Archive | June, 2011


PHOTOS: China’s Global Hawk?

Photos have emerged on the China Defense Mashup web site ofa possible Chinese high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAV at the Chengdu airfield. The aircraft resembles the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 GlobalHawk, with a rear-mounted intake above the tail and long thin wings that wouldbe suitable for sustained high altitude flight. Unlike Global Hawk’s ‘V’ tailthe […]

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China’s aircraft carrier: the Death Star of the Spratlys

China‘s newaircraft carrier is again in the news, with sea trials apparently due nextweek, perhaps to coincide with the 90th anniversary of China‘scommunist party.  There are any number ofskeptics about the ship. A recent post by the Lexington Institute suggests thecarrier is an immense mistake. A “highly vulnerable extravagance” is how theauthor puts it.  In […]

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Video: Northrop Grumman shortens the kill chain

   Monday I attended a briefing at the Northrop Grumman media chalet hosted by the company’s Rotorcraft Avionics Innovation Laboratory. The lab has created a software upgrade for Northrop’s APR 39 radar warning receiver that transforms this piece of equipment into an electronic suite controller. Virtually all American helicopters have an APR 39, and putting […]

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Asiana A320 incident: send cards

There has been an outcry in South Korea about the bizarreincident in which two Korean marines fired over 100 rounds at an Asiana A320 theymistook for a North Korean bomber. Oddly they did not shoot at the plane thatover flew them 20 minutes earlier, and the ones before that – flight paths are,if anything, predictable. […]

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Australia’s MH-60R ‘Romeos’ tout ‘underwater Aegis’

During the this year’s Avalon air show I had a choice: amedia dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s famous restaurant, or dinner with the LockheedMartin guys pitching the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ to Australia. Things military beingfar more interesting than things edible, I opted for the Romeo dinner.  The meal, with three Lockheed guys and two otherjournalists, turned out […]

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Singapore Girl: You’ve Found A Not So Great Way to Sleep

I came across this article, “Should an SIA Girl sleep among passenger seats?”, by accident and it sparked my curiosity. In it, a passenger surnamed Tan was on board a Singapore Airlines flight from Christchurch to Singapore and he or she said: “I was amazed to see the stewardesses on the flight take their rest […]

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Grounded! SIA’s new website kills Taipei trip

How hard can it be to book a round trip ticket to Taipei on Singapore Airlines? With its old website, easy. Since the launch of its new website in May, impossible. Logging on with my UserID and PIN was easy enough. On the site itself loading up the flights on my desired dates was no […]

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Lowy Institute questions Australia’s F-35 future

When F-35 programme executive officer Vice Adm David Venletbriefed Australian defence journalists on the F-35 programme in late Februaryhe was bombarded with tough questions. The journalists, mostly sector veterans,had been following the programme for years and asked detailed questions abouteverything from costs to block software upgrades. Their queries reflected the concerns some Australians have aboutthe […]

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Taiwan’s AH-64 deal: a knife for a gunfight

Some years back I toured the USS Nimitz . Somebody in the groupasked the officer showing us around about the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow launcher. “If it ever gets to the point we need to use that, we’realready dead,” he replied. The same could be said of last week’s news that Taiwanwill purchase 30 Boeing AH-64 […]

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Asia’s new carriers pick up steam

Two big news items today, one about China’s new aircraft carrier, the other about India’s.  China,more or less, confirmed its carrier programme. Although the former USSR carrier Varyag is clearly visible in Dalian – apparently agreat view is available from the bedroom section of Ikea – the country hasnever officially acknowledged the ship, though it […]

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