accessible and appealing."

Despite the spike in loan amounts, payments and interest rates, Experian reports that 30-day delinquencies have dropped during this period to 1.90 percent, while 60-day delinquencies have remained flat at 0.67 percent. For a new vehicle loan, the average credit score now stands at 716.

"Traditionally, lenders' risk tolerance has swung back and forth like a pendulum, and right now we're seeing a more risk-averse side. But if payments continue to improve, we could see credit standards loosen," according to Zabritski.

If that wasn't enough records for one quarter, Experian also says that used vehicle loans for the first quarter came in at a new all-time high of $19,536, and the total amount of outstanding loan balances hit its own record at $1.108 trillion.

Highlights From Twitter’s Defense Community’s Responses To Tom Cruise’s Top Gun 2 Teaser

Tom Cruise dropped one hell of a viral image today on his Instagram account to promote the long-awaited sequel to Top Gun. It showed Cruise, Maverick hamlet in hand, gazing toward an F/A-18F Super Hornet with "FEEL THE NEED." written across the image. The post was hashtagged #Day1, indicating that Cruise's second fighter jet-themed Hollywood adventure has just begun.

The sepia-toned photo came from Paramount's marketing department, with the brand's logo branded at the bottom. The teaser sent social media into a frenzy, with 'defense Twitter' having an especially good time with the post—although some takes landed far better than others.


A post shared by Tom Cruise (@tomcruise) on May 30, 2018 at 10:40pm PDT

Apparently, the Navy made Naval Air Station North Island available for production this week and that's where the photo was shot:

The USAF took advantage of the announcement to poke a bit of fun at the Super Hornet's less than outstanding high-speed performance:

The Navy was quick to opine to the USAF's social media taunt, but the guys and gals in blue came back with a withering counterpunch:

Raytheon, on the other hand, failed miserably by actually posting a picture of an F-15E instead of a Super Hornet:

Dave Brown, an editor at the Washington Examiner, rightfully pointed out that Mav hadn't really crushed the Navy's promotional structural over the last three decades, even after shooting down a bunch of MiG-28s:

David Larter had an even better plot idea regarding Maverick's rank:

But The Washington Examiner's take on how the F-35 fits into the whole Top Gun 2 equation was less than stellar, as I pointed out in my own Twitter post:

And quite frankly, we really don't know what jets will be featured and how in the screenplay, and apparently neither does the Navy!:

In fact, according to Task & Purpose, the Navy has only approved two days of shooting thus far for the project and is waiting to review a final script.

Regardless, the F-35 program doesn't seem upset with the production at this point in time:

Still, Stephen Trimble sarcastically predicts an all too common manufacturer dispute is on the horizon over the film's starring jet:

Some think the film should reflect the less glamorous realities faced by the Navy these days:

@Toroonthemove had an ominous warning of what may be in store:

And of course huge penises drawn in the sky were bound to come up:

As to what scenes Cruise was filming at NAS North Island, it looks like we might get a recreation of the iconic motorcycle/Tomcat scene from the original film which was also shot on an airfield near the runway. In that case, the location was NAS Miramar, then the Navy's coveted 'Fightertown USA,' which now belongs to the Marine Corps:

There was speculation that seemed to have some factual support behind it that Top Gun 2, now titled Top Gun: Maverick (seems obvious), would be about humans in the cockpit versus drones. That movie has already been made and it's called Stealth, but thankfully it seems as if the Top Gun 2 production team has since stepped away from that plotline. And it's not as if there aren't plenty of other ideas to work with, including this idea I posited four years ago.

Another outstanding question is whether or not the film will feature the amazing aerial footage that the original so brilliantly showcased—you can read all about how that footage was shot by a Topgun instructor who was part of the production by clicking here. Or—GASP!—will it be a CGI filled affair like we have become so accustomed to? Without real aerial photography—which is far easier to obtain nowadays through companies like Wolfe Air and GoPro like action cams—the film won't have the same winning texture. And then there is the question of the soundtrack? Who will step in to fill Kenny Loggins shoes?

All these questions and more will be answered—for better or worse—on July 12th, 2019 when Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters.

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Canadian Driver Cheats Death After Axe Flies Through Windshield, Hits Him in the Face

Out there on the road, freak accidents happen more often than most of us would like to admit. For one driver in Canada, though, that reality struck home in terrifying, Final Destination-esque fashion on a rural highway when an axe came flying out of nowhere, crashed through the windshield of his Ford pickup, and struck him in the face earlier this month.

