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Watch this: fantastic footage of F-16 firing AIM-9X and AIM-120 missiles, downing drone


selfie F-16 firing in turn

Royal Danish Air Force F-16s involved in a LIVEX (Live Firing Exercise).

Last week some RDAF F-16 pilots were involved in a LIVEX over the North Sea.

During the Live Firing Exercise, the Danish pilots had the opportunity to fire AIM-9L and AIM-9X Sidewinder IR-guided air-to-air missiles against burning flares as well as AIM-120 AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles).

And, fortunately, they also filmed the live firing activity with both GoPro cameras as well as the aircraft’s targeting pod (you will probably remember the epic selfie shot during a Livex last year by a RDAF pilot).

The RDAF video clearly shows the Danish pilots wearing the JHMCS (joint helmet-mounted cueing system) a multi-role system that enhances pilot situational awareness and provides head-out control of aircraft targeting systems and sensors.

The helmet can be used in an air-to-air role: in this case it was used in combination with the AIM-9X missile, as High-Off-BoreSight (HOBS) system, that enables pilots to cue onboard weapons against enemy aircraft merely by pointing their heads at the targets to guide the weapons.

 

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Crazy Cool 360° video shot from inside an F-5 fighter jet over the Alps


360° video Patrouille Suisse

360° movie from the cockpit of a Swiss Air Force F-5 jet with the Patrouille Suisse display team flying over the Swiss Alps.

This video is stunning.

It provides the immersive experience of a 360° view from inside the rear cockpit of an F-5F Tiger of the “Patrouille Suisse” display team during a flight over the Swiss Alps.

If you use one of the supported browsers or app, the camera will let you move around the 360 degree field of view of the spherical video. Otherwise, you’ll simply enjoy the fisheye point of view.

Cool, isn’t it?

H/T David Ljung for the heads up!

 

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The treaty that ended World War I and fueled World War II was signed 96 years ago today


hall of mirrors

On June 28, 1919, the victorious Allied leaders signed the Treaty of Versailles officially ending World War I.

With little German involvement, the principal architects — Britain’s David Lloyd George, Italy’s Vittorio Orlando, France’s Georges Clemenceau of France, and America’s Woodrow Wilson — reassigned Germany’s borders and issued steep war reparations. 

That treaty, known as the “unhappy compromise,” had harsh terms laid out in 15 parts and 440 articles. Those harsh terms spurred German nationalism, which in turn gave Nazi leader Adolf Hitler a political platform.

Germany finally paid its World War I debt over a period of 92 years.

treaty of versailles

SEE ALSO: Amazing insight into what US intelligence knew about Hitler in 1943

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NOW WATCH: Russia reveals new high-tech weapon vehicles in a rehearsal for the country’s biggest military parade

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Luftwaffe Eurofighters accompanying Queen’s airplane


Three Eurofighters from the German Air Force flew alongside the aircraft carrying Queen Elizabeth II to a state visit to Germany on Jun. 23.

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Photo: British Embassy

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A Pretext Out of Context: Contemporary China’s Obsession with Pan-Turkism


he hills Central Tian Shian is located in Central Asia. On the maximum points of this file there passes border of three countries - China, Kazakhstan and the Kirghizstan. On gorges of this hills powerful glaciers with the glacial rivers and lakes proceed. Here the most northern peaks with a mark above 7000ì.  Peak of Khan Tengri 7010ì., and peak the Pobeda 7439ì are located.

Written by Yitzhak Shichor.

Before 1990, Chinese academic journals rarely published articles on Pan-Turkism – usually once a year or less. However, from 1991 through 2014, some 1,332 articles on Pan-Turkism were published in China, reaching 109 in 2012 – an average of two publications every week. This dramatic upsurge is intriguing, given that since long before the beginning of the 21st century, Pan-Turkism had been practically dead as a politically active movement, and it was by no means a security risk or threat to any country, let alone China. Motivated by the Russian expansion into the Caucasus, Pan-Turkism had emerged in the second half of the 19th century as an attempt to unite all Turkic people along the Silk Road – from the Mediterranean in the west to China in the east. Though not originally an Ottoman idea, it was soon adopted by the Ottoman Empire, not only as a tool against Russian colonialism but also as an excuse for its own expansion.

