5th Generation Air Power

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Australian Defence needs an Office of Robotics – Alan Stephens

  If, as the eminent strategist and military historian Edward Luttwak has argued, the people in our armed services define themselves through their ships, aeroplanes and tanks - a phenomenon he describes as “platformitis” - then the Australian Defence Force’s dominant culture is both obvious and near-impossible to change. As thing stand, for the next [...]

The economics of air power – Alan Stephens

  Economics is almost always a factor in warfare; in the case of advanced air power it is an imperative.   100 million-dollar baby: An RAAF F-35A In the one hundred years since air power was first applied systematically, only a small number of countries have been able to construct balanced, high-quality air [...]

By |January 30th, 2017|5th Generation Air Power, Air Force, History, Strategy, Technology|1 Comment

Dogfight: Start-ups take aim at errant drones – Jeremy Wagstaff & Swati Pandey

  A boom in consumer drone sales has spawned a counter-industry of start-ups aiming to stop drones flying where they shouldn't, by disabling them or knocking them out of the sky, report Jeremy Wagstaff and Swati Pandey of Reuters An eagle trained by the Netherlands police captures a drone inflight with its claws (photo [...]

Putting F-35B on the Canberra Class LHDs: The Debate Continues – Steve George

  This year's opening article revisits the F-35B debate sparked by Jenna Higgins' post from December 2016. Steve George's response addresses the key issues. Back in November 2014, I wrote a piece for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on potential F-35B operations from the new RAN LHDs (LHD and F-35B: The Debate Opens Up). It received a mention [...]

“Ten Propositions Concerning Armed UAVs”: a review – Alan Stephens

Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper detailed the government’s intention to acquire armed unmanned aircraft within the next decade. A paper titled A New Direction for Australian Air Power: Armed Unmanned Aircraft, commissioned by the chief of air force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and written by Dr Peter Layton, examines the key issues surrounding this often [...]

By |December 19th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Air Force, Capability Development|5 Comments

Is ‘A’ really better than ‘B’? – Jenna Higgins

  'Flexibility is the key to air power' is one of the favourite clichés of the professional airman. In this post, Flight Lieutenant Jenna Higgins asks if, in light of the USMC's recent successful proof of concept demonstration of the F-35B VSTOL, the ADF should demonstrate flexibility in reviewing the decision of whether to acquire [...]

By |December 6th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Capability Development|18 Comments

Trudeau’s folly: Canada’s new ‘interim’ fighters – Christopher Cowan

  When we discuss the politics of air power it is generally in the context of its employment, not its development. The F-35 appears to have changed this as its cost overruns and production delays have attracted close political scrutiny both in Australia and globally. In this post, originally published on The Strategist on 24 November, Christopher Cowan [...]

By |November 29th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Capability Development|0 Comments

Airpower Reborn: A Review – Travis Hallen

  ‘Anyone writing airpower theory today has a great deal of rewriting to do, because some large conceptual weeds have been allowed to prosper in airpower’s intellectual garden.’   Colin Gray, Airpower Reborn, 179. Giulio Douhet [Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons] When Giulio Douhet wrote and published Command in the Air in 1921 he did [...]

By |October 28th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Strategy|Comments Off on Airpower Reborn: A Review – Travis Hallen

Ghost Fleet: A Review – Jason Begley

  Though a work of fiction, Ghost Fleet stimulates the reader's thinking about a broad range of ideas and issues, encouraging open-mindedness and innovation. This is the type of thinking necessary for the success of the Royal Australian Air Force's Plan JERICHO. [Image Credit: Amazon.com]   Ghost Fleet has attracted extensive attention among military commentators since [...]

By |October 21st, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Fiction|Comments Off on Ghost Fleet: A Review – Jason Begley

A Rose by Any Other Name … Ross Mahoney

  Dr Ross Mahoney responds to Robbin Laird's post referring to the F-35 as a 1st Gen flying combat system. Using a platform to define air power concepts is not a new phenomenon, and while we need to encourage innovative thinking about air power we must be willing and able to critique the rise of [...]

By |October 11th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power|3 Comments