Showing posts with label WMD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WMD. Show all posts

4 July 2022

Attack Beijing Or An Invasion Fleet? How Taiwan Should Use Its Cruise Missiles

James Holmes

To what end? That’s a timeless question military folk and their political masters should ask themselves before crowing about their ability to wield this or that weapon to do this or that in wartime. A refresher on the political uses of arms may be in order in the case of Taiwan.

Over at The War Zone, Emma Helfrich reports that You Si Kun, the president of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, or elected assembly, gave a speech earlier this month touting the indigenously manufactured Yun Feng supersonic cruise missile. According to Helfrich, You proclaimed that an extended-range variant of the missile “can already hit Beijing, and Taiwan has the ability to attack Beijing.”

27 June 2022

U.S. Defense Companies Are World-Class Innovators. Why Doesn’t Washington Know That?

Loren Thompson

The U.S. Department of Defense is a huge consumer of technology, and as a result America is home to many of the world’s biggest makers of military hardware.

If you were to infer from this that Americans have a love affair with defense companies, you’d be wrong. It is a longstanding tradition in the domestic political culture to view military contractors with suspicion.

That tradition is not confined to one party. During the 1920s, Republicans led the charge in labeling military suppliers like Dupont as “merchants of death.” Fifty years later, during the Vietnam War, it was Democrats who took the lead in condemning the “military-industrial complex.”

The latest wrinkle in this longstanding bipartisan bias is the charge that traditional defense companies are not innovative, and that if the Pentagon wants cutting-edge technology it needs to turn to commercial companies in Austin, Boston and Silicon Valley.

Discretion Assured? Russia’s ICBM Force Protected by a Wide Variety of EW Systems

Dr. Thomas Withington

Unsurprisingly, survivability is a key tenet of Russia’s mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force. These truck-mounted weapons would be dispersed to Russia’s endless countryside in times of tension. By staying on the move, only stopping briefly to fire their deadly cargo, they should be difficult to find. Difficult to find means difficult to kill. These attributes are akin to those of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines which harness oceanic depths to preserve stealth.

The Russian military has correctly understood that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would strongly prioritize finding and attacking Russia’s mobile ICBM launchers in wartime. Significant resources would be dedicated to this. These would include reconnaissance satellites gathering imagery of these vehicles and their locations. Signals intelligence (SIGINT) would also play a key role in detecting and locating these assets.

The modern cannons that may make the difference in Ukraine

“Hard pounding this, gentlemen, but we will see who can pound the longest.” Thus spoke the Duke of Wellington on the afternoon of the battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon’s guns were pasting his troops. Those words come to mind as the war in Ukraine descends into an extended artillery duel, focused on the Donbas, in the country’s east. Phillip Karber is a former American marine who now leads the Potomac Foundation, a research and policy outfit in Virginia, and who regularly visits the war’s front lines to study the fighting. He reckons Russian artillery barrages are now responsible for about 80% of Ukrainian casualties. Figures on the other side are no doubt similar.

Whoever wins this duel will therefore probably win the war. And Ukraine is pinning many of its hopes of doing so on the sophisticated guns and ammunition it is receiving from well-wishers in the West.

France Bids Its Classic Mirage 2000C Fighter Jet Adieu


The retirement of a different 1980s-era fighter jet seems to be an increasingly regular occurrence, with the latest to bow out being the French Air and Space Force’s charismatic, delta-winged Mirage 2000C. Held in the highest regard by the many pilots who flew it, the Mirage 2000C has officially ended its service with the final squadron in France, as the air arm moves toward a fighter fleet dominated by the more modern and versatile Rafale.

Today saw the official disbandment of Escadron de Chasse 2/5, or EC 2/5, known as “Ile de France,” the last frontline operator of the original Mirage 2000C, which entered service, primarily as an air defense fighter, back in 1983. The move also temporarily ended the traditions of the historic squadron, which has served the French military for more than 80 years, beginning by fighting with the Free French against the Nazis in World War II. However, the unit is set to return in 2024 with Rafales.

