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Monitor The Strategic Trends


Weapons Proliferation

      Modern Technology has made it possible for countries all over the world to possess the means for controlling their own populations and to threaten other nations with mass destruction. It no longer matters whether a nation is rich or poor, large or small, first world or third world. Almost anyone can make or purchase weapons that 50 years ago could not even be imagined.









Barry McGuire




Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense



Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense


Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense


US commitment to NATO 'unwavering' despite Trump: Kerry

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Brussels (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
The US commitment to NATO will remain "unwavering" despite the change of administration following the election of Donald Trump as president, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday. "The change of the administration will not change the unwavering commitment of the US to... our NATO obligations," Kerry said after talks with his NATO counterparts in Brussels. "The US commitm

Sanctions renewal shows US still 'enemy': Iran's Rouhani

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Tehran (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that Congress's decision to renew US sanctions for 10 years would elicit a "harsh reaction" and proved the United States was still an enemy. "America... is our enemy, we have no doubt about this. The Americans want to put as much pressure on us as they can," Rouhani said in a speech to students at Tehran University. The Iran Sanctions Act pa

Trump says new Air Force One too costly: 'Cancel order!'

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump called Tuesday - via Twitter - for the cancellation of a multi-billion dollar Boeing contract to build the next Air Force One, calling the ballooning costs "ridiculous." Converting a pair of 747-8 jumbo jets to state-of-the-art luxury command centers by 2024 had been estimated to cost $3 billion when Boeing was picked for the job in January 2015, but since then

'Rookie' Trump must fall into line: China media

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
Donald Trump is a "diplomatic rookie" who must learn not to cross Beijing on issues like trade and Taiwan, Chinese state media said Tuesday, warning America could pay dearly for his naivety. Trump's protocol-shattering call with Taiwan's president and a subsequent Twitter tirade against Beijing's policies could risk upending the delicate balance between the world's two largest economies, maj

Japan PM Abe won't apologise at Pearl Harbor: government

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will honour war dead but won't apologise when he becomes the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor this month, a top government spokesman said Tuesday. The move follows Barack Obama's historic May trip to Hiroshima, the first by a sitting US president, where he spoke of victims' suffering but offered no apology for dropping the world's first nuclear bomb.

Turning point as social media tackles online 'terror'

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
Facing mounting pressure to use their technological clout to curb the spread of jihadist propaganda, major US social networks have finally joined forces in an effort to curb "terrorist content." Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google-owned YouTube announced Monday a drive to stop the proliferation of videos and messages showing beheadings, executions and other gruesome content, posted by th

2 million Israelis exposed to rocket fire, says report

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Jerusalem (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
More than two million Israelis lack adequate shelter in case of rockets fired from Gaza to the south or from Lebanon or Syria to the north, an official report said Tuesday. State comptroller Yossef Shapira, who is in charge of assessing state policies and the use of public funds, said in the report that Israel had not learned its lesson from the July-August 2014 Gaza war, when Palestinian gr

Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) Dec 5, 2016
Authorities in Russia's Siberian region of Tuva on Monday were examining several pieces of the Progress cargo spaceship found after it crashed last week having failed to reach orbit. Two pieces, including a large spherical object, were found by herders over the weekend, while another was discovered in the courtyard of a residential house on Monday, said the region's head Sholban Karaa-ool, w

'Spy' toys face complaints from EU, US watchdogs

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Brussels (AFP) Dec 6, 2016
EU and US consumer watchdogs announced Tuesday they are filing complaints against a clutch of smart toys that can "spy" on children and their homes, for allegedly breaching privacy and data protection laws. The complaints target smart toys My Friend Cayla, i-QUE Intelligent Robot and Hello Barbie, according to the European Consumer Organisation BEUC and US groups like the Electronic Privacy

Sky's the Limit: Russia's Unique Jamming System Getting Upgrade

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Dec 06, 2016
There is nothing to compete with the advanced Borisoglebsk-2 Russian electronic warfare system either at home or abroad, Danil Gatilov, spokesman for Russia's United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation, told Sputnik. In an interview with Sputnik Iran, Danil Gatilov, spokesman for Russia's United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation, touted the performance characteristics the Russian Boris

Why Russia's revived 'Ghost Trains' fuel so much fear in the West

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Dec 06, 2016
Commenting on the recent successful pop-up launch tests of a Russian-made intercontinental ballistic missile on the advanced Barguzin rail-based strategic missile complex, German media have sounded a clear alarm, calling it "a nightmare," however noting that it comes only in response to the west's build-up on Russia's borders. The testing took place at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in early November,

Northrop Grumman taps Saab to help produce ground-based AESA radars

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington Dec 5, 2016
Saab has received an $18.6 million contract to provide supporting AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar components for the U.S. Marine Corps. The contract supports the development of the first ground-based multimission active electronically scanned array radar by the U.S. Department of Defense. Once completed, the radars will be used for air defense, ground weapon locating, and air traffic co

Gamifying the Search for Strategic Surprise

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 02, 2016
National security challenges today are increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, demanding technological solutions that reflect the combined expertise of a broad diversity of professionals. But even when such experts are available and engaged, progress towards an integrated solution can be slowed by the lack of a versatile, domain-agnostic, collaborative platform, where innovation can ha

Taiwan urges calm from China after Trump call

‎Today, ‎December ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎7 hours agoGo to full article
Taipei (AFP) Dec 5, 2016
Taiwan urged China to stay calm Monday after the Taiwanese leader's unprecedented phone call to US President-elect Donald Trump angered Beijing, as residents and analysts in Taipei expressed fears at the possible fallout. Ties between Taipei and Beijing have grown increasingly frosty since China-sceptic Tsai Ing-wen took power in Taiwan in May, ending eight years of cross-strait rapprocheme

Some US conservatives praise Trump over Taiwan phone call

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Dec 3, 2016
Amid an outpouring of condemnation over President-elect Donald Trump's telephone conversation with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, some prominent US conservatives are commending his decision to take her call. Trump's conversation with Tsai on Friday broke decades of US diplomatic policy, risking a serious rift with China by calling into question one of Beijing's self-described "core intere

Six key issues facing Trump's Pentagon pick

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
How will President-elect Donald Trump's pick for defense secretary, retired Marine general James Mattis, steer America's largest bureaucracy and the world's biggest war machine through what likely will be turbulent years to come? Here are six of the most pressing issues that will land on Mattis's plate if he is confirmed: - Iran - Mattis is hawkish on Iran and has publicly called it

N. Korea artillery drill targets South, Seoul unveils sanctions

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un conducted a large-scale artillery drill simulating an attack on the South Korean capital and other targets, as Seoul and Tokyo on Friday unveiled fresh unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons programme. The military exercise, involving multiple batteries of frontline heavy artillery units, targeted five border islands, as well as "react

Iran says it will respond to US sanctions renewal

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Tehran (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
Iran said on Friday that Congress's decision to renew US sanctions for 10 years was a violation of last year's nuclear agreement and promised an "appropriate" response. "As repeatedly stated by high-ranking Iranian officials, the recent bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate to renew sanctions against Iran is against the (nuclear deal)," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram

U.K. Defense Ministry to spend $1.26 billion on modernizing test sites

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
London (UPI) Dec 2, 2016
Britain's Ministry of Defense has agreed to a $1.26 billion contract modification with QinetiQ to update various training and testing facilities. Defense officials signed off on the deal after forging a Long Term Partnering Agreement with the company. Under the new contract, QinetiQ will deliver an estimated $379 million of efficiencies over the next 11 years. "This new deal will

Chinese media blame Trump 'inexperience' over Taiwan call

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) Dec 4, 2016
Chinese state media said Sunday that US President-elect Donald Trump's "inexperience" led him to accept a phone call from Taiwan's leader but warned that any breach of the One China policy would "destroy" Sino-US relations. The call "exposed nothing but (Trump's) and his transition team's inexperience in dealing with foreign affairs", said an editorial in the English-language China Daily ne

Secret weddings and phone calls in Mosul under IS

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Hasansham Camp, Iraq (AFP) Dec 4, 2016
To celebrate her wedding in Mosul, Shaimaa covered herself in black to hide her dress and make-up from the jihadists on her way to the groom's house. During the more than two years they spent under the control of the Islamic State group, many residents of the Iraqi city often defied the strict rules of the "caliphate" in the secrecy of their homes. Shaimaa, 20, married Ali, 24, four mont

Kurdish curbs harm recovery of Iraq Yazidis: rights group

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Arbil, Iraq (AFP) Dec 4, 2016
Kurdish restrictions on the movement of goods are harming the recovery of Iraq's Yazidi minority, which was targeted for genocide by the Islamic State group, Human Rights Watch said Sunday. It said restrictions imposed by the autonomous Kurdish government "disproportionate to any possible security considerations are causing unnecessary harm to people's access to food, water, livelihoods, and

Textron to provide A2PATS for F-35 electronic warfare testing

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Hunt Valley, Md. (UPI) Dec 1, 2016
Textron has been selected to supply its Advanced Architecture Phase Amplitude and Time Simulator to support electronic warfare testing for the F-35. Under the contract, awarded by F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin, Textron will provide complex threat simulation equipment for the aircraft at the Eglin Air Force base. The Advanced Architecture Phase Amplitude and Time Simulator, sh

New controversy hits Israel sub deal over Iran link

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Jerusalem (AFP) Dec 4, 2016
Israel was embroiled in fresh controversy on Sunday over its purchase of submarines from German company ThyssenKrupp after reports that the country's arch-enemy Iran holds a stake in the firm. The attorney general had already ordered police to look into allegations of improper conduct in the planned purchase of the submarines, and reports of Iran's link to the company have fuelled more criti

U.S. Air Force C-130 flies with Rolls-Royce T56 engine upgrade

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Dec 1, 2016
The first U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft equipped with a Rolls-Royce T56 series 3.5 engine upgrade completed its first flight. After the flight concluded, Rolls-Royce says the plane demonstrated improved fuel efficiency in addition to lower operating temperatures and high-altitude performance. The company noted a fuel efficiency increase of approximately 12 percent. Turbine temperatures

