Monthly Archives: November 2014

Peru’s Alenia C-27J Buy to Renew Light Tactical Airlift Fleet

C-27J(click to view full) Major purchases that make headline news are few and far between in Peru. How do you top the recent re-opening of the DIFAA UFO investigation department? If you’re the Peruvian Air Force, you buy 2 C-27J light tactical airlifters from Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi, in order to shore up a weak area for the FAP. DID looks at the underlying need, the contract, the larger opportunity thjat is coming into focus, and why Alenia won. We also compare successes to date for Finmeccanica’s C-27J and its main rival, Airbus Military’s C295…

Iraq Needs to Sustain its C-130Js

IqAF C-130E(click to view full) In August 1990, Iraq’s Air Force had more than 500 aircraft in their inventory. The IqAF was decimated in 1991, after Saddam invaded Kuwait and ended up facing the US military and its allies. What remained was hobbled by extensive, and expensive, no-fly zones, until the war formally concluded in 2003 with a US-led invasion that eliminated Saddam’s regime…

Thanksgiving 2014

It’s that time of year again. For those of you celebrating American Thanksgiving: if you’re deep-frying your turkey (otherwise known as “doing it right”), be safe. Hundreds of years ago, boiling oil was a weapon we would have covered. …

Leaked FAA Draft Rules Would Curtail Commercial UAV Potential

According to the WSJ the FAA plans to introduce rules that will drastically limit practical use of commercial UAVs in the US. For one, drone operators would have to be certified pilots of manned aircraft. Chuck Hagel may not have been the most decisive or effective US defense secretary in history, but there seems to be a broad consensus that he was operating under the the White House thumb: WaPo | NYT | WSJ/Brookings | National Interest/AEI | UT San Diego. Gregory J. …

The Future of Chinese Missiles, Euro and Japanese Fighters

Breaking this morning: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is resigning: NYT | USA Today | WaPo. The latest annual report [PDF] to the US Congress by its US-China Economic and Security Review Commission notes that submarine-launched ballistic missiles give China its “first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent”: “The JL–2’s range of approximately 4,598 miles gives China the ability to conduct nuclear strikes against Alaska if launched from waters near China; against Alaska and Hawaii if launched from waters south of Japan; against Alaska, Hawaii, and the western portion of the continental United States if launched from waters west of Hawaii; and against all 50 U.S. states if launched from waters east of Hawaii.” China’s new CX-1 supersonic anti-ship and strike missile may look somewhat like the Russo-Indian BrahMos, but AIN explains why the experts don’t think it’s a copy…

Le Phenix: France Modernizes Its Aerial Refueling Fleets

C-135FR refuels A330(click to view full) France currently relies on 14 C-135s for its aerial refueling needs, but these militarized relatives of the Boeing 707 are expensive to maintain, lack key technologies required for unrestricted flight, and are approaching 50 years old. Over those intervening decades, European governments have built up their own aviation industry, and the Airbus A330 MRTT has been ordered by a number of countries. In 2014, France is finally joining them, and beginning a EUR 3 billion program for 12 A330 “Phenix” aerial tanker-transports. …

IL-476: Russia’s New Medium-Heavy Transport Jet

Civil IL-76TD-90VD(click to view full) Russia is reported to have just over 115 IL-76 medium-heavy strategic transport planes, but they’re leftovers from the Soviet era. On Oct 1/12 they unveiled the modernized “IL-476″ variant, and within days Russia’s Defense Ministry had signed a RUB 140 billion contract to begin recapitalizing the VVS fleet, alongside the 60 AN-70 medium tactical transports ordered in August 2012. The order also launches the IL-476 as a competitor in the global medium-heavy transport market. Production of Ilyushin’s design will be undertaken by state-owned UAC’s Aviastar subsidiary in Ulyanovsk…

NSA Director Says US Infrastructure Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

At a hearing held by the US House intelligence committee yesterday, NSA/USCYBERCOM director Adm. Michael Rogers said China and a couple other countries (whose name is classified) have the capabilities to possibly shut down critical/industrial systems in the United States such as part of the electric grid. AP | C-Span video (segment 29 minutes in). US Biz Dev NAVAIR is seeking information [FBO] about potential capabilities in the private sector to support Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) Performance Based Logistics (PBL) for the Navy, Marines, and FMS users of KC-130Js…

China Mixes Conciliatory Moves with Russian Coziness

The WSJ notes that it’s been a big diplomatic week for China, with deals with Australia, South Korea and the US. But at the same time Russia and China agreed to conduct joint naval exercises not just in the Pacific, but also in the Mediterranean next year, reports the International Business Times. CMC vice chairman Xu Qiliang said military cooperation with Russia was a priority. The West Australian has some pictures of the 4 Russian ships which visited the Coral Sea (without entering Australian waters) during the G20 summit. There’s also a video below from the Royal Australian Air Force. …

Acquisition Reform Advocate to Head House Armed Services Committee

Mac Thornberry [R-TX] was selected [Breaking Defense] by the Republican steering committee to chair the House Armed Services Committee. He had been seen as the contender most likely to succeed retiring chairman Buck McKeon. Randy Forbes [R-VA] was also interested in the position. Thornberry volunteered to head an acquisition reform effort late last year. …