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.