US moves to block Chinese purchase of German tech firm Aixtron

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Dec 3, 2016
US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal. The US Treasury Department said a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) chaired by Obama found the risks posed by the deal, which could place sensitive technology w

Afghan forces lose some ground but improving overall: US general

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
Afghan security forces have lost control over a small percentage of the terrain they previously held, but are getting better at repelling the Taliban overall, a top US general said Friday. Kabul now directly controls about 64 percent of the country's population of 30 million, General John Nicholson, the chief US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said - down slightly from 68 percent he cite

Raids kill dozens in Syria's Idlib, army advances in Aleppo

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Aleppo, Syria (AFP) Dec 4, 2016
Suspected Russian air strikes killed at least 46 people in opposition-held parts of Syria Sunday, a monitor said, as government forces advanced in fierce clashes with rebels in east Aleppo. Syria's government is waging an offensive to recapture all of second city Aleppo, and it has so far captured more than 60 percent of eastern districts that fell to rebels in 2012. In Idlib province, i

Denmark to withdraw F-16 jets from anti-IS mission

‎Sunday, ‎December ‎4, ‎2016, ‏‎9:59:37 PMGo to full article
Copenhagen (AFP) Dec 2, 2016
Denmark said on Friday it would not extend a six-month mission for seven F-16 jets taking part in a US-led coalition focused on attacking Islamic State group targets in Syria and Iraq. The decision came three days after the Pentagon said a September air strike in Syria by American, Australian, British and Danish planes - that reportedly killed some 90 regime forces, instead of IS fighters -

Brazil to pursue satellite, nuclear sub projects: minister

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Brasilia (AFP) Nov 27, 2016
Ambitious projects such as satellites that could bring the internet to the remote Amazon and construction of Brazil's first nuclear submarine will proceed despite a deep economic downturn, the defense minister told AFP. Raul Jungmann said he will be in France this Thursday to take delivery of the first of three communications and defense satellites built by France's Thales and due for launch

Japan protests Russia missile deployment on disputed islands

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
Japan has told Russia the deployment of missiles on disputed islands in the Pacific is "deplorable", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday, ahead of talks aimed at resolving a decades-old territorial spat. The positioning of coastal defence missiles on two of the four islands in contention was reported by Russian media this week and comes after concerted efforts by both countries to improve

Israel orders more F-35 warplanes from US

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 27, 2016
Israel will order 17 more US-made F-35 warplanes to take its fleet of stealthy Joint Strike Fighters to 50 over the next few years, the premier's office said Sunday. A statement from Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the green light for the order was given by the security cabinet. The Jewish state is due to take delivery of its first F-35s next month. US officials and industry executi

Erdogan, Putin in Syria talks after Turkish soldiers killed

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Istanbul (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Syrian conflict with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone Friday after the Turkish army accused Moscow ally Damascus of killing its soldiers in northern Syria. Erdogan informed Putin of the strike that killed four Turkish soldiers, presidential sources said, which the Turkish army assessed to have been by the forces of President

Overshadowed by coalition, Iraqi aviation takes on IS

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Qayyarah Base, Iraq (AFP) Nov 26, 2016
Iraqi army pilot Hossam Jassim banked his helicopter sharply to the left as a Russian-made Mi-35 gunship flying alongside unleashed a missile at a suspected Islamic State group target. An explosion flashed in the desert village below and a huge plume of sand and dust rose into the sky. Jassim gave a thumbs up. "It was a pickup truck with a heavy machine gun," he said later as he emerged

Stunned tech sector ponders future under Trump

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Nov 27, 2016
After disbelief, anger and grief, the US tech sector is looking to come to grips with the presidency of a man described by many of its leading lights as a "disaster" for innovation. The major US technology companies, almost uniformly opposed to Donald Trump's candidacy, saw huge stock declines in the wake of November 8, but most have now rebounded to near their pre-election levels. Some

China launches 4th data relay satellite

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Beijing (XNA) Nov 25, 2016
China successfully launched the Tianlian I-04 satellite on Tuesday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province. The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket at 11:24 p.m. Beijing time, said sources with the center. Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the satellite

Satcom Global Launches Aura VSAT

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
North Shields, UK (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
Satcom Global has announced the launch of Aura: a global VSAT solution offering high quality, high bandwidth connectivity across a variety of customisable packages. Already live on a wide variety of vessels and fixed remote locations around the world following a successful trial period, Aura will set new standards for military, maritime, offshore, and enterprise businesses looking for flexible g

High-Precision System for Real-Time Navigation Data of GLONASS Ready for Service

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Nov 25, 2016
A global high-precision system for obtaining the real-time navigation data has passed state tests and is ready to be put into operation as part of the GLONASS navigation system, Russia's Roscosmos state space corporation said in a statement Wednesday. The new high precision system is designed for civilian purposes and will allow to determine real-time geographical location with precision o

The SpaceDataHighway is Open for Traffic

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 25, 2016
Airbus Defence and Space has started the initial service of its SpaceDataHighway. This represents a step change in the speed of space communications. Ultra-broadband laser communications and the geostationary orbit of the relay satellites combine to deliver a unique, secure, near real time data transfer service, - making data latency a thing of the past. Thanks to the laser technology deve

Turkey reinstates over 6,000 teachers suspended after coup: ministry

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Ankara (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
Turkish authorities have reinstated over 6,000 teachers suspended after the July failed coup accused of terror links, the education ministry said on Friday. "6,007 personnel suspended over links to terrorist organisations have returned to their jobs," the ministry said on its official Twitter account. Tens of thousands of teachers were suspended or sacked over links to Kurdish militants

Colombia signs contested new peace deal

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Bogota (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
Colombia's government and FARC rebels signed a controversial revised peace accord Thursday to end their half-century conflict, set to be ratified in Congress despite bitter opposition. President Juan Manuel Santos and guerrilla leader Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono signed the new deal with a pen made from a spent bullet, in a low-key ceremony in the capital Bogota. The original deal - sig

Troops fire artillery at Islamic militants in southern Philippines

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Butig, Philippines (AFP) Nov 27, 2016
Troops Sunday fired artillery at positions held by an Islamic militant faction in the southern Philippines as more soldiers deployed against the group, which staged a deadly bombing in President Rodrigo Duterte's home city. Troops used 105 mm artillery to blast the positions of the Maute group in the nearly deserted town of Butig in the second day of fighting since the gunmen - who claim al

Britain's Patten slams Hong Kong independence movement

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Hong Kong (AFP) Nov 25, 2016
Hong Kong's last British colonial governor Chris Patten attacked the city's pro-independence movement Friday as the push for a split with China grows over fears of Beijing's tightening grip. Patten said he was fully behind the strengthening of democracy in Hong Kong, but accused independence activists of "making a mockery" of the issue. His comments came on the same day that two publicly

Military in Castro's Cuba: political, economic pillar

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎2:08:25 AMGo to full article
Havana (AFP) Nov 26, 2016
Cuba's Revolutionary Armed Forces, which preceded the bearded rebels Fidel Castro led to power in 1959, have become economic and political pillars that will remain crucial for the government following the ex-leader's death. During the golden age of Soviet support, the Cuban military was one of the world's most capable: with nearly 300,000 men, it projected Cuban power into Africa, notably An

India conducts twin trial of Prithvi-II missile

‎Friday, ‎November ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎12:34:46 AMGo to full article
Chandipur, India (UPI) Nov 22, 2016
Defense researchers in India successfully test-fired two Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missiles at a rest range in Chandipur. The test was conducted by India's Strategic Forces Command. The missiles, designed and developed by the country's Defense Research and Development Organization, were fired from a road mobile launcher. The Hindu reports the test came as additional preparations wer

IS truck bomb in Iraq sows carnage among Shiite pilgrims

‎Friday, ‎November ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎12:34:46 AMGo to full article
Hilla, Iraq (AFP) Nov 24, 2016
A suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 70 people, mainly Shiite pilgrims, south of Baghdad Thursday, as Iraqi forces battle to retake Mosul from the jihadists. The huge truck bomb blast ripped through a petrol station where buses packed with faithful returning from the Arbaeen commemoration in Karbala were parked, officials said. Most of the victims were Ira

Syria regime bombardment kills 32 civilians in Aleppo: monitor

‎Friday, ‎November ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎12:34:46 AMGo to full article
Aleppo, Syria (AFP) Nov 24, 2016
At least 32 civilians, including five children, were killed Thursday in Syrian regime air strikes and artillery bombardment on rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo, a monitor said citing a new toll. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday's toll, up from an earlier figure of 16 killed, was one of the heaviest since the regime launched an offensive on eastern Aleppo on November 15

Israeli firm can steal phone data in seconds

‎Friday, ‎November ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎12:34:46 AMGo to full article
Petah Tikva, Israel (AFP) Nov 23, 2016
It only takes a few seconds for an employee of one of the world's leading hacking companies to take a locked smartphone and pull the data from it. Israeli firm Cellebrite's technology provides a glimpse of a world of possibilities accessible to security agencies globally that worry privacy advocates. The company has contracts in more than 115 countries, many with governments, and it shot

Continuous growth in the maritime sector despite economic downturn

‎Friday, ‎November ‎25, ‎2016, ‏‎12:34:46 AMGo to full article
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 21, 2016
According to Euroconsult's newly-published report, Prospects for Maritime Satellite Communications, in 2015 the global maritime satellite communications market reached close to 338,000 terminals, $953 million in revenue at the satellite operator level and $1.7 billion in revenue at the service provider level. The value of the maritime satcom market will continue to grow over the next decad




News About Ballistic Missile Defense


Raytheon to provide Patriot missile capability for undisclosed country

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Andover, Mass. (UPI) Nov 28, 2016 - Raytheon has received a $225 million contract to provide additional Patriot missile capabilities for an undisclosed customer.

The buyer is a member of the 13-nation group participating in the Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System program. While Raytheon officials did not hint at the identity of their customer, they say their product was chosen for its defensive capabilities.

"Our customer chose to continue investing in Patriot because Patriot saves lives," Raytheon Integrated Air and Missile Defense vice president Ralph Acaba said in a press release. "That added capability will strengthen our customer's protection against the evolving threats of tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and enemy aircraft."

The contract for the missile capabilities was signed 45 days after Poland requested the same product from the United States government, and when Raytheon received another contract from the Netherlands to upgrade their own systems.

The Patriot missile defense system is a long-range, high-altitude missile system designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, in addition to remotely piloted and manned aircraft. The system has been tested over 2,500 times with U.S. Army oversight.



Saudis intercept missile fired from Yemen

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Riyadh (AFP) Nov 15, 2016 - Saudi air defence forces on Tuesday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired from Yemen towards the kingdom, the Riyadh-led anti-rebel coalition said.

The missile was fired towards the Najran region but was shot down, said a coalition statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Coalition forces responded by targeting the source of the fire inside Yemen, it added.

The coalition has been engaged in a bombing campaign against the Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies since March last year, and the insurgents have targeted their air bases.

Saudi Arabia has deployed Patriot missiles to counter such attacks.

Last month, the rebels launched one of their longest-range strikes against Saudi Arabia, firing a ballistic missile that was brought down near the holy Muslim city of Mecca, an attack that was roundly condemned by Riyadh's Gulf allies.

The rebels insisted that the missile had been fired at Jeddah, the Red Sea city in the sprawling Mecca region, not at the holy city itself.



US general says missile system in S. Korea in 8-10 months

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) Nov 4, 2016 - The United States will deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea in eight to 10 months despite strong objections from China and Russia, a US military chief said Friday.

Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the South after North Korea conducted a series of missile launches in the wake of its fourth nuclear test in January.

The decision was condemned by Pyongyang and also caused a damaging rift between Seoul and Beijing, which sees the deployment as a US bid to flex its military muscle in the region and undermine China's own missile capabilities.

Speaking at a seminar, General Vincent Brooks, commander of the US Forces in Korea (USFK), said the THAAD battery would be deployed in eight to 10 months and would be bigger than the one currently in Guam, according to USFK Spokesman Kim Yong-Kyu.

Brooks also said that recent calls for South Korea to have its own nuclear arsenal to deter the North would seriously "complicate" the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, Yonhap news agency reported.

China responded to Brooks' timetable by repeating its opposition to the THAAD deployment and calling for its "immediate" cancellation.

Deploying the system "undermines the regional strategic balance and jeopardizes the strategic security interests of China and other regional countries," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

China will take "necessary measures to safeguard our own security interests," Hua said.

South Korea in September announced a new location for deploying THAAD, after vocal protests from local residents near the original site over potential health and environmental hazards.

Some opposition lawmakers are also opposed to THAAD, despite President Park Geun-Hye's insistence that the system is crucial to national defence.

Since Seoul and Washington announced the THAAD deployment was going ahead, North Korea has continued to conduct missile tests and carried out a fifth nuclear test on September 9.



Yemen rebel missile shot down near Mecca: coalition

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Riyadh (AFP) Oct 28, 2016 - Yemeni rebels have launched one of their longest-range strikes against Saudi Arabia, firing a ballistic missile that was shot down near the holy city of Mecca, the Saudi-led coalition said Friday.

The rebels insisted that the missile had targeted Jeddah, the Red Sea city in the sprawling Mecca region, not the holy Muslim city.

The coalition has been carrying out a bombing campaign against the rebels since March last year and there have been rebel strikes towards their air bases.

Saudi Arabia has deployed Patriot missiles to intercept the rebel fire.

Huthi rebels launched the missile "toward the Mecca area" on Thursday from their Saada province stronghold across the border, a coalition statement said.

"The air defence was able to intercept and destroyed it about 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Mecca without any damage."

The rebels' sabanews website said their ballistic missile targeted Jeddah international airport.

Islam's holiest sites are located in Mecca and Medina.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council condemned what it called "clear evidence" that the rebels are unwilling to accept a political solution to Yemen's 19-month-old conflict.

The United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan went further, criticising Iran for the attack.

"The Iranian regime backs a terrorist group that fires its rockets on Mecca... Is this an Islamic regime as it claims to be?" he wrote on Twitter.

Qatar called the attack "a provocation to the feelings of millions of Muslims worldwide".

All GCC states, apart from Oman, are members of the Saudi-led coalition. The UAE itself is a major pillar of the Sunni alliance.

The coalition and the United States accuse Shiite-dominated Iran of arming the rebels, a charge Tehran denies.

- 'Political nonsense' -

The Huthis are a minority group belonging to the Zaidi sect of Shiite Islam. They fought six wars against Yemen's government between 2004 and 2010.

In a statement on sabanews.net, Huthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam accused Saudi Arabia of "political nonsense".

"The Saudi regime which claims it intercepted the missile 65 kilometres away from Mecca which is holy and precious to the hearts of every Yemeni and Muslim could have avoided such media platitude and political nonsense by directly mentioning the city of Jeddah where a military target for the 'Burkan 1' missile lies on its northern outskirts," said Abdulsalam.

"Hiding behind holy sites is... a repugnant attempt to instigate the feelings of Muslims."

Unless the coalition ends its "aggression, lifts the blockade, and seeks peace", the rebels "have the right to confront the aggressors in all legitimate and rightful means," Abdulsalam added.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi called the claims that a missile was fired at Mecca "ridiculous", the official IRNA news agency said.

"We advise Emirati and Saudi officials not to use the holy places of Islam to justify their pathetic political objectives and try to compensate for their failures by such hypocritic and dangerous propaganda," Ghassemi said.

Mecca lies more than 500 kilometres (more than 300 miles) from the border.

It is the second time this month that the rebels have fired a missile of that range.

On October 9, the coalition said it had intercepted a missile near Taif, the site of a Saudi airbase some 65 kilometres (40 miles) from Mecca.

That launch came a day after a coalition air strike killed more than 140 people attending a wake for the father of a rebel leader in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, prompting threats of revenge.

In a separate incident on Thursday, rebel fire hit a two-storey residential building in the Saudi border district of Jazan without causing casualties, the civil defence agency said.



US to deploy missile defense to South Korea 'soon'

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Oct 19, 2016 - The United States said Wednesday that it would deploy a missile-defense system to South Korea as soon as possible, despite opposition from China.

US Secretary Of State John Kerry confirmed that the THAAD system would soon be sent to the peninsula at a meeting with South Korean ministers in Washington.

Washington sees the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system as protection against North Korea's pursuit of missile and nuclear technology.

But China has warned it sees it as a threat to the balance of power in the region, fearing it would make its own nuclear deterrent less credible.

"The United States will do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves and to honor the security commitment we have made to our allies," Kerry said.

"And we will deploy as soon as possible a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery to our Korean ally," he added.

Kerry and US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter were welcoming South Korea's foreign minister, Yun Byung-Se, and defense minister, Han Min-Koo.

Washington and Seoul agreed to install THAAD this summer following repeated nuclear and missile tests by Kim Jong-Un's authoritarian Pyongyang regime.

The move angered Beijing, the main trading partner of otherwise isolated North Korea and a key player in international efforts to control the regime.

Last week, Chinese General Cai Jun told a defense forum in Beijing that THAAD is "not conducive to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula."



China, Russia blast US missile defence at regional forum

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) Oct 11, 2016 - China and Russia blasted Washington Tuesday for its decision to deploy a missile defence system in South Korea in response to Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

Speaking at the 7th annual Xiangshan regional defence forum in Beijing, top military officials from the countries said the move by Seoul and Washington represented a threat to regional stability and was a step towards a new global arms race.

The US and South Korea agreed to install the system, known as THAAD, this summer following repeated nuclear and missile tests by Beijing's wayward ally Pyongyang.

Washington was using the North's actions as a pretext to gain military superiority over China, Chinese general Cai Jun told defence officials at a briefing on the forum's sidelines.

Deploying the system in South Korea, he said, was "not conducive to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula", he said, adding "it has increased the risk of military conflict in the region".

Beijing fears that THAAD could be used against its own missiles, effectively undermining its nuclear deterrence capabilities against the US.

From a global perspective, Cai said, the US's insistence on developing its missile defence programme could trigger "an arms race at a high level, even to outer space."

Speaking on a panel during the forum, Russian deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov also slammed the agreement.

"We are concerned about the attempts of certain nations to exploit the complex situation in the Korean peninsula," he said, "pumping this sub-region with clearly excessive defence capabilities."

The decision has "aggravated regional tension" and "adds problems to solving the situation."

North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test last month, drawing international censure and a push to put further sanctions on the isolated country.

- Flashpoint for conflict -

Tuesday's meeting -- themed on "building a new type of international relations" -- followed a year of growing tension in the region, primarily centred on Beijing's actions in the strategically vital South China Sea, where it has built islands capable of supporting military facilities.

China's defence minister Chang Wanquan opened the forum with a thinly veiled criticism of recent US involvement in Asian trouble spots.

"Some countries seek absolute military superiority, ceaselessly strengthen their military alliances, and seek their own absolute security at the costs of other countries' security," Chang told defence officials and academics at the meeting.

The US under President Barack Obama has sought to "pivot" to Asia by increasing military and economic engagement in the region, raising concerns in Beijing that Washington is working to contain the Asian giant's growing power.

Beijing says it has rights to almost the entire South China Sea, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and Taiwan all have rival claims.

In July, an international tribunal said that almost all of Beijing's claims have no legal basis, a decision China attacked as biased and vowed to ignore.

Washington argues that Beijing's moves pose a challenge to freedom of navigation and has sought to challenge Beijing's claims by dispatching military ships and aircraft to the area.

Addressing the forum, former Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke warned that the disputes, if not properly managed, could become "a flashpoint for US-China conflict".

