A prototype shipboard laser will be deployed on a converted amphibious transport and docking ship in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian fast-attack boats have harassed U.S. warships and where the government in Tehran is building remotely piloted aircraft carrying surveillance pods and, some day potentially, rockets.
The laser will not be operational until next year, but the announcement Monday by Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, seemed meant as a warning to Iran not to step up activity in the gulf in the next few months if tensions increase because of sanctions and the impasse in negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program. The Navy released video and still images of the laser weapon burning through a drone during a test-firing. (U.S. Navy)
What happens to Canada if the U.S. scraps the F-35? The Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter-bomber was supposed to serve as the backbone of the U.S. Air Force while bringing affordable radar-evading stealth technology to medium-sized U.S. allies including Australia, the Netherlands and Canada. Now senior Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee are openly musing about scrapping the most expensive defence program in history. The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), is 13 to 30 months late meeting revised deadlines. The price per unit has doubled. Last week the Pentagon issued what Senator John McCain called a “jaw-dropping” estimate of US$1-trillion to keep a future 2,400-plane U.S. fleet of F-35s flying for five decades. Canada has been counting on the F-35 to defend its airspace. The Post’s Adam McDowell looks at what is at stake if this option is taken away.