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Showing posts from 2018

South China Sea Showdown: What Happens If a U.S. Navy and Chinese Vessel Collide?

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This hasn’t been a trivial or hypothetical question since at least April 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet hotdogging near a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance plane slammed into the American aircraft, kindling a diplomatic crisis between the Chinese Communist Party leadership and the newly installed administration of President George W. Bush. This aerial encounter furnished advance warning of what might happen on the surface below.

Last weekend the question took on new urgency. On Sunday morning a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 052C destroyer cut across the bow of the destroyer USS Decatur as Decatur made a close pass by Gaven Reef in the South China Sea. Estimates vary, but it appears the PLAN ship passed somewhere within 45 feet and 45 yards of its American counterpart—compelling the Decatur bridge crew to maneuver to avoid collision. The imagery is striking. Whatever the actual range, terming this conduct “unsafe and unprofessional”—in the U.S. Pacific Command’s anodyne phrasin…

US to Supply More F-35s to Israel to Offset S-300 Systems in Syria

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On Tuesday, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow had delivered S-300 missile systems to Syria to increase the security of Russian military personnel in the Arab country. An additional shipment of US F-35 stealth planes will be supplied to Israel under President Trump's order, in retaliation to Syria’s recent acquisition of Russian S-300 missile defense batteries, according to the Israeli news website Debka.



Washington also notified Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that the first US F-35 squadron would soon be deployed at Al Dhafra Air base 32 kilometers south of UAE's capital Abu Dhabi. Debka cited military sources as saying that the F-35 deliveries indicate the US's and Israel's "determination to maintain Israeli Air Force's operations over Syria, notwithstanding the presence of the S-300s and boosted Russian-Syrian air defense capabilities." The remarks came a few days after Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tz…

Does Japan Need an Aircraft Carrier?

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In 1983, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone promised U.S. President Ronald Reagan that he would make Japan into an “unsinkable aircraft carrier.” The irony was, and remains, that Japan has not possessed an actual aircraft carrier in more than 70 years. 
But that may soon change. The Japanese government is debating retrofitting a class of destroyers to turn them into aircraft carriers. Beyond answering the expected questions of whether such ships would violate its constitution, Japan will need to decide whether the operational need offsets what is expected to be a significant resource strain.
This dearth of aircraft carriers is a contemporary phenomenon. In the early 20th century, Japan was a global leader in ship-based aviation whose magnum opus in the field, two Shōkaku-class carriers, participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor and every subsequent major naval action of the Pacific War. But Japanese carriers disappeared after the war due to a strong strain of  pacifism and co…

PHOTOZONE - Russia "Army 2018". Dynamic display of military equipment

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