Air Force makes way for the B-21 Raider to replace B-1B, B-2 bombers

 

The U.S. Air Force has rolled out plans to phase out the B-1B and B-2 bomber fleets as it makes way for the new B-21 Raider, which is currently under development by Northrop Grumman.

Air Force officials on Monday made public their bomber fleet plans during a Pentagon press briefing for the service’s 2019 fiscal year budget request. Continue reading

China Now Has a Flying Propaganda Machine

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Chinese Space Programme and Aerospace Power

 

If war breaks out, the Chinese would try ‘to broadcast disinformation, encouraging troops to desert or surrender,’ analysts note. Now Beijing has a tool to help spread the word.

The Chinese military has a new warplane with an unusual purpose: to beam propaganda and disinformation into hostile territory.

In that way, the new, four-engine Y-8GX7 psychological operations plane—also known by its Chinese name, Gaoxin-7—is analogous to the U.S. Air Force’s EC-130J, which it says “conducts military information support operations and civil affairs broadcasts in F.M. radio, television and military communications bands.”

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Beijing to build 10,000ft deep underwater lab in South China Sea

Projects with dual technology use like this should always get a second look. Satellite launches in the name of ‘science’ are often disguising ICBM technology and its capability, as seen by Iran, for example. What China could possibly do with an underwater lab is create an underwater drone launching facility. It could be done from the shore no problem, but this makes it harder to detect.

 

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© Peter D. Blair / Reuters

 

China plans to continue to develop the South China Sea. This time, Beijing has set a goal to build an oceanic ‘space station’, as deep as 3,000 meters underwater, Bloomberg reports, quoting a Science Ministry presentation.

If successful, this will be the first project for long-term human habitation at such depths.  Continue reading

US Pacific Fleet smaller, even as China’s military grows

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The U.S. Pacific Fleet is shrinking even as the U.S. and its allies are facing challenges posed by China’s growing military power.

U.S. Navy officials say the more advanced ships of today make up for the decline in numbers. But the Navy has also had to lengthen deployments and postpone maintenance to maintain its presence with fewer ships.

Peter Jennings, an expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank, said the issue in peacetime is whether there are enough American vessels to reassure friends and allies. Continue reading

The Top Secret Pentagon Project That Had Its Own Super Bowl Commercial

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A secret U.S. bomber is set to exit the black budget’s shadows and enter the public eye

The U.S. Air Force’s newest bomber is poised to emerge from the shadows of the Pentagon’s so-called black budget.

As soon as this month, the government will pick Northrop Grumman Corp. or a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Boeing Co. team to lead the Long-Range Strike Bomber program. It’s a decision that will expose the multibillion-dollar program to Washington adversaries long before the jet sees combat in the 2020s or beyond. Continue reading

US Military Incapable of Overcoming Defenses of Russia, China and Iran

The US military has over-invested in purchasing short- range direct attack bombs and has under-invested in the long-range, stealth and precision-guided weapons.

Due to that, the United States cannot overcome the defenses of such countries as Russia, China and Iran. This conclusion was reached by experts of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, reports media outlet Flight Global. Continue reading

Report: U.S. Undersea Dominance is in Jeopardy

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A new study says emerging submarine detection technologies, computer processing power and platforms such as underwater drones could quickly erode the U.S. military’s global undersea dominance and ability to operate in high-threat areas such as locations near enemy coastlines.

The U.S. military relies upon submarines and undersea technological superiority for critical underwater intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions, which place assets near the surface fleet or coastline of a potential adversary. Continue reading

‘No one has the guts to sell submarines to Taiwan’ as China pressures Pentagon

The Obama administration is backing away from a 2001 commitment to help Taiwan acquire submarines to defend the island from Chinese attack.

The Pentagon, in particular, is said to oppose the 13-year-old plan to help Taipei buy or build eight diesel electric subs over concerns of disrupting its high-priority military exchange program with China.

The Chinese military cut ties to the Pentagon several times in recent years to protest U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and agreed to resume exchanges only if the administration adopted China’s concept of “new-type” relations that, for Beijing, includes gradually ending arms sales to Taiwan.

The administration, however, is bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to provide defensive arms to Taiwan to prevent a Chinese takeover. Continue reading

US Navy’s Acting No. 2 Official Forced Out

Acting US Navy Undersecretary Robert Martinage, the department’s No. 2, has resigned under pressure, sources confirmed for Defense News.

Martinage, whose permanent position had been deputy Navy undersecretary for plans, policy, oversight and integration, had been performing the duties of the undersecretary since Robert Work resigned last May to take a position with the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

The Navy in a statement said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus asked for Martinage to resign “following a loss of confidence in Martinage’s abilities to effective perform his duties.” Continue reading

Army warns it could have trouble handling single war

WASHINGTON – Budget reductions could render the Army at “high risk to meet even one major war,” according to documents obtained by USA TODAY, a warning the Army is sounding because it sees another war as inevitable before long.

The Army provided its assessment as each of the services is conducting a four-year scrub of its strategy and the resources needed to meet it, a process called the Quadrennial Defense Review. Continue reading

Vulnerable Military Satellites Creating a ‘Maginot Line’ in Space (Updated)

While the possibility of anti-satellite weapons, jamming and cyber-attacks aimed at the U.S. military’s fleets of communication satellites is making them vulnerable to adversaries, declining defense budgets constitute an equal threat to the space architecture the services rely upon, according to a report released July 24.

Like the Maginot Line that gave the French a false sense of security prior to the German Blitzkrieg in World War II, the U.S. military has assumed since the end of the Cold War that no one would dare launch an physical attack on its satellites because that would violate international norms. Just as the Germans did away with such niceties and invaded France through a neighboring country, an adversary could go after one of the military’s biggest Achilles’ heels, its space-based communication system, said Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and author of a new report, “The Future of Milsatcom.” Continue reading

China’s Anti-Carrier Missile Now Opposite Taiwan, Flynn Says

The Chinese military has deployed its new anti-ship ballistic missile along its southern coast facing Taiwan, the Pentagon’s top military intelligence officer said today.

The missile, designated the DF-21D, is one of a “growing number of conventionally armed” new weapons China is deploying to the region, adding to more than 1,200 short-range missiles opposite the island democracy, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, said in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Flynn’s reference to the DF-21D follows one made by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, in congressional testimony on April 9. He highlighted the “initial deployment of a new anti-ship missile that we believe is designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers.”

Flynn’s brief reference to the DF-21D today is significant because it advances the DIA’s assessment last year, when U.S. Army Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, then the agency’s director, said China’s military is “probably preparing to deploy” the weapon. Continue reading

Past inattention, present budget woes mean US Air Force must keep its aging warhorses flying

As the US Air Force technology becomes outdated, it becomes more expensive to maintain. Ironically and unfortunately, cuts have been made mostly in newer tech which only further compounds the problem of an aging military power.

For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.

The aging of the U.S. Air Force, a long-simmering topic in defense circles, made a brief appearance in the presidential debates when Republican nominee Mitt Romney cited it as evidence of the decline of U.S. military readiness. His contention that the Navy is the smallest it’s been since 1917 got more attention, thanks to President Barack Obama’s quip that the Navy also has fewer “horses and bayonets.” Continue reading