29 June 2024

Thousands of Chinese tech workers fail to get Indian visas, industry says

Roula Khalaf

Thousands of Chinese engineers and technicians are struggling to obtain Indian visas, highlighting a bottleneck in the process and a potential hurdle in India’s push to become a major “China plus one” manufacturing nation.

“The flow of skills critical for the development of the electronics industry has halted,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chair of the India Cellular & Electronics Association. Thousands of Chinese citizens have had their business and employment visa applications rejected over the past two to three years, he said, with many others not applying for “fear of rejection”.

India in 2020 put in place some of Asia’s strictest curbs on Chinese business, against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and deadly border clashes in the Himalayas that killed at least 24 Indian and Chinese troops.

The external affairs and home affairs ministries, which oversee visa provision in India, did not respond to requests for comment about the reported backlog.

Pakistan hits back at US Congress' call for election probe

Ayaz Gul

Pakistan strongly objected Wednesday to a U.S. congressional resolution calling for an investigation into interference and fraud allegations related to Pakistan’s February 8 parliamentary elections.

“We believe that the timing and context of this particular resolution does not align well with the positive dynamics of our bilateral ties,” said the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad.

The statement said the resolution “stems from an incomplete understanding of the political situation and electoral process” in Pakistan.

The rebuke came a day after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted (368-7) to approve a resolution urging “the full and independent investigation of claims of interference or irregularities” in Pakistan’s election.


Philippines Must ‘Do More’ on South China Sea, Marcos Says

Sebastian Strangio

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. says that his country needs to “do more” than simply protest China’s increasingly forceful actions in the South China Sea, following a tense encounter earlier this month that injured Filipino personnel, one severely.

“We have filed over a hundred protests, we have already made a similar number of demarche,” Marcos told reporters in Manila, according to Reuters. “We have to do more than just that.”

His comments came after an incident on June 17 in which Chinese vessels forcefully blocked a resupply mission to the Philippines’ isolated outpost at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands.

During the operation, China Coast Guard personnel on motorboats repeatedly rammed and then boarded two Philippine navy rigid-hulled inflatable boats that were delivering supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre, a warship that Manila grounded on the shoal in 1999. In the ensuing melee, a number of Filipino navy personnel were wounded, including one who reportedly lost his right thumb.

The Pivot That Wasn’t Did America Wait Too Long to Counter China?

Oriana Skylar Mastro

During the past two decades, many American leaders have argued that U.S. foreign policy must focus more on Asia. In 2009, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that “the center of gravity of international affairs is importantly shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.” In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the United States would “pivot to Asia” after having devoted too many resources to other areas of the world, particularly Afghanistan and the Middle East. And in 2022, President Joe Biden said that “the future of the twenty-first-century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo-Pacific.”

By any metric, Asia is the world’s most strategically important region today. It is home to over half the world’s population and boasts six of the world’s 25 largest economies, 14 of its 25 biggest militaries, and four of the nine countries with nuclear weapons. Asian-Pacific states have been engines of worldwide growth, accounting for over 70 percent of the increase in global GDP over the last decade; China alone has contributed a staggering 31 percent. The region hosts 19 of the top 100 universities, according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking, and ten of the 25 countries that filed the most patents in 2021. If the United States wants to remain the planet’s most powerful country, it will have to tap into Asia and prevent China from dominating it.

How to manage and de-risk an emerging Cold War II with China

Robert Daly & Robert Litwak

At their meeting last November, US President Joe Biden and China’s General Secretary Xi Jinping agreed to resume dialogue to promote peace. But the first real test of their tentative comity, Taiwan’s May presidential election, brought saber-rattling from Beijing. China’s large-scale naval and air exercises around the island that Biden has vowed to defend echoed the Cuban Missile Crisis and underscored that Taiwan is the epicenter of a new Cold War.

In the early phase of this rivalry, neither Biden nor Xi shows any sign of reconsidering his nation’s goals, strategies, assessments of the other, or desire to shape global norms. Both powers want to avoid war, but not at the cost of questioning their interests or values. Each is determined to neither fight nor lose.

