How do you say “Raptor” in Chinese?

H/T to Fringe.

So, the Chinese put on a public display of their J-31 stealth fighter, their knockoff of the US F-22A Raptor.

As Fringe noted, a couple details- one, those RD-93s smoke more than I do. And the roll rate as show was pretty meh. And I would note that the typical US Raptor airshow demonstration displays much more performance in the vertical plane. This was just a zoom climb and a couple of sustained turns.

The real question is how well its avionics and stealth work, and that’s simply not something we can discern from an airshow clip.

Further, it should be noted that China has a large air force, but only a tiny percentage of it is 4th generation fighter aircraft comparable to US equipment.


Filed under China, planes

Load HEAT- Carrie Anne Moss

Wait, latex clad hottie form The Matrix, Carrie Anne Moss has never been featured here for Load HEAT? Let’s fix that.

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Filed under Load Heat

Russian S-400 in Syria: What Does it Mean for US Air Assets? — Medium

On Thanksgiving Day, Russia deployed elements of its S-400 TRIUMF surface-to-air missile (SAM) system (NATO Designator: SA-21 GROWLER) to Hmeymim Air Base near Latakia, Syria. The deployment timeline was impressive in its speed. Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 FENCER over Syria on November 24th and a day later Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Russia would deploy the S-400 to protect its air assets. On November 26th a Russian news agency posted photos and video of S-400 equipment being unloaded and set up in Syria. US air planners were not caught completely off guard since handheld photos showing the S-400’s target acquisition radar, the 96L6 (NATO Designator: CHEESE BOARD), began appearing on the internet in early November. These photos sparked speculation the S-400 had already been deployed or would be deployed imminently. However, US and coalition pilots received very un-welcome news when they got to their operations buildings on Thanksgiving morning: many sorties over Syria would now be flown inside of an SA-21 missile engagement zone (MEZ).

Source: Russian S-400 in Syria: What Does it Mean for US Air Assets? — Medium

One suspects the first instinct of the risk adverse Obama administration would be to further impose restrictive ROEs that will hamper our efforts.

Our other Course of Action is to simply hope the Russians continue to decline to engage US aircraft. Which, that’s a pretty workable solution, right up until it isn’t.

There are ways to counter the S-400, but none of them are cheap or easy. And that presumes our air assets would actually be allowed to engage them. Which, I’m not seeing that happening any time soon.

I suppose if I sat down and tried, I could devise a more ineffectual campaign that boosted Russia and our enemies strategic position, but it would take some doing.



WoW request

Would the reader who reached out to me on World of Warships about Deception Pass try again? I tried to add you to my contacts, but the game crashed.

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Chant du Départ: Jets and Sunsets

I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend. I found just enough time to put a post together. It’s a recurring theme for me, and I don’t have much to say right now, but I thought I’d share some pics- some taken, some collected.

Source: Chant du Départ: Jets and Sunsets

Go enjoy all of Tuna’s post at Old AF Sarge’s place.



The Final C-17 departs Long Beach

After almost a quarter century and 275 planes built, the former McDonnell Douglas plant, now Boeing, at Long Beach airport is closing. The final C-17 takes off for the first time.

The Air Force is the single largest operator of the C-17, with 224 delivered. By our lights, that’s about half the size of the fleet they really need.



How to load a WWII Bomber

I’ll admit, I had no idea how WWII bomber shackles worked. Pretty interesting.

Nice to see some Douglas B-18.

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