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
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
Stealth Lessons of the F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk is a legendary plane. That aircraft was retired in 2008, but would the F-117 still be useful today? The answer is that against most mid-range threats like Iran, absolutely. But against higher-end threats like Russia or China, not so much. Technology has advanced since engineers first... Read more
Nothing Can Stop a Swarm of Cruise Missiles
Is there a way to defend large swaths of land against a cruise missile attack? Right now, there is no operational weapons system that can provide area air defense against terrain-hugging cruise missiles over land—only point defense is possible. However, there are systems and technologies under development that could... Read more
A Missile’s Combat Debut Allowed U.S. Bombers to Stay Away From Syrian Air Defenses
Lockheed Martin’s stealthy new AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range — JASSM-ER — made its debut on the raid on Syria on April 13. A pair of U.S. Air Force Rockwell International B-1B Lancer strategic bombers launched 19 of the new air-launched cruise missiles against the Barzeh Research and... Read more
How Russia’s Avangard Hypersonic Weapon Will Launch
Russia will apparently use surplus UR-100UTTKh — NATO: SS-19 Stiletto — and the RS-28 Sarmat liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles as the launch vehicle for its Avangard hypersonic boost-glide weapon. The new weapons will initially be deployed onboard UR-100UTTKn missiles that were returned from Ukraine after the 1991 collapse of... Read more
Russia’s New Doomsday Weapons Can Beat U.S. Missile Defenses
Russia is developing a host of new strategic nuclear weapons designed to defeat American missile defenses. According to the Kremlin, Russia was spurred into action by U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s Dec. 13, 2001 decision to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. However, while the Russians are developing a host... Read more
China’s Stealth Fighter Is Operational
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force has declared its Chengdu J-20 fifth-generation stealth fighter operational. With the J-20 formally attaining initial operational capability, China becomes the only the second nation-state to have developed an operational stealth aircraft after the United States. Russia, which is currently developing the Sukhoi... Read more
Will the U.S. Air Force Really Buy a New Light Attack Aircraft?
The U.S. Air Force recently announced the next phase of its Light Attack Aircraft experiment — or OA-X. Two aircraft, the Textron AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano will participate in another round of demonstrations between May and July as part of the experiment, which could... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s Second Stealth ‘Zumwalt’-Class Destroyer Is Almost Ready for Action
The U.S. Navy’s second Zumwalt-class destroyer successfully completed acceptance trials late last week on Feb. 1, according to the Naval Sea Systems Command. With acceptance trials completed, the massive nearly 15,000-ton future USS Michael Monsoor is set to be delivered to the Navy in March. “DDG 1001 performed exceedingly well during acceptance... Read more
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