6th-Gen MiG Will Feature Advanced Laser Beam “Protection Systems”

The Russian government announced that it’s sixth-generation fighter jet will be equipped with a range of powerful new features, including laser and microwave weaponry, and advanced radar that will “significantly expand” their ability to detect enemy fighters. The jet, which is Russia’s answer to the US F-35, was first announced in 2016, according to the Washington Times. Complications surrounding the development of the F-35, which was famously plagued with delays and cost overruns, once inspired President Donald Trump to threaten to cancel the US’s order with military contractor Lockheed Martin.

Russian officials said the lasers would allow the MiG-41fighters to disable attacking missiles by destroying their tracking systems.

“We already have laser protection systems installed on aircraft and helicopters, and now we are talking about developments in the field of powered lasers that will be able to physically destroy attacking missiles’ homing heads. … Roughly speaking, we’ll be able to burn out ‘the eyes’ of missiles that ‘look at us.’ Naturally, such systems will be installed on sixth-generation aircraft as well,” said the Adviser to the First Deputy CEO of Radio-Electronic Technologies Group (KRET) Vladimir Mikheyev, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

According to the report, developing drone technology is a “high priority” for Russian engineers, who envision unmanned aircraft flying alongside planes operated by human pilots, armed with a diverse group of weapons.

“One drone in a formation flight will carry microwave weapons, including guided electronic munitions while another drone will carry radio-electronic suppression and destruction means, and a third UAV will be armed with a set of standard weaponry. Each specific task is solved by different armaments,” Mr. Mikheyev added.

The Russian government is also developing microwave technology, which officials say will make the jets lighter and more agile.

“The use of microwave weapons is highly problematic for a plane with a pilot due to the need to preserve his life. But if we develop an additional system of protection against our own microwave weapons, we’ll lose even more space and the weight margin. Besides, even the most complex and effective system can be insufficiently efficient,” he said.

The jet will also feature “advanced radar concepts” that will allow pilots to monitor enemy aircraft with “the highest accuracy.”

“The radio-photonic radar will be able to see farther than existing radars, in our estimates. And, as we irradiate an enemy in an unprecedentedly wide range of frequencies, we’ll know its position with the highest accuracy and after processing, we’ll get an almost photographic image of it — radio vision. … This is important for determining the type [of an aircraft]: The plane’s computer will immediately and automatically identify a flying object, for example, an F-18 with specific types of missile armament,” Mr. Mikheyev said.

Government officials first unveiled plans for the sixth-generation MiG fighter early last year, and expects it to be finished by 2025.  

When In Doubt, Nuke China

Authored by Pepe Escobar via Asia Times,

A situation in which the US military feels 'unhampered' has precedent – and, as General MacArthur's endeavors in Korea prove, it's something to be afraid of...

The current collapse of the unipolar world, with the inexorable emergence of a multipolar framework, has enabled a terrifying subplot to run amok – the normalization of the idea of nuclear war.

The latest exhibit comes in the form of a US admiral assuring everyone he’s ready to follow President Trump’s orders to launch a nuclear missile against China.

Forget about the fact that a 21st century nuclear war involving great powers will be The Last War. Our admiral – admirably named Swift – is simply preoccupied by democratic minutiae, as in “every member of the US military has sworn an oath to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and to obey the officers and the president of the United States as commander and chief appointed over us.”

So it’s all about loyalty to the President, and civilian control over the military – irrespective of the risk of incinerating untold masses of said civilians, Americans included (as there would be an inevitable Chinese response).

Swift, once again, to the rescue: “This is core to the American democracy and any time you have a military that is moving away from a focus and an allegiance to civilian control, then we really have a significant problem.”

It doesn’t matter that the proverbial spokesman on behalf of the US Pacific Fleet – in this case, Charlie Brown (an apt name?) – swiftly engaged in damage control, deriding the premise of the (nuclear) question as “ridiculous.” Both the question and the answer are in fact quite revealing.

MacArthur’s park is melting in the dark

To shed extra nuances on “civilian control of the military,” a flashback to September 1950 and the Korean War, with some help from Bruce Cumings and John Halliday’s Korea: The Unknown War, may be far from “ridiculous.” Especially now that factions of the War Party in Washington have been pressing the case for nuking not China but North Korea itself.

It’s key to remember that by 1950 President Truman had already issued a “civilian control of the military” order to drop two atomic bombs over Japan in 1945 – a historical first.

Truman had become Vice-President in January 1945. FDR treated him with the utmost disdain. He was clueless about the Manhattan Project. When FDR died he had been Vice-President for only 82 days, and became POTUS knowing absolutely nothing about foreign policy or the new military/nuclear equation.

PRESIDENT TRUMAN AND GENERAL OF THE ARMY MACARTHUR CONFERENCE: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief, UN Command, greeting President Harry S. Truman upon his arrival at Wake Island for their conference.NARA FILE#: 111-SC-353136

Truman and MacArthur on Wake Island, 1950. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Truman had five years after bombing Japan to learn all about it, on the job. Now the action was on the Korean front. Even before an amphibious landing in Inchon, led by General MacArthur – the greatest since D-Day in Normandy, in 1944 – Truman had authorized MacArthur to advance beyond the 38th parallel. There’s substantial historical debate that MacArthur was not told exactly what to do in detail – as long as he was winning. Fine for a man who was fond of quoting Montgomery: “Generals are never given adequate directives”.

Still, MacArthur did receive a top secret memorandum from Truman stressing that any operations north of the 38th parallel were authorized only if “there was no entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese Communist forces, no announcements of intended entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily”.

And then, MacArthur received an eyes-only message from Pentagon head George Marshall: “We want you to feel unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed north of the 38th parallel.”

MacArthur kept going. He was sure China would not intervene in Korea: “If the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be the greatest slaughter.” Well, he was wrong. US forces captured Pyongyang on October 19, 1950. Exactly the same day, no fewer than 250,000 soldiers of the 13th Army Group of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army crossed the Yalu river and entered Korean territory. US intel was clueless about what military historian S.L.A. Marshall described as “a phantom which cast no shadow”.

The North’s industry and infrastructure was totally destroyed. It’s impossible to understand the actions of the leadership in Pyongyang over these past decades without considering how this human and physical destruction is still very much alive in their minds

MacArthur progressively ran amok, including calling for nukes to be used on North Korea. He had to go. The question was how. The civilians – Dean Acheson, Averell Harriman – were for it. The Generals – Marshall, Bradly – were against it. But they were also worried that “if MacArthur were not relieved, a large segment of our people would charge that civil authorities no longer controlled the military”.

Truman had already made up his mind. MacArthur was replaced by Lt. Gen. Ridgway. But the war folly still raged, hostage to the Sino-Soviet “threat” of “communist world domination”. Over two million North Korean civilians were killed. And what General Curtis LeMay – a real- life Dr. Strangelove – later said about bombing Vietnam “back to the stone age” actually was inflicted by the US on North Korea.

The North’s industry and infrastructure was totally destroyed. It’s impossible to understand the actions of the leadership in Pyongyang over these past decades without considering how this human and physical destruction is still very much alive in their minds.

So what Admiral Swift actually said, in code, is, if a civilian order comes, the US military will start WWIII (or WWIV, if one counts the Cold War), duly applying the Pentagon’s first-strike doctrine. What Swift did not say is that President Trump also has the power to pull a Truman and fire any run-amok, aspiring MacArthur clone.