Russia Presses Ahead With Combat Robots
The Russian military announced on Oct. 30, 2017 that it will begin acquiring the Nerekhta — a ground-combat robot armed with a slew of remotely-operated weapons such as machine guns and rocket launchers. Col. Oleg Pomazuev, the head of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Department of Innovation Research, said... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read part three. The rapid development of Iranian air defenses over the last few years raises some big questions. How much are China and Iran cooperating? Why is China’s involvement a mystery to so many observers? In recent years, the Chinese defense sector has provided its export customers with... Read more
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Has Sea-Skimming Flying Boats
Iran has fielded a variety of unusual weapons over the years: F-14 Tomcat fighters hotwired to fire Russian missiles, homemade mini-submarines, and remanufactured Cold War jets. In 2006, Iranian television showcased a peculiar sea-skimming flying boat, and four years later Tehran triumphantly announced it had three squadrons of them serving in the Iranian... Read more
A Brief History of Weird Shoot-Downs
This story originally appeared on Nov. 24, 2013. On Sept. 25, an Afghan air force MD-530F helicopter crewed by an Afghan student pilot and his American instructor touched down on a hilltop near Shindand air base, in western Afghanistan, as part of routine training. An Improvised Explosive Device exploded,... Read more
The Unloved, Forgotten Bolo Bomber
The rescue team slashed through eight miles of marshy thicket on their way to the crash site. Two days before on Feb. 15, 1941, the USAAF B-18 Bolo bomber — serial number 36-446 — carrying five crew and two passengers suffered a left-engine failure and went down in thick... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Has a Brony Squadron
This story originally appeared on July 24, 2013. In July 2014, word hit the Internet that an Air Force unit training to fly America’s most advanced military aircraft are wearing a patch inspired by the television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now the Air Force has confirmed... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes Watch for Chinese Stealth Fighters
The Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye completed its first aerial refueling earlier this summer. The new capability, which will be eventually be retrofitted onto the U.S. Navy’s entire E-2D fleet, will greatly increase the range and endurance of the Advanced Hawkeye. That is particularly important as the United States... Read more
These Madmen Flew B-52 Bombers at Wave-Top Heights
This story originally appeared on July 22, 2013. 160 feet from tip to tail. 185 feet across. 240 tons of metal, fuel, bombs and human flesh traveling at 650 miles per hour. You wouldn’t think something so big, moving so fast, would also be capable of skimming the ocean... Read more
Jet Fighter Influence
This story originally appeared on June 4, 2013. Sometime in the spring of 2012, Al Bunting received a message imploring him to publicly endorse America’s warplane of the future. Bunting, a retired senior Air Force officer and administrator for the tiny New Jersey coastal town of Sea Girt, was... Read more
China’s Air Force — 1,700 Combat Aircraft Ready for War
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force of China and its sister branch, the PLA Naval Air Force, operate a huge fleet of around 1,700 combat aircraft — defined here as fighters, bombers and attack planes. This force is exceeded only by the 3,400 active combat aircraft of the U.S.... Read more