Year in Review: Top stories from 2023

Russia is sending a symbolic message to Turkey, Britain orders new rifles and Hungary clashes with US senator over guns: Here are the top stories of the year. (And click here to see what made the 2022 list!)

US Air Force May Remove 105mm Gun from the AC-130 gun

The days of the AC-130J Ghostrider’s heavy 105mm gun may be numbered. The US Air Force Special Operations Command confirmed to Defense News that it is considering removing this shell-sized weapon, used to conduct punitive strikes against ground targets, from aircraft as early as 2026. Read more here.

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

“We get it [the Russian missile attack on Motor Sich] as a symbolic Russian warning reflecting Russia’s displeasure with some Turkish initiatives,” a senior Turkish diplomat told Defense News on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. 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 might end. Their answers are ominous: The war will be expensive, cost lives, and will likely last at least a few years – or even become endless. It will tax the US and European defense industry, especially when it comes to ammunition, and could spell economic ruin for Russia. All this while the possibility of nuclear escalation remains. Read more here.

China, Russia propaganda withers as cameras proliferate, US admiral says

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

British forces to get new US-designed rifles

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 UK by Macclesfield, northwest England-based arms company Edgar Brothers. Read more here.

After Washington’s refueling woes, US Navy considers new carrier plans

The resupply of the aircraft carrier Washington took two years due to the pandemic, industrial base challenges and unscheduled work at the propulsion plant. Read more here.

US Navy reviews timing of new dual-carrier award amid Enterprise delay

Delays in the construction of the Enterprise carrier are a factor in ongoing discussions about when a contract will be signed for the next two carriers, 82 and 83. Read more here.

Hungary hits back after US senator says it blocked HIMARS purchase

The Hungarian government said it had abandoned plans to order highly mobile artillery missile systems after bilateral talks last year failed to reach an agreement with the United States. Read more here.

Germany to send Ukraine $1 billion in air defense technology, plus more tanks

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

US Navy considers Cold War-era squadrons to boost readiness

The maritime service is poised to create “surface teams” intended to renew the Navy’s focus on maintenance and training. Read more here.

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