The CBC has the unbelievable tale of local electrician Mackenzie Peddle, who cheated death as he drove on the Trans-Canada Highway between the small towns of Guernsey and Plunkett on May 16. He told the station that the last thing he remembers is enjoying the sunny day and feeling "excited to get home" from work. An hour later, he regained consciousness on the side of the road with his foot jammed on the brake, blood pouring out of a fresh head wound, shattered glass all over the cabin, and a two-foot axe that definitely wasn't there before resting on the center console.

Peddle was disoriented and confused. He soon realized there was a passerby tapping on his window, asking him if he was OK—but in his shock, he said that it took him a while to understand that he'd been hit in the face with a flying axe. The Good Samaritan helped Peddle call the authorities and his boss, and he was later transported to the hospital. Amazingly, he escaped with just a single laceration and a concussion.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the CBC that the incident is under investigation, and while they're confident the axe fell off a passing truck, there are currently no leads in the case. Peddle himself still can't remember what happened in that missing hour, and he's not sure how he was able to pull his truck over and stop safely on the side of the highway.

"My wife said I should mount [the axe] on the wall as a reminder to make sure you're always tying down the load and making sure everything's safe before you leave," he said.

Peddle's got good reason to be concerned. Ten years ago, he was driving in a different part of Saskatchewan when an oncoming truck dropped a piece of rebar, which speared straight through his windshield, passed an inch over his shoulder, and drove itself through the backseat and into the truck.

"I was just kind of upset that it happened again and that things like this keep happening. Ever since the incident, I've had people reach out to me and tell me stories of similar things that have happened to them," he told the CBC. "It's frustrating—I guess that's the best way to describe the feelings from that—that people still don't tie down their loads, don't secure things in the back of their vehicles and are careless."

Trump Reportedly Wants to Stop German Luxury Cars from Entering U.S. Auto Market

In a surprising accusation, reports from CNBC and German news source WirtschaftsWoche, President Trump allegedly told French President Emmanuel Macron that he is aiming to prevent some German luxury cars from reaching the states.

Sources included diplomats from both the United States and Europe who cited that Trump told Macron that he would "maintain his trade policy until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York."

The U.S. trade market has been rocky the past few months. From clashes with China to skirmishes about foreign steel, the future of both foreign and domestic automobile production has been on the minds of many.

No mention of which specific policies would be enacted to prevent Daimler AG from importing its luxury automotive brand, nor if it would be aimed as an outright ban, or be the result of an economically stymied barrier of entry.

During the past several weeks, there have been actions performed at the hands of the administration which, given the accusation, could back up the claim.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce was instructed to investigate imported automobiles on a basis of "national security," causing speculation from investment firms over what sparked the task.

Earlier this year, prior to the talks of heavily taxing imported steel, the same organization launched an investigation to determine if foreign-produced steel was a threat to national security.

Today, the United States announced that it would carry out its plan to tax foreign metals, something met with heavy resistance from trade-friendly countries like Canada.

Trump has a history hinting that he has it out for German automakers. Previously, he promised to put an end to the "very bad" German cars. Some German manufacturers like BMW actually produce more vehicles in the United States than consumers purchase.

The largest plant that BMW operates is located in the U.S. in South Carolina. The BMW plant in the southern state employs more than 8,000 people and produces nearly 500,000 vehicles each year; the luxury brand sold 305,000 vehicles in the U.S. during its 2017 fiscal year.

“When you walk down Fifth Avenue, everyone has a Mercedes-Benz in front of their house," Trump said prior to his inauguration, "How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not too many, maybe none at all, you do not see anything over there, it's a one-way street."

German Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, responded to Trump's 2017 claim by telling U.S. automakers to "build better cars."

The Drive reached out to Mercedes Benz, the White House, and several public diplomacy agencies. A spokesperson for the French Embassy declined to comment. We'll update if we hear back from the others.

2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500: Mechanical, Visual Upgrades Keep the Classic Modern

Year Make Model: 2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500

Topline: A series of updates take Royal Enfield’s best selling model and keep it relevant and desirable in 2018.

What’s New: The 2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 now comes with new color schemes that include Gun Metal Gray, Stealth, Chrome Green, and Chrome Graphite. Mechanical upgrades include standard antilock brakes, rear disc brakes, and a passenger pillion.

