Boeing’s Working on a Mach-5 Spy Plane
In early January 2018, Boeing announced it’s developing a concept for a hypersonic reconnaissance and strike drone that could compete with Lockheed’s own SR-72. Both Boeing’s “Valkyrie II”concept and Lockheed’s “Son of Blackbird” could be capable of cruising at speeds exceeding Mach 5, potentially allowing them to evade all... Read more
Will the U.S. Air Force Really Buy a New Light Attack Aircraft?
The U.S. Air Force recently announced the next phase of its Light Attack Aircraft experiment — or OA-X. Two aircraft, the Textron AT-6 Wolverine and the Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano will participate in another round of demonstrations between May and July as part of the experiment, which could... Read more
The Super Hind Mk.III Could Be the Best Mi-24 Ever
Some 50 air forces and air arms around the world operate different variants of the famous Mil Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter. Market for upgrades of this type is therefore huge – and the competition is correspondingly fierce. The best-known upgrades for Mi-24s are offered by different Russian and Czech... Read more
A Russian Pilot Died While Attacking Civilians in Syria
On Dec. 11, 2017, Russian president Vladimir Putin, gave a speech to members of the Russian air force — the Russian acronym is “VKS” — at Hmemmem air base in Syria. The most notable part of Putin’s comments was his order for withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. But... Read more
American Rushes to Help After a Storm Nearly Wipes Out the Chadian Air Force
On July 1, 2017, severe wind and heavy rain inflicted significant damage to a large number of Chadian air force aircraft stationed at N’Djamena air base. Three of the air force’s six Fennec helicopters and several hangars were seriously damaged or even totally destroyed. Less severe damage was observed... Read more
Russia Puts the World’s Biggest Bomber Back Into Production
Russia has started test flying the first “new” Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic strategic bomber. However, this first airframe will primarily be used as a flight sciences test aircraft — it is not a fully equipped mission capable strategic bomber. Moreover, this particular airframe was likely assembled from parts that... Read more
The Houthis’ Do-It-Yourself Air Defenses
Read parts one and two. When the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, it quickly neutralized most of the Houthis’ air defenses. Nearly all of the radars and launchers belonging to the Houthis’ five air-defense brigades were destroyed by mid-April 2015. Elements of two air-defense brigades... Read more
The U.S. Army Needs More Anti-Aircraft Weapons — and Fast
Recent conflicts in Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine have demonstrated the widespread adoption of drones by state actors — as well as rebel and terrorist groups — for reconnaissance purposes and as improvised attack platforms carrying grenades or explosive charges. Most recently, Russian air-defense vehicles and electronic-warfare assets in Syria reportedly defeated a simultaneous... Read more
The Pentagon Scooped Up Soviet Weapons in Chad in 1987 and ’88
During the so-called Toyota War in 1987, forces loyal to Chadian president Hissene Habre fought the Libyan army … and won. In early January 1987, Chadian troops carried out a devastating attack on the city of Fada, killing 784 Libyan troops and capturing six SF.260 light strike planes, one... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Is Quietly Cutting A-10s
The U.S. Congress wants to keep the A-10 Warthog attack jet flying. The U.S. Air Force, not so much. Lawmakers have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a dedicated ground-attack aircraft and, more importantly, an effective close air support capability. They have done so through legislation in successive National... Read more
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