AUSA: As concern increases that too many innocents are killed in drone strikes, a European missile company is telling Congress it has a highly accurate missile called the Brimstone 2 that can do the job with fewer casualties and minimal collateral damage. “What we have found as a company is that this missile does not… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: I live in a pretty old house and the doors stick sometimes. In summer they expand because of the fabulous DC humidity. Then there’s the whole settling thing, when the house sinks, the door frame warps and the door sticks. So when I heard the blast doors at Air Force ICBM silos were sticking… Keep reading →
Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. WASHINGTON: Because China believes it is much weaker than the United States, they are more likely to launch… Keep reading →
NATIONAL HARBOR: We all know that, since the end of the Cold War, the US military has vastly expanded its ability to precisely strike targets on the land. The dirty secret is that we’ve unilaterally disarmed our capability to strike ships at sea. The military calls this a “capability gap,” but it’s more like a… Keep reading →
By Steve Russell Here at BreakingDefense, we get a lot of op-ed submissions arguing for more spending on new weapons. Today, we present an argument on why new technology can sometimes be a trap. The author, Steve Russell, is a retired Army lieutenant colonel, and — though he’s too modest to mention this — a… Keep reading →
PENTAGON: In intellectual terms, Air-Sea Battle is the biggest of the military’s big ideas for its post-Afghanistan future. But what is it, really? It’s a constantly evolving concept for high-tech, high-intensity conflict that touches on everything from cyberwar to nuclear escalation to the rise of China. In practical terms, however, the beating heart of AirSea… Keep reading →
[UPDATED with video & Winslow Wheeler comment] WASHINGTON: It’s been a tough week for critics of the F-35. Concurrency costs dropped an impressive half billion dollars — note to Winslow Wheeler — and the Air Force version launched an air to air missile for the first time. The F-35A launched the AMRAAM missile on Wednesday (it… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: What homemade roadside bombs could do to Army and Marine ground vehicles was the ugly surprise of the last decade. What sophisticated long-range missiles could do to Navy aircraft carriers could be the ugly surprise of the next. “I think it would almost follow like the night to the day,” Rep. Randy Forbes told me in a recent interview. “The last decade… we asked a disproportionate sacrifice from the Army and Marine Corps,” he went on. “The next decade’s going to be the decade of seapower and projection forces, [and] some of those ugly surprises we see bits and pieces of already.”
As chairman of the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee, Forbes wants to refocus fellow legislators, the Pentagon, and, for that matter, the media from a narrow debate over the troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to a wider look at all the capabilities that a carrier can support. That includes not just traditional manned fighters like the F-35, but also unmanned drones like the X-47B and the future UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike System), electronic warfare aircraft like the EA-18G Growler, and even cyber attacks. Keep reading →
We have heard much about the anti-access/area denial threat China poses to American and allied forces in the Pacific. We have read much about new Chinese missiles such as the DF-21, which supposedly can destroy maneuvering ships at sea — especially US aircraft carriers. We have read that Pacific allies wish to deploy substantial fleets of F-35s, and then critics decide that these “short range” assets can not meet the crucial needs of warfighting in the Pacific.
We have also learned in the press that core competencies like amphibious assault have now become virtually impossible because of the A2/AD capabilities of China. What is lost in all of this hyperbole is what the United States and its allies are doing to shape a new combat capability appropriate to the 21st century. It may be true that a linear airpower force would find it difficult to cope with such threats. One deploying what we call S-cubed evolution capabilities — sensors, stealth, and speed — can create a powerful distributed force in the Pacific, one that so complicates Chinese military planning as to greatly enhance US deterrence. Keep reading →
As part of its ongoing strategic “pivot” towards the Pacific, early this year the Defense Department announced it would design a new missile able to quickly cross long distances and penetrate sophisticated air defenses, of the kind rapidly proliferating across Asia. The so-called “conventional prompt strike option” would be submarine-launched, the Pentagon said in its January Defense Budget Priorities and Choices release.
The department placed great emphasis on the new weapon, declaring that “we had to invest in capabilities required to maintain our military’s continued freedom of action.” Keep reading →