The Buzz

America's F-35s, F/A-18s and F-15s are Getting New Bombs to Kill Enemy Armies

Raytheon has completed production of an initial batch of 250lbs Small Diameter Bomb IIs, which are set to become the Pentagon’s primary air-to-ground weapon for the close air support role.

The glide-bomb, which is designed to attack ground targets such as tanks and armored personnel carriers, will eventually be integrated for use onboard the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle.

F-35 vs. A-10 Warthog: Which Plane Would You Want in a Ground War?

As a multi-role fighter, the F-35 is also engineered to function as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform designed to apprehend and process video, data and information from long distances. Some F-35 developers have gone so far as to say the F-35 has ISR technologies comparable to many drones in service today that are able to beam a “soda straw” video view of tactically relevant combat locations in real time. Built-in ISR is an asset which could have the effect of greatly helping close-air-support efforts. 

The Virginia Class Submarine: The Undersea Killer Russia and China Hate

The study found that sustainment of the two per year Virginia-Class submarine production rate during the procurement years of the Columbia-Class SSBNs is achievable and that it provides significant benefit to the Navy and the SSN (Attack Submarines) force structure, Navy officials told Scout Warrior. Maintaining a two-per year Virginia Class build-rate will help the Navy reach its goal of 66 SSNs, as identified in the December 2016 Force Structure Assessment, Navy officials added.

Japan’s Caution over North Korea's Ghost Ships Lets China Off the Hook

The announcement by the Japanese Coast Guard that it has recently warned over 800 North Korean fishing vessels to leave Japanese waters would appear to demonstrate that Tokyo is finally addressing the deficiencies in its maritime domain awareness – and aims to address  the latest round of so-called North Korean “ghost ships” that first started to appear, with corpses on board, three years ago. The bodies are still coming ashore, however. And whether Japan likes it or not, it is powerless to prevent the penetration of North Korean vessels deep into its waters.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Will Soon Be Able to Do More Damage in the Sky

Some of the components include an Advanced Memory System (AMS) engineered to improve data storage and generate higher resolution imagery to help pilots with navigational and targeting information. Block 3F increases the weapons delivery capacity of the JSF as well, giving it the ability to drop a Small Diameter Bomb, 500-pound JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) and AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missile, service officials explained.

Could Russia and Japan Finally Settle Their Island Dispute?

Russia and Japan are moving towards a rapprochement after a long period of mutual antipathy. In recent days, Moscow and Tokyo have started to discuss increased cooperation in the naval arena. And, in time, there could be a settlement between the two powers over the Kuril Islands, which came under Soviet jurisdiction after the end of the Second World War, but which Japan wants returned.