As promised, I started this one just for the American news. We have so many American related threads already, why not just post everything in one?
Anyhow, some articles from defencetalk
Anyhow, some articles from defencetalk
WASHINGTON: Army and Air Force officials announced March 17 that a new Joint Cargo Aircraft, designed to enhance the combat readiness of both services, will be developed by a combined team. Fielding of the new aircraft is expected within two years.
The Request for Proposals was released March 17 after the Acquisition Strategy Report was signed that morning, according to Pentagon officials. A Joint Program Office, comprised of personnel from both branches of service, will open Oct. 1 in Huntsville, Ala., with the Army taking the lead.
“This is a big day for both of us in terms of joint cooperation and capability,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen D. Mundt, Army Aviation director. “This aviation program is going to bring tremendous capability to both of our services and, more importantly, to the Department of Defense.”
Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Dichter, deputy director of Operational Capability Requirements, underscored Mundt’s enthusiasm for the new program and added that the program is an important example of the value of the joint capability and integration system (JCIDS).
“The Army and the Air Force have not always agreed, particularly at the beginning of this program,” he said. “But joint doctrine has always provided the ability for each service to have organic lift capability: the Army’s Sherpas, the Marine Corps’ KC-130 and the Navy’s COD are good examples of this. And the Air Force and the Army are committed to taking the new Joint Cargo Aircraft program, develop this important capability and deliver it to the joint warfighter.”
He said that the Air Force has accepted the Army’s need to recapitalize its aging fleet, and that the Air Force also identified a need for a light cargo aircraft – not only to transform itself because of mutual interdependencies, but also to be used for Homeland Defense missions and to support civil authorities in disasters or crises.
“The aircraft we field will provide a key capability to the joint force commander,” said Dichter. “For 59 years, the Air Force has been the service provider of intra-theater airlift, and for approximately 40 years, we’ve done that with essentially one airplane – the C-130.”
While the C-17 does perform a limited intra-theater role, Dichter added, the Air Force was long overdue in diversifying its intra-theater airlift fleet. The challenge, he said, is to transform the air fleet with the limited dollars available, to meet the transformational needs of not only the Army but of all the services and combatant commanders.
“The Air Force is prepared to meet that challenge,” said Dichter, “and fielding this Joint Cargo Aircraft capability along with the Army is a significant step toward that goal.”
On the Army side, Mundt said that the new aircraft would replace what he called a “very, very old and tired airframe in terms of the C-23 Sherpa, C-12 and C-26. Our Soldiers deserve better than that – we can also get them off the roads so they don’t have to be exposed to improvised explosive devices.”
The Air Force leads the world in the ability to perform operational and strategic intra-theater lift, he said. But because of the changing battlefield, the brigade combat teams modularity and the logistics concept of support changing to a push system, the Army needs additional intra-theater lift capability to fill the last tactical mile.
“Historically,” Mundt said, “the Air Force does not perform missions in the tactical spectrum, down to that point. Tactical wheeled vehicles and helicopters have performed that role.” Combining the two aircraft was a natural step because of the similarities in the capability gaps of each service, he added.
The Air Force and the Army have agreed that the aircraft each needs will have the same basic platform, with some intra-service requirements. The services are developing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) which outlines missions, roles, command and control, service responsibilities and the way ahead for doctrine, organizations, training, maintenance, logistics, leadership, personnel and facilities, according to Mundt.
He anticipates that an MOA will be approved by each service’s vice chief of staff by May 1.
I don't think China's arsenal has ever been the problem, it's the Russian one that still poses a threat and probably always will pose a mutual destruction threat to the Americans.For four decades, relations among the major nuclear powers have been shaped by their common vulnerability, a condition known as mutual assured destruction. But with the U.S. arsenal growing rapidly while Russia's decays and China's stays small, the era of MAD is ending -- and the era of U.S. nuclear primacy has begun.
PRESENT AT THE DESTRUCTION
For almost half a century, the world's most powerful nuclear states have been locked in a military stalemate known as mutual assured destruction (MAD). By the early 1960s, the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union had grown so large and sophisticated that neither country could entirely destroy the other's retaliatory force by launching first, even with a surprise attack. Starting a nuclear war was therefore tantamount to committing suicide.
During the Cold War, many scholars and policy analysts believed that MAD made the world relatively stable and peaceful because it induced great caution in international politics, discouraged the use of nuclear threats to resolve disputes, and generally restrained the superpowers' behavior. (Revealingly, the last intense nuclear standoff, the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, occurred at the dawn of the era of MAD.) Because of the nuclear stalemate, the optimists argued, the era of intentional great-power wars had ended. Critics of MAD, however, argued that it prevented not great-power war but the rolling back of the power and influence of a dangerously expansionist and totalitarian Soviet Union. From that perspective, MAD prolonged the life of an evil empire.
This debate may now seem like ancient history, but it is actually more relevant than ever -- because the age of MAD is nearing an end. Today, for the first time in almost 50 years, the United States stands on the verge of attaining nuclear primacy. It will probably soon be possible for the United States to destroy the long-range nuclear arsenals of Russia or China with a first strike. This dramatic shift in the nuclear balance of power stems from a series of improvements in the United States' nuclear systems, the precipitous decline of Russia's arsenal, and the glacial pace of modernization of China's nuclear forces. Unless Washington's policies change or Moscow and Beijing take steps to increase the size and readiness of their forces, Russia and China -- and the rest of the world -- will live in the shadow of U.S. nuclear primacy for many years to come.