MiG-35 to be procured by the VVS

August 7, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

mig35w3ld1Ares reports that the VVS has pledged to procure both the Su-35S (no surprise) and the MiG-35S (surprise!) in the following years:

This is the first official confirmation of interest in the MiG-35, an updated version of the MiG-29 with extended range, increased combat payload and AESA radar. It boosts Russia’s chances in India’s 126-aircraft Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition. Two MiG-35 prototypes are to start customer evaluation trials for India in September. The first phase will take place in Russia, after which one aircraft will continue trials in India.

Upgraded versions of the classic MiG-29 so far haven’t shared the Flanker family’s phenomenal export success, so this may signal a turn of fortunes for the design bureau.

RAND: China has the upper hand in Taiwan

August 5, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

Kh-31aThis is going to cause some ruckus…

Steve Trimble reports on a new RAND study that presents China as being far more capable of theater-level combat operations (and with regards to Taiwan in particular) than was the case just 10 years ago:

[…] the cross-strait military balance is shifting in ways that are problematic for Taiwan’s defense: The growing size and quality of China’s missile arsenal, along with other advances in Chinese military capabilities, call into question the United States’ and Taiwan’s ability to defend the island against a large-scale Chinese attack.

Blog/forum regulars are already punching holes through the report for inaccuracies, simplistic assumptions etc. but it is hard to deny the fact of growing Chinese abilities in the theater. Plus the RAND cachet will ensure that this report makes the rounds and gets attention regardless of validity; so worth a read in any case.

Talking frankly about nukes

August 1, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

atmosphere_testing_nuclear_weapons Ares has a very interesting report on a recent symposium held by the US STRATCOM on matters of nuclear deterrence. The real value of the meeting was at the number of foreign experts involved, and the wide variety of doctrines and ideas expressed:

With the understandable exceptions of Iran and Korea, every nuclear power in the world was represented at the symposium. Speakers and delegates included the Catholic archbishop of Baltimore and arms-control advocates, senior US and non-US officers (including the UK’s First Sea Lord, Adm Sir Mark Stanhope), and an array of nuclear scientists and engineers including the "retirement-flunking" Dr John Foster, who started his career in electronic warfare with the US Army Air Force in 1943. Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak said it was "the only two-day sumposium where I never wanted to miss a single panel."

Major media covered the event heavily, if by major media you mean me, the Omaha World-Herald, the National Catholic Reporter and an arms-control website. But NBC nailed an interview with Michael Jackson’s chef on Thursday morning, so it’s all good.

Lots of very interesting doctrinal material in the report; a must-read.

Rafale carrier ops

July 31, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

Via ELP.

USN cancels ASDS mini-sub

July 30, 2009 · Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized · Comment 

minisub Via Kobus:

The U.S. Special Operations Command has canceled its mini-submarine program, a project designed to deliver Navy commando s close to their target and protect them on the way.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) hit numerous hurdles since it was conceived in the late 1990s. The latest, in November, was a fire that burned for six hours while the sub’s batteries were charging at a Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, shipyard.

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