Monday, 11 March 2013

Lockheed Martin team delivers upgraded P-3 Orion to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

. Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) engineers have delivered to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) a P-3 Orion with new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) modifications.The P-3 MLU replaces all fatigue life-limiting structure with enhanced-design components and includes a new metal alloy that is five times more corrosion resistant than the original material, reducing the cost of ownership for P-3 operators. The upgrade removes current aircraft flight restrictions and extends the structural service life of the P-3 to up to 15,000 hours, adding more than 20 years of operational use.
"This delivery continues to underscore our unique modification, maintenance, repair, and overhaul capability," says Ray Burick, Lockheed Martin vice president for Modification, Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MMRO) Greenville Site and Field Team Operations.
This delivery marks the seventh CBP P-3 that the Lockheed Martin team has delivered ahead of or on schedule from its facility in Greenville, S.C., since July 2010. In 2012, CBP P-3s flew more than 6,500 flight hours resulting in the seizure of more than 117,000 pounds of narcotics valued at $8.7 billion.
The P-3 Orion, the standard for maritime patrol and reconnaissance, is used for homeland security, hurricane reconnaissance, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering, antisubmarine warfare, and, recently, to assist in air traffic control and natural disaster relief support.

Embraer, Sierra Nevada defend Super Tucano’s second LAS victory

Embraer and Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) have defended the selection of the A-29 Super Tucano for a US Air Force contract to supply light attack aircraft to Afghanistan.
"In evaluating the competitors, the US Air Force looked at three criteria, in priority order: mission capability, past performance and pricing in order to determine overall best value," the two companies said in a joint statement. "The A-29 received an exceptional rating on technical capability and low-risk in all other categories."
The statement follows a protest to the US General Accounting Office filed by Beechcraft, which had proposed the AT-6 Texan II for the $427 million requirement for 20 aircraft. Beechcraft claims there were errors in the acquisition process, although it has yet to provide details.
This is the second time the Super Tucano has won the competition. After it won in 2012, however, the deal was annulled after the USAF discovered irregularities in the acquisition process.
The Embraer/Sierra Nevada statement had this to say about the competition: "In announcing the award, the air force stated 'this award is the result of a full and open competition' and Lt Gen CR Davis, military deputy for acquisition in Air Force headquarters, said: 'I am confident that the source selection process was disciplined and meticulous'.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Military draft registration could end--or expand to women

On one side of the Hill, there's a quiet effort underway in Congress to abolish the Selective Service System, more commonly known as military draft registration.

Down the hall, in the Senate, other lawmakers are pushing instead to expand the draft registration now that the Pentagon has opened combat positions up to women.

Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Mike Coffman, R-Colo., are spearheading an effort in the House of Representatives to see the registration abolished, calling it a waste of money considering the success of the all-volunteer force.

"There is no one who wants this except 'chicken hawk' members of Congress," DeFazio said, referring to his colleagues who push for military action without having served themselves, who he accuses of being afraid to look weak on national security by supporting closing the agency.

The Selective Service costs $24 million a year, maintaining a database of 17 million potential draftees--all male--in the event the draft were to be reinstated.

Ukraine, Russia military mull joint housing construction in Crimea

The Ukrainian and Russian Defense Ministries are studying joint housing construction in Crimea for military men of the two countries, Ukrainian Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedev has said.

"The social issue of joint participation in housing construction for Ukrainian and Russian military men, first of all, on the territory of military housing areas, which military men left, was discussed," he said at a briefing at the Desna military training center in Chernihiv region, commenting on the results of his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu.

The minister said that there are many vacant military housing areas in Crime and Sevastopol, and he said that houses should be built there.

Lebedev added that this could be done via the attraction of private investment, creation of jobs and provide military men with apartments.

The minister said that Ukraine has raised the issue of pensions for military men.

United Arab Emirates set to buy US Predator drones

 The United Arab Emirates is close to purchasing Predator drones from a San Diego County defense contractor, sparking concern among arms control advocates.

Under the proposed sale, revealed this week at a defense conference in Abu Dhabi and confirmed Friday, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of Poway, Calif., will sell an undisclosed number of the robotic aircraft to the UAE armed forces for $197 million.

The agreement would mark the first time a non-NATO country has obtained the American-made technology, which has reshaped modern warfare. The deal has drawn scrutiny from critics who worry about the technology falling into terrorists' hands or being used by governments against their own citizens.

The UAE, notably the city-state of Dubai, has been a crossroads for banking, finance and technology as the nation emerged as an economic hub for the Arab world. It has only recently begun to tighten regulations to limit money laundering and other shady financial endeavors that attracted Islamic militants, drug smugglers and other traffickers.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

450 British UAVs Have Been Lost Or Crashed In Afghanistan And Iraq

The Guardian newspaper is reporting That Almost 450 drones operated by the British military Have crashed, broken down or lost in action beens falling on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last five years. The newspaper bases That on statistics released under Freedom of Information law.

More from the Guardian:

The Ministry of Defence disclosed for the first HAS the five time Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems used in the conflicts and the number perished That Have due to pilot error, technical faults or the undesirability of retrieving em from hostile areas.

