Showing posts from September, 2017

US carrier Ronald Reagan navigates South China Sea as North Korea tensions mount

As the commanders of the largest US warship in Asia seek to maintain operational readiness amid protracted tensions over North Korea, they find themselves keeping one eye on China, too.

On Saturday, as F-18 Super Hornet jet fighters roared from the decks of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier during routine drills deep in the South China Sea, two Chinese frigates maintained a constant line-of-sight vigil. Officers on the Japanese-based Reagan described frequent close quarter surveillance from the ships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy in international waters. Sometimes, they said, Chinese vessels steam in to check out the carrier en route to other destinations. Other times, Chinese frigates linger for days within the screen of U.S. ships and planes that protect the Reagan – Washington’s only carrier-based outside America.

At times, the carrier crew, to ensure safe passage, will alert their uninvited Chinese escorts, should the Reagan sharply alter course, officers said. “We’ve …

Why Is Qatar Building a Massive Air Force?

The tiny Gulf nation of Qatar has launched a massive buildup of air power for an unclear purpose. The latest development in this saga came in September, when British Defense Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon and Qatari Defense Secretary Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah signed a Letter of Intent for Doha to purchase twenty-four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from London. That came on the heels of Qatar announcing a deal to purchase thirty-six Boeing F-15 Qatar Advanced-variant Eagles from the United States for a reported $12 billion. And in 2015, Qatar signed a $7.5 billion deal with France to purchase twenty-four Dassault Rafale fighter jets, MBDA missiles, as well as pilot and support personnel training.

What makes these deals particularly shocking is how much of an increase they represent from what the Qatari Air Force currently fields. Despite hosting a large U.S. air base, Qatar itself has primarily relied on twelve aging Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighters. Thus, the eighty-four differ…

The U.S. Army Howitzer is now firing 5,000 MPH high tech projectiles

An Army Howitzer is now firing a 5,000-miles per hour, high-tech, electromagnetic Hyper Velocity Projectile, initially developed as a Navy weapon, an effort to fast-track increasing lethal and effective weapons to warzones and key strategic locations, Pentagon officials said. Overall, the Pentagon is accelerating developmental testing of its high-tech, long-range Electro-Magnetic Rail Gun by expanding the platforms from which it might fire and potentially postponing an upcoming at-sea demonstration of the weapon, Pentagon and Navy officials told Scout Warrior. While initially conceived of and developed for the Navy’s emerging Rail Gun Weapon, the Pentagon and Army are now firing the Hyper Velocity Projectile from an Army Howitzer in order to potential harness near-term weapons ability, increase the scope, lethality and range ability to accelerate combat deployment of the lethal, high-speed round. The rail gun uses an electromagnetic current to fire a kinetic energy warhead up to 100 m…

Can North Korea shoot down a US military aircraft ?

At a news conference in New York on Monday, North Korea’s foreign minister accused U.S. President Donald Trump of declaring war via Twitter, and the minister threatened to shoot down U.S. Air Force bombers conducting flights near the Korean Peninsula. Ri Yong Ho told reporters that his country “reserves the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they’re not yet inside the airspace border of our country.” His comments come in the wake of a war of words between both countries over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program. The conference came after a Sept. 23 flight over international waters “east of North Korea” by U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers, escorted by F-15C jets, that U.S. Pacific Command said was the “farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any U.S. fighter or bomber aircraft have flown off North Korea’s coast in the 21st century.” According to South Korean media citing sources from the country’s intelligence services, the ro…

Russian defense company shows off ‘flying car’ ( VIDEO INCLUDED )