The only strategy open to them, therefore, is to build a framework for peaceful rivalry. The first steps will be hard, as each country believes it has the upper hand, and each rejects the other’s key concepts for international order.

Stop Listening to David Petraeus

GREGORY DADDIS

Let’s be frank. David Petraeus never misses an opportunity to promote himself as a modern-day MacArthur, a genius in the art of war whose 2007 military campaign in Iraq is the gold-standard for aspiring strategists seeking to profit off the travesties of armed conflict.

It should come as no surprise then that the former general and CIA director weighed in recently with a didactic primer for Israeli civilian and military leaders overseeing one of the worst war-related calamities of the 21st century. Follow my counsel, Petraeus submits, and you too shall succeed, as did I, in turning around a failing war.

Last week Petraeus co-authored an opinion piece in Foreign Affairs with Harvard Kennedy School professor Meghan L. O’Sullivan and Richard Fontaine, the CEO of the Center for a New American Security. But make no mistake,this was no serious analysis of the ongoing Israeli conflict, rather a chance for the general himself to highlight his personal “successes” in Iraq and demonstrate their universal lessons to any conflict in the Middle East.

A cold revenge: How Iran baited Israel on October 7

PELED ARBELI

Maariv held an in-depth conversation with Prof. Boaz Ganor, Reichman University president and founder of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. We discussed today's pressing issues, Iran's role in the Israel-Hamas War, and developments in the Middle East.

Prof. Ganor, one of the pioneers of terrorism research in academia, is a full-time professor and previously served as dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy.

Regarding the initiative for the war, Prof. Ganor has a different opinion than many of his friends in the fields of security and academia. He claimed that "the [Israel-Hamas War] was planned, prepared, financed, and initiated by Iran."

His explanation was based on three reasons: "The first reason is a reason for revenge. The Iranians like to say that revenge happened, and they have a lot to take revenge for - for scientists who were killed, fires and damage to bases and infrastructure facilities, cyber attacks, and so on."

NATO’s Fast Approaching ‘Moment Of Truth’ On Ukraine – Analysis

Sara Bjerg Moller

In April, not long after NATO marked its 75th anniversary, during a little-noticed press conference at the Alliance’s Headquarters in Brussels, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared, “if Allies face a choice between meeting NATO capability targets and providing more aid to Ukraine, my message is clear: Send more to Ukraine.” Flanked by the prime ministers of Czechia, Denmark, and the Netherlands, the outgoing secretary general continued on this theme praising Denmark for its decision to donate all of its artillery systems to Ukraine.

In acknowledging the dilemma some Allies face between investing in their own security and providing assistance to Ukraine, the NATO leader has shattered the longstanding taboo in NATO against portraying military aid to Ukraine and the Alliance’s own security interests as a zero-sum game, where one party’s gain comes at the expense of another party’s loss.

The notion that there are tradeoffs between supporting Ukraine and NATO allies’ national readiness levels is an uncomfortable topic of conversation, to be sure. It’s certainly not a debate that Allied leaders wish to have, much less one they want to see play out publicly. But as the NATO Alliance inches ever closer to assuming a more direct role in the Ukraine War, it’s increasingly a conversation that needs to be held, however uncomfortable it may be to do so.

Russian Drone Base Hit by Ukraine Housed 'Iranian Instructors': Kyiv

Brendan Cole

Kyiv attacked a base in Russia that housed Iranian flight instructors in a strike which killed at least three people and destroyed a stash of the devices that have wreaked havoc across Ukraine, it has been reported.

Tehran is a key ally of Moscow and during its full-scale invasion, Russia has extensively used Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as the Shahed-136 to target civilian sites across the country, in particular energy infrastructure.

Details have emerged of an attack carried out on June 21 by Ukrainian maritime forces supported by operators from Ukraine's security services (SBU) which targeted Russia's ability to use drones.

It involved multiple strikes on Russia's 726th Air Defense Training Center, near the town of Yeysk in Russia's southwestern Krasnodar region, which is used to train troops to use drones, the Ukrainian Naval Forces' press service said on Monday, in a report carried by Ukrainian media.

