Strategy & Policy

Coast Guard ice breaker Healy

WASHINGTON: After seven years of thinking about the possibilities, the Obama administration now says it wants to build at least one serious icebreaker in the face of increasing competition for the oil, gas, fish and shipping routes the Arctic can offer. Right now, we’ve got two truly operational ice breakers: the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star,… Keep reading →

Chinese artificial island landing strip

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech billed as all about a new personnel approach for the Pentagon, laid out a clear line in the sand of the temporary islands the Chinese have been building. He reiterated his “deep concern” about  “China’s pace and scope of land reclamation in the South China Sea.” Then he let… Keep reading →

JSTARS

Canada-based Bombardier joined the Lockheed-Raytheon team to build a replacement for the aging JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System) aircraft during the Paris Air Show. Northrop Grumman, announced the week before that it would team with General Dynamics, Gulfstream, and L-3. Boeing is going big, with a 737. The Air Force recently announced the first JSTARS contracts, and… Keep reading →

Ash Carter Defense Secretary

PENTAGON: The US military really, really wants Silicon Valley to help it find technologies to keep ahead of the Russians and Chinese and Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s visit there today is proof. But Silicon Valley has rejected the Pentagon’s blandishments or just plain ignored them for three decades. Today, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is holding… Keep reading →

A Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber being escorted away from US airspace by an F-22 in a 2007 incident.

  PENTAGON: F-22pe are finally on their way to Europe as an answer to the increasingly grumpy Russian bear, two months after Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James first announced at the Paris Air Show they might head there. If you telescope back a bit, it becomes clear this deployment may well have a wider strategic… Keep reading →

PLA Navy destroyer Qinqdao

WASHINGTON: In an intriguing and potentially significant declaration, the Chinese military declares: “Regardless of what corner of the earth, so long as it is blue there we will be on guard.” The declaration comes in an impressive recruiting video for the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). “It’s beautifully done; really tugs at the heartstrings,” says Dean Cheng, the… Keep reading →

U-2 landing

PALMDALE, CALIF.: Lockheed Martin is exploring building a stealthy successor to the U-2 as an answer to Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk and the U-2’s impending retirement. Why a stealthy reconnaissance aircraft? Neither the U-2 nor Global Hawk can operate for long in what the military calls contested airspace. Ever since Gary Powers was shot down… Keep reading →

Ash Carter measuring!

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Ash Carter — for now — is resisting congressional calls to uninvite China from the biggest naval exercise in the world, known as RIMPAC. In a July 16 letter to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain, Carter goes to some lengths to avoid offending China, on the one hand, and, on the… Keep reading →

Army photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: What does the NORAD commander think of America’s current approach to missile defense? “Not only is it unaffordable, it will not work,” Adm. Bill Gortney said. “We are going to lose this fight on our current strategy.” “We’ve made incredible strides in missile defense,” acknowledged Gortney, who heads both NORAD and US Northern… Keep reading →

SBIRS GEO satellite

Monday marks the beginning of the Army-centric Space and Missile Defense Symposium, an annual conference in Huntsville, Ala.  Here are a few topics likely to generate conference buzz. Missile Defense The Obama administration’s 2016 budget request for missile defense investments went up slightly to $9.6 billion for missile defense development and operations, of which $8.1 billion is for the Missile Defense… Keep reading →

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