Russian defense manufacturer Kalashnikov has unveiled a one-manned “flying car.” Popular Mechanics reports that the car is operated by 16 sets of rotors with a gridlike structure, is powered by electricity and is controlled using two joysticks. The final product will potentially be covered by a white shell that will still expose the rotors. Kalashnikov is part of Russian defense firm Rostec and develops military small arms such as AK-47s and sniper rifles, AI driven robots and autonomous weapons, neural network-based weapon systems, and guided artillery rounds. Russia Today reports that Kalashnikov has not specified whether the vehicle will primarily be use by civilians, the military or both.
While the so-called flying car’s electric engine weighs less than a petroleum diesel engine, it likely it cannot fly more than a half-hour before its batteries are exhausted. This ultimately places restrictions on the payload and flight time of the vehicle, and it may take future electrical breakth…

China Tests New Radiation Radar That Could Detect F 22 Raptors and F 35

The China North Industries Group Corporation has tested a radar in recent weeks that generates terahertz radiation in order to better track the presence of stealth aircraft, the South China Morning Post reports. The device has the potential to be a “game changer” for the People’s Liberation Army, scientists told the Hong-Kong based news outlet, since the radar might be able to spot the US’ F-22 Raptors and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Terahertz radiation can theoretically see through the “composite materials” that help hide stealthy jets, SCMP reports. The F-22 fleet’s new $40 million paint job might be for naught after all.  “The radar-absorbent coatings on the F-35 will look as thin and transparent as stockings if [the Chinese radar] is as powerful as they claim,” a technical executive told the Post. The reported power of the radars is “more than a million times higher” than other terahertz machines — dubbed T-rays — that have tried to measure the physical specifications of stealth …

How Sweden 'Sunk' a U.S. Navy Submarine

Nuclear-powered submarines have traditionally held a decisive edge in endurance, stealth and speed over cheaper diesel submarines. However, new Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology has significantly narrowed the performance gap on a new generation of submarines that cost a fraction of the price of a nuclear-powered boat.

A conventional submarine’s diesel engine generates electricity which can be used to drive the propeller and power its systems. The problem is that such a combustion engine is inherently quite noisy and runs on air—a commodity in limited supply on an underwater vehicle. Thus, diesel-powered submarines must surface frequently to recharge their batteries.

The first nuclear-powered submarines were brought into service in the 1950s. Nuclear reactors are quieter, don’t consume air, and produce greater power output, allowing nuclear submarines to remain submerged for months instead of days while traveling at higher speeds under water. 

Is It Time to Bring Back the Batt…

China’s CH-5 UAV conducts live-fire trial with new precision weapon

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has successfully integrated and launched a new precision guided missile (PGM) on its Cai Hong 5 (Rainbow 5, or CH-5) strike-capable, medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV), Jane’s sources have confirmed.

The latest test was staged out of an undisclosed airport in the northwestern province of Gansu during the morning of 21 September, with CASC engineers successfully deploying a new 80 kg-class PGM – carrying a blast fragmentation warhead – via lock-on before launch (LOBL) targeting protocols from a production-model CH-5 at a launch altitude of 11,482 ft.

Further details of the new PGM were not disclosed, although it is understood that the latest effort also enabled engineers to further test and fine-tune the CH-5’s electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) payload as well as its weapons targeting and rail-mounted payload release mechanisms.

“We demonstrated the CH-5’s ability to win the initiative in any battle…

If North Korea gets ready to test a nuclear missile in the Pacific Ocean destroy it first

If U.S. intelligence discovers that North Korea has a nuclear tipped, long-range missile getting ready to fire into the South Pacific with the goal of detonating it—to prove to the world it is a nuclear power—there is only one thing President Trump should do: destroy it before it ever goes into the air.

And that could mean war with North Korea—a war that I have waged many times in computer simulations and in tabletop exercises and it frightens me to depths of my soul. That could mean millions of people dead. But the alternatives, even with the stakes so high, are too frightening to imagine.

America and its allies would simply have no choice but to respond to what is the most dangerous of threats the world has faced since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Consider for a moment if we let Kim Jong Un go ahead with such a missile launch.

