The Buzz

Tactical Nuclear Weapons: How America Could Have Won the Vietnam War?

The Tet Offensive in 1968 demonstrated what Communist resolve and capacity could achieve with conventional forces. Had nuclear weapons been introduced into the conflict by both sides, the United States would have faced the JASONs’ worst-case scenario. Apparently some talk picked up again about using nukes to relieve the siege at Khe Sanh, but it went as far as similar talk in 1954 about Dien Bien Phu. Despite all the frustration with the war and the desire to pull out the big guns, the nuclear taboo held.

The Navy's New Stealth Destroyer is 98 Percent Complete

Beneath the highly visible shadow of the now commissioned first-in-class stealthy USS Zumwalt destroyer, the Navy has been quietly making rapid progress with its second Zumwalt-class destroyer – the soon-to-be USS Michael Monsoor – slated for delivery as soon as March of this year.

The ship, called DDG 1001, is now 98-percent complete and preparing for builders trails this coming December, Capt. Kevin Smith, DDG 1000 Program Manager, said recently at the Surface Navy Association symposium.

No Plane Has Made More History Than the U-2 (And It Never Fired a Shot)

With the conclusion of the Cold War, U-2Rs and TR-1s were converted to a new model designated the U-2S, thirty-one of which remain in service today. The U-2S has a more powerful F118 engine boosting speed to over five hundred miles per hour, as well as improved sensors and a GPS system. In 2012 the aircraft were further modified under the CARE program to have lower cabin pressure and and cleaner urine collection to make flying them more tolerable for the pilots.

This Is the World's Fastest Plane (And Its Rotting in A Museum)

The SR-71’s JP-7 fuel—which also had to be carried onboard specialized KC-135Q tankers to refuel the Blackbird—was designed to be a safe, high-flashpoint fuel that would not vaporize or blow up under extreme heat and pressure. It had such low volatility that one could supposedly extinguish a match in a puddle of JP-7. But that also meant that the fuel was difficult to ignite using the convention systems, which meant Lockheed had to develop a triethylborane-based chemical ignition system for the SR-71’s engines—adding to the jet’s complexity and maintenance costs.

The Navy's Ultimate Dream Weapon: Merging an Aircraft Carrier and a Battleship

Today all four Iowa-class battleships are scattered across the United States serving as floating museum ships. New technologies such as lasers and railguns will almost certainly spark a new wave of calls for reintroducing the ships with 21st Century technologies. While unlikely in the current fiscal environment, such a possibility shouldn’t be completely ruled out. The Iowa class keeps coming back, and still may yet again.

South Korea to Deploy 10,000 Police to Protect Olympic Games

South Korean police had better not plan on getting much rest during the upcoming Winter Olympics: The country will deploy 10,000 police officers, backed up with the highest technology, to protect the Games, the Korean National Police (KNP) announced on Tuesday.

Special measures are being emplaced to prevent all forms of terrorism, to handle traffic and to manage the highly anticipated visit of a large North Korean delegation, the senior police official overseeing the Winter Olympics, which take place from February 9-25, explained in a briefing to foreign reporters in Seoul.

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