Quotable: “The Classic 500 is currently the most popular motorcycle in our lineup, and we are excited to offer improvements to an already fun, accessible and affordable motorcycle,” said Rod Copes, president, Royal Enfield North America in a press release.

“The addition of antilock brakes is confidence-inspiring for new and experienced riders alike, and the new colors are a great addition to the Classic [lineup—including] the new flat-black Stealth with a blacked-out engine and exhaust. The base model Classic 500 starts at an attractive [price tag] of $5,599,” Copes added.

What You Need to Know: With three new bikes for Royal Enfield coming to the U.S. in 2018, the brand is doing a nice job keeping the Classic 500 relevant and competitive. It might be out-shined by the all-new Interceptor and Continental GT Twins arriving at dealerships later this year, but the Classic 500 will still be an affordable, modern offering that has the classic styling that its name suggests.

If you’re in the market for a bike that has the look of a classic British motorcycle, but with modern engineering like fuel-injection and anti-lock brakes, and you’re looking to spend less than $6,000, the 2018 Royal Enfield Classic 500 is worth a look.

Check out Bisimoto’s Center Seat Twin Turbo Porsche Track Monster

In the most recent episode of Hoonigan's series Build Biology, Bisi Ezerioha brought something new. He brought a custom 2000 Porsche Boxster 986. Ezerioha's Porsche build is a one-off special and perhaps the most noticeable thing about it is its center seat configuration.

Now, old school fans of The Drive may recall an episode of "/TUNED" back in 2015 featured a 1000-horsepower Minivan and a 1000-horsepower 911.

During that episode, Ezerioha the owner of Bisimoto Engineering was featured along with his duo of 1000-hp cars. He talked about both vehicles and let /DRIVE on NBC Sports host Matt Farah have a go in both vehicles in the California canyons.

Here, Ezerioha shows Hoonigan Vinny Anatra every nook and cranny of the exterior and interior of the car. For the build Ezerioha went for significant weight savings, for example, the car features Carbon Revolution carbon fiber wheels that weight less than 20 pounds in the 19-inch wheel on the car.

I just love the "push to pass" button in the #Bisimoto center seat, mid engined, biturbo Porsche!

A post shared by Bisi Ezerioha (@bisimoto) on May 30, 2018 at 7:30am PDT

Another unique item in the car is on the steering wheel there is a "TO PASS" button, much like that in an IndyCar or Formula 1 car. Ezerioha compares it to a Formula 1 Kers system except it does not need replenishing. In the case of his build the button increases the boost creating a real life "NOS button effect." On the other side of the steering wheel is a "LINE LOCK" button for—you guessed it, burnouts.

Watching the video you see it is a work of art but the best thing is that Ezerioha actually tracks the car.

For more details check out Hoonigan's newest Build Biology episode "Center Seat Twin Turbo Porsche Track Monster - Bisimoto" below.

Polaris Buys America’s Largest Pontoon Boat Company for $805 Million

After a hiatus since 2004, Polaris Industries is getting back into the watercraft game. However, this time it’s doing it a little differently. In a massive deal, Polaris has just agreed to buy Boat Holdings, LLC for $805 million in an all-cash transaction.

You may have never heard of Boat Holdings, but if you’re into boats, it’s likely that you’ve heard of a few of the brands within the conglomerate. Boat Holdings is America’s largest manufacturer of pontoon boats with a few of its properties including Bennington, Godfrey, Hurricane, and Rinker.

“This transaction epitomizes our disciplined growth strategy of entering attractive markets where we can establish and extend our leadership position. In addition to market share leadership, Boat Holdings expands Polaris’ footprint in the recreational outdoors market, commanding more of consumers’ discretionary spending. Our product lineup will offer options to be enjoyed on the roads, trails, sand, dirt, snow and water,” said Polaris Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott W. Wine in a press release. “With their passion to create premium products and experiences, Boat Holdings is a strong cultural fit with Polaris as well, sharing our commitment to quality, innovation, safety, flexibility and efficiency. Further, Boat Holdings’ long-term relationships with its national dealer network speaks to the brand’s strength with both dealers and consumers.”

Bloomberg made a useful chart using data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association illustrating boat unit sales making a slow recovery since the recession, but boat spending reaching record highs. The data suggest that fewer people are buying boats, but the people who are buying boats are spending a lot more money on them than buyers used to. This could be part of the reason Polaris was interested in buying Boat Holdings, which carries the high-end Bennington brand that’s been pushing pontoon boats further upmarket.

