Fatal flaws within the cockpit of the US military’s most expensive fighter jet ever are causing further problems with the Pentagon’s dubious F-35 program.
Just weeks after a fleet of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters was grounded for reasons unrelated, a new report from the Pentagon warns that any pilot that boards the pricey aircraft places himself in danger without even going into combat.
In a leaked memo from the Defense Department’s director of the Operational Test and Evaluation Directorate to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon official prefaces a report on the F-35 by cautioning that even training missions cannot be safely performed on board the aircraft at this time.
“The training management system lags in development compared to the rest of the Integrated Training Center and does not yet have all planned functionality,” the report reads in part.
In other sections of the lengthy DoD analysis, Operational Test and Read more…
The decision comes as Washington struggles to find a way to avoid across-the-board automatic spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs next month.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has approved keeping just one carrier in the Persian Gulf region. The US has maintained two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf for most of the last two years.
Panetta has been leading a campaign to replace the automatic cuts he warns would “hollow out” the military, and the Pentagon has been providing greater details on the cuts it would have to make if Congress fails to both replace them and agree on a 2013 defense budget bill. The carrier decision is one of the most significant announcements made thus far.
Plans for the USS Harry S Truman to deploy to the Gulf later this week have been Read more…
China’s new jumbo air freighter, the Y-20, prepares to take off from an unidentified airport for a test run on Jan. 26. (Photo: People’s Daily)
BEIJING — China said it successfully tested a heavy air force freighter that could be a mostly home-grown substitute for the older Russian planes it now uses while substantially boosting the Chinese military’s global reach.
The Y-20 flew took off from its development base near the northwestern city of Xi’an on Saturday, the China Daily and other newspapers reported on Monday. The plane can fly 44,000 km with 66 tons of freight, and is designed to fill the need for a stronger, long-range heavy lift capacity.
China now uses Russian IL-76 freighters, including for communications roles, but those planes were first built in Read more…
They have designed a 400ft (122m) long “lighter-than-air” hybrid vehicle for the US Army, in a contract worth half a billion pounds. The LEMV, a first-of-its-kind airship, took to the sky on the 7th August 2012 at 6:49 p.m. Eastern Time and flew for more than 90 minutes over Lakehurst Naval Air Station.
* Operating at 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) above sea level
* With a 21-day on-station availability
* a 2,000 mile radius of action and is
* Runway independent
These hybrid airships have up to
* 40% Aerodynamic Lift
* 25% Vectored Thrust Lift
* 60% Buoyant Lift
Provides zero energy lift for long-endurance flight
Last year, Nextbigfuture covered a plan to buy around 45 new civilian hybrid air vehicles from this same company by a Canadian customer. These aircraft will be used across Read more…
China’s navy appears on the verge of creating a new class of warship. It could eventually alter the balance of naval power in the region.
We are loyal followers of baseball philosopher Yogi Berra, who reportedly proclaimed that “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Like the great Yogi, we seldom venture prophecies. But we did hazard one in The Diplomat late in 2010, namely that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) would defy those Western experts who opined that Beijing had slowed or halted its naval buildup.
For evidence, such experts claimed that the PLAN had stopped building guided-missile destroyers, or DDGs. If so, Beijing had made a conscious choice to limit its navy’s offensive punch. Not so, said we. Having experimented with various DDG designs, the PLAN was simply settling on a model that incorporated the best of each test platform. And indeed, DDG serial production has recommenced in earnest, judging from pictures of the new Type 052D Luyang II-class DDG that have surfaced on the Internet.
Until recently it was fashionable for Western PLA-watchers to contend that Chinese shipyards had Read more…
Russian-Chinese war games “Naval Interaction-2012″ in the Yellow sea has entered its active phase on April 24. 25 warships, 13 aircrafts, 9 helicopters and 2 units of the special forces of the two countries participate in them. Taking into account the number of participating forces and the scenario, these manoeuvres are apparently the most large-scale in the modern history of bilateral relations.
