The past decade has seen an unlikely revival of a long-grounded technology. Military airships, last operational with the U.S. Navy in the 1960s, took back to the skies, propelled by soaring demand for long-endurance, low-cost aerial surveillance in Iraq and Afghanistan. Per flight hour, an airship costs a fraction of what a helicopter or a fixed-wing plane costs.
Archived posts from category ‘AOL’
The Navy’s proposal to delay construction of new ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) meant to succeed the current Ohio class is both good and bad news for America’s shipbuilders, according to the program manager for the new “boomer” sub. But key members of Congress -– already at odds with the Administration over delays to the Virginia-class submarine — remain skeptical.
The cost of building Virginia-class attack submarines could grow by up to $600 million if Congress signs off on the Navy’s proposal to slip a Virginia from 2014 to 2018. Under heavy pressure to cut budgets, the Navy wants to reduce sub-building expenses in the short term, even at the price of increasing the program’s overall cost. But two powerful legislators, longtime sub-booster Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (formerly a Democrat but now an independent) and House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.), are rallying opposition to the delay.
The commandos came under the cover of darkness. It was mid-February in Laghman province, just east of Kabul in mountainous eastern Afghanistan. A team of U.S. Army Special Forces swept in together with an elite unit of the Afghan police, known as the Provincial Response Company. But this time the target was not a Taliban. This time the Green Berets were helping the Afghans take down one of their own, a government official named Nangyalai.
AOL Defense: A Glimpse Inside Special Forces Training of Top Afghan Cops; Rule of Law Vs. Corruption
AFGHANISTAN: International Special Operations forces play an important but largely unheralded role in Afghanistan. American Army Rangers, Green Berets and Delta Force, along with Navy SEALs and Air Force specialists work with the best from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and a host of other allied nations to kill and capture insurgents and terrorists. They also train Afghan militia, police and soldiers.
MARZAK, Afghanistan — In the middle of the night on July 23, U.S. Special Forces infiltrated a bowl-shaped valley in Paktika Province in remote eastern Afghanistan. Their target: a major Taliban encampment just outside this, which hadn’t had a government presence in decades. Taliban fighters had been using Marzak as a rest stop on the long road between Pakistan and Afghanistan’s major cities.
At a meeting in Beijing in December, Chinese president Hu Jintao had a powerful message for officials from the People’s Liberation Army Navy. “Prepare for war,” Hu said, using a Mandarin term — junshi douzheng — that means “conflict in general.”
After the year 2020 ground wars will be more intense and concentrated in the world’s crowded coastal cities. That’s the consensus from a panel of experts including current and retired Army officers and professional analysts.
AOL Defense: Virginia-Class Subs Could Bolster Cruise Missile Fleet, but Where’s the Money?
The nuclear-powered submarine USS Florida was lying in wait, quietly submerged off the Libyan coast, when the order came from then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to launch its cruise missiles.
by DAVID AXE On Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. military possessed just handful of robot aircraft. Today, the Air Force alone operates more than 50 drone “orbits,” each composed of four Predator or Reaper aircraft plus their ground-based control systems and human operators. Smaller Navy, Marine and Army drones number in the thousands. Since they [...]
With access to more than 400 satellites plus at least two tiny, maneuverable robotic shuttles, the U.S. military is the clear leader in military spacecraft. But with 70 orbiters of its own, China is catching up fast. Last year, Beijing matched Washington in space launches for the first time, boosting no fewer than 15 satellites into orbit. It was the first time any nation kept a celestial pace with the U.S. since the height of the Cold War.
For any Westerner observer struggling to understand Chinese military developments — and let’s be serious, that’s most of us — Andrew Erickson is an indispensable resource. A professor at the Naval War College, Erickson has edited an influential series of books about the People’s Liberation Army, each volume based on close scrutiny of Chinese-language journals and new sources. Erickson’s latest volume, Chinese Aerospace Power: Evolving Maritime Roles, takes a hard, sober look at Beijing’s growing air and missile forces and their effect on the Pacific balance of power.