Boost-Phase Missile Defense

Ian Williams, Masao Dahlgren

Despite its charter mandate to develop systems for defeating missile threats in all phases of flight, the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) program efforts focus almost exclusively on intercepting ballistic missiles in their midcourse and terminal phases. While the United States has attempted to realize several boost-phase defense systems, none have made it past the developmental stage. Yet the post-2017 demonstrations of North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability have reinvigorated questions about how the United States can improve its homeland missile defense. Likewise, the growing complexity of North Korean and Iranian missile threats has prompted a renewed interest in such an architecture. Boost-Phase Missile Defense: Interrogating the Assumptions provides a fresh assessment of key issues related to boost-phase defense, including the ways missile threats are evolving and broader technological trends. It examines prior boost-phase programs for lessons learned, reviews prior studies, and analyzes potential pathways towards realizing a boost-phase missile defense layer to defend the U.S. homeland.

26 June 2022

Attack Beijing Or An Invasion Fleet? How Taiwan Should Use Its Cruise Missiles

James Holmes

To what end? That’s a timeless question military folk and their political masters should ask themselves before crowing about their ability to wield this or that weapon to do this or that in wartime. A refresher on the political uses of arms may be in order in the case of Taiwan.

Over at The War Zone, Emma Helfrich reports that You Si Kun, the president of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, or elected assembly, gave a speech earlier this month touting the indigenously manufactured Yun Feng supersonic cruise missile. According to Helfrich, You proclaimed that an extended-range variant of the missile “can already hit Beijing, and Taiwan has the ability to attack Beijing.”

HIMARS Marks Evolution in US Weapons Transfers to Ukraine

Elias Yousif

The Biden Administration has confirmed it is sending advanced High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine. This most recent in a series of expansions in military assistance represents a significant shift in the sophistication of military hardware that the US has committed to leaders in Kyiv.

HIMARS will significantly extend the effective engagement range of Ukrainian forces, an important capability in the country’s vast eastern steppe. The system, which consists of a multi-launch rocket system mounted on a Medium Tactical Vehicle, fires a variety of rockets capable of satellite guidance with ranges of between 70- and 499-kilometers, though the Administration has stated it will only provide rounds with 70-kilometer approximate range. The promised transfer comes on the heels of the provision of other indirect fire weapons, including dozens of M77 Howitzers with a maximum range of 30 kilometers.

Russia’s decision to re-focus its military effort on seizing Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region has elevated the importance of long-range artillery systems in day-to-day fighting. In order to make up for strategic and tactical deficits, Moscow has leaned all the more heavily on its superior firepower to pound Ukrainian defenses and civilian targets from afar. Accordingly, Ukrainian officials have made increasingly desperate pleas for longer-range systems, like HIMARS, to counter Russia’s ability to bombard Ukrainian positions from beyond the reach of Ukrainian systems.

25 June 2022

‘Kamikaze’ Drones Strike Russian Oil Refinery, Looks Like Model Sold On Alibaba


Video has emerged showing a twin-boom tail configured drone crashing into a Russian oil refinery in Novoshakhtinsk, in the Rostov region, on the border with Ukraine, this morning. There is already much speculation that the incident was some kind of ‘kamikaze’ drone strike conducted by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. While the identity of the mysterious drone is yet to be established, initial analysis suggests it may have been an adapted, commercially available product that is available on the Chinese marketplace website Alibaba.

Footage of the incident apparently first appeared on the Telegram messaging service this morning before being distributed more widely across other social media channels. Filmed from nearby, the video clearly shows a twin-boom tail, pusher propeller-driven drone flying toward the refinery before making a steep dive and crashing into it, quickly resulting in a blaze.

12 June 2022

Will Russia’s Severodonetsk Offensive Decide the Fate of the Donbass?

Mark Episkopos

As street battles continue for control of the key city of Severodonetsk, Russian forces are mounting a new offensive in the direction of Sloviansk in an effort to consolidate their presence in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the ongoing battle for Severodonetsk could decide the course of Russia’s Donbass campaign. "In many respects, the fate of the Donbass is being decided there," he said. "Our [forces] now again control only the outskirts of the city, but the fighting is still going on, our [forces] are defending Severodonetsk,” Zelenskyy added. "It is impossible to say the Russians completely control the city.”

