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Video Above: Could F-35s Deter Russia from Invading Ukraine?

By Kris Osborn - President & Editor-In-Chief, Warrior Maven

The Eurofighter. Credit: Royal Air Force. UK Crown Copyright.

The Eurofighter. Credit: Royal Air Force. UK Crown Copyright.

Switzerland and Finland have joined the world of F-35, a development which greatly impacts and strengthens any kind of integrated, networked European force structure.

Denmark, Norway, Poland, Italy and the UK have all made measurable advancements with their respective F-35 programs. UK F-35s operated with US F-35Bs on board their HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, Denmark received its first F-35 and The Netherlands recently declared Initial Operating Capability with its arriving F-35s.

All of these developments, many of them taking place together concurrently, significantly change the deterrence equation within Europe. This kind of development certainly raises the question of … why not send an operational, multinational F-35 force to Eastern Europe to hold potential Russian aggressors at risk? Could be extremely impactful.

Read the in-depth details here.

Is China's J-31 5th-Gen Stealth Fighter a F-35 "Rip-Off?

j-31

Shenyang J-31 (F60) at the 2014 Zhuhai Air Show

(Washington D.C.) Chinese media reports have been referencing new photos of the emerging J-31 5th-Gen stealth fighter appearing on social media, ostensibly showing various design improvements to the new radar-evading multi-role aircraft.

A May 5th report in the Global Times, an English Language Chinese newspaper, says the new photos show an …. “upgraded version with modifications made to its aerodynamic design just like the prototype that made its maiden flight in 2016, instead of the original version that made its public debut at Airshow China in 2014.”

Improvements or changes to the J-31 likely continue a long-standing pattern of China’s apparent and somewhat visible effort to copy, steal or mirror designs used for the U.S. F-35.

Read the full story here.

Army & Industry Teams Massively Modernize the Next-Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW)

Beretta NGSW

Beretta NGSW

U.S. Army Infantry, Airborne Rangers, and Special Operations Forces are developing a next-generation automatic rifle, anticipating a new era of “close-in combat” firefights and paradigm-changing threats to the warfighter.

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The Next-Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) rifle is intended to supplement and ultimately replace the current M4A1 carbine and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Army developers say the new weapon will be longer range, lighter weight, and much more lethal by “achieving greater energy on the target.”

The concept for the NGSW emerged following a 2017 U.S. Army Small Army Ammunition Configuration (SAAC) study. Among other priorities, the study called for advanced fire-control technology and bullet design to “not only defeat threat capabilities but also ensure overmatch.”

Full story here.

F-35B's Double Up Vertical-Launch Power Aboard the USS Tripoli

F-35B

With the landing of the F-35B Lightning II fighter jet aboard the USS Tripoli on Jan. 11, the amphibious assault ship received its fixed-wing flight certification. (U.S. Navy/Zenger)(U.S. Navy/Zenger)

The second US Navy America-class amphibious assault ship has now launched the 5th-generation F-35Bs, adding additional vertical-launch stealth power to maritime operations.

The first of the Navy’s emerging fleet of America-class amphibs, the USS America, has been operating for several years now. The ship has conducted missions with more than 13 operational F-35Bs on board, demonstrating substantial 5th-generation air power at sea. Now the second ship in class, the USS Tripoli, is joining the USS America as an F-35B-armed amphib. A write up from the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office says this flight marked the “first time F-35s have operated on the USS Tripoli.

The JPO says the USS Tripoli is operating in the US 3rd Fleet, an area which encompasses the Central and Eastern portions of the Pacific.

Click to read full details here.

XLUUV

The US Navy awarded a contract modification for the delivery of five Boeing Orca XLUUV and associated support elements. Credit: Boeing.

Maritime warfare is expected to be more dispersed and defined in large measure by breakthrough weapons and sensors with much greater range, precision and data-transmission capability. Unmanned systems, and cross-domain air, surface and undersea networking in particular, form the conceptual basis of what could be called a transformation.

Unmanned systems can conduct clandestine forward operating surveillance and reconnaissance missions, function as sensor nodes within a larger, multi-domain meshed warfare network. Advanced algorithms are allowing much greater degrees of collective or collaborative autonomy such that groups of unmanned systems can now operate in tandem with one another and adjust in real-time to changing combat variables.

The advent of greater unmanned systems also allows manned platforms to operate as motherships or host platforms performing command and control at safer standoff distances.

Read the full story here.

-- Kris Osborn is the President and Editor-in-Chief of Warrior Maven and The Defense Editor of The National Interest --

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest and President of Warrior Maven - the Center for Military Modernization. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization