As the U.S. Navy struggles to define a new variant of its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a smaller, better-armed, multi-role warship is in production. Analysts expect 50-60 of these to be built, while the LCS fleet has been cut to 32 from 52 pending approval of the modified version. Unfortunately for the U.S. Navy, the new and smaller vessel is Chinese.
Ballistic missiles have often been a threat with a bigger bark than bite, mostly due to poor accuracy that renders them militarily ineffective unless armed with mass-destruction warheads. But, as reported last month (AW&ST Feb. 17, p. DT3), Israeli missile-defense expert Uzi Rubin expects a rapid proliferation of higher-precision weapons before 2020.
Infantry operations have evolved dramatically in the past decade, along with weaponry. The combat equipment that many soldiers now field reflects rapid advances in areas ranging from weapons design and precision firepower to battlefield networking.
The rapid growth of operational deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan saw a parallel growth in the training systems procured by U.K. armed forces. The nature of both theaters, including tight rules of engagement and novel challenges, required training avenues to be created and exploited. But as involvement in Iraq is over, and the end of deployment in Afghanistan is in sight, the U.K. is considering which systems and capabilities are to be retained.
The issue of a 37-point agreement on security and defense on Feb. 17 confirmed that, despite public spats between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron, the U.K. and France have been quietly but surely moving to ever-closer defense and industrial ties. The two countries are more serious about cooperation in defense matters than they arguably have ever been before.
Spotters at this year’s AirVenture show at Whitman Field can expect to see a Mil Mi-2 Hoplite (N211PZ) in full camo livery touching down on the grass on Thursday. Be careful not to judge the 1978 Polish-built Soviet-era relic by its cover hover. This Mil is different....More