According to “Interfax”, the Russian party is represented in the war games by large antisubmarine ships “Admiral Tributz”, “Marshal Shaposhnikov” and “Admiral Vinogradov”, as well as logistics ships. The detachment is headed by the
flagship of the Fleet – Guards’ guided-missile cruiser “Varyag”.
China is represented by 18 military ships, including the flagship missile destroyer “Harbin”, and 5 missile frigates, including “Chzhoushan” and “Suyzhow”, which were performing combat tasks on distant borders escorting ships in the Gulf of Aden.
The scenario includes joint crossing of a “dangerous” area, firing various weapons at sea and air targets, and rescue operations at sea. The ships will be covered from the air by deck helicopters Ka-27; and a sea infantry sub-unit of the Pacific Navy is placed under the detachment’s command in order to conduct special operations.
According to the RF Ministry of Defence message, the goal of the manoeuvres is strengthening and development of the Russian-Chinese relations and Read more…
The US Army could axe as many as 24,000 enlisted staff and up to 5,000 officers within five years to meet a projected reduction in the force driven by budget cuts and the winding down of two wars, a Pentagon chief signalled.
Pressed on the possibility of involuntary terminations, Thomas Lamont, an assistant secretary of the army, told a Senate Armed Services panel that redundancies were possible as the army shrinks from a peak of 570,000 to 490,000.
“I hate to throw out numbers, but I have seen numbers that would approach enlisted category perhaps as high as mid-20s, 23, 24,000,” Mr Lamont said.
“On the officer contingent, again these are very rough numbers and all based again on assumptions and attrition rates, officers may go up” to 4,500 to 5,000.
Defence secretary Leon Panetta, in announcing the Pentagon budget earlier this year, also said the Marines would drop by 20,000, to 182,000. The Pentagon has indicated that the reductions would Read more…
Huge Sino-Russian joint military exercise at sea to participate in the troops in the million or more
April 22 to 29
2012, Russia will be held in China’s Yellow Sea waters, code-named “Sea collaboration – 2012″ joint naval exercises. Suha Ivanov, deputy commander of the Russian Navy has stressed that the exercise will be the Navy of Russia and China in recent years, the largest joint military exercises at sea. 15, the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet held a grand expedition ceremony.
more than 20 warships participating
formation with wear Strait
According to the news of the Russian Defense Ministry said: “The leader of the Russian Navy the participating warships participating in the Pacific Fleet’s flagship ‘Varyag’ large anti-submarine of the Pacific Fleet’s’ Tribhuvan Cihai Admiral number ‘three large anti-submarine, and four Ka-27 shipborne helicopters. “In addition to’ Telibuci Navy Admiral ‘is from the Gulf of Aden attended the anti-piracy exercises direct catch to the exercise site, all the participating warships and vessels of the Pacific Fleet starting from 斯特列洛克 Gulf, arrived in China port on the morning of April 22, 22, the Russian navy ships will participate in Read more…
China’s may already be able to hold U.S. forces in the far western Pacific Ocean at bay, argues DT’s go to China expert and Naval War College professor Andrew Erickson in one of his latest analysis pieces.
While China can’t yet project serious military power around the globe — or even to the farthest corners of the Pacific — it’s massive military buildup may have given the nation enough muscle to create the anti-access/area denial scenario in its own neighborhood that Pentagon planners have been worrying about for several years. As Erickson says, the “the future is now.”
Here’s an excerpt from his piece titled, Near Seas “Anti-Navy” Capabilities, not Nascent Blue Water Fleet, Constitute China’s Core Challenge to U.S. and Regional Militaries.
Concerns about a Chinese “blue water navy” fundamentally mischaracterize the Read more…
Days after India and China agreed to have maritime cooperation, Beijing has favoured greater military ties with New Delhi, saying such exchanges would help build more “confidence and trust” between the two countries.
“Exchanges between our militaries will help us build more confidence and trust with each other,” Deputy Director General of Asian Department in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong said.
His remarks came ahead of President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi from Wednesday to participate in the fourth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit.
“Our military people are positive about military cooperation and exchange of visits with India. I think China and India are strategic partners military exchanges and cooperation are part of the partnership,” Sun said.
India had suspended Read more…