The figures show the military HAS Reaper drone lost one since 2007 - it is the only UAV Hellfire missiles That Carries as well as monitoring and intelligence-gathering equipment. The drone, Which HAS beens not replaced, cost £ 10m.

The Patrouille Suisse will disappear from the aerial landscape from 2016

The Defence Minister Ueli Maurer expects to be without the services of the famous Patrouille Suisse in 2016. Formation aerobatic flight of Air Force enthusiasm for decades spectators in Switzerland and abroad.

The F-5E Tiger aircraft in the colors red-white air should disappear from the landscape, Maurer revealed through a committee meeting of the security policy of the National Council (SPC) on the Gripen aircraft. The Chair of the Committee Chantal Galladé (PS / ZH) confirmed this to the ats information published in the "Basler Zeitung" on Wednesday.

Ms. Galladé discussed the possibility of hiring older models Gripen in 2016 to ensure the transition between the F-5E Tiger and new Gripen aircraft. Mr. Maurer has not ruled out in the future to make occasional demonstrations of aerobatic flying with other devices. These would relate nonetheless more national colors.

Lockheed continues to upgrade Apache

Two contracts to produce continuous upgrading Apache U.S. Army helicopters Have Been Given to Lockheed Martin.

The awards - for upgrading of the attack helicopter's Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight / Pilot Night Vision Sensor - are worth $ 161.7 million and Ensure That Production at the company's Missiles and Fire Control's facilities in Florida will continue into 2016.

Work under the new contracts will include generation of 482 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly Modernized Laser Rangefinder Designator kits and spares.

"These two producing batches Represent our continued confidence in Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to Provide a high-performing, high-quality, reliable LRFD for the AH-64D / E," Said Lt. Col. Steve Van Riper, U.S. Army Apache Sensors product manager of. "We look forward to our first delivery and fielding of this capability Subsequent."

The French navy team guns multitubes Dillon

Finally, modern light artillery! The Navy has acquired the U.S. company Dillon Aero M134 machine guns multitubes. This system has six carriages coupled 7.62mm capable of firing 3000 rounds per minute. Although not remotely operated and therefore require a servant, we imagine that the arrival of Dillon M134 is highly appreciated by the French sailors were forced to settle far for the defense at very short range, old "sprayers" type AN F1 from the 60s ...

Proven in many armed forces on land, sea and air (including the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy), the American system, more powerful and accurate, significantly strengthens the self-protection of buildings, especially against asymmetric threats, such as attacks speedboats. The first units are equipped French frigate La Fayette type (two per building Dillon), for which the system could be very useful during their deployments off the coast of Somalia in the fight against piracy. The use of Dillon could then expand to other platforms, such as projection and command, where the Navy wants to strengthen self-protection.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Northrop showing ISR capabilities

Northrop Grumman says it's showcasing a full range of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products this week in India.

The venue is the Aero India 2013 exhibition and air show in Bengaluru The program is organized by the Organization and Defense Exhibition begins Wednesday.

"ISR capability is critical to effective homeland security and our leadership in multiple-domain ISR Strongly positions Northrop Grumman to help create solutions for India's defense modernization," Said Mary Petryszyn, vice president, International, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We are excited to offer our core capabilities to Advancing Indian naval, military and homeland security Priorities."

A major capability on show will be the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning system designed newly That couples Electronically Scanned radar with a matching suite of sensors, avionics, processors, software and displays.

Draws more partners Embraer KC-390 jet to

Brazilian manufacturer Embraer Defense has added more international partners to icts marketing program for KC-390, Said to be a cheaper alternative to Lockheed Martin's C-130J.

The C-130J tactical updates the Internationally renowned transportation workhorse C-130 Hercules, the four-engine turboprop military transportation aircraft That was designed and built by Originally Lockheed precursor to Lockheed Martin.

The fast-aging C-130, modified in more than 40 versions since it first flew in the 1950s, is still used by more than 60 nations worldwide goal the tactical air transport market HAS expanded with the entry of rivals. The Hercules family still claims the longest continuous run of Production Any military aircraft in history.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Vice President Biden: US Ready For Direct Nuclear Iran Negotiations

The United States is ready for direct talks with Iran if it is serious about negotiations, Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday, backing bilateral contact many see as crucial to easing a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Biden said Iran - which says it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy only - now faced "the most robust sanctions in history" meant to ensure it does not develop nuclear weapons.

"But we have also made clear that Iran's leaders need not sentence their people to economic deprivation and international isolation," Biden said. "There is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed. The ball is in the government of Iran's court."

To date, fitful talks on Iran's nuclear program have been between Tehran and the EU's top diplomat representing six world powers including Washington. But analysts have suggested that with his re-election behind him, President Barack Obama might have more leeway to take on direct negotiations with Iran.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Thales opens Canadian center

A defense and security center to develop and showcase Thales Canada's technology for the country's military has been inaugurated in the province of Ontario.

The center is in Queen's University's Innovation Park in Kingston.

