Israel Swaps Killer Copters for Killer Drones
Israel has pulled from service one of its most battle-proven military aircraft. The Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship, which served with distinction in a long line of campaigns since the mid-1970s, is being replaced … with drones. The news comes as no surprise to close observers of the Israeli air... Read more
India Is Trying to Get Serious About Carrier Air Power
Since China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning began sea trials in summer 2011, naval and air power observers have been closely watching the development of Beijing’s once-secretive carrier program. Meanwhile, India—an established flattop operator—has also been making important progress deploying air power at sea. The first official deployment of India’s latest... Read more
Russia’s Fearsome New MiGs Could Be Lemons
Moscow has placed an order for new, highly upgraded MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters. But they actually might not be new at all. The planned acquisition of the twin-tail, twin-engine MiG-29SMTs is a window into bizarre and possibly suspect Kremlin practices that could boost Russian air power … or undermine it. Time... Read more
China’s Got an Aircraft Carrier—What About the Air Wing?
In late January, Chinese Internet forums highlighted what appeared to be the latest addition to China’s burgeoning carrier air wing. Although conspicuously watermarked, the photo clearly showed a sub-hunting version of the Changhe Z-8 helicopter. It’s not as glamorous as missile-toting Shenyang J-15 carrier fighters or as potentially important... Read more
Russia’s New Air Force Is a Mystery
The Russian air force has just introduced three new jet fighters. Not the much-publicized Sukhoi T-50 stealth fighter—which isn’t ready yet—but three slightly different versions of the classic Su-27, all originating from the same Sukhoi design bureau but built by two separate manufacturers. Yes, that’s a bit odd—and potentially... Read more
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