The Buzz

How Japan Could Someday Stop a Nuclear Strike from North Korea

It’s Japan’s ultimate nightmare: a RQ-4 Global Hawk belonging to Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) is watching a North Korean medium-range ballistic missile being readied for launch. The missile is being fueled, a process that can take hours. The incident follows days of incendiary North Korean rhetoric about Japan disappearing in a “wall of nuclear flames.” Reluctantly, Japan’s prime minister approves a preemptive strike designed to destroy the missile before it is ready for launch.

Russia's Next Super Weapons: Big Aircraft Carriers and Nuclear-Powered Destroyers?

Russia is likely to build larger surface combatants in the coming years—with larger corvettes and frigates in the works. However, Moscow is not likely to spend large sums of money to build massive new vessels such as the gargantuan 14,000-ton Leader-class nuclear-powered destroyers or 100,000-ton Storm aircraft carriers. Instead, Russia will likely build scaled up versions of existing warship designs.

The U.S. Military Might Soon Have More Submarines and F-35s

The House of Representatives has passed the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act by a margin of 344-81. The bill will significantly boost the Pentagon’s budget—authorizing more submarines and aircraft, particularly the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The bill will now go to the Senate, which will likely take up legislation later this month.

The One Thing That Makes the F-22 the Ultimate Killer in the Sky

Upgraded radar and cybersecurity being engineered into the F-22 is designed to enable the stealth fighter to counter attacks from emerging future enemy threats and fly successfully well into the 2060s.

For example, newer F-22s have a technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR, which uses electromagnetic signals or “pings” to deliver a picture or rendering of the terrain below, allow for better target identification.

How Union Spies Saved Washington, D.C. From Becoming a Confederate City

In December 1860, the United States was on the brink of civil war. South Carolina’s legislature had already passed an ordnance of secession and other states would soon follow suit.

The nation’s capital Washington, D.C. was in a perilous position. Surrounded by secessionist Virginia and ambivalent Maryland, the undefended city would soon find itself within quick marching distance of Confederate armies. In 1860, the U.S. Army was busy fighting natives out West.

New Study Warns Aircraft Carriers May Be Obsolete (Thanks to Russia and China)

Inexpensive Russian and Chinese weapons, such as cyberwar and antiship missiles, threaten the West’s reliance on expensive arms such as aircraft carriers.

“China and Russia appear to have focused many (but not all) their efforts on being able to put at risk the key Western assets that are large, few in number and expensive,” reads a recent study by the Royal United Services Institute, a British military think tank.

How Hitler Almost Invaded Switzerland

Switzerland emerged from World War II unconquered but not untarnished. Switzerland did survive as a free, democratic state in a Europe prostrate under the Nazi jackboot. But the Swiss also emerged under a cloud of collaboration with the Third Reich.

The Simple Reason Experts Love the A-10 Warthog: It’s a Flying Tank

Many lawmakers, observers, veterans, analysts, pilots and members of the military have been following the unfolding developments regarding the Air Force’s plans for the A-10. Citing budgetary reasons, Air Force leaders had said they planned to begin retiring its fleet of A-10s as soon as this year. Some Air Force personnel maintained that other air assets such as the F-16 and emerging F-35 multi-role stealth fighter would be able to fill the mission gap and perform close air support missions once the A-10 retired.

Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has a Big Problem

The Russian Navy will repair its sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, but the massive vessel will not be upgraded or modernized in any meaningful way. Instead, Russia will focus on getting the carrier back into the fleet as soon as possible when the ship goes into overhaul next year in 2018.

“It is a ship repair with replacement of some equipment." Sergei Vlasov, director general of Nevsky PKB told the TASS news agency.