Short-lived, Pan-Turkism was undermined by the emergence of Turkish nationalism following the 1908 revolution, by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in World War I, and by the consolidation of Soviet rule over Central Asia. No longer an active political movement, Pan-Turkism survived as a vision, a memory, and an ideology among Turkish intellectuals and right-wing radicals. Even at its peak, in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Pan-Turkism had a modest impact on China, although for a while, it penetrated Xinjiang – populated overwhelmingly by Turkic-Muslim nationalities. Ottoman archives reflect the extensive correspondence between the Sultan and local Central Asian leaders, in particular Yaqub Beg, who had rebelled against China, set up an ‘independent’ kingdom in Kashgar in the 1860s and 1870s, received military and financial aid from the Sultan and recognised his ultimate authority and sovereignty over Kashgar, an integral part of China’s Qing Empire.

Following the suppression of Yaqub Beg’s rebellion, the influence of Pan-Turkism in northwest China – which had been marginal in any case – declined further, and practically ended when the Chinese Communists occupied Xinjiang in October 1949. Exchanges between China and Central Asia continued through the 1950s during the Sino-Soviet alliance, but the deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations afterwards sealed the borders. Whatever had remained of Pan-Turkism was now cut off from China for thirty years, from around 1960 to around 1990. In fact, Chinese scholars wrote that Pan-Turkism had “stayed basically in a state of hibernation” [zhefu zhuangtai] since World War II. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the consequent independence achieved by the Central Asian states led to the resurgence of Pan-Turkism, although still more as a vision than a political agenda. While a few Turkish right-wingers revived the issue of Pan-Turkism and efforts were made to restore Turkey’s dominant role in Central Asia and along China’s western borders, these attempts have failed. Turkey was too weak to compete politically, economically and militarily with other claimants such as Iran, Russia, and China. Objectively, Pan-Turkism is by no means a threat to China, yet subjectively, Beijing behaves as if it is.

These developments, exacerbated by the newly opened borders between China and its Central Asian neighbours, coincided with, or triggered, a series of violent confrontations between Xinjiang’s Turkic minorities (primarily the Uyghurs) and Chinese authorities. It was these incidents that led to the wave of publications (published since the early 1990s) not only on ‘separatist tendencies’ in Xinjiang and among the Uyghurs, but also on Pan-Turkism. These studies, almost without exception, underline the linkage between Pan-Turkism (and Pan-Islam) and instability in Xinjiang and Central Asia since the 1990s – primarily in terms of separatism, terrorism and religious extremism. Associated with Pan-Turkism, these ‘three evils’ have become the primary target of the Shanghai Five – organised by Beijing in 1996 and expanded and renamed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2001 – and reflect much of China’s perceptions of Pan-Turkism, to this very day.

Beijing’s concern about the perceived revival of Pan-Turkism originates primarily in the end of the Cold War, which weakened the superpowers’ ability, or willingness, to restrain regional conflicts and external disruptive influences. Consequently, Turkey, mainly under Turgut Özal (prime minister 1983-1989, president 1989-1993), began to promote Pan-Turkism in Central Asia by increasing investments, providing loans and aid, expanding trade, funding the establishment of schools and, very effectively, using its media services. While Beijing is careful not to associate Turkey with Pan-Turkism directly (the Chinese term, fantojuezhuyi, derives from Tujue, an ancient Central Asia tribe, and not from the name Turkey, Tuerqi), there is little doubt that it holds Turkey responsible for promoting Pan-Turkism. “The Chinese Government showed its utmost discontent (jida buman) towards Turkey’s promotion of Pan-Turkism in the regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus.”

In fact, Turkey, with its cultural, linguistic, ethnic, religious and geographical links to Central Asia, is regarded by Beijing as a proxy of the Western countries headed by the United States, which offer “secret support” for spreading Pan-Turkism in Central Asia. This support aims at seizing control over Central Asia and its strategic resources (oil, gas, uranium) and at undermining the interests of Russia, Iran and China. A principal cause for Beijing’s concern about the threat of Pan-Turkism is the long border (over 3,300km) it shares with Central Asia that serves as a corridor – a new Silk Road – to West Asia and Europe, and whose stability is vital for China’s security and economic growth; not to mention that more than half of Xinjiang’s population consists of Turkic ethnicities with extensive cultural, economic and religious connections to their kin across the border.

Despite all of these concerns, Beijing believes that Pan-Turkism has no future because it threatens the regional and international order and, therefore, will be rejected by most states. Thus, Central Asia’s countries themselves have become disillusioned about the fanaticism (kuangre) of Pan-Turkism and would by no means trade their newly gained independence for a “Turkic Union” – having experienced the Soviet Union. Moreover, Uyghurs, and other Turkic nationalities, have not always seen eye to eye with Turkey – and necessarily so. They are concerned about being assimilated into the Turkish nation, which is occasionally perceived as undermining their particular identity. Also, Beijing assumes that Russia would block the spread of Pan-Turkism which erodes its stability and territorial integrity as well as its trade and economic interests in Central Asia. Iran is also perceived as “strongly opposing” Pan-Turkism because it “threatens the existence of Iran as a country and a nation” (a quarter of whose population is Turkic) and whose leaders “detest Pan-Turkism and spare no efforts to resist it”.

