America’s Spitfires
The sleekly elegant Supermarine Spitfire is the iconic British fighter of World War II, the plane that kept the formerly unstoppable German air force at bay in the Battle of Britain. And thanks to constant upgrades, the Spitfire remained a top-performing frontline fighter through the end of the war.... Read more
India’s Awful HF-24 Jet Fighter Proved Itself in Combat
Fifty years ago, India brought into service its first domestically built jet fighter, the HF-24 Marut — indeed, the first operational jet fighter designed and produced by an Asian country besides Russia. Unfortunately, the HF-24 project was hampered by over-ambitious goals, poor government oversight and underpowered jet engines, producing... Read more
Remembering the Vietnam War’s Bloody Urban Battle of Hue
Mark Bowden’s new history Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam pulls off a rare feat — it takes a conflict of terrible scale and consequence, and allows us to see it unfold at the street level, through the eyes of Vietnamese and American soldiers engaged in... Read more
A Lot of Hard Work Stands Between India and Its Own Stealth Fighter
In 2008, India’s Aeronautical Development Agency began developing a multi-role fighter to replace its large fleet of aging Jaguar, Mirage and MiG-23 fighters. The new project was tentatively dubbed the Medium Combat Aircraft — later revised to the Advanced MCA, or AMCA — to be produced domestically by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.... Read more
‘Dunkirk’ Helped Me Understand the Terror and Confusion of War
Christopher Nolan’s war film Dunkirk took lots of things I knew about World War II and made me feel them. It’s the difference between writing down “the destroyer sank with loss of half the crew” — and being a person deep inside that ship’s bowels, having just escaped the... Read more
Airborne Fighting Vehicles Rolled Through Hell in Eastern Ukraine
In April 2014, a few months after Russian troops seized Crimea, a pro-Russian uprising broke out in Eastern Ukraine centered on Donetsk Oblast. The province had a substantial ethnic Russian population which supported the pro-Moscow government of Pres. Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country that February after the Euromaidan... Read more
The USSR’s Air-Dropped Fighting Vehicles Tore Through Cold War Conflicts
Since the 1970s, the Russian military has possessed a diverse fleet of armored vehicles it can drop out of airplanes … with parachutes, of course. The BMD family of infantry fighting vehicles is armed to the teeth with autocannons, machine guns and anti-tank missiles. And despite being very much a... Read more
U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 Crash Kills 16 People
At 5:00 P.M. eastern time on July 10, 2017, a Marine Corps Reserve KC-130T aerial refueling tanker crashed in Le Flore County, Mississippi, killing 15 Marines and one U.S. Navy corpsman—the deadliest Marine Corps aviation accident since a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2005. The KC-130T had taken off... Read more
The Sverdlovsk Incident Was One of the World’s Worst Bio Weapons Mishaps
In October 1979, a West German newspaper run by Soviet émigrés ran a vague story alleging that an explosion in a military factory in Sverdlovsk — now Yekaterinburg — had released deadly bacteria, killing as many as a thousand people. The story swiftly drew attention from other Western newspapers... Read more
Why an Indian F-16 Fighting Falcon Will Be Such a Big Deal
On June 19, Lockheed Martin announced in advance of a U.S. visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it had reached a joint-venture agreement with Tata Advanced Systems to move its F-16 production line to India. This deal would be contingent on the Indian Air Force selecting the... Read more
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