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
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
Breve historia del ─ finalmente ─ impresionante helicóptero Hind
El helicóptero ruso de ataque Mi-24 lleva más de 47 años volando. Ya es hora de que desmontemos algunos de los mitos más extendidos sobre el helicóptero de ataque que tantos nombres ha recibido. Cocodrilo . Vaso . Carro del Diablo . Hind . En... Read more
A Short History of the—Eventually—Awesome Hind Helicopter
Russia’s Mi-24 attack helicopter is more than 47 years old. It’s high time we busted some of the more widespread myths regarding the gunship that has gone by many names. Crocodile. Drinking Glass. Devil’s Chariot. Hind. In a celebratory press release following its 45th anniversary in 2014, Russian Helicopters—part... Read more
This Tiny Russian Plane Has a Ridiculous Amount of Weapons
Originally published on April 22, 2015. In the world of Russian jet fighters, Moscow’s finest — such as the Flanker and the fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50 — tend to grab the most headlines. But the Yakovlev Yak-130, a comparatively non-glamorous twin-seat jet trainer, is quietly turning heads … because it’s obviously more than just a... Read more
America’s First Strategic Cruise Missile Was Totally Useless
One of the most enduring symbols of the Cold War’s destructive potential is the intercontinental ballistic missile. But during the 1950s, the U.S. Force developed a strategic cruise missile known as the Snark. The Snark was highly unusual at the time. Almost forgotten today, the flying branch developed the... Read more
India’s New Fighters Have Serious Engine Problems
In the past decade, the Indian Air Force has bought hundreds of Su-30MKI fighter jets from Russia. Some of Moscow’s most advanced export fighters, the warplanes should have helped New Delhi strengthen its military. But it turns out, the twin-engine jets have failure-prone motors. Their AL-31FP engines break down... Read more
Wow, China Has a Lot of Different Early-Warning Planes
New photos recently emerged of China’s KJ-500 airborne early-warning and control plane. It’s Beijing’s fifth unique fixed-wing AEW&C aircraft. Which is kind of a big deal. While hardly glamorous, these all-seeing planes are incredibly important to any modern air force. They transmit instructions and data — such as the... Read more
The Unusual History of Transport Bomber Planes
Last month, Moscow announced that it added bombs to the Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft. The news and supporting photos—which showed the hulking airlifters on a snowy airfield, with dumb bombs hanging under their wings—was surprising. But as we noted, adapting transport aircraft to serve as bombers is nothing new.... Read more
Britain’s Ugliest Cold War Vehicle Is Back… In Ukraine
To the soldiers who rode inside, it was the “armored bread van.” At least, that was one of its politer nicknames. More prosaically, it was the AT105 Saxon. For much of the Cold War, the Saxon armored personnel carrier served as a troop taxi for the British Army. One... Read more
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