Russia - LHD amphibious ships: France has reportedly returned Russia's $900 million for failing to deliver the two Mistral class helicopter carriers it had manufactured. Interestingly, the Sputnik News report indicates that Russia feels it has a right to grant or withhold permission to France to resell the craft to a third nation. This could conceivably be the case were Russia contributing significant design work or classified specifications. More »
Technology allowing parts to be printed is rapidly seeing military adoption, but manufacturing experts warn that they need to be designed in a fashion to allow for inspection.
The Navy is prepping a patch of seafloor off Florida to be an undersea training ground of sorts. They have installed the first leg of data cable, surfacing at Naval Station Mayport. More will be installed to reach the grounds, about 50 miles offshore.
France has reportedly returned Russia’s $900 million for failing to deliver the two Mistral class helicopter carriers it had manufactured. Interestingly, the Sputnik News report indicates that Russia feels it has a right to grant or withhold permission to France to resell the craft to a third nation. This could conceivably be the case were Russia contributing significant design work or classified specifications.
Pakistan continues to add to its nuclear arsenal , although Pakistani officials deny that it is moving quite at the pace indicated by a recent report. The country has the capacity to become the owner of the third largest nuclear arsenal in the next few years.
Japan launched another helicopter carrier, its second, built by local firm Japan Marine United. The new Kaga joins the JS Izumo, which became operational in March. The Kaga is the second ship to be named after the Kaga Province of Japan. The first Kaga, part of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II played an integral role in the Battle of Midway, where it was damaged to the point that it was scuttled soon after.
Saudi Arabia will buy 75 15-meter interceptor vessels for its Coast Guard. German manufacturer Lurssen won the contract, and is subcontracting manufacturing to French Shipyard Couach.
Iran is reported to be interested in purchasing the Sukhoi superset-100 for civil aviation. Going with a Chinese or Russian manufacturer would likely make most sense, as the Iranian government could well put itself in a sanctions penalty box again in the future, making western manufacturers the least reliable.
The PAK FA / T-50 in all its vector-thrusted maneuverability…
| t should go without saying that yesterday's Oshkosh award of the JLTV program may well be contested. The Army has yet to debrief Lockheed or AM General, a key step in the process toward a proper GAO protest. More »
| Russia's "fifth generation" Sukhoi PAK FA stealth fighter is to get the X-58USHK missile, which will reportedly reach mach 3.5. But the critical advantage the new combo would bring was expressed in the a Tass sub-headline: "The missile will be placed inside the fighter’s fuselage." Thus the PAK FA - also called the T-50 - will remain stealthy, where the F-35's weapons bay has grown even smaller on the new variants and most weapons will have to be mounted externally. More »
| In what is perhaps the biggest reality perception difference between the Air Force and the rest of the military and civilian government, the Air Force has been working hard to shut down the A-10 program, maintaining that the close air support stalwart isn't earning its keep. The several billion dollars saved would go to more F-35 work, as that platform has been tipped to be the replacement, although some senior Air Force officers have suggested that perhaps a completely new craft would be in order. So it was newsworthy that a senior officer for testing had suggested a shoot-out between the A-10 and F-35. That test is now taking fire from the Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, who called such a test "silly." Still, Welsh said that the F-35 was never intended as an A-10 replacement, so that leaves observers scratching heads as to which parts of the Air Force desire what outcome, especially as few believe an A-X replacement would be cheaper. More »
| Belgium's four NH90 NFH naval helicopter fleet have achieved Initial Operating Capability, eight years after they were ordered in May 2007 through a mixed order for ten NH90 helicopters. Three of the country's four helicopters have now entered service, with a fourth scheduled to join them in early 2016. More »