Thales said its initial focus will be on its continuing work for the Canadian army's Land Command Support System, including the design, development and support of the army's command-and-control system.

"The Innovation Park site will allow Thales to expand its support to educate; develop procedures, training packages, simulations and demos; and better plan user engagement activities at Canadian army sites," said Mark Halinaty, vice president and general manager of Thales Canada, Defense and Security.

Afghan air force must adapt post-ISAF, says Hammond

Ending the involvement of nations fighting Including the UK and the USA in Afghanistan's fight against the Taliban will require the nation to use the limited resources available to it, DESPITE issues currently facing two icts of key equipment areas.

"On air support, Including rotary, there is a Plan to Provide basic air capability to the Afghans through the Afghan air force," UK defense secretary Philip Hammond Told a House of Commons Defence Committee hearing on 23 January.

"It Would Be Goal nothing like the level of air capability que le ISAF [NATO-led International Security Assistance Force] forces, have. 'Em That will require to adapt Their method of operations to the level of available enablers That Are for Them."

Hammond gave evidence to the committee days after discussing Afghanistan's nascent defense capabilities falling on a January 19 meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in London.

Ultra Electronics Marine Systems Maintenance Work To Do On Victoria Class Submarines

The government has Announced award contract to Ultra Electronics Marine Systems Inc., Of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for work on the NCR's submarines.

The $ 6.9 million contract covers maintenance work on the towed-array sonar on Canada's fleet of four Victoria-class submarines, selon the news release from DND. Carried out the work under this three-year contract.

Franco-British cooperation: a high-flying adventure

The Franco-British cooperation continues on his way. Recently, two significant events have illustrated the strong links between the Air Force and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

February 1, 2013, General Denis Mercier, Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CEMAA) and its counterpart AirChief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, WOD co-signed (Of Objectives Directive - Directive annual performance) City of air and air base 117, Paris. This document, updated every year, nearly 80 joint projects between the two air forces.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Not Even the Pentagon Bomb Squad Knows How Fast Insurgent IEDs Degrade

Like all wars, the war in Afghanistan must someday end. But the end of its signature weapon may not arrive on the same schedule.

Insurgents’ homemade bombs, known as improvised explosive devices, look increasingly like a lasting fixture on the early-21st century battlefield. The Pentagon’s bomb squad warns that the cheap, easily fabricated family of explosives are spreading all around the world. But it doesn’t know how long the devices themselves last.

The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, JIEDDO, collects sheafs of data about the bombs. It knows what sorts of materials go into the bombs, where the materials come from, what countermeasures succeed at stopping the blasts (and which ones fail), and how many of them turn out to be duds. But to date, it hasn’t acquired any data about the lifespan of an improvised explosive device. “There are no historical records or analysis documenting how effective emplaced and undetonated IEDs may become over time,” David Small, JIEDDO’s spokesman, tells Danger Room.

That means the U.S. is largely blind to how long an explosive device nestled in an Afghan culvert will remain a threat to civilians even after the hypothetical day when insurgents close their bomb factories. (After all, those factories don’t stamp a date of manufacture on their deadly weapons.) The fact is IEDs are constructed to kill people with minimal technological sophistication. They’re not constructed to be durable. But the science associated with the materials used in the bombs indicates that they’re likely to remain lethal for a year or more after they’re assembled.

Russia Denies Selling China A New Fleet Of Deadly Bombers

It looks like the news that China had just bought the entire Tu-22M3 Backfire bomber production line was unfounded.
According to the ITAR-TASS News Agency, the Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state arms export corporation denied any negotiations with China on the Backfire bombers.
Reports about the upcoming supply to China of Tu-22 strategic bombers is pure “newspaper’s duck”, Rosoboronexport  spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko said.
Usually, the Russian state intermediary agency for military import/export doesn’t comment news other than that published on official media outlets. However, they felt the need to deny the news of the Backfire sale since the aircraft is a strategic asset that, as such, can’t be sold to foreign countries.
As written in the first article on the topic, it was the third time in recent years that Chinese websites and Russian media outlet had given the news that Russia was about to sell China what needed to build 36 long-range swing wing attack planes to counter the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea.

In Speech, Japanese PM Points to Beefed-Up Military

Japan faces a “diplomatic and security crisis,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Jan. 28, a day after his defense minister announced plans to strengthen the military amid a bitter dispute with China.

The proposal to raise the defense budget by 40 billion yen ($441 million), or about 0.8 percent in the year starting from April, sparked criticism from Beijing. The plan also calls for a small increase in personnel for the228,000-strong military, the first such rise in about 20 years.

Abe, in his first speech to parliament since taking office last month, spoke of “continuous provocations” faced by his country, “causing us to face a diplomatic and security crisis.”

“By taking full measures to develop, manage and safeguard remote islands near our borders, I declare now that, under this cabinet, we will firmly defend the lives and property of Japanese people as well as our territories, territorial waters and territorial air space,” he added.

Tokyo’s plans sparked criticism from Beijing amid the sovereignty dispute over an East China Sea island chain.

