The Buzz

Why Iran's Fighter-Jet Ripoff Is Just Fake News

Tehran is keen to produce its own jet fighters—but designing and manufacturing advanced combat jets poses formidable technological challenges difficult for an isolated industrial base to resolve on its own. Nonetheless, the Iranian air force has prominently showcased its development of several domestic fighter jets since the turn of the century, most notably the HESA Saeqeh (“Thunderbolt”), which Iranian media have claimed to be superior to the F-18 Hornet.

U.S. Navy on Russia's Stealth Submarines: "They’re a Concern For Us and They’re Highly Capable"

To retain its lead, the United States must push the technological edge in submarine development and craft advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities if it is to prevent Russia from gaining an advantage. “We can’t allow that to happen, so we need to continue R&D and we need to continue to make our ships quiet and capable and technologically superior,” Foggo said. Fitz agreed: “If we want to continue to deter them, we have to meet those challenges.”

Japan: The World's Next Big Arms Dealer?

After decades of a self-imposed ban on arms exports, the Abe government in 2014 began to allow the country’s producers to export arms and military equipment. This is a significant development, albeit part of an evolutionary and incremental process. Still, it will be a while before Japan appears on the list of major global arms suppliers.

One of America's Top Allies Has Lots to Say About the F-35

Within days, Australians will get to see the first of the RAAF’s new Joint Strike Fighters—just months after the jet’s noisiest critics told an inquiry it was a ‘jackass of all trades and masterful of none’. Two members of the Air Power Australia group went on to tell the Senate committee the aircraft was ‘a broken and obsolete design, unsuitable for modern combat’. The reality, say Australian fighter pilots and senior members of the ADF with intimate knowledge of the JSF’s capability, is vastly different.

The 2 Percent NATO Benchmark Is a Red Herring

The usefulness of America’s allies was severely questioned during Donald Trump’s election campaign. Allies were presented as costing America a considerable amount and giving little in return. The title of an article in Foreign Affairs summed up this perception: “Ripped Off: What Donald Trump gets Right about U.S. Alliances.”

Is the Age of the Submarine Over?

How can the silent service stay in tune with the times? First and foremost, by acknowledging the danger posed by foreign navies toting gee-whiz gadgetry. Clark hints at how hard adapting to more transparent seas could prove: “unless U.S. forces adapt to and lead the new competition, the era of unrivaled U.S. undersea dominance could draw to a surprisingly abrupt close.” That’s a grim prognosis in itself. Abrupt change begets major traumas in big institutions like navies. It’s hard to get ahead of the process.

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