America’s Super Battleships That Never Were
In the early 1940s, the U.S. Navy still expected to need huge, first rate battleships to fight the best that Japan and Germany had to offer. The North Carolina, South Dakota, and Iowa-class battleships all involved design compromises. The Montanas, the last battleships designed by the U.S. Navy, would... Read more
Why Isn’t China Building a New Bomber?
China is developing two new stealth fighters, stealthy unmanned aircraft, new cruise and ballistic missiles; however, Beijing thus far has not attempted to develop a new bomber. Instead, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force relies on the upgraded Xian H-6K — a derivative of the antiquated Soviet Tu-16 Badger —... Read more
Russia’s Air War in Syria Isn’t Over
Russian air operations over Syria are continuing at a somewhat reduced pace even as the Kremlin says it is withdrawing its main forces from the region. The Russian air force conducted 41 sorties in support of the Syrian army’s offensive to retake Palmyra between March 20 and March 23. According... Read more
Damn, the F-35’s Upgrades Are Expensive
The Government Accountability Office is voicing opposition to the Pentagon’s plan to manage the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s Block 4 upgrade as a continuation of the existing program. The planned upgrade — which is expected to cost more than $3 billion — is large enough to qualify... Read more
The Russo-Japanese War Brought Rapid-Fire Weapons to the World
The Russo-Japanese War commenced 112 years ago this February, lasting 18 months before a U.S.-brokered truce mercifully put it to rest. The war killed upwards of 125,000 people, and sharply limited Russian influence in Northeast Asia. Japan gained control of Korea and a long-term foothold for influencing events in Manchuria and... Read more
Russia’s Next Submarine Could Be Much Stealthier
Next-generation Russian nuclear submarines may use composite structures — imagine something akin to a cutting-edge carbon fiber — in an attempt to drastically reduce their acoustical signatures. But this wouldn’t be the first time Moscow has experimented with novel materials to build submarines. Before its collapse, the Soviet Union... Read more
The Long Shadow of the Falklands War
The Falklands War ended with a decisive British victory over 30 years ago. Nevertheless, the war remains alive in the imagination of analysts and historians. Although the conflict happened outside of the normal “zones of crisis,” it has long held the attention of students of warfare. The war, which involved a conflict... Read more
Soviet-Era Tu-160M2 Is More Lethal Than Ever
Russia’s upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M2 Blackjack supersonic bomber is expected to make its first flight in 2019. Moscow currently has 16 of the original version of the Mach 2.0-capable bomber, which are the last surviving examples of the 35 aircraft built by the Soviet Union before its demise. Moscow hopes to build... Read more
How to Kill the F-35 Stealth Fighter
The United States has poured tens of billions of dollars into developing fifth-generation stealth fighters such as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. However, relatively simple signal processing enhancements, combined with a missile with a large warhead and its own terminal guidance system, could potentially... Read more
Russia Pulls Its Stealth Fighter Back From the Brink
Russian and Indian negotiators have bargained down the price for the Indo-Russian Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — which is being developed from the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA. The two sides have agreed cut the price of the development from $12 billion to roughly $8 billion, saving the joint project from... Read more