In late March, two Chinese fighter jets crossed the maritime border separating China from Taiwan, lingering in Taiwan’s airspace for about 12 minutes. It was the first time China had flown aircraft across the border since 2011. The event — and China’s live-fire military exercise near the strait in May — joins a growing list of boundaries crossed — figuratively and literally — in the Taiwan Strait and as part… Read More »America’s defense export strategy is key to deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region
Navigation Brief ALEXANDRIA – Good evening, Drifters Well, this week has been a real downer. It’s hard not to feel sadness for the state of Navy leadership post-2013. Since the Fat Leonard Scandal broke that year, revealing a grift with long tentacles that wrapped up dozens of potential future senior leaders, the Navy has been rocked by blow-upon-blow. In 2016, the Farsi Island incident saw a commanding officer and the… Read More »A 3-star to CNO? What could go wrong? The Drift, Vol. XL
The Air Force is sticking with longtime contractor LinQuest Corp. for engineering support of its communications satellites, even as the Pentagon considers radical changes to its space architecture. LinQuest doesn’t build the satellites themselves, but under the $562 million, seven-and-a-half year contract, the company provides engineering, integration and solution support for satellite systems and architecture. LinQuest was one of two companies to submit bids for the contract. “We provide a… Read More »Air Force sticks with familiar face for support
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s No. 2 policy official is resigning Friday, leaving yet another hole in the department’s leadership. David Trachtenberg, the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, is retiring, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Carla Gleason confirmed to Defense News. Today will be his last day in the building. A replacement will be named at a “later time,” Gleason said. Trachtenberg, who was confirmed to his position in October 2017,… Read More »David Trachtenberg, No. 2 policy official, exits Pentagon
COLOGNE, Germany — Saab on Friday celebrated its inclusion in a British-led push to build a sixth-generation warplane, with executives eyeing near-term improvements to the company’s Gripen E aircraft rather than the creation of a brand-new fighter in the more distant future. Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe described the prospect of jointly developing Britain’s notional Tempest platform as only one of several possible outcomes of the tie-up inked by the two… Read More »Saab banks on Gripen upgrade in new UK-Sweden warplane alliance
WASHINGTON ― U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham on Friday called any plans for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan “absurd” and warned the U.S. presence is an “insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types,” using an acronym for the Islamic State group. “I hope the Trump Administration will not give into absurd Taliban demands for US withdrawal within 18 months ― regardless of conditions on the ground,” Graham, R-S.C., said in… Read More »Graham warns against Afghanistan withdrawal
WASHINGTON — It looks like the Canadian military will have a new vice chief of the Defence Staff, following the resignation of the second-highest ranking officer and a leaked resignation letter. Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk turned in his resignation letter July 9 to Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of the Defence Staff. Global News, which obtained the letter, reported that Wynnyk made the decision following rumors that Vance planned to replacing… Read More »What’s going on with Canada’s military leaders?
MELBOURNE, Australia – Bell and Boeing are positioning their respective attack helicopter offerings for Australia, which has unexpectedly kicked off an acquisition process to replace its Eurocopter Tiger helicopters. Bell is offering its AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter, noting in a media statement that “the Bell AH-1Z is the only marinized attack helicopter in the world that is designed and built for maritime operations and is proven in operations with the… Read More »Bell, Boeing position for Australian helicopter gunship program
NEW DELHI — The Indian government has terminated business dealings with Swiss company Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. for one year following allegations of monetary kickbacks in 2012 in relation to an Indian Air Force contract for 75 basic trainers. A July 12 statement by the Ministry of Defence said that “business dealings with Pilatus with remain suspended for one year or until further orders for violation of the integrity pact.” It… Read More »India terminates business dealings with Swiss firm Pilatus Aircraft
MOSCOW — Russia is prepared to sell Turkey some of its most advanced fighter jets, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said. The possible sale comes after the U.S. booted its NATO ally from the F-35 fighter jet program in response to Ankara’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems. The U.S. decision was the culmination of two years of growing tension with Turkey, which launched efforts to to purchase four S-400… Read More »While you’re at it, would you like some jets?