A new video from the Russian defense ministry shows the country's most advanced stealth fighter flying sorties in Syria.
Fifth-generation Su-57 stealth fighters have flown 10 sorties over war-torn Syria, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement accompanying the footage, the first official video to publicly highlight the aircraft's activities in Syria.
Satellite images from February first indicated that Russia had deployed Su-57 fighters to Khmeimim Air Base in Latakia, Syria. The Ministry of Defense later confirmed the deployment. The Russians are admittedly using the bloody civil war in Syria to test some of their latest weapons. The plane has a "need to be tested in combat conditions, in conditions of resistance," Russian officials previously explained.
The defense ministry said Monday that "the flights were performed to confirm the stated capabilities of the newest plane in a real combat environment."
The aircraft is said to have participated in the bombing of Syrian rebels and Islamic State forces in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's ground war, which is a rather poor test of the aircraft's combat capabilities.
In comparison, an American F-35, a Su-57 rival, conducted its first combat mission in late September, carrying out an airstrike against Taliban forces. While some hailed the operation as a success, others characterized the combat mission as a waste of resources given the F-35's superior combat capabilities compared to the warfighting capabilities of the Taliban.
Still technically an experimental aircraft, the Su-57, like some of its fifth-generation counterparts, has faced setbacks in development. Nonetheless, the advanced multipurpose fighter built for air superiority and complex attack operations is expected to enter service next year, but only in limited numbers.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."