"These disputes have the potential to disrupt the entire regional order," he said.



Raytheon to update the Netherlands' Patriot missile system

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
The Hague, Netherlands (UPI) Oct 6, 2016 - Raytheon has been selected by the Netherlands to upgrade its Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense system with the Modern Man Station user interface, the company announced Thursday.

The deal for an undisclosed amount and quantity will boost the country's missile defense capabilities, the company said in a statement.

The Netherlands announced at the end of 2015 that it would continue investing in Patriot.

Thirteen nations, including the United States, the Netherlands and three other NATO members, utilize Patriot, which defends against advanced threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones.

The Netherlands will continue to modernize Patriot through at least 2040, Raytheon said, and the incorporation of the Modern Man Station reflects that initiative.

The upgrade will make it easier to operate Patriot and provide enhanced situational awareness.

The Modern Man Station is the latest operator-machine interface upgrade to Patriot command and control shelters.

It is used to identify and display airborne objects, track potential threats and engage hostile targets.



Lockheed's PAC-3 missile destroys ballistic missile targets in test

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (UPI) Sep 22, 2016 - Two Lockheed Martin PAC-3 missiles successfully intercepted two tactical ballistic missile targets during a flight test Wednesday, the company announced.

The U.S. Army-led defense flight test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., demonstrated the hit-to-kill interceptor's ability to detect, track and destroy an incoming threat, Lockheed said in a statement.

The PAC-3 missile is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats that include tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.

It employs hit-to-kill technology, which destroys targets through kinetic energy in body-to-body contact.

PAC-3 is used by the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

Lockheed is also on contract for the system with Kuwait, Qatar, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.



Saab gets order for man-portable air defense missile system

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
Linkoping, Sweden (UPI) Sep 21, 2016 - Swedish defense and security company Saab is to deliver a very short range air defense system to an unidentified country.

The system is the RBS 70 NG, the latest variant of the company's air defense missile system.

The RBS 70 NG is a man-portable surface-to-air weapon with a range of nearly five miles and an altitude ceiling of about 1,640 feet.

It features a new-generation sight module with integrated high-resolution thermal imager for all-target capability

It also features advanced cueing for enhanced reaction times and target acquisition.

The order is worth about $44 million. Deliveries will take place between in 2018 and 2020, the company said.

"We are very proud of the confidence our customers place in the RBS 70 NG system and are satisfied to have been able to secure this order for the system," said Gorgen Johansson, Saab's senior vice president and Head of the Dynamics business area.



Britain orders miniature anti-missile jammers

‎Yesterday, ‎December ‎6, ‎2016, ‏‎5:34:06 AMGo to full article
London (UPI) Sep 19, 2016 - Britain's Ministry of Defense has ordered miniature anti-missile jammers from Leonardo-Finmeccanica aircraft for its Typhoon fighter fleet.

The BriteCloud system will undergo flight trials on Royal Air Force Tornado aircraft later this year as the RAF develops a concept of operations for the technology before its deployment.

BriteCloud, similar in size and appearance to a beverage can, can be fired from an aircraft's flare dispenser. It then uses radar emissions to disrupt systems within radar-guided air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

"The cutting-edge technology behind BriteCloud demonstrates the MOD's commitment to harnessing and growing the incredible creativity in our Defense supply chain," said Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

"Supported by our 178 billion pounds [$231.3 billion] investment in equipment, these new decoy systems show that we are continually pushing the boundaries of innovation, making the most of Great British skills and brains to keep our Armed Forces safe from our adversaries."

The Ministry of Defense said it has been working with Leonardo-Finmeccanica to develop the BriteCloud system since 2012. Nearly $34.5 million has been invested in the system by the government.

The new contract order for the system is worth about $32.5 million.



Lockheed gets $157 million U.S. Navy Aegis contract

‎Monday, ‎November ‎28, ‎2016, ‏‎5:25:15 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Sep 19, 2016 - Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems has been awarded a $157 million U.S. Navy contract for the procurement of Aegis combat system follow-on support services.

The cost-plus-incentive-fee contract covers procurement of the DDG 116-118 Aegis follow-on support services representing completion of the development and fielding of the Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system and Integrated Aegis combat system on the remaining Aegis Technical Insertion 12-configured destroyers, as well as TI12- and TI08-configured cruisers.

The deal includes options which would bring the cumulative value of the contract to $426 million if exercised.

Work will be performed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and various other locations. The estimated completion date is September 2017.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.



Israel readies for 1,500 rockets a day in next war

‎Monday, ‎November ‎14, ‎2016, ‏‎3:41:43 AMGo to full article
Jerusalem (AFP) Sept 16, 2016 - Israel's army estimates that thousands of rockets could slam into the Jewish state in any future conflagration, military sources said Friday ahead of a nationwide civil defence drill.

"Total war on several fronts, destruction of essential equipment and infrastructure and heavy rocket bombardment" all form part of the scenario for the exercise, which runs from Sunday until September 21, the army said.

The drill is based on projections of the army's Home Front Command, which estimates 1,500 rockets crashing into the country each day, military sources said in a briefing to Israeli reporters, local media reported.

The projectiles could be launched simultaneously by Lebanon's Shiite militia Hezbollah across Israel's northern border and to a far lesser extent from Hamas-ruled Gaza in the south.

Hamas is said to have been left seriously weakened after a 2014 Gaza war against Israel, but it still holds thousands of rockets, according to a military official.

Hezbollah has at least 100,000 and probably more, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Only around one in 100 rockets is likely to hit a building, military sources say, with the rest falling on open ground or being intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system.

They say 95 percent of rockets fired will likely carry a light payload and have a range of less than 40 kilometres (25 miles), but Hezbollah can hit densely-populated central Israel with dozens of rockets each day.

The Home Front Command, tasked with leading and coordinating civil defence, regularly publishes maps showing the maximum time, by location, that Israelis have to take shelter after air raid sirens sound.

In Tel Aviv, Israel's seaside commercial and leisure capital, the time to scramble to safety has been reassessed from 90 seconds at present to 60 in the next conflict.

After a 2006 war with Hezbollah, an official inquiry criticised authorities for lack of preparedness and organisation in civil defence procedures.

During that conflict, the Shiite militia rained about 4,000 rockets on Israel and sent a million civilians into shelters, many of them dilapidated and cramped.

The 34 days of fighting took the lives of more than 1,200 on the Lebanese side, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, almost all soldiers.



Israeli missiles down rockets fired from Syria: army

‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎6:31:19 AMGo to full article
Jerusalem (AFP) Sept 17, 2016 - Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system destroyed two rockets fired from Syria at the Israeli-held zone of the Golan Heights Saturday in an apparent rise in tension between the uneasy neighbours.

"A projectile fired from Syria was intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defence system. No injuries have been reported," a military statement said on Saturday afternoon.

"This is the first time that fire from Syria has been intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defence system," a military spokesman told AFP in response to a query.

Later in the day the army said Iron Dome took down a second projectile.

It was a marked departure from recent tit-for-tat artillery fire and occasional retaliatory air strikes.

Israel deployed batteries on its northern flank as a precautionary measure after a 2015 Israeli air strike against the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group's forces in Syria.

Israeli public radio said that the military believed the latest fire from Syria was an unintentional spillover from the country's complex civil war which is now in its sixth year.

Israel has sought to avoid being drawn in to the conflict, but has attacked Syrian military targets when fire fell on its side of the divide.

On Tuesday, Israeli aircraft targeted Syrian army positions after what the military said was probably stray fire hit the Israeli-occupied zone.

Syria said it had shot down an Israeli warplane and a drone, a claim denied by Israel.

The increased tension comes after a fragile new Syrian ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States came into force on Monday.

The truce does not apply to areas held by jihadists such as the Islamic State group.

The Israeli army holds the Syrian government accountable for any fire from its territory, regardless of the source.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip enclave, Israel deployed its Iron Dome system on land to shoot down rockets fired into the Jewish state.

Funding for the missile system was part of an unprecedented $38 billion US military aid package signed in Washington on Wednesday.

The deal covers the period from 2019 to 2028, and will see Israel receive $3.3 billion per year in foreign military financing -- up from $3.1 billion per year currently -- and $500,000 a year in funding for missile defence.



Saudi shoots down missile from Yemen: coalition

‎Thursday, ‎October ‎27, ‎2016, ‏‎6:31:19 AMGo to full article
Riyadh (AFP) Sept 12, 2016 - The Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen said Monday it shot down a missile fired by the insurgents towards an airbase in southern Saudi Arabia.

The missile was the latest aimed at the kingdom since the coalition began air raids to support Yemen's internationally-backed government in March last year.

Khamis Mushait air base, in Saudi Arabia's southwest, has been at the forefront of the coalition bombing campaign against Huthi rebels and their allies.

Saudi Arabia has deployed Patriot missile batteries to counter tactical ballistic missiles fired occasionally from Yemen during the war.

The latest missile attack came after witnesses and residents on Sunday said coalition air strikes killed at least 22 civilians near Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa.

But coalition spokesman General Ahmed Assiri said: "All our operations in the area were targeting Huthi positions and members."

Fighting in Yemen has intensified since the collapse of UN-backed peace talks in Kuwait on August 6.

Rebels have also fired harder-to-detect Katyusha rockets, particularly into the Saudi border city of Najran.

More than 100 civilians and soldiers have died in strikes and skirmishes along the frontier.

In Yemen the fighting since March last year has killed more than 6,600 people, most of them civilians, and displaced at least three million others, according to the United Nations.



US has North Korea missile threat covered: Pentagon

‎Wednesday, ‎October ‎19, ‎2016, ‏‎2:28:48 AMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) Sept 9, 2016 - The Pentagon on Friday repeated reassurances that the United States and its regional allies are well protected against any threat from North Korean missiles, after Pyongyang conducted a new nuclear test.

The renegade country has now conducted five nuclear tests and dozens of missile launches, and says it has realized its goal of being able to fit a miniaturized warhead on a rocket.