China Unveils Military Plane That Boosts Global Reach

China’s new heavy-lift transport aircraft and a successful missile interception test are key steps in expanding the strength and reach of China’s armed forces, analysts and state media said Jan. 28.

The Y-20, China’s biggest home-produced military transport jet to date, took to the skies for its maiden flight Jan. 26 in the northwest of the country, just months after Beijing’s first aircraft carrier entered service. Pictures showed the bulky green plane — an aircraft that will enable China to project military power across vast distances — soaring into a clear blue sky.

The state-run Global Times hailed the flight of the plane, numbered 20001, as a “significant milestone,” saying China needed the aircraft to “enhance its global power projection”.

The Y-20 will allow China’s military to end its dependence on the Russian-made Il-76, a mainstay of humanitarian and disaster relief around the world, the paper quoted a military expert as saying.

The Y-20 has a maximum payload of 66 tons, which it can carry as far as 4,400 kilometers (2,700 miles), the China Daily said, and with 55 tons onboard, it could fly from western China to Cairo. It is big enough to hold the heaviest tank used by China’s army, the paper added, quoting a military expert as saying that “the heavy air freighters will ensure that we are able to safeguard our interests overseas.”

Is China Next To Suffer A Debt Crisis?

Ever since the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the pending one in the United States, investors and financial pundits have been wondering whether the next big shoe to drop was in China. After all, it’s the world’s second largest economy after the U.S., and its government spends like a drunken sailor.
While the chances of a full blow China debt crisis are low, the risk is real, warns Barclays Capital in a 31 page report released Monday.
China is a closed system. The debt remains in the hands of the public. Foreign entities pose no real threat to it,unlike in other countries where foreign investors could sell out of debt or short it, causing large spikes in yields and making interest payments less affordable.  Think Greece and Spain for example. China is at no one’s mercy, except its own.
The real result of China’s overspend is a Japanification of its economy in the long-run.  For the country itself, it might not be such a terrible thing. Japan is modern. It is home to some of the biggest brands in the world. Society is stable and middle class. China is not yet any of those things. And while comparing China to Japan is like comparing Brazilian soccer players to Argentinians, the debt of the Chinese government and its state-owned banks is growing and that points to a slowdown in the China growth story.

The Cloud Over China

Beijing has some seriously bad air. How bad? On a scale of 1 to 500, the United States Environmental Protection Agency says anything over 100 is unhealthy and anything above 400 is an emergency. Recently, the pollution index for Beijing hit 755. For purposes of breathing, it's like being downwind of a forest fire while smoking a cigar.

China's communist rulers normally suppress news like that. In 2009, when the U.S. embassy in Beijing started putting air quality numbers on its Twitter feed, the government demanded in vain that it stop. But when your air contains enough foreign matter to mold bricks, it's hard to claim the sky is blue. And lately, the authorities have decided censorship of the topic is futile.

"I've never seen such broad Chinese media coverage of air pollution," a Beijing consultant named Jeremy Goldkorn told The New York Times. "From People's Daily to China Central Television, the story is being covered thoroughly, without trying to put a positive spin on it." In November, the outgoing president actually acknowledged the need to combat environmental destruction.

Pollution is not the only detectable thing in the Chinese air lately. This month, after the government interfered with an editorial in a national newspaper based in Guangzhou, protesters mounted some of the boldest demonstrations since the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement -- while for several days, police stood by and let them.

Chants were heard that ordinarily could have brought harsh punishment: "Down with the Communist Party!" Unlike Tiananmen, these didn't end in mass bloodshed. The newspaper whose staffers had threatened to strike was not closed down.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Unplanned pregnancies may be on rise in military

Despite access to free contraceptives, unplanned pregnancies are a rising problem for women in the U.S. military, according to a new study.

Nearly 11% of more than 7,000 active-duty women surveyed by the Department of Defense in 2008 reported an unplanned pregnancy during the previous year. That's 50% higher than the average rate in the United States, the study authors say. The study, publishing next month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, also notes that the rate has increased since 2005.

Authors Dr. Daniel Grossman and Kate Grindlay analyzed data from the 2005 and 2008 Department of Defense Survey of Health Related Behaviors, which they obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

"It's alarming," Grossman said of the increasing rate. "When you're in the military, that's actually one time where you have access to free, good quality health care. ... It really highlights the need to better address contraceptive care."

Pratt Shifts to Sustainment as Last F119 Delivered

This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.

Pratt & Whitney has delivered the last production F119 engine for the Lockheed Martin F-22 stealth fighter, and is shifting its attention to support continuing development of component improvements.

Handed over on Jan. 17, the 507th F119 was the last of 39 spare engines ordered by the U.S. Air Force following the decision to terminate production of the F-22 after 187 aircraft. The final F-22 was delivered in May 2012.

"The F119 was the first afterburning, low-observable engine, the first with supercruise and the first production engine with thrust vectoring," says Bennet Croswell, president of military engines at Pratt & Whitney.

