Cost Concealment, Missiles and the Helicopter of the Future

The US military industrial complex has been rallying around the beleaguered F-35 program in recent months, amidst apparent cost reductions. How real these reductions might be is brought into question in a thorough article by Winslow Wheeler of the Center for Defense Information.

Meanwhile, the Jamestown Foundation has published a report on China’s development of an Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile.

The new Royal Norwegian Navy destroys the old Royal Norwegian Navy in a live test of the NSM anti-ship missile, launched from a Skjold class patrol boat and striking Trondheim, a decommissioned Oslo-class frigate. Get your explosion fix here.

The US DoD program to replace its ageing fleet of medium utility and attack helicopters has selected two competitors, a Boeing-Sikorsky design with coaxial rotors (somewhere in the Kamov Design Bureau, jokes are being made about the Americans coming late to ever good idea) and a push propeller- and, unfortunately, a Bell tiltrotor design following in the footsteps of the troubled and over-budget V-22 Osprey. The coaxial rotor plus push-prop approach is a technologically mature way to make a helicopter much faster while maintaining the kind of agility formerly reserved for scout choppers. With current airframes wearing out, this is going to be a “must not fail” program.

This set of pictures from the Singapore Navy Open House 2013 brings together vessels from around the region and is well worth a look. The USS Freedom is not the least armed ship present, but it is certainly among the least armed.

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