Unregulated U.S. Firearms Are a Global Problem

Robert Muggah

The United States is the indisputable mass shooting capital of the world. But in the wake of the recent horrifying incidents in Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa and over 230 other communities in 2022, it is worth recalling that the U.S. not only has the highest rate of gun deaths and gun possession among wealthy countries. It is also the world’s preeminent arms merchant. In fact, the U.S. is responsible for more than 40 percent of all reported arms exports globally over the past five years.

About half of U.S. sales between 2017 and 2021 were directed to clients in the Middle East, with the rest scattered across more than 100 countries, including many with a record of serious human rights violations. The most valuable exports include fighter jets and guided missiles, but it is the millions of small arms, light weapons and ammunition that exact the higher human toll. Man-portable air-defense systems, machine guns, semi-automatic rifles, handguns and small arms ammunition make up an estimated $228 billion of the more than $1.3 trillion in U.S. arms export authorizations issued since 2009

US, China cashing in on global arms trade shakeup


Russia’s war in Ukraine is upending the global arms industry.

As the US and its allies pour significant sums of money into arming Ukraine and Russia bleeds tanks and personnel, countries across the world are rethinking defense budgets, materiel needs and military relationships.

Countries that historically have had low levels of defense spending such as Japan and Germany are bulking up, while nations that purchase most of their weapons from Russia are questioning their reliability and future delivery.

My research in this area suggests that however this war eventually ends, the repercussions for the global defense industry, and for the countries whose companies dominate this sector, will be enormous. Here are four takeaways.

UK Joins The ‘Hypersonic Race’ – Will Develop A New Weapons Demonstrator Under $2.5B Research Funding

Ashish Dangwal

The Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom (UK) recently announced that it had chosen a number of crucial future technologies on which it expects to spend $2.5 billion over the next four years.

The ministry revealed that the country will concentrate on programs to develop “the generation-after-next of military capabilities” between 2022 and 2026. However, one initiative, in particular, has garnered attention: the development of hypersonic weapons.

According to this press release, the British Armed Forces will be better equipped against future threats by developing a new weapon demonstrator capable of operating at hypersonic speeds.

Furthermore, the country will increase research into AI technologies in order to understand how they could aid front-line service personnel. It will also invest in improving intelligence, communication, and surveillance capabilities in space.

Warrior monk: guns, grenades, and the rise of the Ninth Panchen Lama on Sino–Mongol–Tibetan frontiers, 1924–1937

Huasha Zhang


This article revisits the Ninth Panchen Lama’s (Choekyi Nyima, 1883–1937) controversial exile in China and Inner Mongolia between 1924 and 1937. As the most renowned political dissenter of the then-nascent Tibetan state and the second most important religious leader for Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhists, the Ninth Panchen Lama played a significant role in the early-twentieth-century Chinese, Tibetan, and Mongolian political and spiritual worlds. Academic scrutiny of the Ninth Panchen Lama’s association with China has facilitated the scholarly understanding of the “subimperialist” policy that the Chinese Nationalist government devised to replicate the Qing Empire’s success in managing Mongol and Tibetan territories. Assisted by newly released sources and a shifting focus away from Chinese statesmen to the Tibetan monk, this article reassesses the power that the Ninth Panchen Lama wielded on the Sino–Mongol–Tibetan frontiers and his collaboration with the Chinese Nationalist government. This article argues that despite possessing many cosmetic features of the Qing-style relationship centering on the mutually agreed reinterpretation of an established status quo within a hierarchal framework, the alliance between the Ninth Panchen Lama and the Chinese Nationalist government was a venturesome entente based upon shared objectives that were audacious, contentious, and bore little resemblance to Qing precedent.

Turkish firms unveil two drones during multinational EFES exercise

Tayfun Ozberk

MERSIN, Turkey — The EFES-2022 exercise in the Aegean Sea concluded June 9 and featured more than 1,000 personnel from 37 countries, with the U.S. supplying its San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Arlington as well as elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

More than 40 Turkish defense companies also attended the exercise to exhibit their products. For the first time, both Lentatek’s anti-radiation loitering drone Kargi and Turkish Aerospace Industries’ target drone were on display.

Ismail Demir, Turkey’s top procurement official, told reporters that some of the products seen in the exhibition area took part in EFES-2022. “While the products are shown here statically, you can also see the performance of these products in the field during exercises. Seeing the performance of our products in the exercise area is important both for the field and for showing the capability of our defense industry,” he said.

