The Seven Most Dangerous Su-27s in the World
On June 9, 2017, examples of all three of the U.S. Air Force’s heavy bombers — the swing-wing B-1, the stealthy B-2 and the lumbering B-52 — gathered in international air space over the Baltic Sea for a rare photo-op with allied fighters and patrol planes. They had a... Read more
Russia Is Improving the Biggest Bomber Ever
Early next year in February, the first of Russia’s new production Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack supersonic strategic bombers will take to the air. The new bomber is essentially a prototype of a next generation variant of the venerable Blackjack, the first generation of which was built during the 1980s in the last... Read more
China’s Early Steps Toward a Global Air Force
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force is starting to make headway in developing an expeditionary capability as Beijing continues its rise as a great power, according to a new RAND Corporation study. While initially focusing on “non-war” operations involving airlifters, it is likely that the PLAAF will eventually develop... Read more
The Pentagon Has Been Working on a New Air-to-Air Missile
The U.S. military has been quietly working on a new long-range air-to-air missile since at least 2016, budget documents reveal. The Office of the Secretary of Defense spent nearly $10 million in 2016 and 2017 developing concepts and technologies for the so-called “Long Range Engagement Weapon.” “This project will... Read more
Russia Presses Ahead With Combat Robots
The Russian military announced on Oct. 30, 2017 that it will begin acquiring the Nerekhta — a ground-combat robot armed with a slew of remotely-operated weapons such as machine guns and rocket launchers. Col. Oleg Pomazuev, the head of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Department of Innovation Research, said... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read part three. The rapid development of Iranian air defenses over the last few years raises some big questions. How much are China and Iran cooperating? Why is China’s involvement a mystery to so many observers? In recent years, the Chinese defense sector has provided its export customers with... Read more
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Has Sea-Skimming Flying Boats
Iran has fielded a variety of unusual weapons over the years: F-14 Tomcat fighters hotwired to fire Russian missiles, homemade mini-submarines, and remanufactured Cold War jets. In 2006, Iranian television showcased a peculiar sea-skimming flying boat, and four years later Tehran triumphantly announced it had three squadrons of them serving in the Iranian... Read more
A Brief History of Weird Shoot-Downs
This story originally appeared on Nov. 24, 2013. On Sept. 25, an Afghan air force MD-530F helicopter crewed by an Afghan student pilot and his American instructor touched down on a hilltop near Shindand air base, in western Afghanistan, as part of routine training. An Improvised Explosive Device exploded,... Read more
The Unloved, Forgotten Bolo Bomber
The rescue team slashed through eight miles of marshy thicket on their way to the crash site. Two days before on Feb. 15, 1941, the USAAF B-18 Bolo bomber — serial number 36-446 — carrying five crew and two passengers suffered a left-engine failure and went down in thick... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Has a Brony Squadron
This story originally appeared on July 24, 2013. In July 2014, word hit the Internet that an Air Force unit training to fly America’s most advanced military aircraft are wearing a patch inspired by the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now the Air Force has confirmed... Read more
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