Speaking of … (Part 2)

… and check out this elegant web tutorial by Popular Science on the F-35B’s "magical" engine. I’m guessing this one is the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, not the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternative. It’s another great Bill Sweetman creation. This is probably a good time to wish Bill good luck in his role as editor-in-chief […]

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Speaking of the F-35B …

Check out this page on the Popular Science web site for an excellent graphic of the F-35B, composed by my friend and colleague Bill Sweetman. Note the $110 million price tag. If I learned Flash I think I’d be dangerous.

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Porpoise vs Hair

China announced last week that it will spend 18% more on defense in 2007, the largest one-year jump in a decade for the People’s Liberation Army. It’s an arms race! Finally, sixteen years after the Soviet Union went to that great "ash heap of history" in the sky, the Pentagon’s big-spenders have a reason to […]

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Quote of the Day

From a very good Kansas City Star article about the usefulness (or not) of the 30,000lb Massive Ordnance Penetrator: “If we can’t attack a target using 5,000-pound bombs, it’s probably nature’s way of telling us it’s pointless,” said Owen Cote, the associate director of security studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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UCAR Lives!

Anybody remember the Unmanned Combat Armed Rotorcraft (aka, UCAR)? UCAR was one of those futuristic concept vehicles that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (aka, DARPA) swoons over until the Army (aka, army) sees the bill, and then — poof — the program dies. Well, it’s back — kind of. When UCAR got the budget […]

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Why Russia Cheers Me Up

If you’re frustrated by what you see happening with the US defense industry, here’s good way to cheer up: read about the state of Russia’s defense industry. Worked for me anyway. Stephen J. Blank, a professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College, has published a new monograph, entitled: "Rosoboroneksport: Arms Sales […]

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The F-35 Debate Continues

For those following the great V/STOL/Harrier/F-35B debate, here’s some great responses to my responses from Mr. Ehling. Everyone feel free to join the fray. Me: Do you really think that it’s anything like an equalizer? Ehling: I don’t know. I’ve been told viffing gave the Harrier an edge at low altitude engagements against our own […]

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The Revolving Door (Part 2)

Today, the Department of Homeland Security ruined the personal "retirement" plans of hundreds of its own executives and senior managers. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that, starting June 7, ex-feds must spend a year off after leaving the agency before coming back for a hand-out as a contractor. Previously, the one-year ban applied only to […]

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Rage Against the (Defense) Machine

I wish that as many people as possible take a few moments to read an incredible article published this month in Signal Magazine, the house organ of the AFCEA International. The article by retired Navy Commander Gregory Glaros is headlined, "Are You Angry Yet?". You will read a no-holds-barred manifesto of rage directed at the […]

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On Stealth, Nukes and Cruise Missiles

The AGM-129A Advanced Cruise Missile (ACM) is being retired by the US Air Force, according to a March 7 post on the Strategic Security Blog by the Federation of American Scientists. Add the AGM-129A to the growing list of weapons the air force is divesting or seeking to divest, which also include the F-117 and […]

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