Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Russia Is Mocking China For Screwing Up The Fighter Jet They Stole
Cheaters never prosper, says Russia.
Remember that Russian carrier-based jet that China copied without permission? Those airplanes are crashing, and Russia doesn't seem too broken up about it.
Though Russia and China are now friends, even holding joint exercises, Russia's Sputnik News recently trotted out an article titled "Chinese Navy Short on Carrier-Based Fighters, Only Has Problem-Ridden J-15. "
The J-15 is an unlicensed copy of Russia's Su-33 carrier jet, which is a 1980s derivative of the Su-27K land-based fighter. China had acquired a T-10K-3, an Su-33 prototype, from Ukraine and then reverse-engineered it.
With a barely disguised touch of schadenfreude, Sputnik News delved into the woes of the J-15. "Love for the fourth-generation J-15 jet is seldom shown in Chinese circles," said the Russian news site. "The Asia Times noted that Chinese media has disparaged the plane in numerous ways, including referring to it as a 'flopping fish' for its inability to operate effectively from the Chinese carriers, which launch fixed-wing aircraft under their own power from an inclined ramp on the bow of the ship. The J-15's engines and heavyweight severely limit its ability to operate effectively: at 17.5 tons empty weight, it tops the scales for carrier-based fighters. The U.S.390 Navy's F-18 workhorse, by comparison, is only 14.5 tons."
Many shoppers on eBay and Amazon can attest to what happens when you buy "unlicensed" products, though one can ask how many of these problems began with the original Russian design. In any event, so many J-15s have crashed and burned that China is developing a new carrier jet, the J-31.
After dissecting the J-15's flaws, Sputnik News then trotted out Russian military expert Vasily Kashin, who proceeded to explain why you shouldn't copy other nation's aircraft without permission.
"Years ago the Chinese decided to save some money and, instead of buying several Su-33s from Russia for their subsequent license production in China, they opted for a Su-33 prototype in Ukraine," Kashin said.
"The development of the J-15 took more time and more money than expected, and the first planes proved less than reliable," said Kashin. "By spending some more time and money, the Chinese will apparently solve the problems they now have and will get a fairly reliable and powerful carrier-based fighter."
At this point, it is worth noting that the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia also had a habit of "acquiring" Western technology without the consent of the owners, for everything from the atomic bomb, to the Space Shuttle and video games. It's actually a dubious accomplishment, an admission that a nation lacks the capacity to really innovate its own technology.
Considering that China has the same habit, there is a poetic justice here.
This article originally appeared on The National Interest
Read more from The National Interest:
- What Will the Sixth-Generation Jet Fighter Look Like?
- F-22 and F-35 'DNA': Why Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70 Could Be Something Special
- Is the F-35 Headed For Another Crisis?
A Vietnam vet found covered in ant bites is forcing the Atlanta VA to finally reckon with years of dangerous practices
Dawn Brys got an early taste of the crisis unfolding at the largest Veterans Affairs hospital in the Southeast.
The Air Force vet said she went to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur last year for surgery on a broken foot. But the doctor called it off because the surgical instruments hadn't been properly sterilized.
"The tools had condensation on them," recalled Brys, a 50-year-old Marietta resident. The doctor rescheduled it for the next day.
Now the 400-plus-bed hospital on Clairmont Road that serves about 120,000 military veterans is in a state of emergency. It suspended routine surgeries in late September after a string of incidents that exposed mismanagement and dangerous practices. It hopes to resume normal operations by early November as it struggles to retrain staff and hire new nurses.
The partial shutdown came about two weeks after Joel Marrable, a cancer patient in the same VA complex, was found covered with more than 100 ant bites by his daughter. Also in September, the hospital's canteen was temporarily closed for a pest investigation.
The mounting problems triggered a leadership shakeup Sept. 17, when regional director Leslie Wiggins was put on administrative leave. Dr. Arjay K. Dhawan, the regional medical director, was moved to administrative duties pending an investigation. Seven staff members were reassigned to non-patient care.
The only question for some military veterans and staff is why the VA waited so long. They say problems existed for years under Wiggins' leadership, but little was done.
The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.
Boyfriends can sometimes do some really weird shit. Much of it is well-meaning: A boy I liked in high school once sang me a screamo song that he wrote over the phone. He thought it would be sweet, and while I appreciated that he wanted to share it with me, I also had no idea what he was saying. Ah, young love.
Sure, this sounds cringeworthy. But then there's 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, who appears to be, dare I say, the best boyfriend?