For one, consider if Kim gives the order, and it heads into the skies above Northeast Asia. However, all does not go as planned, and the missile’s guidance syste…

India Launches Floating Lab on River Brahmaputra Amid Water War with China

India’s skepticism hinges on China’s repeated refusal to share hydrological data for the river that unleashes floods in India every year. India and China have also been at loggerheads over the latter’s plan to divert the river water. India is setting up a floating laboratory on the River Bhramaputra to study the biodiversity and ecosystems along the river's floodplain. The move is mainly prompted by China's repeated refusal to share hydrological data for the river.

The project is India's first such large-scale study which will guide river and flood management policies. The study will be conducted under the name of Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4) where Indian scientists will place a barge equipped with laboratories to analyze soil, plants, microbes, and water at different points along the river to generate new knowledge for multiple agencies involved in river management. "The information from such research could feed back into decision-making on issues s…

world's Best Israel can teach South Korea lessons about missile defense

While officials in Seoul try to figure out how to deal with their erratic, missile-launching neighbor to the north, the key to the puzzle may be 5,000 miles away — in Jerusalem. Officials in South Korea's defense ministry are now debating how they'll spend their budget, on the assumption that the country's parliament will increase it by almost seven percent. But military officials around the world say that even if South Korea's defense forces get the money, it won't be enough to deal with the massive destructive force awaiting them just across the border in North Korea. "The South Koreans have already established the requirement for low- and medium-tier interceptors," said Tom Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He added, however, that "They have yet to move forward." This month Israel staged a massive military exercise designed to simulate war with terror group Hez…

Why the world is worried about this 'unstoppable' hypersonic Russian missile

Russia is expected to begin serial production of hypersonic missile Tsirkon or Zircon soon. The missile boasts of speed five times than that of speed of sound. Reports say the missile can travel with a speed of upto 4,600 mph or 7,400 km/h, which makes it almost impossible to be stopped. Countries like the US and Britain, who have most powerful defence forces in the world, are already losing sweat over Russia's new missile defence system. "State tests of Zircon are scheduled for completion in 2017 in accordance with the contract, and the missile's serial production is planned to be launched next year," a report carried out by Russian news agency TASS said quoting sources. US, BRITAIN WORRIED -Zircon, which can strike targets as far as 400 km away, is expected to be inducted by the Russia defence forces by 2022. With its enormous speed, Zircon is capable of evading the best anti-missile systems presently in use across the world. A report in The Independent said that …

India’s Home-Grown LCH to Start Live Firing Trial of French Mistral Missiles

India’s locally developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) fitted with French-made Mistral air to air missile (ATAM) will undergo live firing trials from the end of this year. The LCH is capable of carrying four Mistrals on each wing which can intercept the target at a range of up to 6.5 kilometers. French defense firm MBDA Missile Systems expects the live firing trial of the approximately 19-kilogram missile system will go as planned.

India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had begun production of the LCH last month. The LCH is also equipped with a 20 mm turret gun, 70 mm rocket, electro-optical pod, and helmet pointing system. In November last year, Indian defense ministry had approved a fund of approximately $450 million for the procurement of 15 LCHs as a "limited series production" (LSP) order. The light combat helicopter is pegged at around $35 million per unit which is less than half the cost of American AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
Meanwhile, MBDA al…

Is North Korea Building Their First Nuclear Submarine?

Japanese media outlets are reporting that North Korea is clandestinely building a nuclear-powered submarine that they hope to have operational by 2020. The reports come from an anonymous but “informed” source.
Japanese newspaper Sekai Nippo claims that the "informed" source "familiar with the North Korea situation" told them that the DPRK has been clandestinely building the nuclear submarine, which would be a massive leap forward from the current DPRK Navy, which may maintain a fleet of 50 to 60 diesel-electric submarines. The source went on to claim that Chinese and Russian engineers have been lending their expertise to the DPRK at North Korea's Nampo Naval Shipyard, in North Korea's manufacturing capital. While nuclear submarines are significantly more difficult and expensive to produce than conventional diesel-electric ones, they are also faster, more powerful, more versatile, and have a wider range since they can stay underwater for much longer without…