The strike destroyed 20 Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, 50 Lancet drones, attack UAVs, 40 ZALA reconnaissance drones and 10 SuperCam reconnaissance drones. Satellite imagery purportedly showed the aftermath of the attack.

Senate committee looks to withhold funding for Cybercom capability architecture

MARK POMERLEAU

The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to put a hold on funding for U.S. Cyber Command’s warfighting platforms until the command provides details on the next steps of the architecture’s development.

The funding limitations stem from the committee’s annual defense policy bill, which passed the Senate panel June 13. It pertains to Cybercom’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture (JCWA), designed in 2019 to get a better handle on the capabilities, platforms and programs the command was designing, and set priorities for the Department of Defense as well as the industry partners that would be building them. It includes large programs for data analytics, operations conducted outside DOD networks, dashboards to command forces, and smaller components for individual tools and sensors.

When Cybercom was first created, it relied heavily on intelligence personnel, infrastructure platforms and tradecraft to build its enterprise. But just like the Army needs tanks and the Air Force needs planes to conduct missions, cyber troops need their own military-specific cyber platforms separate from the National Security Agency, which conducts foreign intelligence.

Extended range version of Army guided rocket enters production

Jen Judson

The Army has given the greenlight to Lockheed Martin to produce an extended-range version of its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, according to the company and the service.

Lockheed was awarded a $200 million fiscal 2024 contract modification in May to build as many as 240 extended range GMLRS. The funding includes production, tooling and depot spares, an Army spokesman told Defense News in a June 26 statement.

The Army made the decision to cut GMLRS ER into Lockheed’s production line in Camden, Arkansas, in January, according to a Lockheed spokesperson.

GMLRS ER has had multiple successful flight tests leading up to the production decision. The extended range version can reach 150-plus kilometers compared to the 70-kilometer range capability of GMLRS.

US future fighter plans in freefall

GABRIEL HONRADA

The US Air Force faces a budget battle over retiring F-22 Raptors and funding next-gen fighters, sparking debates on strategic priorities and future air dominance versus near-peer adversaries.

This month, Airforce Technology reported that the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the USAF budget proposal for fiscal year 2023. The GAO stated that the USAF did not provide adequate data to Congress regarding the implications of retiring older F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, particularly the Block 20 variants used for training.

Airforce Technology notes that USAF operates 32 F-22 Block 20 fighters, not upgraded to the capability levels of the more advanced Block 30/35 models.

The GAO pointed out that the USAF’s proposal lacked crucial details, such as alternative training methods without Block 20s or the potential benefits of upgrading these aircraft instead of retiring them.

Airforce Technology says Northrop Grumman estimated that upgrading the Block 20 aircraft to the Block 30/35 standard would cost at least $3.3 billion and take around 15 years. However, it notes that the USAF deemed this limited information sufficient for its purposes, in contrast to the GAO’s recommendation for more comprehensive data to support decision-making.

Marines make first landing on renovated WWII airfield in the Pacific

Todd South

The Marines recently landed their first fixed wing aircraft on a recertified airfield on the Pacific island of Peleliu, which jarheads captured after brutal combat in 1944.

The KC-130J Super Hercules tanker with 1st Marine Air Wing landed Saturday, marking the first time the Corps has landed such an aircraft on the installation since the service recertified the airfield in early June, according to a Marine Corps press release.

The Marine Corps Engineer Detachment Palau, MCED-P 24.1, contains engineers from the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group. The detachment spent the past few months rehabilitating the airfield to accommodate large, fixed-wing aircraft such as the KC-130J.

“I feel privileged because I was in Peleliu in 2021 and saw the airfield transform into what it is now,” said Sgt. Brandon Gonzalez, a combat engineer squad leader who led vegetation removal and assisted with unexploded ordnance sweeping. “It truly is an honor to have been a part of this mission and see it come to fruition with a KC-130 landing.”

Israeli Intelligence Misses Again

Emily Harding

Last week, Israeli news outlets reported shocking revelations that once again called into question the elite reputation of Israel’s intelligence services. According to the report, weeks before the Oct. 7 attacks, the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF’s) premier signals intelligence group, Unit 8200, collected detailed information about Hamas training to invade Israel and take up to 250 hostages. Yet they failed to warn Israeli officials effectively. This failure puts them in company with several other units who also collected indications of an impending attack and suggests the Israeli intelligence apparatus is far weaker than its reputation.

