* The Obama administration appears to both think the Syrian government did use chemical weapons against civilians, and prepare a strike in response. This would possibly but not necessarily be done with UN backing, while the British Royal Navy is moving ships in preparation of possible missile launches. It’s hard for UN inspectors to do their job when snipers shoot at them. One question among several pressing matters: what was used? WSJ | NYT | WaPo | Christian Science Monitor | UK Telegraph.
* India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) announced [PDF] the successful test launch of a Nirbhay long-range cruise missile, though deviations from its intended trajectory were observed along its flight. This had already been the case during the 1st test flight back in March.
“The new DPP is good to the extent that it encourages (involvement of) private sector industry in defence manufacturing, but nobody in the South Block in New Delhi knows how to implement it. This generates tremendous hesitation, piecemeal and turf-led approach as everybody is after safeguarding their own turf. As a result, I would be very surprised if anything comes out of the new policy.”
* So, is China building a 2nd aircraft carrier, or a big Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA) ship? Chinese forums and blogs are buzzing about a picture of what could be a ski jump module in the making, in a hangar behind the Liaoning.
* Russia’s 6th-gen fighter aircraft will likely be unmanned.
* The video below explains the unique attributes of the Sukhoi T-50 – Russia’s 5th-gen fighter jet prototype – whose maneuverability will be showcased at the MAKS-2013 air show starting tomorrow near Moscow: