Top 10 military and defense news stories of 2021

PANAGYURISHTE, ($1=1.73 Bulgarian Levas) – In 2022, BulgarianMilitary.com celebrates five years of actively informing the international community about what is happening in the arms markets and the military-political scene.

That is why on the eve of our fifth anniversary we decided to present you the top 10 of the most read and shared news in BulgarianMilitary.com in 2021.

We start in ascending order.

10. U.S. unveiled a prototype of the first hypersonic aircraft

US unveiled a prototype of first hypersonic aircraft
Photo credit: YouTube

In mid-November, we learned that a prototype hypersonic aircraft had been unveiled in the United States. Yes, a little far from military and defense, but in reality, everything that happens in aeronautical engineering is closely related to military engineering.

This hypersonic aircraft, which performs a transport function and can move at a speed of Mach 5, is of great interest to the Pentagon.

The American company Hermeus has introduced the first full-size prototype of its hypersonic aircraft Quarterhorse. The “highlight” of the presentation ceremony of this aircraft was that the manufacturer during the event started the hypersonic Quarterhorse engine and installed its full afterburner.

9. Top 5 best long-range rifles (sniper rifles) in the world

Top 5 best long-range rifles (sniper rifles) in the world
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Written in May 2020, this article has been one of the most read for almost 18 months.

Good vision, endurance, and the ability to handle weapons are basic skills for a sniper. But all these skills are completely useless if the fighter does not have a good rifle. On the Internet, disputes over which sniper rifle is the best do not subside. We have prepared the top 5, in our opinion, sniper rifles. We will arrange them in the form of a rating according to increasing quality and tactical characteristics.

8. Russian Buk-M1 missile systems with hidden hull IDs moving to Ukraine

Russian Buk-M1 missile systems with hidden hull IDs moving to Ukraine
Photo credit: Th Drive

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain precarious, and every action by Ukrainians and Russians is being monitored very closely and thoroughly.

On December 10, BulgarianMilitary.com reported that russian military equipment loaded with huge trains is moving towards the Russian-Ukrainian border, citing its sources in Russia and video footage shared on social networks. This movement of military equipment heightens fears of an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Videos shared on social media show train-laden anti-aircraft missile systems with medium-range Buk-M1, also known as SA-11 Gadfly, 9S18M1 Kupol acquisition radars known as Snow Drift, tanks, and artillery. This video was recorded on December 6th.

7. Threat to Taiwan: China builds own terrifying apocalypse torpedo

Threat to Taiwan: China builds own terrifying apocalypse torpedo
Photo credit: Defense Express

Any news about China at one point poses a direct threat to Taiwan.

Specialists from the People’s Liberation Army of China conducted a unique test – they detonated a powerful non-nuclear charge underwater to simulate the destruction of a port with a closed harbor. The Chinese are working on a “miracle weapon” that will help destroy aircraft carriers and US naval bases.

It is noted that before this underwater explosion, about 1,000 sensors were installed, which performed all possible measurements for scientific modeling of subsequent underwater explosions.

6. Russia to destroy rockets that shot down CH-47s and flight KAL 902

Russia to destroy rockets that shot down CH-47s and flight KAL 902
Photo credit: Russian MoD

It is very rare to find news about weapons that Russia has decided to either take out of service or destroy. In early December, however, the Russian army decided to part with several landmarks in Russian military history.

On December 3, the Russian Ministry of Defense has launched a tender for the disposal of guided ammunition of the Navy Aviation [MA-VMF]; according to the public procurement portal, it is planned to eliminate 187 guided missiles in charge of the Naval Air Force.

In detail, the agreement provides for the disposal of 145 short-range IR R-60 air-to-air missiles [NATO code AA-8 Aphid] and 42 Kh-25 air-to-ground missiles [NATO code AS-10 Karen], to be carried out by November 10, 2023, and for an initial contract amount of 3.1 million Russian rubles [equivalent to 37,000 euros].

5. Top 5 best assault rifles in the world

Top 5 best assault rifles in the world
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This is one of the most read and perhaps the most organically searched article in the Google search engine. Written in the spring of 2020, it has been cited thousands of times, read hundreds of thousands, and reviewed millions of times.

The world has developed several hundred different models of assault rifles. All of them have disadvantages and advantages, and some are no longer used and are the property of collectors. To figure out which assault rifles is the best, the top best assault rifles in the world have been formed.

4. Turks shot down a Russian reconnaissance drone near their border

Turks shot down a Russian reconnaissance drone near their border
Photo credit: Field Souce

BulgarianMilitary.com reflects everything that is happening in Syria. In addition to working with international news agencies, we have two field sources in Syria and the Middle East. Very often our stories will not be found in the mass media. This does not mean that they do not exist.

In mid-October the Russian news agency Aviapro writes that on October 21, the Turkish anti-aircraft missile units guarding the border between Turkey and Syria shot down a Russian reconnaissance drone, model Orion 10. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that the Turks have several military bases on the border with Syria.

A field source of BulgarianMilitar.com is located in the region and found that there were no traces of impact on the fuselage of the unmanned aircraft. Our source suggests that the Turkish military used an electronic warfare system that burned the boards of the Russian drone. Evidence of this theory may be the open parachute of the drone, which was activated. This is done when there is a technical malfunction in the electronics of the aircraft, or in case of loss of electronic communication with the drone operator.

3. China begins mass production of J-20 fighters because of the WS-10 engine

China May Declare Its First Stealthy J-20 Fighter This Year
The Chinese J-20 stealth fighter jet, Photo credit: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

We are already in the top 3 of the most read defense and military news stories on Bulgarianmilter.com for 2021.

China’s every move is being monitored, especially when it comes to weapons technology. Perhaps the reason is that China does not give much information to the world about what it is doing.

On December 13, The information website Global Times, controlled by the Chinese government, announced that China has “significantly” increased the serial production of the J-20 stealth fighter. According to the authors of the news, the reason for this is the Chinese engine Shenyang WS-10. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds you that China has so far produced over 300 units of this engine.

2. Russian Su-75 Checkmate flies to the UAE and this is no accident

Vietnam sees Su-75 Checkmate fighter decorated with its flag
Photo credit: Twitter

One step ahead of the first place is news related to the latest Russian stealth fighters Su-75 Checkmate.

We reported that, the fifth-generation Checkmate light fighter will be shown for the first time at a foreign air show in the UAE. “It is planned to hold several closed presentations for delegations participating in the salon, as well as an open presentation for visitors and media representatives,” said TASS interlocutor. According to him, the aircraft will be presented to “a wide range of potential partners” at Dubai Airshow-2021 from 14 to 18 November.

If we go back four years, in 2017 at the international exhibition Index 2017 we will notice that then the Russian Federation and the United Arab Emirates came out with a message that the two countries are starting work on a project for a fifth-generation stealth fighter, which should be ready in 2025. Too many matches, don’t you think?

1. Russian tank with improvised anti-drone armor entered Ukraine

Russian-tank-with-improvised-anti-drone-armor-entered-Ukraine-
Photo credit: Twitter

The most read news in BulgarianMilitary.com for 2021 is related not so much to the tension between Ukraine and Russia, but to the somewhat strange “innovative” Russian solution for anti-drone armor.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not easing, on the contrary – the world and US intelligence expect Russia to enter Ukraine in early 2022. The reasons for such suspicions are the gathering of numerous troops around the Belarusian and Ukrainian borders.

In the last 24 hours, reports have arrived that at least one Russian tank has entered Ukraine [occupied Crimea – ed]. It is a T-80, which was with improvised anti-drone armor. Video and photos of this statement are being spread in the media.

So far, there is no information on what exactly this Russian T-80 tank is doing in the occupied Crimea, but apparently, more attention is being paid to the improvised anti-drone armor. This armor is nothing new, especially for Russian tank brigades. It is increasingly seen on armored vehicles, and their main purpose is to protect the tank from being hit by an unmanned munition or drone.

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