For an intelligence officer, providing strategic warning is the most important no-fail mission. It happens in two parts: First, a service must collect information that a plot is afoot. Second, analysts must recognize the “so what” of the information, interpret its severity correctly, and then package that information to adequately convey alarm. “Adequately” is a tricky word—analysts do not want to be hyperbolic, lest they become the intel service that cried wolf. Conversely, when the threat is real, analysts need to speak clearly, persistently, and bluntly—even when others disagree.

The Pieces

In this case, it seems Israeli intelligence had accomplished the first task: They had collected key pieces of information, and at least some analysts had identified the activity as a threat. Unit 8200 observed a Hamas training exercise that contained all the elements of Oct. 7. The unit’s report, titled “Detailed End-to-End Raid Training,” describes Hamas conducting drills simulating infiltration of a mock IDF outpost, including taking over on-base synagogues, communications headquarters, and soldiers’ quarters. The report contained warnings that Hamas was targeting kibbutzim and planned to take 200-250 hostages, alarmingly close to the 251 actually taken on Oct. 7.

America's $34.5-Trillion National Debt Is a Crisis in the Making

William Ruger & Thomas Savidge

On June 18, Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Vice Chair David Schweikert released the Republican Response to the Council of Economic Advisers’ 2024 Economic Report of the President. It warns that the national debt, $34.5 trillion and climbing, poses a risk to our economic growth and our ability to borrow for future needs—including national security demands in a crisis.

It is welcome to see policy leaders thinking through the implications, security and otherwise, of our massive national debt and deficit problem. When it comes to national security, the report is right to warn of the implications for our government’s ability to borrow to fund future contingencies. But the biggest risk related to our fiscal health is the harm debt problems do to our economy as a whole, the golden goose of our national power.

Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to hear about this subject during the presidential debate tonight. That’s because making necessary spending cuts and showing fiscal restraint is not what wins votes in our current political culture. But it is hard to blame politicians for responding to political incentives. To even have a chance at properly managing spending, rules need to be in place to limit how much politicians can spend and to require them to make cuts when necessary—and to do so without having to take specific, hard votes. This will give us some chance at saving our economic future and preserving our superpower status.

“People’s Satellite” Helped Ukraine Hit Over 1,000 Targets Spy Agency Says

HOWARD ALTMAN

More than 1,500 Russian targets worth billions of dollars have been destroyed over the past two years thanks to imagery from a crowd-funded satellite, Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Directorate (GUR) said on Wednesday.

The spy agency said that 38% of the nearly 4,200 images collected by a satellite provided for Ukrainian use in August 2022 by the California-based ICEYE company were used to strike Russian targets during that period. The satellite has taken images over both Ukraine and Russia.

“The entire array of data obtained thanks to ICEYE was used for direct preparation of fire damage to the enemy,” according to GUR. “This is billions of dollars in losses for Russia, and the price of its aggression will grow!” While The War Zone could not independently verify that claim, a former U.S. official last year confirmed to us that Ukraine was putting the ICEYE satellite to good use on the battlefield.

Why Can’t the West Force Russia to Make Peace in Ukraine?

Sean Monaghan

Last week President Zelensky of Ukraine traveled to B├╝rgenstock, Switzerland, where he was joined by representatives from over 100 nations and institutions for the first “Summit on Peace in Ukraine.” The summit began “a wide-ranging dialogue on peace in Ukraine” and facilitated agreement upon a peace plan, a “living document” that has so far been signed by over 80 nations—the widest international endorsement yet of principles to end the war.

But the summit failed to make headway toward a just peace on the ground. This was mainly because the group was negotiating with itself. Russia, the main protagonist and aggressor, was not present. According to the Swiss summit hosts, “Russia indicated many times that it had no interest in participating.” Yet Russia’s president Vladimir Putin was keenly aware of the summit, using the occasion to restate Russia’s demands for Ukraine to give up chunks of territory, parts of which are now under tenuous Russian control. Hence Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, referred to Putin’s plan as suggesting that Ukraine “must withdraw from Ukraine.”

