Like It or Not, Iran Is a Drone Power
America isn’t the only country that deploys drones to spy on its enemies. In the skies over Syria’s bloody civil war, above Iraq’s jihadist insurgency and across a number of regional conflicts, Iran’s drones are becoming an increasingly common sight. Ever since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Iran... Read more
Iran Knows the Secrets of America’s Stealth Drone
In response to Saudi Arabia’s biggest-ever war game, in early May 2014 Iran’s revolutionary guard hosted its biggest-ever arms bazaar. The highlight of the show was a private presentation for supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei featuring Tehran’s copies of the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone that Iran captured near... Read more
Yes, America Has Another Secret Spy Drone—We Pretty Much Knew That Already
Washington, D.C. trade publication Aviation Week has confirmed what its top reporters and other observers long suspected: the U.S. Air Force has tested—and is preparing to buy in substantial numbers—a stealthy, long-range reconnaissance drone meant to boost America’s ability to spy on even the most heavily-armed rival nations. Examining... Read more
Lockheed Has Plans For a Mach-6 Spy Plane
It looks like Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, the famed workshop that designed cutting-edge Cold War airplanes including the F-104, the U-2, the SR-71 and the F-117, has revealed to Aviation Week & Space Technology’s Guy Norris the existence of a project for a hypersonic strike aircraft— the SR-72. After... Read more
F-14s Versus UFOs… in Iran
An incredible report from Babak Taghvaee in the latest issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. According to Taghvaee, the Iranian air force’s fleet of 1970s-vintage F-14 Tomcat fighters have spent the last nine years chasing around mysterious flying, glowing objects over Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Iranians believe the objects are... Read more
Air Force Ready to Spread Stealth Fighters Across the Pacific
A U.S. Air Force wing flying the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter has devised a new strategy for using its high-flying, super-fast, radar-evading warplanes. By splitting its 40 F-22s into elusive, four-apiece “Rapid Raptor Packages,” the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska apparently hopes to sidestep one of... Read more
The Mach-3 Drone That Spied on China
The Pentagon is concerned about China’s growing capabilities, especially after a stunning display of new military hardware. In response, the military asks the American aerospace industry to develop a vehicle so fast stealthy and smart that nothing can touch it. A super-fast aircraft already in development is pushed forward... Read more
I Built My Own Copy of Iran’s Faux Stealth Fighter
On Feb. 2, 2013, under the smiling gazes of then-Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, the Qaher 313 Conqueror — Iran’s newest, most advanced fighter plane — was revealed to members of the world media. Parked in a hanger remarkably similar to the one seen in videos... Read more
F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane
From all the recent sounds of celebrating coming out of Washington, D.C., you might think the Pentagon’s biggest, priciest and most controversial warplane development had accelerated right past all its problems. The price tag—currently an estimated $1 trillion to design, build and operate 2,400 copies—is steadily going down. Production... Read more
Who’s Going to Win the Race to Mach 5?
It was a breakthrough years in the making. On May 1, 2013, a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber launched an X-51A Waverider unmanned test vehicle from a wing pylon. The two-ton, missile-shaped X-51 fired a solid rocket booster, quickly accelerating to Mach 4.8. Twenty-six seconds into its flight over... Read more
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