Most Chinese analyses agree that Pan-Turkism is doomed to failure and is an episode in the progress of world history that provides no solution to ethnic conflicts. If this is the case, why are the Chinese so preoccupied by Pan-Turkism? Some answers are provided by the Chinese themselves. For one, they admit that Pan-Turkism will not disappear in the near future and that it will look for a chance to use international crises and downturns to strike again. For another, while political Pan-Turkism may not be realised, cultural Pan-Turkism will continue to develop so as to exploit emerging opportunities in order to infiltrate those marginal regions where ideological and legal systems are weak and cannot be controlled by governments. But there are other explanations for China’s so-called concern about Pan-Turkism. One has to do with Beijing’s response to potential rather than actual crises and its tendency to inflate threats – domestic, regional and global – and act in proportion to their perceived future and potential implications, not to their real and actual ones. The other explanation is that it is convenient for China to inflate the threat of Pan-Turkism and separatism in order to justify and legitimise its pressure on Xinjiang’s Uyghurs, and to continue its crackdown and suppression policies. Given its prospering relations with Turkey (considered China’s strategic partner) it is hardly conceivable that Beijing regards Pan-Turkism as a threat, now or, much less likely, in the future. It is, however, being manipulated to promote China’s domestic, regional and international interests; it has been used as a pretext – yet, an out of context one.

Yitzhak Shichor is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Asian Studies, University of Haifa. Image credit CC by Yunsheng/Flickr

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These are the 11 most game-changing aircraft of the 21st century


Stratolaunch

Today’s most sophisticated aircraft are the things of science fiction.

In a few years, drones that can fit in the palm of a person’s hand and 117-foot-wingspan behemoths capable of launching satellites into space will both be a reality.

At the same time, drone and advanced-fighter technologies will spread beyond the US and Europe, and countries including China, Russia, and Iran may have highly advanced aerial capabilities.

Here’s our look at the most game-changing aircraft of the past few years — and the next few to come.

F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 may cost as much as $1.5 trillion over its lifetime. But it’s also supposed to be the most fearsome military aircraft ever built, a plane that can dogfight, provide close air support, and carry out bombing runs, all with stealth capabilities, a high degree of maneuverability, and the ability to take off and land on aircraft carriers.

It hasn’t quite worked out that way so far, and problems with everything from the plane’s software system to its engines has both delayed its deployment and made its costs spiral upward. And it isn’t nearly as effective at close air support as existing platforms such as the A-10.

But the US has more than 1,700 of them on order. Like it or not, the F-35 will be the US’ workhorse warplane for decades to come.

F-22 Raptor

The predecessor to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II is the single-seat, twin-engine F-22 Raptor, currently the most advanced combat-ready jet.

The US solely operates the world’s F-22s thanks to federal law that prohibits the jet from being exported. Lockheed Martin built 195 jets before the last one was delivered to the US Air Force in May 2012. Despite the program’s cost and the jet’s advanced features, it saw combat for the first time relatively recently, during the opening phase of the bombing campaign against the Islamic State.

T-50

Russia’s Su-50, also known under the prototype name of the T-50 PAK-FA, is the Kremlin’s fifth-generation fighter and its response to the F-35.

Though still in prototype, Moscow thinks the Su-50 will ultimately be able to outperform the F-35 on key metrics such as speed and maneuverability. The stealth capabilities of the Su-50, however, are believed to be below those of the F-22 and the F-35.

The Kremlin plans to introduce the Su-50 into service by 2016. Once the plane is combat-ready, it will serve as a base model for the construction of further variants intended for export. India is already codesigning an Su-50 variant with Russia, and Iran and South Korea are possible candidates to buy future models of the plane.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider



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The forgotten story of how Napoleon wanted to start a new life in America


“God was bored with Napoleon,” mused the French writer Victor Hugo, and so the indomitable French commander, strategist and emperor went on to lose the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815. The bicentennial marking the decisive clash between Napoleon’s forces and a combined army of British and Prussians is later this week and has already been the […]




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This Day in Pictures: Remembering Reagan and His Famous Line, ‘Tear Down This Wall!’


One of the most recognizable quotes of Ronald Reagan’s presidency was deemed too controversial and was almost never spoken.