"This is a threat we recognize as very real and we are always ensuring that we are outpacing it," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

"We take them at their word and have built a defensive architecture that assumes that they have the capability -- but we have never actually seen it demonstrated."

The United States has a range of missile-defense technologies at its disposal, including the Aegis Combat System, Patriot missiles and sophisticated radars.

Washington is also working with Seoul to install a missile defense system known as THAAD in South Korea, though the move has infuriated Beijing, which says the hardware poses a significant threat to regional security.

Davis said the THAAD system would be up and ready in 2017, though it could be installed quicker in an emergency.

"There is a lengthy process we are working through with (Seoul) but of course... we can always move it much more quickly," he said.

The US Air Force will fly a specially equipped WC-135 jet that can detect radiation and other particles in the sky to determine what happened in North Korea.

"Certainly all the indications we've seen based on the seismic activity, it's certainly consistent with a nuclear test," Davis said.



Poland requests multi-billion-euro Patriot missile system

‎Monday, ‎October ‎10, ‎2016, ‏‎3:18:41 AMGo to full article
Warsaw (AFP) Sept 6, 2016 - Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz on Tuesday said he had approached the US defence firm Raytheon about buying the Patriot missile system.

"Today, I signed the decision to address a letter of request to the US government and the firm Raytheon in regard to ordering the Patriot system," Macierewicz told reporters.

"It concerns a total of eight missile batteries," he said.

Macierewicz, who was speaking on the sidelines of an arms fair in the southern city of Kielce, did not mention any price tag for the deal.

But local media had previously valued it at an estimated five billion euros ($5.6 billion euros).

The Patriot is a mobile air defence system designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, low-flying cruise missiles and aircraft.

The Eurosam consortium including MBDA France, MBDA Italy and Thales Group of France is the other contender for the deal.

Macierewicz, who inked a letter of intent with Raytheon in July, said Tuesday that Raytheon was offering "extremely advantageous offset conditions".

Raytheon had promised that Polish firms designated by the government would carry out at least 50 percent of the work involved, he said.






Lockheed Martin gets $204 million Aegis contract modification

‎Friday, ‎October ‎7, ‎2016, ‏‎10:09:58 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Sep 1, 2016 - Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training has received a $204 million contract modification for Aegis missile defense efforts.

The cost-plus-incentive-fee, sole-source modification to the previously awarded contract covers Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense continuation of Baseline 5.1, Increment-2 development, as well as the adaptation of Aegis Ashore efforts.

Completion of these efforts will provide a certified Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense 5.1 baseline.

The contract modification boosts the total cumulative value to $2.4 billion.

Work will be performed in New Jersey and is expected to be completed by September 2018.

The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.



Lockheed Martin receives $19 million THAAD contract modification

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Aug 29, 2016 - Lockheed Martin has received a $19 million U.S. Missile Defense Agency contract modification for work on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, element of the Ballistic Missile Defense system.

The modification to the previously awarded contract increases the total value to $916 million.

Under the modification, two additional Lot 8 interceptors will be produced and associated production support efforts will be provided.

Work will be performed in Texas, Alabama and Arkansas.

THAAD provides the missile defense system with a globally transportable, rapidly deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight.

It is particularly effective against asymmetric ballistic missile threats and utilizes hit-to-kill technology wherein kinetic energy destroys the incoming warhead.



Russia's 'US Missile Defense-Killing' Hypersonic Rockets Arriving Soon

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Aug 23, 2016 - Russian defense analyst Vladimir Tuchkov analyses Russian, Chinese and American developments in hypersonic weapons technology, including the expected timeframe for their deployment, which is sooner than you may expect.

Last week, Tactical Missile Systems Corporation general director Boris Obnosov told Russian media that he was confident that Russia would be introducing hypersonic missiles capable of speeds between Mach 6 and Mach 7 by the year 2020.

The director emphasized that such weapons would significantly weaken the potential of enemy missile defense. "It's obvious that with such speeds - when missiles will be capable of flying through the atmosphere at speeds of 7-12 times the speed of sound, all [air] defense systems will be weakened considerably."

Tactical Missile Systems Corporation (KTRV by its Russian acronym) is based in Korolyev, outside Moscow. Several dozen specialized research institutes and industrial enterprises are involved in the development of Russia's hypersonic missile potential, with KTRV a leader in this area not only in Russia but also compared to defense engineering companies globally.

Obnosov's comments come on the heels of a recent speech by Admiral Cecil Haney, the Head of US Strategic Command, in which the admiral warned that American anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense systems will be virtually incapable of intercepting the Russian hypersonic systems expected to be deployed soon.

Commenting on these developments in a piece for Svobodnaya Pressa, Russian defense analyst Vladimir Tuchkov pointed out that while supersonic weapons have become a very popular topic of discussion today, their development actually began much, much earlier, going back to the Cold War.

The analyst recalled that "in the 1970s, the Raduga Design Bureau, now a part of KTRV, began research exploring the possibility of creating a cruise missile with a speed of Mach 5 or greater. At the time, the problem was little studied. Firstly, it was impossible to use ordinary turbojet engines for speeds in excess of Mach 3.

The sharp increase in air speed pressure resulted in a loss of efficiency in the engines, with a sharp rise in temperature in the combustion chamber of the air-fuel mixture also reducing efficiency. The higher the temperature, the lower the thrust. Moreover, as temperatures rose, so too did the risk of the rocket's turbine blades becoming deformed and simply melting."

"In this situation," Tuchkov noted, "the only option is the use of a ramjet engine - in this case a hypersonic scramjet. The use of a rocket engine, either liquid or solid fueled, for cruise missiles, is impossible, since the entire trajectory of the flight must be actively controlled and adjustable."

"The design of the scramjet is very simple, with the number of moving parts reduced to a minimum. Theoretically, these craft can reach speeds of up to Mach 25, although the practical ceiling of operation is about Mach 17-19. However, the scramjet also has a significant drawback - its normal operation begins at speeds exceeding Mach 3. Before this speed, it is necessary to accelerate the missile using a solid booster, or some other method, similar to the kind used to launch a high-speed aircraft."

The analyst recalled that when development of hypersonic missile technology first began in the Soviet period, one of the key problems for engineers was overheating. "It was necessary to create the kind of heat shield through which the onboard flight control equipment would continue to work flawlessly."

In the 1980s, Raduga Design Bureau created several prototypes of a new cruise missile - the Kh-90, NATO codenamed Koala. The cruise missile weighed 15 tons, had a length of 9 meters, and a 7 meter wingspan. With an expected range of up to 3,000 km, the missile had a design speed of Mach 5. "The project," Tuchkov noted, "advanced far enough for several test launches to be conducted. During the last of them, the missile reached speeds ranging from Mach 3 to Mach 4." The missile was aircraft-launched.

Of course, "all of the USSR's hypersonic weapons designs were strictly classified. It was only due to the fact that the project was closed in 1992 thanks to a lack of financing and the collapse of the defense industry in general that some information about the Kh-90 has become publically available."

After a period of stagnation in the 1990s, development resumed. Today, the analyst noted, Russia has reached a point where it has created and is actively testing at least two hypersonic systems. "This includes the 3K-22 Zircon anti-ship cruise missile, the main developer of which is the NPO Machine Building plant in Reutov, outside Moscow, which is also part of KTRV. At the same time, an export version of the missile, known as the Brahmos, is being developed for the Indian Navy."

The first information about the Zircon appeared in 2011, with testing beginning a year later. "To date, five test launches have been made...During the last launch, in March of this year, the rocket was successfully tested in normal operation mode."

Effectively, Tuchkov noted, "work on the Zircon is progressing so rapidly that the first state testing is expected to begin next year, and mass production the year after that, in 2018. In this connection, the Tactical Missile System Corporation director's forecasts about the year 2020 looks quite modest."

"Of course, he is talking about speeds of Mach 6-7, while the Zircon's design speed is 'only' Mach 5. Various estimates suggest its range may be between 400 and 1,000 km. Precise information on the engines is not available, but informed analysts suggest that acceleration is carried out via a reactive solid booster, with a scramjet used as the main engine."

Furthermore, the Zircon has already been slated for installation onboard the heavy nuclear missile cruisers - the Peter the Great and the Admiral Nakhimov. It is also expected that a new Russian nuclear submarine, codenamed Project-Husky, currently under development, will be equipped with the Zircon.

"As for Project 4202, it appears that this system will be able to meet and surpass the speeds discussed by Tactical Missiles Corporation's director. This missile too is being developed by the NPO Machine Building plant. To be more precise - this is not an independent missile, but rather a warhead onboard an intercontinental ballistic missile, which, after separation from the launch vehicle, acts like a hypersonic cruise missile would, maneuvering freely to determine direction and pitch."

According to informed estimates, Project 4202 is capable of speeds between Mach 7 and Mach 12. For this reason, Tuchkov noted, the system can overcome "not only modern means of US missile defense, but even those systems which American engineers have not even begun to develop yet."

The testing of Russia's hypersonic gliders is taking place using the tried and true RS-18B 'Stiletto' silo-based ICBMs, used to accelerate them up to the appropriate speed. "After being adopted by the military, Project 4202 will be installed aboard the new RS-28 Sarmat, and on future Russian ICBM designs. This is expected to take place between 2020 and 2025. When the expected first batch of 20 supersonic warheads is rolled out, it will effectively make the US missile defense system pointless. Every Sarmat will feature three hypersonic combat gliders."

Foreign Analogues: USA
Of course Russia is not the only country engaged in the creation of prospective hypersonic weaponry. The X-51, being developed by the Boeing Corporation under the aegis of the Pentagon's 'prompt global strike' concept, is expected to reach speeds of Mach 6-7.

Testing began in 2010, but, as Tuchkov pointed out, none of them have been deemed successful so far. Brought into the air aboard a B-52 strategic bomber, the X-51, with a range of 500 km, has clocked a maximum speed of Mach 5.1. "However, all flights ended in the destruction of the test missile before the end of its planned flight."