Random alcohol tests for sailors in US

The Navy said Wednesday it will conduct random blood-alcohol tests on its sailors in the United States starting next month, a sign of how concerned the service's leaders have become about the effects alcohol abuse is having on the force.

The tests are part of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus' 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative, an expansive program intended to improve the well-being of sailors and Marines after more than a decade at war.

The Marines announced it would carry out its own random alcohol tests last month. While alcohol has long played a part in the Navy's culture, Navy officials stressed they aren't trying to stop sailors from drinking altogether, but are concerned about their health and safety.

U.S. Military Seeks Its Role In Troubled North Africa

The recent crises in northern Africa, from Libya to Mali to Algeria, have raised a host of questions about the role of the American military command responsible for the entire continent.

Founded in 2007, the United States Africa Command, or AFRICOM, was created to train African militaries so U.S. troops would not be called upon in times of crisis.

But the command was controversial from day one. When President George W. Bush visited Ghana in 2008, the command was barely up and running. During that visit, Ghanaian President John Kufuor told Bush bluntly that he would not allow the U.S. to build bases in Ghana.

Bush attempted to quell the concern, but the U.S. received a similar reception elsewhere in Africa. Ultimately, the Africa Command headquarters ended up in Stuttgart, Germany.

Russian military recruits to undergo 'gay tattoo' checks in new Kremlin clampdown on homosexuality

  1. Conscripts and contract soldiers to be given a thorough examination 
  2. Special attention to tattoos near the face, sexual organs and buttocks 
  3. But many officers have already rejected the 'impractical' guidelines
  4. Comes amid recent backlash against homosexuality and Western values
  5. Almost a third of Russians think homosexuality is result of 'a sickness'
Russian military recruits are to be checked for certain types of tattoo which authorities believe could reveal signs of homosexuality under new technical guidelines issued from the Kremlin.
Conscripts and contract soldiers should be given a thorough physical examination looking for tattoos in intimate places, the Defense Ministry's central administration recommends.

The guidelines, which are based on a military psychology textbook from 2005, specify that special attention should be paid to tattoos near the face, sexual organs and buttocks, which could reveal possible sexual deviations.
The text reads: 'The reason for getting tattoos could indicate a low cultural or educational level.
'If an influence by external factors is determined, for example, persuasion or direct coercion, this indicates the malleability of the young man, his disposition to submit to another's will.'
The guide also outlines a range of warning signs for potential mental instability which include early sexual experience and 'uncontrolled sexual behavior'.

Taiwan Drill Simulates Chinese Attack on Airport

Taiwan held a military exercise Jan. 23 simulating an attempt by rival China to seize an airport in the east, one of the most crucial military establishments in the area, officials said.

Hundreds of soldiers and a fleet of main battle tanks were mobilized in the drill at Hualien airbase, while F-16 fighters were scrambled, air force officials said.

Ties between China and Taiwan have improved significantly since Beijing-friendly Ma Ying-jeou became the island’s president in 2008, vowing to adopt a non-confrontational policy toward the mainland. Ma was re-elected in January last year for a second and last four-year term.

USS Guardian Aground On Philippine Reef 'Taking In Water'

A US Navy minesweeper stuck on a coral reef in a Unesco heritage site off the Philippine coast is badly damaged and taking in water, officials say.
The USS Guardian struck the reef in the Sulu Sea south-east of Palawan island last Thursday after completing a port call at the former Subic Bay base.
US officials say a salvage operation could take weeks to complete.
The reef is in the Tubbataha National Marine Park, designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
There had been hopes that the ship could simply be towed off the reef, but officials said the vessel was too badly damaged for that and that the first priority was to pump fuel out of the ship as it was being battered by rough waters.
Divers from the Philippines coast guard have been inspecting the reef for damage
"It's got hull penetrations in several places, and there's a significant amount of water inside the ship right now," said Rear Adm Thomas Carney, commander of the Navy's Logistics Group in the Western Pacific.
He said the salvage operation would be "a very deliberate complicated process" which could involve two or more US Navy ships and take up to two weeks to complete.
All 79 of the ship's crew were transferred to a smaller vessel for safety reasons. No-one was hurt in the incident.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Running Out Of Men, Syrian Army Recruits Women To Fill Their Ranks

The Lionesses Of Syria: Assad Recruits Army Of Women As He Starts To Run Out Of Men 

  • Up to 500 women trained as soldiers for Assad's army
  • They are decked out in army fatigues and armed with Kalashnikovs
  • Critics say it is a propaganda tactic so rebels will be forced to kill women

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has recruited an army of women to guard checkpoints and carry out security checks in an attempt to plug the holes left by defections and casualties in his dwindling army.
Up to 500 women have been drafted into the new paramilitary force known as the 'Lionesses for National Defence.' 
They have been in trained at a boot camp in Wadi al-Dahab in the Syrian city of Homs.
They form part of the recently formed 10,000-strong National Defence Force (NDF), a key part of Assad's counter insurgency strategy, as the president desperately tries to regain control of the country's towns and cities.
Decked out in army fatigues and armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, the women have also been seen guarding areas of Homs where the majority of locals are known to support the government's regime.
Part of their role is to carry out security checks on veiled women.
A grainy video uploaded four days ago to clearly shows at least ten women guarding a checkpoint in Palmyra, Homs

A piece of British aircraft carrier made Ales

While the company is saving procedure, it continues to demonstrate its know-how very special. Industries for Tamaris is a project that should demonstrate the capacity of the company to produce exceptional pieces.

