Croatia’s Entire Frontline Air Force Almost Got Stranded in Ukraine
This story first appeared on April 30, 2014. In early 2014, just a single pair of ancient MiG-21 fighters defended the skies over the former Yugoslav republic of Croatia. The rest of the fleet was stranded in Ukraine, a country that seemed to be teetering on the brink of... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Almost Sent ‘Starter’ Attack Planes to Europe
This story first appeared on Feb. 23, 2014. In September 2009, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe asked to host the first squadron of light attack planes that, at the time, were planned for purchase by a more ambitious and less cash-strapped Pentagon. The Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance warplanes—LAAR for... Read more
NSA Spies Helped Save Drones From a Fiery Death Over Vietnam
This story originally appeared on Feb. 24, 2015. The Air Force unleashed its first major drone program during the Vietnam War. In short order, the North Vietnamese compromised the aerial spies’ codes and began blowing them out of the sky. An angry general, a group of NSA spies and... Read more
The U.S. Air Force’s Close Air Support Fly-Off Is a Farce
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is finally going up against the battle-proven A-10 close-air-support attack plane for the long-promised fly-off. The unpublicized tests began on July 5, 2018 and will conclude on July 12, according to a copy of the testing schedule reviewed by the Center for Defense Information... Read more
Israel Has an Air-Launched Ballistic Missile
Two Israeli companies together have tested a new, supersonic air-launched ballistic missile with a conventional warhead that could allow fighters to strike heavily-defended targets at long range. But the new Rampage ALBM isn’t without its drawbacks. The weapon is bulky. Its warhead is probably small compared to other missile... Read more
China’s Flawed Naval Fighter
China is developing a new carrier-based fighter aircraft to succeed the Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark . The J-15—which is an unlicensed Chinese development based on a T-10K-3 prototype of the Russian Su-33 Flanker-D—has proven to be a disappointment in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy. The navalized Chinese Flanker derivative... Read more
Why Is Israel Simulating Attacks on Its Own Nuclear Reactors?
Israel’s nuclear establishment has been conducting drills simulating attacks against the country’s two nuclear reactors. “The Israel Atomic Energy Commission has been taking numerous steps to protect the nuclear reactors in Dimona and Nahal Sorek in light of assessments that Iran and Hezbollah see the reactors as preferred targets... Read more
Backfire Bombers With Hypersonic Missiles
Russia may test its Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aero-ballistic missile onboard the Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber, which would greatly extend the number of targets Moscow could hold at risk with the new weapon. The missile is currently launched from onboard the Mikoyan MiG-31K variant of the Mach 2.83-capable Foxhound interceptor, but the Kinzhal might... Read more
The German Air Force Is Falling to Pieces
Germany’s air force is in a lot of trouble, according to its leader “The Luftwaffe is at a low point,” Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Germany’s new chief of the air force, said in a speech on June 27, Reuters reported . The Luftwaffe is the official name of branch. Gerhartz added:... Read more
Germany’s Failed Attempts to Build a Cold War Jump Jet
This story originally appeared on March 30, 2014. During the gloomy years of the Cold War, no other country could expect to be as badly wrecked by a nuclear war than West Germany. It would have been the principal battlefield during a full-scale conflict, and would have been caught... Read more
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