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
Russia Boasts of Using 215 New Weapons Systems in Syria
Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin praised the performance of the Russian military and its hardware during the Kremlin’s campaign in Syria, but stressed that Moscow has to fix problems that were brought to light during those operations. “The rout of the well-equipped terrorist groups in Syria demonstrated the power of... Read more
Russia Puts the World’s Biggest Bomber Back Into Production
Russia has started test flying the first “new” Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic strategic bomber. However, this first airframe will primarily be used as a flight sciences test aircraft — it is not a fully equipped mission capable strategic bomber. Moreover, this particular airframe was likely assembled from parts that... Read more
Just How Many New Missile Submarines Is the U.S. Navy Building?
The U.S. Navy may build more than 12 Columbia-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. While the Pentagon had previously stated that it needed 12 Columbia-class submarines, the new Nuclear Posture Review sets that number as a floor. “The Columbia-class program will deliver a minimum of 12 SSBNs to replace the... Read more
Russia’s Giant Nuclear Torpedo Is Apparently Real
The United States’ new Nuclear Posture Review asserts that Russia’s Status-6 intercontinental, nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo is a real weapon and could be a genuine threat. Analysts are divided as to how genuine the threat is. “It certainly is a threat U.S. forces will need to take into account,” Bryan Clark,... Read more
A Simple Mistake Knocked India’s Most Powerful Submarine Out of Action for 10 Months
India’s first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine appears to have suffered from an accident that has knocked the boat out of commission for the past 10 months. The vessel’s propulsion compartments were flooded with seawater due to what appears to have been human error. According to the Indian newspaper The Hindu, a... Read more
America’s New Nuclear Missile Submarines Might Have a Problem
The Government Accountability Office is raising concerns about the technological maturity of the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. The new boomer, which must become operational by 2031, will feature a host of new technologies that are supposed to increase the vessels’ survivability into the foreseeable future. However, as the GAO notes, many... Read more
The Russian Navy Is Relying More on Precision-Guided Weapons
The Russian navy will be focusing more effort on fielding new long-range precision-guided weapons as a form of non-nuclear strategic deterrence, reducing Moscow’s reliance on so-called “tactical” nuclear forces. Nonetheless, Russian forces are likely to retain significant non-strategic nuclear forces indefinitely into the foreseeable future. “The Navy General Command will particularly focus... Read more
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