"Setting out on this costly project, the US positioned it as a tool for effective and lighting-speed strikes against terrorist groups. However, there is no doubt that the Pentagon also had in mind the traditional confrontation with Russia, and against a rapidly developing China. Yet the X-51, even if it is brought into mass production, will not solve the problems it was designed to handle, since the prospective Russian S-500 anti-aircraft missile system is expected to be capable of destroying hypersonic missiles."

In this sense, Tuchkov noted, the DARPA program's Falcon HTV-2 has better characteristics in terms of its speed, having been successfully clocked at Mach 20. But the vehicle was launched from near space, first carried up by rocket booster, from where it hurled back down to earth.

"In other words, there's nothing new here; the US Space Shuttles and our Buran flew in similar fashion. Following the second test, which took place in 2011, the missile was recognized as unpromising, since it was almost uncontrollable, and impossible to establish communications with."

Foreign Analogues: China
China too is actively involved in the development of hypersonic technology, beginning with its WU-14 rocket, which began testing in 2013. An average of three tests per year has taken place since then. The system's declared speed is Mach 10, although as Tuchkov pointed out, a variety of contradictory information has been circulating, estimating speeds from Mach 1.5 to Mach 7.

"Series production of the WU-14 is expected to begin in the second half of the 2020s, and it is expected to be mounted on ballistic missiles, which for the Chinese is very important. Today, only a small number of Chinese ICBMs is capable of reaching the US, giving the Pentagon the hypothetical ability to fight off a Chinese nuclear attack. For Beijing, this is not only insulting, but disadvantageous in the diplomatic competition between the powers. With the arrival of hypersonic warheads, the US is expected to 'behave' more prudently."

"Another task entrusted to the new weapon is the destruction of aircraft carriers; their defenses would be powerless against maneuverable warheads traveling at speeds of Mach 10."

Source: Sputnik News



Lockheed Martin gets $112 million Aegis modernization contract modification

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Aug 15, 2016 - Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training has received a $112 million U.S. Navy contract modification for the fiscal 2016 Aegis Modernization program.

The procurement covers the production of multi-mission signal processor equipment sets, ballistic missile defense 4.0.2 equipment, Aegis weapon system modernization upgrade equipment, as well as associated spares to support the fielding of Aegis modernization capabilities to the fleet.

Work will be performed in New Jersey, Florida and New York, and has an expected completion date of November 2018.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

The Aegis modernization program increases the computing power of equipped ships while providing radar upgrades that improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern threats.

Lockheed Martin gets $490 million Aegis contract modification
Washington (UPI) Aug 15, 2016 - Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training has been awarded a $490 million U.S. Navy contract modification for Aegis Weapon System MK-7 work.

The previously awarded contract covers MK-7 ship sets and associated spares, engineering efforts and support equipment, as well as engineering efforts to support production, system testing, shipyard installation and related requirements.

The contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy, Japan and South Korea under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

It will specifically support the naval forces of those countries and the Navy's Arleigh Burke-class shipbuilding program.

Work will be performed in New Jersey, Florida and New York, with an expected completion date of May 2022.

Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.



New SBIRS ground system enters into dedicated operational testing

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles AFB CA (SPX) Aug 10, 2016 - Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center and 460th Space Wing are pleased to announce the successful completion of the Space-Based Infrared Systems Block 10 ground system's Integrated Test and Evaluation (IT and E) phase and entry into Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE), the dedicated operational testing phase of the program.

Key development, operations and test stakeholders met to provide an accurate readiness assessment of the Block 10 ground system's ability to enter and successfully complete dedicated operational testing.

Based on stakeholder inputs, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Command began dedicated operational testing at the Mission Control Station at Buckley Air Force Base June 12 and shifted to the backup Mission Control Station at Schriever AFB July 16.

The new Block 10 ground system consolidates operational command and control of Defense Support Program satellites, SBIRS Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting satellites and SBIRS Highly Elliptical Orbit sensors under one primary Mission Control Station at Buckley AFB, Colorado.

It also significantly increases performance capability across the four SBIRS mission areas of missile-warning, missile-defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence.

"Our operators successfully completed their longest run to date on the new SBIRS Block 10 Ground weapon system. We are already seeing improvements across the board with improved surveillance and warning utilizing SBIRS Block 10 Ground," said Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander.

"I'm proud to see the 'can do' attitude and partnerships between our operations, support, contractor, and system acquisition teams.

They are knocking down obstacles and solving problems together, and rapidly building the best possible solution for advanced U.S. and allied warning as one integrated team."

"The IT and E Phase tested total system readiness, to include trained operational crews. Its successful completion is a true indicator of the new ground system's readiness for live operations," said Brig. Gen. Mike Guetlein, Remote Sensing Systems director.

"Entry into Operational Utility Evaluation is a significant milestone that demonstrates we're on track for operational acceptance this November."

The Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center manages the SBIRS Block 10 development program. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, California, is the payload integrator. The 460th Space Wing at Buckley AFB in Aurora, Colorado, operates the SBIRS system.



Lockheed Martin gets $36 million Aegis Ashore missile defense contract

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Aug 10, 2016 - Lockheed Martin Missions Systems and Training has been awarded a $36 million U.S. Missile Defense Agency contract to install Aegis Ashore equipment in Poland.

The contract covers installation, integration and testing of Aegis Ashore equipment in a deckhouse and deckhouse support building.

Work will be performed at the Aegis site in Poland and is expected to be completed by December 2018.

The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

Aegis Ashore is the land-based component of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.

The land-based Aegis system is designed to be removable to support worldwide deployment.



The USAF's Next SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite Ships to Cape Canaveral for October Launch

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Cape Canaveral AFS FL (SPX) Aug 08, 2016 - The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin delivered the next Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Aug. 2, ahead of its October launch.

SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in GEO orbit, hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), and ground hardware and software. The data provided by SBIRS enhances the military's ability to detect missile launches, supports ballistic missile defense, expands technical intelligence gathering, and bolsters situational awareness on the battlefield.

"SBIRS GEO satellites are our nation's missile warning sentinels and are critical assets to the U.S. military's continually evolving mission," said David Sheridan, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area. "With GEO Flight 3's successful testing and delivery to the launch site, we're expanding the military's ability to receive timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information."

Lockheed Martin manufactured SBIRS GEO Flight 3 at its Sunnyvale, California, facility. For its trip to Florida, the satellite was loaded aboard a C-5 Galaxy aircraft at nearby Moffett Federal Air Field. It will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The next SBIRS satellite, GEO Flight 4, is in storage and will undergo final assembly, integration and test operations prior to its planned 2017 launch. SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6, which are currently in production, incorporate the new modernized A2100 spacecraft to dramatically reduce costs and cycle times while increasing the potential to incorporate future, modernized sensor suites.

The SBIRS development team is led by the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Sunnyvale, California, is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Azusa, California, as the payload integrator. The 460th Space Wing, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, operates the SBIRS system.



S. Korea's Park gets personal in US missile system row

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) Aug 2, 2016 - President Park Geun-Hye on Tuesday evoked memories of her parents' assassination as she hit back at opposition to the planned deployment of an advanced US anti-missile system in South Korea.

The defence ministry announced last month that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, or THAAD, will be installed in Seongju -- a rural county about 200 kilometres (135 miles) southeast of Seoul -- by the end of next year.

The decision was predicated on the growing threat posed by North Korea's advancing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme.

Protesting Seongju residents have alleged that the system's powerful radar poses health and environmental hazards, while opposition lawmakers have been less than supportive of the move.

At a cabinet meeting Park voiced frustration at the objections to what she insisted was an "unchangeable" decision to deploy the system.

"If we cannot take basic defensive steps like deploying THAAD, how can we protect the country and the people?" she said in remarks posted on her official website.

"I have lost my parents in the most excruciatingly painful way. My only remaining calling is to safeguard the country and people from various threats," she added.

Park's father, the former president and military strongman Park Chung-Hee, was shot dead by his own intelligence chief in 1979.

Her mother was killed in 1974 during an earlier assassination attempt on her father by a North Korean sympathiser.

Park Geun-Hye never married or had children and once proclaimed herself wedded to the nation and its welfare.

While promising to listen to the complaints of the Seongju residents, the president warned against listening to "strange and groundless rumours rather than scientific evidence" about the THAAD deployment.

"I ask the political circle to gather their wisdom and efforts to prevent internal division and conflict," she added.

Tensions on the divided Korean peninsula have been running high since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, followed by a series of ballistic missile tests.

North Korea has threatened to take "physical action" against the THAAD deployment, saying any South Korean ports and airfields hosting US military "hardware" would become a target.



China Mulls Ramping Up Its Missile Defense With Russia

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Beijing (Sputnik) Aug 04, 2016 - With the televised demonstration of China's latest system of intercepting incoming ballistic missiles during the intermediate stage of their flight, it looks like the People's Republic is poised to become the second country after the US to deploy a missile shield.

In an interview with Sputnik, Vasily Kashin, a Moscow-based military expert, said that in their effort to develop what may be dubbed HQ-19, the Chinese may possibly be working closely with Russia, whose S-500 Prometey missile defense system, now under development, and the strategic missile system A-235 Nudol, which is currently undergoing trials, will be able to shoot down incoming warheads even before they enter the atmosphere.

The long-range A-235 missile will have a range of up to 1,500 km and will be able to carry a nuclear warhead which will dramatically improve its ability to shoot down enemy warheads.

"What really matters here is just how many such missile defense systems China will be able to deploy and who they are going to be used against. The modern US ballistic missiles are either land or sea-based intercontinental ones the ATACMS short-range Chinese missiles will hardly be able to deal with," Kashin said.

As for Japan, Kashin said that even though it has no ballistic missiles of its own, Tokyo, with its advanced space program, could have no problem developing such missiles.

Taiwan shuttered its ballistic missile programs back in the 1990s, relying instead on cruise missiles.

South Korea's Hyunmoo ballistic missiles have limited range and pose no real threat to China.

