Backfire Bombers With Hypersonic Missiles
Russia may test its Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aero-ballistic missile onboard the Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber, which would greatly extend the number of targets Moscow could hold at risk with the new weapon. The missile is currently launched from onboard the Mikoyan MiG-31K variant of the Mach 2.83-capable Foxhound interceptor, but the Kinzhal might... Read more
The German Air Force Is Falling to Pieces
Germany’s air force is in a lot of trouble, according to its leader “The Luftwaffe is at a low point,” Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, Germany’s new chief of the air force, said in a speech on June 27, Reuters reported . The Luftwaffe is the official name of branch. Gerhartz added:... 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
There Was No Way a P-51 Could Replace the A-10
This story originally appeared on Dec. 17, 2014. The U.S. Air Force has a complicated relationship with its low- and slow-flying A-10 Warthog attack jet. And that’s putting it mildly. The flying branch has tried more than once to retire the ungainly A-10 in favor of speedier planes, only... Read more
We Got a Closer Look at the Flying V-280 Valor
On June 18, 2018, Bell’s V-280 Valor prototype took off for its first public demonstration, six months after its first flight. It’s another, early glimpse at the tiltrotor aircraft that could one day replace a significant portion of the U.S. military’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, among other aircraft. The... Read more
Spies Helped the USAF Shoot Down a Third of North Vietnam’s MiG-21s
This story originally appeared on Dec. 30, 2014. On Jan. 2, 1967, around 30 U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom fighter jets flying from Ubon in Thailand shot down a full third of North Vietnam’s MiG-21s—for a loss of just one of their own. It was a strategic victory in... Read more
China Apparently Is Developing a Stealth Fighter Drone
The Chinese military appears to be working on a fast, radar-evading robotic fighter plane that could be the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The Dark Sword drone, as it’s known, is the latest in a long line of jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicles that the Shenyang Aircraft... Read more
Stealth Lessons of the F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk is a legendary plane. That aircraft was retired in 2008, but would the F-117 still be useful today? The answer is that against most mid-range threats like Iran, absolutely. But against higher-end threats like Russia or China, not so much. Technology has advanced since engineers first... Read more
The U.S. Air Force’s Strange Love for the B-21 Bomber
Did you know the U.S. Air Force is working on a new stealth bomber? Don’t blame yourself if you didn’t, since the project is so secret that most members of Congress aren’t privy to the details. Talk about stealthy! Known as the B-21 Raider after General Doolittle’s Raiders of World War... Read more
Turkish Helicopter Gunships Are Heading to Pakistan
Pakistan has been hunting for new attack helicopters to replace its aging American-made AH-1 Cobras. Now Turkey’s ruling party has confirmed that Islamabad has picked the T129 ATAK in what is the largest Turkish-Pakistani arms deal in history for 30 of the sleek, two-seat gunships. It’s also a loss... Read more
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