Mali: Harper plans to increase Canadian aid

 Canada plans to expand its support for the mission in Mali, but still deviates direct military aid, said Wednesday Prime Minister Stephen Harper .

"I'd like to see a broad consensus in the country on what we should do," he said while he was in Cambridge, Ontario, for an announcement in the car .

Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda took control of the north and made advances toward the south. According to the UN, tens of thousands of civilians have fled the combat zones.

France leads including air strikes against armed rebels trying to slow their progress.

For now, Canada sent a cargo plane to help French troops, after a request for support from the government of François Hollande. The Canadian C-17 is used to carry heavy equipment.

U.S. Military Chief Panel Improvements Focus On Policy

 In yearlong preparation for a December meeting That Will Shape European Union defense policy, the chair of the EU's Military Committee HAS urged fresh ideas to Strengthen the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy and Improve the availability of civilian and military capabilities for That purpose.

"[The December meeting] must allow us to improve the way we build, today, still more solidarity so That we are in a position tomorrow, to Numerous sponds to the challenges Europe That Will certainly be faced with," Said Gen. Patrick Rousiers at a hearing of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament in January 23.

In other remarks, he was disarming Europe Noted That while the world rearms, and That since 2001, the proportion of Europe's military expenditure Has Fallen from 29 percent of the world's total to 20 percent.

"What can a spot of Europe 500 million Inhabitants Have credible if it Does not Have to Ensure capacity icts security?" He Asked rhetorically.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Military cuts could mean 8,000 fewer soldiers at Fort Bragg

The Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Realignment report released on Friday outlines potential cuts to 21 U.S. military bases.
Among several options being considered is an 8,000 soldier reduction at Fort Bragg by 2020. That’s the maximum cut allowed. The potential cuts come just years after thousands moved to Fort Bragg as part of base realignment.
Currently, the report is just a proposal and no official decisions on cuts have been made.
Local businesses like Southern Son Tattoo Studio, where more than 75 percent of business is military, say an 8,000 reduction in troops would be a blow to business.
“We have a lot of military because by word of mouth when a soldier gets a tattoo, the next person tells the next person in his unit, then the whole unit eventually comes in,” Tony Lugo said. “If you do good work, people come back but if there's no soldiers here -- it doesn't matter.”
No word yet on which units would be cut. Considering soldier spouses and dependents, the report estimates the total population of the military could be decreased by 20,000.
Chris Martin has owned E-Z Auto in Fayetteville for more than two decades and says 20 percent of sales are to military customers.

Fiscal crisis, budget battle mark Panetta's tenure

As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's plane returned home Saturday night, completing his final official overseas trip, his staff gathered to salute his time as Pentagon chief and present him with a symbol of his tenure: a plastic meat ax.
After 19 months at the helm of the world's largest military, Panetta may go down in history as the CIA director who got Osama bin Laden. But his time in the Pentagon came at a critical moment - dominated by the nation's fiscal crisis and an endless struggle to protect the defense budget from billions of dollars in automatic spending cuts that he has repeatedly likened to a meat ax.
For President Barack Obama, Panetta's experience as a congressman and as budget director in the Clinton administration made him the perfect choice to take on Capitol Hill as the fiscal cliff loomed. So for the last year and a half, Panetta has cajoled, convinced and at times castigated lawmakers in his effort to protect the defense budget.
Lawmakers "just got to suck it up and take on some of the risks," Panetta told soldiers at a stop in Vincenza, Italy, during the trip. He said he tells lawmakers, "I've got men and women in uniform that put their lives on the line in order to fight for this country - you can have a small bit of the courage they have to do what you have to do."
The budget battle has eaten up much of his time, even as he oversaw the military's final, formal days in Iraq, the start of the last drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, and the end of the successful NATO campaign to end Moammar Gadhafi's reign in Libya.

China’s Focus on Aerospace Raises Security Questions

When Airbus executives arrived here seven years ago scouting for a location to assemble passenger jets, the broad, flat expanse next to Tianjin Binhai International Airport was a grassy field.
Now, Airbus, the European aerospace giant, has 20 large buildings and is churning out four A320 jetliners a month for mostly Chinese state-controlled carriers. The company also has two new neighbors — a sprawling rocket factory and a helicopter manufacturing complex — both producing for the Chinese military.
The rapid expansion of civilian and military aerospace manufacturing in Tianjin reflects China’s broader ambitions.
As Beijing’s leaders try to find new ways to invest $3 trillion of foreign reserves, the country has been aggressively expanding in industries with strong economic potential. The Chinese government and state-owned companies have already made a major push into financial services and natural resources, acquiring stakes in Morgan Stanley and Blackstone and buying oil and gas fields around the world.
Aerospace represents the latest frontier for China, which is eyeing parts manufacturers, materials producers, leasing businesses, cargo airlines and airport operators. The country now rivals the United States as a market for civilian airliners, which China hopes to start supplying from domestic production. And the new leadership named at the Party Congress in November has publicly emphasized long-range missiles and other aerospace programs in its push for military modernization.