"The deployment of a limited missile defense system will give the Chinese an edge over regional powers, like Iran, Pakistan, India and North Korea, capable of building medium-range missiles and eventually relatively primitive types of ICBMs. And it will also come as a potent means of containing the imaginary missile threat by India," Kashin added.

With the new system in place, China will also be able to shoot down US spy satellites.

Vasily Kashin said that even though the publicized tests of China's new missiles defense system were apparently meant as Beijing's answer to the deployment of US THAAD missiles in South Korea, it would hardly be able to effectively counteract the American missile shield, primarily due to the obvious US edge in the number of nuclear warheads.

"China's most probable answer to the emergence of THAAD in South Korea could be the deployment of its newly developed cruise missiles to destroy the Americans' THAAD system during the initial stage of an armed conflict," Vasily Kashin said in conclusion.

The United States and South Korea announced plans in July to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, ostensibly to counter threats from North Korea, but the move received immediate condemnation from Russia and China, who view the installation as a veiled attempt by Washington to undermine Beijing and Moscow's mutual nuclear deterrent.

Moscow immediately joined Beijing in warning the United States that the deployment would have "irreparable consequences."

Source: Sputnik News



Lockheed Martin gets $58 million Patriot missile contract modification

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Aug 2, 2016 - Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has been awarded $58 million foreign military sales contract modification to enhance Qatari and Saudi Patriot missile systems.

The U.S. Army contract modification will go toward a modification of the Patriot system missile segment enhancement software.

Work will be performed in Texas and has an estimated completion date of June 2019.

Fielded by the U.S. Army, the Patriot air and missile defense system is fielded by American and allied forces.

It contributes to an entire system's situational awareness by transmitting precision cueing data to other theater elements while simultaneously protecting against short-range ballistic missile, large-caliber rockets and air-breathing threats.



Raytheon gets $130 million missile defense contract modification

‎Thursday, ‎September ‎1, ‎2016, ‏‎10:33:33 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Jul 27, 2016 - Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems has been awarded a $132 million contract modification for work on the Ballistic Missile Defense System's X-band radar.

The modification takes the total ceiling value of the deal to $1 billion.

The modification covers software maintenance, models and simulations, engineering support and test planning, execution and analysis for the X-band radar. It also covers software development.

Work will be performed in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

Raytheon's sea-based X-band radar stands more than 250 feet high on a semi-submersible oil production platform.

The floating platform, a modified oil-drilling vessel, offers stability in high winds and storms.

A power plant, bridge, control rooms, living quarters, storage space and other infrastructure support the X-band on the platform.

The radar supports the ground-based mid-course defense phase of the missile defense system.



Russia Designing Blimps Aimed at Reducing Threat of US Cruise Missiles

‎Thursday, ‎August ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎4:24:09 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Jul 26, 2016 - The town of Peresvet outside Moscow is home to the testing area of an exotic type of non-lethal weapon - the aerostat. A decision on whether to include blimps into the state's 2018-2025 armament program will be made following testing, to be completed by this autumn. Military analyst Vladimir Tuchkov comments on the prospects for the battle blimps.

In his analysis, published by the independent online newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa, Tuchkov explained that the project in question is the multi-purpose mobile aerostatic complex 'Peresvet', created by the Dolgoprudnenskoe Scientific Production Plant, part of the Vega Radio Engineering Corporation.

The blimp has a length of 32 meters, and a diameter of 13 meters, with a total envelope volume of 3,000 cubic meters. Peresvet is capable of lifting a 300 kg payload to an altitude of up to 3.5 km (the length of its support cable). At the same time, the blimp can be supplied with up to 4.5 kW-worth of electrical power onboard to power its instruments.

Commenting on the aerial vehicle's capabilities, Tuchkov pointed out that information on the types of devices used on board the aerostat has not been released. "But we do know that the Peresvet is capable of solving tasks including: a) providing long-range radio communications b) monitoring large areas c) reconnaissance, including visual, infrared, radio and radiological monitoring d) serving as a long-range radar, and e) electronic warfare."

"Digressing from this particular model, high-altitude aerostats, according to Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET) deputy head Vladimir Mikheev, can be effectively used for missile defense. Doing so requires equipping the airship with a phased array antenna, which allows launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and their warheads' flight paths, to be recorded."

At present, Tuchkov noted, "this idea remains only a concept, but one entirely possible to implement. Before embarking on the creation of such ambitious programs, it will be necessary to convince the senior command of the Aerospace Defense Forces of the need to revive the country's aerostat and airship building sectors."

"Not so long ago," the analyst recalled, "during the Great Patriotic War, and in the postwar period, dirigibles were widely used in the country's system of air defense, both to monitor the skies and to repel airstrikes via air-based boundaries. Of course, these functions are no longer of any interest to anyone; the intelligence-gathering role of stratospheric balloons has proved much more enduring."

In the 1950s, the United States began sending large numbers of spy balloons (from 200-300 in the most active years) equipped with powerful cameras to Soviet territory from bases bordering the USSR. After flying over Soviet territory and taking its pictures, the aerostat would drop a container into the water, equipped with a radio beacon and a distinctive orange dye, for recovery.

"These compact balloons became a huge problem for Soviet air defense forces," Tuchkov noted. "Anti-aircraft guns could not hit the target, which flew at altitudes of up to 30 km. Interceptor aircraft also had a flight ceiling which was much lower. Hitting the balloons with air-to-air missiles was also extremely difficult," with "the huge difference in the speed of the slow flying spy probe making it difficult for pilots to accurately lock onto the target."

"Due to the extreme difficulty in destroying these probes, every pilot who managed to destroy one of these spy balloon was awarded the Order of the Red Star," a medal awarded for great contributions in the defense of the USSR.

"These air raids, which were highly effective, continued until the late 1960s, stopping after the Americans developed the U2 high-altitude spy plane, and after the USSR developed effective anti-missile weapons."

Incidentally, Tuchkov noted, the Dolgoprudnenskoe Scientific Production Plant was created in 1956 in response to the US 'aerostat strategy'. Over its history, the design bureau developed balloons and airships from as small as 4 cubic meters to as much as 3 million cubic meters, with the capacity to lift between 1.5 kg to 6.5 metric tons, and a working height between 1.5 km and 45 km, with flight duration up to 20 days.

"In the 1990s, the Plant continued its research. However, a lack of funding prevented its projects from being realized. Among the unrealized projects is a marine radar surveillance blimp, designed to explore sea-based economic zones. The project is very promising in terms of both its cost-effectiveness and ease of implementation. The airship is capable of OTH radiolocation of waters and the surrounding airspace."

The Podsolnukh ('Sunflower') OTH radar, which is significantly more expensive, has similar capabilities.

Ultimately, Tuchkov explained, there are serious advantages to the use of airships. "Airships are cheaper to use than airplanes and helicopters, not least because they are unpiloted, and use less fuel. There are even advantages compared to drones. Firstly, an airship has a greater lifting capacity, and therefore can take more equipment up with it. Secondly, the threat of accidents due to technical problems is virtually eliminated. Of course, this does not apply to aerostats equipped with hydrogen, but their use was abandoned a long time ago."

"Airships have another significant advantage: they are difficult to detect on radar due, since they contain virtually no metal parts. The Dolgoprudnenskoe Scientific Production Plant has advanced their projects' qualities in this area even further, through the use of shell materials virtually invisible to radar waves."

And the Dolgoprudnenskoe Plant is not the only player engaged in the development of aerostats for military applications. The Vladimir Region-based Augur-RosAeroSystems also has a number of interesting proposals.

One particularly impressive project is Augur's Puma blimp, which has the capability to lift a 2.2 ton payload to an altitude of 4.4 km, a flight time of up to 30 days, and a power capacity of up to 40 kW. The aerial vehicle can be equipped with a variety of equipment, including radio-electronic warfare equipment.

"Augur has also made considerable efforts in the creation of manned airships. In 2018, the company plans to test the Atlanta, set to have a 60 ton lift capacity, and a 2,000 km flight range. The company expects this project to find interest in the Ministry of Defense. Naturally, commercial exploitation is also possible."

Still, Tuchkov noted, the creation of airships for use by the military is a risky venture. In the late 2010s, the US firm Worldwide Aeros began the creation of a heavy transport airship dubbed the Aeroscraft. The Pentagon soon showed its interest, becoming the co-financer of the project, which promised to cheaply transfer heavy equipment and personnel (up to a battalion-worth) across long distances.

A prototype with a 40 ton lifting capacity made its first flight in 2013. The project came to naught when the Tustin, California hanger at which it was based collapsed in late 2013, destroying the prototype. The company began a lawsuit against the Pentagon, which soon rejected the project.

"This is not the most ambitious US military project in the field of dirigibles to have 'deflated in the air'. In the mid-2000s, DARPA, the agency specializing in the creation of breakthrough military technologies, announced an airship project with a 1,000 ton lifting capacity, and a range of 22,000 km. That project was abandoned due to the fact that the super-airship's enormous cost of development far outweighed the expected results."

Nonetheless, Tuchkov noted, "the Pentagon remains interested in the creation of an intelligence-collecting suborbital aerostats operating in the upper boundary of the stratosphere (i.e. at an altitude of about 80 km). Its interest is understandable. Such an apparatus has capabilities not much different from a satellite in low orbit, and would repay with interest, since a rocket is not required to launch the balloon."

"The only question," according to the analyst, "is whether American engineers will be able to create a stratospheric balloon in a near airless space. At present, the absolute record belongs to the Japanese, who reached a record altitude of 53 km in May 2002."

"Tethered aerostats with more modest characteristics have long been used by the US Army as observation posts, equipped with tele and infrared cameras. In the early 2010s, the Pentagon decided to strengthen its fleet of unmanned airships, incorporating them into their air and missile defense systems. Now, this initiative, under the $3 billion JLENS program, is beginning to be realized. Testing is being conducted at a US Air Force base in Maryland on customizing the vehicles for the detection of low-flying cruise missiles. They are expected to be accepted into service in 2017 or 2018."