Peter Robinson, a young speechwriter for the Reagan White House, was given the task of drafting the president’s speech to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Berlin on June 12, 1987. After visiting the people of Berlin to understand their exasperated resentment, Robinson drafted numerous copies and countless wordings of the now famous phrase.

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” was almost revised to “This ugly wall will disappear” after a diplomat in Berlin took out the controversial line, fearing it would be too harsh on Gorbachev.

Yet Reagan made his stance well known.

“The boys at State are going to kill me,” Reagan said, “but it’s the right thing to do.”

Twenty-eight years later, we take a look back at the Great Communicator and the cause he helped to advance in Berlin.

epa01913010 (FILE) A file picture dated 11 June 1982 shows (L-R) then Berlin Mayor Richard von Weizsecker, then US President Ronald Reagan and then German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt at Check Point Charlie in Berlin, Germany.   'Tear down this wall!'. On 12 June 1987, US President Ronald Reagan pronounced these words to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during a speech at the Brandenburg Gate commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin. The Berlin Wall came down two years later on 09 November 1989 and two parts of Germany was reunified after 28 years of separation. The building of the Wall began on 13 August 1961. German Democratic Republic (GDR) armed forces started to seal off the eastern part of the city with road barriers made from barbed wire, to build an 'anti-Fascist protective barrier.' On 09 November 1989, after the spokeperson of German Democratic Republic government Guenter Schabowski announced during a press conference the immediate opening of the inner German border, tens of thousands of GDR citizens flocked to the border crossing points. The Iron Curtain fell. On 09 November 2009 will be the celebration of this historic autumn night, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  EPA/DIETER HESPE    B/W ONLY (Newscom TagID: epaphotosfour391456.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Reagan meets with Berlin Mayor Richard von Weizsecker and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt five years before he would return to make his memorable speech. (Photo: Dieter Hespe/EPA/Newscom)

President Reagan with Chancellor Kohl and Eberhard Diepgen, arriving to give a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan with Chancellor Kohl and Eberhard Diepgen, arriving to give a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan delivers his speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan delivers his speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

The view of the crowd that gathered to hear Reagan speak. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

The view of the crowd that gathered to hear Reagan speak. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

Reagan at podium with a thumbs up with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, German political leader Philipp Jenninger and his wife. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

Reagan at podium with a thumbs up with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, German political leader Philipp Jenninger and his wife. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan and Nancy Reagan depart after remarks at Berlin Wall. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan and Nancy Reagan depart after remarks at Berlin Wall. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

The Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Wall in West Berlin. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

The Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Wall in West Berlin. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the Berlin Wall in West Berlin. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

President Reagan and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the Berlin Wall in West Berlin. (Photo: Ronald Reagan Library)

Border policemen stand next in front of the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, 17 June 1987. Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/dpa (Newscom TagID: dpaphotostwo228742.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Border policemen stand next in front of the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin days after Reagan’s famous speech. (Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom)

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President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev developed a close relationship amid growing tensions between the two superpowers. (Photo: Steve Gottlieb/Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom)

November 12, 1989 - Berlin, Germany: On November 9, 2014 the city Capital of Germany will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, built between the east and the west sectors in 1961 and fall down in November 9, 1989. Graffiti and mural on the west side of the wall. (Piero Oliosi/Polaris) (Newscom TagID: polspphotos078877.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Graffiti on the Berlin Wall revealed German frustrations and became an outlet for protesters. (Photo: Piero Oliosi/Polaris/Newscom)

President Ronald Reagan, with his wife Nancy Reagan, hammers symbolically at an opening in the Berlin Wall, Sept. 10, 1990. (Photo: Andrew Popper/Polaris/Newscom)

President Ronald Reagan, with his wife Nancy Reagan, hammers symbolically at an opening in the Berlin Wall, Sept. 10, 1990. (Photo: Andrew Popper/Polaris/Newscom)

>>> Watch the video of Reagan’s famous line

The post This Day in Pictures: Remembering Reagan and His Famous Line, ‘Tear Down This Wall!’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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Stalin’s secret railway for war against Japan confirmed in Mongolia


A building on the site of the Soviet Union’s Tamsagbulag base in eastern Mongolia is believed to have been used as barracks.(Yasuji Nagai)

A secret railway in eastern Mongolia and a confidential order by Josef Stalin show that the Soviet Union was preparing for war against Japan in 1942, three years before the actual war started, researchers said.

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Wild Weasels mark 50th anniversary of first strike


The U.S. Air Force’s 55th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base hosted past and present members of the Wild Weasel community from Jun. 5-6 for the 50th anniversary of the first Wild Weasel strike.

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Photo: USAF

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