The U.S. Navy’s Carrier Air Wings Lack Range
The U.S. Navy’s carrier air wings lack the range to win in battle with Chinese and Russian forces, according to one new study. The Navy’s nine front-line wings “lack the range, endurance, survivability and specialization to carry out the operational concepts needed to defeat great-power militaries,” the Washington, D.C.-based... Read more
U.S. Air Force Cadets Are Building a Stealthy Drone
Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy are building a stealthy target drone to help pilots prepare for combat with Chinese and Russian stealth fighters. But the drone could do so much more. The U.S. military uses a variety of drones as targets in live-fire exercises. The Pentagon also... Read more
The U.S. Air Force’s Treaty Planes Are Falling Apart
The two surveillance planes the U.S. Air Force uses to monitor Russian forces under the auspices of a 1992 arms-control treaty are old, in poor condition and barely flyable, records reveal. Their toilets in particular are a problem. On Dec. 6, 2018, the Air Force deployed one of the... Read more
Japan Triples Its F-35 Order
Japan has decided to buy a lot more F-35 stealth fighters. Officials from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito agreed in a Dec. 5, 2018 meeting to acquire 99 Lockheed Martin F-35s to replace an equal number of Boeing F-15s that Japan acquired in... Read more
In a Message to Russia, Ukraine Invites U.S. Air Force Overflight
The U.S. Air Force deployed a surveillance plane to Ukraine on an “extraordinary” mission apparently to inspect Russian forces, the U.S. State Department announced on Dec. 6, 2018. A four-engine OC-135 carried observers from the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Romania and the United Kingdom, according to the State... Read more
A Mach-10 Missile Won’t Save Russia’s Stealth Fighter
The Russian air force will arm its Su-57 stealth fighters with a hypersonic missile, state media reported on Dec. 6, 2018. But with the Kremlin having deferred final development and full-scale production of the Su-57, the plan could result in no more than a token hypersonic strike force, if... Read more
U.S. Air Force Vice Chief: America Needs More Bombers
The U.S. Air Force needs more bombers and tankers, Gen. Stephen Wilson, the service’s vice chief of staff, told National Defense for an article the magazine published in December 2018. But with military spending likely to decline following several years of increases, the flying branch could struggle to afford... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Has a New War Plan
The U.S. Air Force is rewriting its war plan for the Pacific, the flying branch’s new commander for the region told reporters at the Pentagon in late November 2018. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of Pacific Air Forces, said he wants smaller groups of U.S. warplanes to rapidly move between... Read more
The Grim Rationale for U.S. Air Force ‘Elephant Walks’
On Nov. 19, 2018, two U.S. Air Force wings in Utah launched 35 F-35 stealth fighters in a short span of time. The Air Force lauded the display as evidence of America’s overwhelming military might. At least one critic dismissed it as a publicity stunt. In fact, there’s one... Read more
U.S. Air Force Picks New Stealth Bomber Bases
The U.S. Air Force is getting bases ready for its new B-21 Raider stealth bomber. But it’s still unclear how many B-21s the flying branch might buy. The Air Force selected Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma as the main maintenance facility for the new bomber, the service announced... Read more
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