How Russia’s Military Moves Around the World
When it comes to being air-mobile, the Russian military is second only to the U.S. military. According to the 2018 Military Balance Report, Russia fields 177 heavy to medium transport aircraft. This stands in contrast to America’s 658, China’s 84, France’s 46 and the United Kingdom’s 44. Russia’s transport... Read more
In 1980, Friendly Fire Was One of the Biggest Killers of Iranian Fighter Pilots
This story originally appeared on Oct. 4, 2016. September 2016 marked the 36th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of people between 1980 and 1988. Most people don’t know that this brutal conflict also saw a great number of friendly-fire incidents on the... Read more
In the Iran-Iraq War, F-5s and MiG-21s Fought to a Standstill
This story originally appeared on Sept. 19, 2016. There have been countless discussions over which is the better fighter jet— the U.S.-made Northrop F-5E Tiger II or the Soviet MiG-21 Fishbed. That can be a hard argument to settle. The Iran-Iraq war was probably a draw for the two types. More... Read more
A C-130 Could Snatch Gremlin Drones Right Out of the Air
The U.S. military is moving ahead with development of a new drone that launches from a cargo plane and, at the end of its mission, can return to the same plane for a mid-air recovery. The new Gremlin drone could support surveillance and attack missions, according to its developer,... Read more
Nothing Can Stop a Swarm of Cruise Missiles
Is there a way to defend large swaths of land against a cruise missile attack? Right now, there is no operational weapons system that can provide area air defense against terrain-hugging cruise missiles over land—only point defense is possible. However, there are systems and technologies under development that could... Read more
U.S. Air Force Leaders Are Deliberately Slow-Rolling A-10 Refurbishment
In a victory for supporters of the battle-proven A-10 close air support aircraft, Congress provided the necessary seed money to extend the fleet’s lifespan for at least another decade in its last spending bill. The U.S. Air Force had announced in 2017 that 110 A-10s were in danger of... Read more
For Iraq, Bombing ISIS in Syria Was the Easy Part
The Iraqi air force sortied high-tech F-16 fighter jets armed with laser-guided bombs to strike suspected Islamic State forces near the town of Al Shaddi in eastern Syria on April 19,  signalling a major escalation of Baghdad’s war on ISIS. The cross-border raid, at least the second of its... Read more
A Future German Fighter Jet’s Main Enemy Is the F-35
Germany’s military is a case study in an armed force in need of new equipment. The problems cut across the Bundeswehr and are particularly acute with the aging air force. Germany’s combat air fleet — around 180 fighters — has around 85 Panavia Tornados with the rest being Eurofighter Typhoons.... Read more
A Missile’s Combat Debut Allowed U.S. Bombers to Stay Away From Syrian Air Defenses
Lockheed Martin’s stealthy new AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range — JASSM-ER — made its debut on the raid on Syria on April 13. A pair of U.S. Air Force Rockwell International B-1B Lancer strategic bombers launched 19 of the new air-launched cruise missiles against the Barzeh Research and... Read more
U.S. Marines Want a Do-It-All Drone
The U.S. Marine Corps in early March 2018 asked the defense industry to provide information on a versatile new unmanned aerial system that could replace the Corps’ aging EA-6B electronic-warfare planes and complement existing surveillance, cargo and attack aircraft. Recognizing our current recapitalization toward a more diverse, lethal, amphibious... Read more
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