President Zelensky knew the talks would not produce results on their own. Leading up to the summit, he called for “tangible coercion of Russia to peace by all means,” urging his allies in the West to “force Russia to make peace” (as one headline put it).

‘The enemy gets a vote, too’ — terrorism experts are warning of new attacks

JEREMY HUREWITZ

Three months ago, I was lucky enough to have a conversation on terrorism with Georgetown Professor Bruce Hoffman, who has studied “terrorism and insurgency for almost half a century.“

I asked the person who literally wrote the book on the subject whether we should consider the war on terror over. Hoffman cautioned against “declaring victory too soon” and quoted General James Mattis, noting that “the enemy gets a vote too.”

The question about the end of the war on terror was popular then. But just a few months later, few in national security circles are discussing it.

These days, an uneasy calm is hanging over national security circles. The feeling of a looming terrorist attack feels stronger than at any time in the recent past. The threat vectors proliferate, and current insecurity might be the most heightened in a decade or more.

‘A disastrous event’: All-out war between Israel and Hezbollah could devastate both sides

Natasha Turak

The near-daily exchanges of fire along Lebanon’s border with northern Israel have intensified at an alarming rate in recent weeks, spurring escalating threats between Israel and Hezbollah and forcing the U.S. to call for an urgent diplomatic solution.

An all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah — the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite militant and political organization, called a terrorist group by the U.S. and U.K. — would be devastating for both sides.

So stark is the danger of war erupting between Israel and Hezbollah — a far larger and more heavily armed fighting force than Hamas — that U.S. President Joe Biden last week sent one of his top aides, Amos Hochstein, to Israel and Lebanon to push for a solution.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters Tuesday that “diplomacy is by far the best way to prevent more escalation,” stressing that, “we are urgently seeking a diplomatic agreement that restores lasting calm to Israel’s northern border and enables civilians to return safely to their homes on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border.”

Welcome to the Noah Lyles Olympics

Sean Gregory

Noah Lyles should be a miserable human on this suffocatingly hot May morning near Orlando. Two nights earlier, the U.S. sprint star was up until 3 a.m. in the Bahamas, waiting on a delayed drug test after a race. You can still spot fatigue under his eyes.

Lyles, however, can summon social energy on command, and today he’s yapping away between stretches and sprints: about his love of anime, how he needs a pedicure, how he’s the most fashionable guy in all of track and field. He had been absent from the past few practices while running in Nassau, where he and his 4 × 100-m relay team took first place. “We did miss you,” one of Lyles’ training partners, Paralympic sprinter Nick Mayhugh, tells him. “But did we enjoy the peace and quiet of the past two days? Yes.”

Lyles runs a 120-m practice sprint in 12.4 sec. “You don’t have to run any faster than that,” says his coach, Lance Brauman. “You ran fast twice this weekend. You don’t have to do it again.” Lyles isn’t feeling this advice. “My body’s turned on!” he says. “I can feel the rust coming out of the legs! These two are going to be faster.” Brauman rolls his eyes. Lyles runs the next two in 12.2 and 11.9 sec., respectively.

Winning the Balloon Wars: How Airborne Information Could Prod Kim to Rein in His Nuclear Ambitions

Bruce W. Bennett

North Korea has signaled an escalation in its “balloon war” with South Korea over the past month, sending hundreds of inflatables southward with payloads of trash and manure. A worthy South Korean response could involve using balloons to deliver upbeat news and K-pop music deep into the North—not just blasting it over loudspeakers at the border.

With the goal of reining in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons, South Korea could launch a balloon-borne offensive to deliver a greater quantity of positive information about conditions in the outside world and especially in South Korea, along with the optimistic strains of K-pop and the sagas of K-dramas. Once the South has shown Kim that it is willing and able to flood the North with such content, threats of a continuing deluge could inspire him to rethink his nuclear plans.

