The Buzz

Be Afraid, Russia and China: Why Aircraft Carriers Will Win the Wars of the Future

he greatest present threat to the aircraft carrier appears to lie in the combination of cruise and precision ballistic missiles. Individually, either of these can give a carrier a very bad day, resulting in mission-killing damage to the flight deck, or worse. In combination, they present a lethal problem for fleet air defense to manage, especially when the cruise missiles approach from multiple vectors.

Is Russia's Submarine Force Dying a Slow Death?

But by 2030, Russia’s three Delta III, six Delta IV-class boomers and its one Typhoon class will all be at least 40 years old if they remain in service. Nevertheless, even if Russia scrapped these boats and only relied on its newer Boreys, no country can likely match them in numbers except for the United States, China and possibly India.

Air War: America's B-1 Bomber vs. Russia's Tu-160 (Who Wins?)

The Tu-160--while it looks similar to the B-1B--is a very different aircraft. The Soviet Union designed the Blackjack primarily as a means to deliver a nuclear strike during World War Three. However, the Soviets designed the jet mainly as a means to deliver nuclear-tipped cruise missiles--though the aircraft retained the ability to do low-level penetration. As such, the Tu-160 is much larger and much faster than the B-1B--with a maximum takeoff weight of over 606,000lbs and top speed greater than Mach 2.05. By contrast, the B-1B weighs in at 477,000lbs.

America's Aircraft Carriers: A Game Changer or Paper Tiger?

Plenty of world-beating weapons quickly become obsolete. The fast battleships of World War II went into reserve less than a decade after their commissioning. The early fighters and bombers of the jet age sometimes had even briefer lifespans. Aircraft carriers, in widely variant forms, have enjoyed a good, long run. They survive because aircraft have short ranges, and fixed airfields have significant military and political vulnerabilities. These two factors seem likely to persist.

Forget the F-22 or F-35: The U.S. Military Really Misses the Old F-14 Tomcat

As Work described it, the Navy was relatively confident it could sink the Oscars and surface ships before they could launch their missiles. They were far less confident about their ability to take out the Tu-22Ms before they could get into launch position. The Tomcats, under Outer Air Battle, would try to “kill the archers”—the Backfires—before they could shoot and attempt to eliminate any cruise missiles that they launched. But, Work notes, no one knows how well it would have worked during a shooting war with the Soviet Union—and it’s a good thing we never got to find out.

Russia's Su-35 vs. America's Stealth F-35: Who Wins in a War for the Sky?

Unlike a Raptor, which was designed from the outset as an air-to-air killer par excellence—the F-35 was not. The Raptor combines a very stealthy airframe with a high altitude ceiling and supersonic cruise speeds in excess of Mach 1.8. Compared to that, the F-35 can  just barely touch Mach 1.6 in full afterburner. Further, the F-22 possesses excellent maneuverability for close-in visual-range dogfights––it crushes the competition in terms of turn rate, radius, angle-of-attack and energy addition at all altitudes.

5 Ways Saudi Arabia Could Crush Iran (or Any Enemy) in a War

The backbone of the Saudi air force is the F-15 fighter: a platform that the United States itself has used for generations and a plane that is capable of carrying out the kinds of short and long-distance air sorties that may be required for a mission to succeed.  According to public sources, Saudi Arabia possesses about 238 F-15 fighter planes—including a 2010 U.S. sale to Riyadh consisting of 84 F-15SA’s,  Boeing Corp’s newest F-15 variant.

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