11 June 2022

A Drone Tried to Disrupt the Power Grid. It Won't Be the Last

Brian Barrett
Source Link

IN JULY OF last year, a DJI Mavic 2 drone approached a Pennsylvania power substation. Two 4-foot nylon ropes dangled from its rotors, a thick copper wire connected to the ends with electrical tape. The device had been stripped of any identifiable markings, as well as its onboard camera and memory card, in an apparent effort by its owner to avoid detection. Its likely goal, according to a joint security bulletin released by DHS, the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center, was to “disrupt operations by creating a short circuit.”

The drone crashed on the roof of an adjacent building before it reached its ostensible target, damaging a rotor in the process. Its operator still hasn’t been found. According to the bulletin, the incident, which was first reported by ABC, constitutes the first known instance of a modified, uncrewed aircraft system being used to “specifically target” US energy infrastructure. It seems unlikely to be the last, however.

6 June 2022

MQ-1C Gray Eagle Drones Likely Headed To Ukraine: A Game Changer?

Harrison Kass

The Biden administration, in ongoing efforts to aid Ukrainian forces, intends to sell Ukraine four MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones. The sale is not final. Congress can still intervene – or the Pentagon could reverse course – but as of now, the deal has forward momentum. The Biden administration is expected to notify Congress, and also make a public announcement of the deal, in the coming days.

MQ-1C – Breaking Down the Sale

A portion of the $40 billion Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which Congress passed last month, has been earmarked to fund the drone sale and the training Ukrainian forces will require to operate the new drones. The USAI passed through the House of Representatives with a vote of 368-57. Notably, the only ‘nay’ votes came from the GOP; Each and every DNC Rep voted in favor of the bill. Similarly, the bill enjoyed unanimous DNC support in the Senate, where it passed on a vote of 86 to 11. The specifics of what would be included in the massive $40 billion aid package were, and are, murky. But now, the potential Gray Eagle sale sheds light on a small portion of how the USAI funds will be allocated.

5 June 2022

Why Putin’s betrayal of Ukraine could trigger nuclear proliferation

Steven Pifer

On June 1, 1996, two trains arrived in Russia transporting the last nuclear warheads that had been deployed in Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed. That concluded the process in which Kyiv gave up what was then the world’s third-largest nuclear weapons arsenal—exceeding Britain, France, and China combined. The Ukrainian government did so in large part because of Russia’s assurances that it would respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and refrain from the use of force against Ukraine.

Twenty-six years later, Russia is more than three months into a massive invasion of Ukraine. This has understandably led Ukrainians to question the wisdom of giving up those nuclear arms, and Vladimir Putin’s war has dealt a blow to future efforts to arrest nuclear proliferation.

‘World Is A Customer’ – Raging Success Of Turkish Bayraktar Drones Against Russia & Armenia Boosts Its Demand

Tanmay Kadam

The designer of the ‘world-famous’ Turkish TB2 Bayraktar drones has said that the destruction of Russian artillery systems and armored vehicles by the Ukrainian fleet of TB2 drones has made “the whole world” a customer.

“Bayraktar TB2 is doing what it was supposed to do — taking out some of the most advanced anti-aircraft systems, artillery systems and armored vehicles,” Selçuk Bayraktar, the Chief Technology Officer of Baykar, the maker of TB2 drones, told Reuters. “The whole world is a customer,” he added.

TB2 has been instrumental in the Ukrainian military’s resistance against Russian forces and social media is abuzz with videos showing Russian tanks, air defense systems, helicopters, supply trucks, and trains being knocked out by TB-2 strikes or TB2-assisted artillery strikes.

16 April 2022

Laser Trailblazer: US Navy Conducts Historic Test Of New Laser Weapon System

Source Link

The ground-based laser system homed in on the red drone flying by, shooting a high-energy beam invisible to the naked eye. Suddenly, a fiery orange glow flared on the drone, smoke poured from its engine and a parachute opened as the craft tumbled downward, disabled by the laser beam.

The February demonstration marked the first time the U.S. Navy used an all-electric, high-energy laser weapon to defeat a target representing a subsonic cruise missile in flight.