Here's why. In the recent past, Kim has become paranoid about his people being exposed to outside information, particularly details about cultural touchstones and lifestyle advances in South Korea. North Korea is an impoverished and distressed country without freedoms, in contrast to its neighbor South Korea, a modern, globally engaged country with a population that enjoys freedom, opportunity, and wealth. Showing the North Korean people how their counterparts to the south live would at the very least be destabilizing for the regime. Kim's recent behavior suggests that he is concerned that outside information is already contributing to instability in the North that could one day threaten his rule.

How the military is preparing for AI at the edge- Opinion

Steve Orrin

The Defense Department has long used artificial intelligence to detect objects in battlespaces, but the capability has been mainly limited to identification. New advancements in AI and data analysis can offer leaders new levels of mission awareness with insights into intent, path predictions, abnormalities, and other revealing characterizations.

The DoD has an extensive wealth of data. In today’s sensor-filled theaters, commanders can access text, images, video, radio signals, and sensor data from all sorts of assets. However, each data type is often analyzed separately, leaving human analysts to draw — and potentially miss — connections.

Using AI frameworks for multimodal data analysis allows different data streams to be analyzed together, offering decision-makers a comprehensive view of an event. For example, Navy systems can identify a ship nearby, but generative AI could zero in on the country of origin, ship class, and whether the system has encountered that specific vessel before.

DISA eyes ‘aggressive’ goal of automating 75 percent of cyber capabilities

CARLEY WELCH

As DISA prepares for the looming threat of China, the agency set an ambitious goal of having 75 percent of its administrative-like cybersecurity capabilities completely automated by artificial intelligence, Brian Hermann, cybersecurity and analytics director at DISA, told a media roundtable Tuesday.

“The only way that we can actually do our job with the pacing threat of China is to actually add that automation capability so that that the human analysts can take advantage of their brainpower to actually do the high-end fight stuff, not just the day-to-day normal stuff that happens all the time,” he said here at the TechNet conference in Baltimore.

“So I think that it’s an aggressive goal for us, but it’s something that we’re working hard to get after as well.”

Hermann added that though there is no defined timeline for completing this automation goal, “it’s not where it needs to be.”

DARPA Announces a New Flying-Wing Reconnaissance X-Plane: XRQ-73

John A. Tirpak

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has assigned the designation XRQ-73 to its newest “X-plane,” an autonomous flying wing reconnaissance aircraft prototype with extra-quiet propulsion that is expected to fly this year, the agency announced June 24.

The new aircraft also goes by the program acronym SHEPARD, for “Series Hybrid Electric Propulsion AiR Demonstration,” and is being developed by Northrop Grumman and its Scaled Composites subsidiary. It is powered by a hybrid electric system which converts fuel to electric power and is part of DARPA’s X-prime program.

The program is builds upon hybrid technologies and other components developed as part of the “Great Horned Owl” predecessor project run by the Air Force Research Lab and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA said. The Office of Naval Research and AFRL are also partners on SHEPARD.

Other involved companies include Cornerstone Research Group, Inc.; Brayton Energy, LLC; PC Krause and Associates, and EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, DARPA said.

The Air Force's New B-52J Bomber Will Be Armed to the Teeth

Harrison Kass

B-52J: The Future of America's Iconic Bomber Unveiled

The B-52J won't begin test flights until 2028, and this latest variant of the B-52 Stratofortress won't become operational until 2033. But when the bomber finally does join the Air Force rotation, it will carry an impressive array of weapons, and it will carry them in strong numbers.

Updated for the Future

The B-52 has been a stalwart of the U.S. Air Force since the 1950s. Eighty years after its introduction, the bomber is still relevant, with new variants planned to extend the airframe's service life for decades to come. Indeed, the B-52 will likely reach the 100 year mark of active-duty service.

When the B-52 first flew, aviation itself was only 50 years old, so as of today, the B-52 has been in the Air Force for more than half of the time that humans have been flying airplanes. Along the way, it has received consistent upgrades – to avionics, engines, weaponry, and more – allowing the 50s-era airframe to stay useful in a modern air force.

The B-52J is the latest iteration, with a new Rolls Royce F-130 engine that promises to improve fuel efficiency and stealth performance. It also brings a new radar system borrowed from the F/A-18 Super Hornet, as well as improved weaponry.