Bloomberg also says that about one-third of people who own a Polaris product like an Indian Motorcycle or Polaris snowmobile are also boat owners. It stands to reason that someone who happily owns a Polaris Slingshot or ATV would strongly consider Polaris for their next boat purchase.

Whether or not Polaris will get back into the personal watercraft game remains to be seen, but we can see Polaris making a killing on boats with the right execution.

The Final 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Has Been Built

Not even one year ago, Dodge started delivering the first of the 840-horsepower, drag strip-bred 2018 Challenger SRT Demons to customers. Just 3,300 Demons were to be produced for one model year, and Fiat-Chrysler announced Wednesday that the last unit has rolled off the assembly line.

The final Demon was finished at the FCA assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada on May 30. It still has a ways to go before it's actually finished, mind you. It will now be sent to another facility for its exclusive Viper Red paint job, Demon badging, plaque of authenticity, 18-inch wheels, and custom drag radial tires.

In the spirit of current used Demons, the final car will most likely sell for an exorbitant amount of cash, but this time it's for a good cause. It will go under the hammer at Barrett-Jackson in the "The Ultimate Last Chance" set alongside the last Viper, which is also finished in Viper Red and features the Extreme Aero Package to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Dodge's V-10 supercar.

Every penny from the sale will go to United Way, a foundation dedicated to improving education and quality of life for communities worldwide.

This historic Dodge duo will hit the auction block at Barrett-Jackson's Northeast Auction in Uncasville, Connecticut, which runs June 20-23. It's not the first time a Dodge has sold big for charity at one of Barrett-Jackson's auctions. A special Challenger SRT Hellcat broke records in 2014 by raising $1.65 million for Opportunity Village.

It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to own two of Dodge's most extreme performance cars, the craziest production drag racer Dodge has ever built and a souped-up variant of the company's iconic track monster.

Video Shows California Highway Patrol Officer Ram Rider Off Motorcycle

The California Highway Patrol has launched an internal investigation after a trooper was caught on video crashing into a motorcyclist during an attempted traffic stop and knocking him off his bike—a collision that fellow bikers say was intentional, but police claim was the end result of a chase that began on a nearby freeway, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The crash occurred during a Memorial Day Weekend group ride in Rancho Cucamonga, just east of Los Angeles in an area of Southern California known as the Inland Empire. Hundreds of bikers participated in the event, and many of them witnessed the incident as they waited at a stop light. One of them, a woman named Sonia Villalobos, happened to be recording a Facebook Live video at that exact moment—and it's her footage that's at the center of this firestorm.

In the video, dozens of bikers wait at the light as Sonia pans the camera around behind her. But as she points it forward towards the intersection, a police siren can be heard; suddenly, a motorcyclist on a sportbike passes across the frame with a CHP Dodge Charger patrol vehicle in hot pursuit. It appears that the biker begins to slow down and pull over as soon as he crosses the intersection, but the officer ends up striking him with his car and knocking him to the ground. As you might expect, the dozens of sympathetic witnesses don't take this very well.

As soon as the light turns green, the column of bikers races over to the spot where the trooper is handcuffing the motorcyclist, identified as 26-year-old Raul Garcia Martinez, as he lies face-down on the pavement. Many immediately begin shouting at the trooper that he intentionally rammed the biker, and a few bolder individuals actually try getting up in his face. Still others rev their engines has he tries to call for backup to drown out the radio while Villalobos documents the damage on his patrol car.

Fortunately, the bikers eventually decide to back off, and the video ends without a larger confrontation as Garcia Martinez is arrested. Without context, it looks like a textbook case of excessive force. But as Villalobos' video was passed around and outrage grew online, the California Highway Patrol decided to tell its side of the story.

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, the CHP claims that the officer first attempted to pull Martinez over on the nearby 210 Freeway after watching him use the shoulder to pass another car. Garcia Martinez allegedly slowed down briefly before speeding off and exiting the freeway; the officer followed him onto local streets, leading to the incident seen in the video.

Whether or not Garcia Martinez initially ran, it certainly looks like he was pulling over to potentially surrender in the video—though if he used that gambit on the highway, it might explain why the trooper apparently wanted to make sure he'd stop this time. While the initial report suggests the collision occurred "for unknown reasons," the newspaper reports that an internal investigator has been assigned to get to the bottom of it.

Garcia Martinez reportedly suffered scrapes and bruises on his leg, shoulder, and lower back. After getting checked out at a local hospital, he was sent to the West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of felony evading.