March, 3

    Year in review: Top stories from 2023

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    Russia sends a symbolic message to Turkey, Britain orders new rifles and Hungary clashes with a U.S. senator over weaponry: Here are the top stories from the year. (And click here to see what made the 2022 list!)

    US Air Force may remove 105mm cannon from AC-130 gunship

    The days of the AC-130J Ghostrider’s hefty 105mm cannon may be numbered. U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command confirmed to Defense News it is considering removing this howitzer-sized weapon, used to carry out punishing strikes on ground targets, from the aircraft as early as 2026. Read more here.

    Russia sent a message to Turkey when it bombed Motor Sich, say experts

    “We take it [the Russian missile attack on Motor Sich] as a symbolic Russian warning reflecting Russia’s discontent over a few Turkish initiatives,” a senior Turkish diplomat told Defense News on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. Read more here.

    When will the war in Ukraine end? Experts offer their predictions.

    Defense News spoke with national security analysts, lawmakers and retired officials, asking each how the conflict could end. Their answers are glum: The war will be expensive, cost lives and likely last at least a few years — or even become interminable. It will tax the American and European defense industries, especially when it comes to munitions, and could cause economic ruin in Russia. All this while the possibility of nuclear escalation remains. Read more here.

    China, Russia propaganda wither as cameras multiply, US admiral says

    If bad-faith behavior is not exposed, it will continue to “thrive in the shadows, like a mushroom,” said Rear Adm. Mike Studeman, who previously served as the director of intelligence at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. Read more here.

    British forces to get new rifles designed in the US

    To be known as the Alternative Individual Weapon System, or L403A1, in British service, the weapons will be manufactured in the United States by Knights Armaments, but assembled in the U.K. by Macclesfield, northwest England-based arms company Edgar Brothers. Read more here.

    After Washington’s refueling woes, US Navy eyes new plans for carriers

    The aircraft carrier Washington’s refueling ran two years long, due to the pandemic, industrial base challenges and unplanned work in the propulsion plant. Read more here.

    US Navy mulls timing of new double-carrier award amid Enterprise delay

    Construction delays on the carrier Enterprise are one factor in ongoing discussions about when to sign a contract for the next two carriers, 82 and 83. Read more here.

    Hungary responds after US senator says he blocked HIMARS purchase

    The Hungarian government has said it abandoned plans to order High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems after last year’s bilateral talks failed to produce an agreement with the United States. Read more here.

    Germany to send Ukraine $1B in air defense tech, plus more tanks

    “To protect critical infrastructure at the onset of winter and to provide further military support, Germany is supplying Ukraine with additional air defense,” German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said. “With this new `winter package’ we are further increasing the operational readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces in coming months.” Read more here.

    US Navy considers Cold War-era squadrons to boost readiness

    The sea service is poised to establish “surface groups” meant to renew the Navy’s focus on maintenance and training. Read more here.

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