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Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 2015 Blog Updates & News

[UPDATE: Threat Analysis of Foreign Stealth Fighters: the J-31 Part II will be published on either Thursday 4/9/15 or Friday 4/10/15]

Every few months I try to provide an update on the blog's future publishing schedule. Work towards my senior thesis has thankfully become manageable so I should hopefully be able to publish these up coming articles soon. I would also like to thank readers for all the feedback on the sixth generation fighter series of articles.

Planned Articles 

Deal or No Deal? Analysis of Proposed Iranian Nuclear Deal and Alternatives

Image 1: Iranian Qiam-1 ballistic missiles

At the American Innovation Blog, I have long sought to a provide non-partisan national security perspective and I will continue to do so. The relative merits of an Iranian nuclear deal will be objectively analyzed in concert with the security implications of the two major alternatives: allowing a nuclear armed Iran or launching a major military campaign to destroy Iranian nuclear sites. The article will also discuss conventional means in which Iran is seeking to erode US influence in the Middle East through proxy forces in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc. In a prior article, What Would an Israeli Strike on Iran Accomplish?, I concluded a unilateral Israeli strike would be only marginally effective in hindering Iran's capability to develop a nuclear weapon. The author will argue that the United States Government should strongly consider the proposed 10 year freeze on the Iranian nuclear program in light of the immense costs associated with the two aforementioned alternatives. Iranian security threats do not occur in a vacuum, the opportunity costs of greater involvement in the Middle East must be factored into any US action e.g.  the substantial deployment of additional resources to the Middle East means less resources are available for the Asia-Pacific, the Arctic, and Europe, etc.

Threat Analysis of Foreign Stealth Fighters: the J-31 Part II

Image 2: J-31 demonstrator at the Zhuhai air show

Part I discussed the potential domestic use of the J-31 and the airframe's stealth characteristics, Part II will discuss the aircraft's avionics, export prospects, and strategic ramifications. Chinese efforts to market the FC-1 or J-17 provide an indication of which countries China is likely to market the FC-31 towards as well as which sensitive technologies China is willing to export. Should the FC-31 gain export orders, US intelligence services will gain further insights towards the capabilities of the Chinese aerospace and defense industry in a similar manner as US intelligence agencies have gained access to Russian equipment through countries receiving Russian arms exports.  Ultimately, the J-31's strategic ramifications are likely to be limited given the low probability of domestic service and none of the probable export customers are likely to field the aircraft in large numbers.

The Relative Merits of Extending Super Hornet Production Line

Image 3: EA-18G

Boeing's Super Hornet production line, which includes the EA-18G using the F/A-18F airframe, is set to close in 2017 without any additional orders. Any additional orders from the United States must occur in the FY 2016 budget request given the long lead procurement time among Boeing's suppliers. Two ongoing developments might extend Boeing's production line: an Office of the Secretary of Defense report which will outline the  need for more electronic attack capabilities and the emerging shortfall in strike fighters within the Navy as a result of service life extension difficulties in the legacy Hornet fleet and the resulting higher demand on existing F/A-18E/F Hornets. The extended production line would enable Boeing to compete for foreign fighter contracts in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Recommended News & Media

Aviation & Aerospace

Images suggest upgrades to China's early series J-11s - By Richard D Fisher Jr
Dassault, HAL To Be Co-Contractors On Indian-Built Rafales- By Amy Svitak and Caroline Bruneau 
Su-30MKI are made in India - Defense Update
Boeing To Select F-15 EW Upgrade Contractor In May - By Amy Butler
Iran’s cruise missile could strike targets beyond 2000 km - Tamir Eshel
Lockheed Martin Unveils Legion Pod - By Aaron Mehta
U.S. asks Vietnam to stop helping Russian bomber flights - David Brunnstrom
That One Time Lockheed Hated on the Taiwanese Air Force - By Joseph Trevithick

Naval Affairs

U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort “sunk” by French submarine during drills off Florida - By David Cenciotti 
Winning The War Of Electrons: Inside The New Maritime Strategy - By Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr.
No, the US Navy isn't Big Enough - By Bryan McGrath
Navy To Increase the Number of Deployed Ships to the Middle East, Asia - By Marcus Weisgerber
Allies a Key Factor in New US Sea Strategy - By Christopher P. Cavas
Poland To Launch Sub Tender, Eyes Tomahawks - By Jaroslaw Adamowski

Strategy & Geopolitics

China Sends Fighter Jets to Myanmar Border After Bomb Kills Four - Agence France-Presse
Japan eyes MI6-style spy agency as it seeks to shed pacifist past - Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo 
The Pentagon’s Satellite Spies Are Aiming for the Arctic - By Aliya Sternstein
Russia's Polar Pivot - Matthew Bodner
America’s Frustration With South Korea - By Harry W.S. Lee