Russia’s Ilyushin aircraft company is testing out the mounting of bomb rails onto its Il-76MD transport aircraft. War Is Boring reports that Russia intends to field them in Tver, Orenburg, Pskov and Taganrog, conveniently close to potential future conquests. The idea of the each IL-76 dropping bombs to clear a path, then disgorging 225 soldiers is the sort of deliciously violent imagery that may be more designed to server Russia’s current diplomatic efforts with Europe than it is in shaping an actual battle field in a practical manner.
- Much ink has been spilled over the past few weeks regarding the U.S. Air Force’s animus toward the A-10, the close air support aircraft that the Air Force would be happiest to have cut from its budget. Recent daggers in its back include the Air Force’s release of a factoid: that the A-10 is the most lethal jet in the inventory for fratricide. Which was established since as misleading by a POGO piece. With some wondering why the close air support should even continue to be in the remit of the Air Force, its air combat command reportedly indicated that a follow-on platform may be in store.
- The Navy is recruiting female enlisted submariners, now that the January 21 has passed and women are allowed to serve. Already 60 female officers are serving.
- The Brazilian Air Force is bragging (Portugese) about a successful test firing of an air-to-air A-Darter missile developed with along with South Africa. The heat-seeking missile hit a drone flying at a 90 degree angle. It has a maximum range of 12 miles and maneuvers without control surfaces, using instead using thrust vectors. The news release appeared geared to an export market, noting that other missiles with similar technologies aren’t allowed to be exported from those producing countries.
- Indeed, as indicated in the past week, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that Dassault will sell a couple dozen Rafale fighters to Egypt, along with a FREMM frigate and MBDA missiles for about $6 billion. The purchase appears to be arranged on credit, which signifies a vote of confidence on the part of France that the Egyptian military-led government is likely to become and remain stable.
- Boeing is still pushing F/A 18 Block II craft for Malaysia – they’ve been negotiating with the country for more than a dozen years. What is interesting about their paid messages is the messaging. They’re going with “extremely affordable.”