Log on the Web
Highlights of the Week
01/19 /2011 – By Kirsten Ashbaugh
Two Views of the Chinese J-20
“The story of the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter, whose existence was revealed at the turn of the year, is perhaps more remarkable for what it says about the bravura of China’s rulers – and about the West’s reactions – than for what it reveals about the future capability of the Chinese air force….”
“The J-20 also looks like a fine tool for threatening neighbors like Japan, which practically begged the Pentagon for years to sell it the F-22. Now it looks unlikely to have anything comparable to the J-20 that it can field for its homeland defense….” Read more.
Invisibility: Science fiction or non-fiction?
“Armoured vehicles will use a new technology known as ‘e-camouflage’ which deploys a form ‘electronic ink’ to render a vehicle ‘invisible’.
“Highly sophisticated electronic sensors attached to the tank’s hull will project images of the surrounding environment back onto the outside of the vehicle enabling it to merge into the landscape and evade attack….” Read more.
Calls Increase for a Pentagon Audit
“It’s not that the US Department of Defense fails audits. The problem is more fundamental: it is not currently possible to audit it, and any comprehensive audit would be a first-ever event in modern times.
“This topic can seem trivial, but the Pentagon’s accounting problems are not limited to issues of day to day functioning. They also go right to the heart of the American political system’s ability to properly evaluate and learn from procurement decisions over the long term….” Read more.
A Look Inside NORAD
“Sitting in front of a bank of flat-screen monitors at the control center of the Western Air Defense Sector that combine information from 172 radar sites, she literally would be the first to spot a hijacked or terrorist plane….
“To keep its edge, he says, the sector regularly runs various exercises.
“These range from scrambling jets in a make-believe terrorist scenario to having technicians track planes while simultaneously dealing with computer failures and even a co-worker having a heart attack….” Read more.
Weimar Group Pushes for Restructuring of Defense
“The Weimar group of Poland, France and Germany is pushing for action to restructure Europe’s Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) and wants concrete results in a range of areas under the Polish presidency of the EU in the second half of 2011….
“With the EU’s efforts to come up with major concrete military capability projects apparently faltering, given that nothing major was forthcoming at the recent EU defense ministers’ meeting in December, the group of three call on Ashton to give fresh impetus to European Security and Defence Policy ‘in full complementarity with NATO….'” Read more.