Defense Ministry tests 'upgraded' Iron Dome

Upgrades designed to give the rocket defense system "improved capabilities against an unprecedented range of threats.The Defense Ministry is holding a series of tests of an upgraded version of the Iron Dome rocket defense system, together with manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense systems.

The upgrades are designed to give the Iron Dome “improved capabilities against an unprecedented range of threats,” the Defense Ministry said on Monday. “The test, which was completed successfully, will lead to an upgrade in Iron Dome’s operational capabilities.”

One improved Iron Dome battery, which is capable of intercepting projectiles with a longer range, was deployed in the midst of Operation Pillar of Defense in November to defend the greater Tel Aviv area. It shot down several mediumrange Iranian-made Fajr 5 rockets fired by terrorists from Gaza at central Israel.

The Air Force deployed five Iron Dome batteries during the Gaza conflict, which succeeded in intercepting more than 90 percent of Palestinian rockets heading towards city centers.

Typically, two interceptors are fired at every incoming threat, though if one interceptor carries out the task successfully, the second is sent to an open area to self destruct.

Last year, Israel and the US carried out tests on the David’s Sling defense system, designed to stop medium- range rockets and cruise missiles, bringing the country a step closer to having an active defense shield against Hezbollah’s arsenal of projectiles.

New Chinese ship (LHD) causes alarm

POWER PROJECTION:By as early as 2014, the Chinese navy could have at its disposal a vessel that could dramatically change the face of an amphibious attack on Taiwan


A 22,000-tonne landing helicopter dock (LHD) under development in China has sparked alarm in defense circles in Taiwan, with some analysts saying the ship could cause a “strategic shift” in the Taiwan Strait.
The design, first unveiled by state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Co (CSIC, 中國船舶重工集團公司) — the country’s largest shipbuilding conglomerate — at the Defense and Security 2012 exhibition in Bangkok in early March, is believed to be the Type 081 LHD that defense enthusiasts have been expecting for years.
According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, CSIC confirmed the existence of a Type 081 program in 2007, but at the time it refused to disclose further details. The design phase of the vessel was reportedly completed in 2006, with engineering design beginning soon afterwards.
The 211m long LHD will be capable of carrying an impressive eight helicopters on deck, with hangar space for four more, or for hovercraft. It will also have capacity to accommodate 1,068 marines and will be equipped with phased-array radar, four short-range air-defense launchers and anti-submarine warfare capability.
Its operational range is expected to be 7,000 nautical miles (13,000km), with an endurance of up to 30 days at sea.

The Type 081 was reportedly inspired by the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship operated by the French Navy. Some analysts have also pointed to similarities with the 18,000-tonne Hyuga-class helicopter carrier used by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force since 2009.
Defense analysts say CSIC is fully capable of building the LHD, especially following the experience gained by Chinese shipbuilders with three 20,000-tonne Type 071 Yuzhao-class amphibious transport docks, the last of which was launched in September, with a fourth rumored to be on the way. Despite having a similar displacement to the Type 081, the Type 071 can only accommodate two Z-8 heavy transport helicopters.
Assuming that the timeframe for construction of the Type 081 is similar to that for the Type 071, the first Type 081 could be launched as early as 2014. China’s first Type 071 was launched in December 2006, two years after the model was first unveiled.
Some reports indicate that the People’s Liberation Army Navy might be seeking to acquire as many as three Type 081s for its operations.
The Chinese government has yet to confirm whether CSIC has begun construction of the Type 081.
Given its ability to carry various types of helicopters — Z-8 and Z-9 transport and Z-10 attack helicopters, among others — a large number of marines and landing craft, analysts are saying that the Type 081 would greatly enhance the Chinese navy’s ability to launch humanitarian operations as well as project force beyond its shores, a reflection of the strategic choices made by the Chinese navy in recent years.
It would also play a key, possibly game-changing role in any amphibious assault on Taiwan or against other adversaries in the South China Sea.


Shakeup at Defence Research and Development Canada

Defence Research and Development Canada hatched plans in late November to re-align the organization as it faces budget and job cuts in the future.

This was sent out to staff by the DRDC CEO and then it eventually found its way
to Defence Watch:

“A Science &Technology (S&T)program that supports the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence (DND) is the raison d’être of DRDC.

For that reason, as part of the transformation of the Agency, we are changing our governance and the way in which we align our business with the needs and priorities of our clients.

Key to this transformation is a change to the mandate of Directors General (DGs) at DRDC; I have now asked DGs to build S&T programs that will be closely aligned with the CF/DND needs.

In this new construct, which becomes fully operational on 1 April 2013, DGs will be required to focus all their attention on the formulation and delivery of the S&T program, rather than on the day-to-day management of the DRDC Centre for which they currently have responsibility.

To allow for the requisite planning to occur over the coming months and to prepare for this change, I am assigning a DG to each environment or sector of the CF and DND as follows:

Army                                                 Guy Vézina
Navy and Air Force                       Dale Reding
Personnel                                        Susan Truscott
CJOC                                                 Cam Boulet
CFD                                                    Maria Rey and Ross Graham

Support to decision making         Ross Graham

DGs will be accountable to their client and to DRDC for the formulation and delivery of S&T aligned with the short and long term needs of the CF and DND. DGs will be the point of entry for the client to all of DRDC’s national expertise.  Of course, employees who have working relationships with clients at other levels will continue these relationships.

And by way of background:

Documents leaked to the Citizen last year show that Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is taking a significant share of the government’s cuts at DND; it’s budget has been slashed by 13 per cent and its workforce will be reduced by 15 per cent or 242 full-time jobs.

As a result of the layoffs, the defence science organization is stopping work on a bomb detection project at its Suffield, Alberta site. The Counter Terrorism Technology Centre at Suffield, which conducts research into chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents, will also be scaled back. Some robotics work will be cut and commitments to research for public security programs will be reviewed.

Scientists at DRDC Ottawa will reduce their efforts in computer network security and support for radar system design work, according to the documents. Basic research into naval radar will be stopped.

In a statement emailed to the Citizen at the time, DRDC chief executive officer Marc Fortin noted that “DRDC is assessing the Science &Technology (S&T) program and carefully reviewing how we can conduct our business more efficiently. Program efficiencies were carefully planned by ensuring that DRDC’s existing S&T capabilities are focused on the areas of highest priority to our CF/DND clients and public security partners.”

Fortin stated in the email that DRDC’s research is “best aligned with the priorities of our clients. Despite efforts to minimize the impact on our personnel, these changes mean that we need to carefully chart the way forward for a leaner and more focused organization.”

U.S. Navy Expands Partnership Brazil

NOC Brazil Expands Partnership

RIO DE JANEIRO --- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm.. Jonathan Greenert Concluded a weeklong visit to Brazil Saturday, January 19 Where he spoke with naval leadership, toured multiple navy and marine corps bases, maritime and expanded partnership opportunities.

One of the main objective of the visit was to meet with Greenert for the Commander of the Brazilian Navy Adm. Julio Soares de Moura Neto, who Greenert Refers to have a steadfast friend and partner in this Economically vibrant country with growing military capabilities.

Greenert's visit symbolically year of construction the U.S. Navy's commitment to the two navies, maritime partnership with roots reaching back to WWII.

Officially Greenert prolonged the relationship through a personal invitation to Moura Neto and the Brazilian navy to take part in the multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.

Greenert and Moura Neto aussi secured future cooperation Opportunities entre le through the two nations joined signing memoranda of understanding of two, one of Which is to continue the Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP), Which allows for Brazilian and U.S. officers to swap jobs and learn defense practices from the host country.

The other memorandum signed by Both naval chiefs Enacted the Foreign Service Liaison Officers memorandum of understanding, Which topping has a liaison officer to command specific to his or her country Represent Regarding matters of government policies, procedures, laws and règlements.

Expressed his appreciation Moura Neto Greenert and for the U.S. Navy by bestowing upon him the Brazilian Order of Merit Award for distinguished service and exceptional contributions to the Citizens and country of Brazil. Greenert accepted the award on Behalf of the U.S. Navy with a sincere declaration of continued naval support. "This visit Emphasized the importance HAS really of my relationship with Adm. Moura Neto and our Navy," Greenert said.

Greenert's trip Began in the capital city of Brasilia on Monday Where he, his naval counterpart Moura Neto and senior naval officers sat Brazilian down for a round table discussion about maritime Numerous topics.

The visit continued with a tour for Greenert Aramar of the Nuclear Facility and various military facilities in Rio de Janeiro, Including the Itaguai Submarine Submarine Base and Shipyard Which facility is under construction. While in Rio, Greenert STATED the U.S. Navy will assist with lessons learned from Brazil the development of the U.S. nuclear submarine program to help foster Brazil's subsurface capabilities.

"I find it impressive," Said Greenert of the Brazilian submarine program. "I find it innovative and I think que le Brazilian navy, the Brazilian government and the defense establishment is very forward looking."Greenert added, "I'm very impressed with the professionalism, the investment of time and people and of the technology."

In honor of Greenert's visit and capabilities as a military demonstration, the Brazilian Navy and Marine Corps amphibious assault Executed a live exercise, a simulated pilot rescue Performed Mission and paraded by marine marine amphibious force at the division headquarters near Rio de Janeiro.

Greenert spoke at a press conference with attached Moura Neto to Discuss his visit, the impact on him it HAD Effective talking with the Brazilian navy's leadership and seeing sailors and marines Their in person."I would put my opinion or my feeling of the Brazilian navy at the very top," Greenert said. "The government and the Brazilian navy Have the best vision for what is the right security in the Atlantic and I would view as the leader em que area."
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