In this sense, the analyst suggested, Russian aerostat engineers are moving in the right direction.

Source: Sputnik News



Will Russia and China Build an SCO-Based Joint Missile Defense System

‎Thursday, ‎August ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎4:24:09 AMGo to full article
Moscow (Sputnik) Jul 26, 2016 - Russia and China may create a unified missile defense system for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. That's the conclusion of experts speaking at a forum dedicated to the US deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea. What would the Russian-Chinese system look like? Sputnik investigates.

On Monday, experts in Moscow and Beijing spoke via video conference on the implications for regional security of the US deployment of missile defense systems in South Korea. And while the forum focused mostly on political and military implications of the THAAD deployment, experts also intrigued observers by indicating that it was possible for Russia and China to join together to create a single missile defense shield over the entirety of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the political, economic and military organization involving much of eastern Eurasia.

Regarding the THAAD deployment, Moscow has repeatedly indicated that it was categorically opposed to the move. THAAD, capable of monitoring ballistic and aerial targets at distances of up to 1,500 km, is expected to give the US military the capability to 'see' into the territory of the Russian Federation, and even further into that of China.

Speaking at the video conference on Monday, Vladimir Petrovsky, a senior researcher at the Moscow-based Center for the Studies and Forecasting of Russia-China Relations at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, explained that the potential for a joint missile defense shield exists. Moreover, such a shield would be entirely appropriate given recent US moves, from its deployment of missile shield components in Eastern Europe to the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

"Russia and China could become the driving force in the area of missile defense. Special attention should be paid to the land-based interception systems which we have at our disposal," the analyst said.

Recently, the analyst recalled, Japan, South Korea and the United States conducted drills practicing the interception of ballistic missiles using the maritime-based US Aegis system. The appropriate response from Moscow and Beijing, according to Petrovsky, would be for the two countries' air defense forces to conduct similar joint exercises at the Ashuluk range in Russia's Astrakhan region.

Asked to comment on Petrovsky's words, experts speaking to the independent online news and analysis hub Svobodnaya Pressa indicated that a joint missile defense system was entirely within the realm of possibility.

Vladimir Evseev, the deputy director at the CIS Institute, indicated that he believes the creation of a united anti-missile defense system is definitely possible.

"Just to specify, we are talking about an anti-missile defense system, not air defense in general. In May, Russia and China staged their first joint missile defense exercises using computer simulations in Moscow. This was the first step in a plan to create a joint missile defense system. The next could be to gather real-world experience on the interception of ballistic targets, for example, at the Ashuluk range."

The expert noted that at present, China has two battalions of S-300PMU surface-to-air missile systems, two regiments of S-300PMU-1s and four regiments of S-300PMU-2s. Moreover, they have their own domestically developed SAM system - the HQ-9, created on the basis of its Russian analogues. This includes a maritime variant of the complex - the HHQ-9. "In addition, China has an analogue to the American Aegis system - built on the basis of France's Thomson-CSF TAVITA."

These systems are capable of intercepting ballistic targets at altitudes of up to 30 km and speeds of 1.5-2 km per second. Russia soon plans to supply Beijing with the S-400 Triumf; that system's basic missiles are also capable of intercepting targets at altitudes of about 30 km, but at higher precision.

Russian defense systems, in addition to the S-300 and S-400, also include the Moscow Air Defense System's A-135 missile, capable of intercepting enemy missiles at altitudes of up to 60 km.

"With regard to missile attack early warning systems (EWS), that of Russia is of course more advanced, and includes ground-based early warning radar (including the Daryal, Volga, Don-2N and Voronezh radar systems), plus the group of satellites in high elliptical and geostationary orbit."

Effectively, Evseev noted that "based on available funds, we could carry out exercises and make an attempt to intercept a ballistic target over Russian territory using joint calculations and, later on, eventually strive for the creation of collective missile defense."

"Such a move would serve as an effective response to US plans to deploy elements of missile defense in space. It is space-based ABM specifically which threatens to provide guaranteed interception - during the active phase of the missile's flight. And at this stage it is not necessary to make choices about the real targets within a cloud of decoys, as is the case when interception is carried out during the passive phase," nearer to the ground.

Ultimately, the analyst warned, if the US continues to develop its space-based missile defense components, "the only effective means against such a system would be the use of anti-satellite weapons. We know that China has tested with such systems, and we have similar designs, even if they are not widely advertised. In my view, we can only respond to Washington through the combination of military and diplomatic efforts. Diplomacy alone will not stop the construction of the US missile defense system."

For his part, Vasily Kashin, a senior researcher at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, noted that Russian-Chinese cooperation in the field of missile defense is possibile, although a full-scale joint shield is unlikely.

At the same time, Kashin indicated, "creating a collective missile defense system in the framework of the SCO is not possible by definition, given the specifics of the organization and the policies of its members. For example, a country like Uzbekistan may have its own dissenting opinion on the issue, not to mention the positions of India and Pakistan," set to join the SCO in 2017.

"As for collective missile defense between Russia and China, it is an unlikely scenario, but possible, given that cooperation in this field already exists. China is now in the process of creating an early warning system, and is developing a strategy for missile defense, including theater missile defense."

In this sense, Kashin suggested, "Beijing is naturally interested in our experience and, possibly, in an automated system of data exchange. As we know, missiles, if they begin their flight from the continental United States, will fly to Russia and China over the North Pole.

In principle, the exchange of data in the event of such a global strike may be of interest to our countries. Something of the kind has already been implemented by the US: The Americans receive real-time data from the early warning radar they sold to Taiwan, [and] the same thing seems likely with South Korea."

Still, according to the analyst, a genuine joint Russian-Chinese system of missile defense will most likely remain on the drawing board.

Source: Sputnik News



Protests as S. Korea president defends US anti-missile system

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎9, ‎2016, ‏‎8:10:49 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) July 21, 2016 - Several thousand South Koreans staged an angry protest Thursday against the planned deployment of a US anti-missile system near their hometown, but President Park Geun-Hye insisted the move was a national security imperative.

South Korea's defence ministry announced last week the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, or THAAD, will be installed in Seongju -- a rural county about 200 kilometers (135 miles) southeast of Seoul -- by the end of next year.

The decision was predicated on the growing threat posed by North Korea's advancing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme.

But Seongju residents say the THAAD deployment makes their county a strategic target and complain that it carries health and environmental hazards.

"Let's block the deployment of THAAD, a threat to peace on the Korean peninsula!" chanted some 2,000 protestors, waving flags and banners that read 'No THAAD' as they sat outside Seoul station on Thursday.

The protestors were surrounded by hundreds of police, amid concerns of a repetition of a violent standoff last Friday, which saw Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn pelted with eggs and water bottles.

Hwang had been in Seongju to try and appease the residents, but ended up being trapped in his minivan for hours.

Thursday's protest began just hours after Park urged public support for THAAD.

"The government's decision ... was based on the judgement that it was the best way to protect our country and people from North Korean threats," Park said during a National Security Council meeting Thursday.

"If there is a better way...please let me know," Park added.

Tensions on the divided Korean peninsula have been running high since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, followed by a series of ballistic missile tests.

On Tuesday, the North fired three ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) in an exercise aimed at simulating pre-emptive attacks on South Korean ports and airfields hosting US military "hardware".



Orbital ATK gets $182 million Missile Defense Agency contract

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎9, ‎2016, ‏‎8:10:49 AMGo to full article
Washington (UPI) Jul 21, 2016 - Orbital ATK has been awarded a $182 million U.S. Missile Defense Agency contract for the Medium Range Ballistic Missile Type 3 Configuration 2 target system.

The contract includes production equipment, logistics, associated support equipment, system engineering and analysis and mission operations.

Work will be performed in Arizona and has an estimated completion date of October 2020.

Since ballistic missiles have different ranges, speeds, size and performance characteristics, the system is an integrated, layered architecture that provides multiple opportunities to destroy missiles and their warheads before they reach their targets.



S. Korea confirms anti-missile system site

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎9, ‎2016, ‏‎8:10:49 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) July 13, 2016 - Seoul said Wednesday an advanced US missile defence system will be deployed in a remote southern county and will have the capacity to protect two thirds of the country against feared attacks from the North.

The plan to deploy the powerful system, which fires projectiles to smash into enemy missiles, came last week after the United States placed North Korea's "Supreme Leader" Kim Jong-Un on its sanctions blacklist for the first time.

The move prompted objections from Russia and China, who accused Washington of flexing its military muscle in the region.

Tensions have soared since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, followed by a series of missile launches that analysts say show the North is making progress toward being able to strike the US mainland.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, will be deployed in Seongju county about 200 kilometres (135 miles) southeast of Seoul, as agreed by US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter and his South Korean counterpart Han Min-Koo, according to the defence ministry in Seoul.

The deployment will be completed by the end of next year and will be able to cover up to two thirds of South Korea from North Korean missiles. It will also protect key industrial facilities, including nuclear power plants and oil depots, the ministry added.

US military bases in the South will also be protected by the missile system, but Seoul and its surrounding areas will be left out. This could mean the military deploying more US Patriot anti-air and missile defence systems in these areas, Yonhap news agency reported.

There have been protests about the system's location, with residents fearing harmful economic and environmental effects.

"We hope the people and residents in Seongju... render support" for the decision, the ministry said in a statement.

But thousands took to the streets Wednesday in Seongju town, carrying banners reading "We absolutely oppose THAAD deployment", Yonhap news agency reported.

The head of the county Kim Hang-Gon and some 10 others staged a hunger strike, cut their fingers and wrote slogans in blood on banners at the Wednesday's rally.

"The THAAD deployment threatens the livelihood of the country's 45,000 residents, 60 percent of whom are engaged in watermelon agriculture", a group against the deployment said in a statement.

North Korea threatened Monday to take "physical action" against the planned deployment of the powerful anti-missile system.

The move has also angered Beijing and Moscow, which both see it as a US bid to boost military might in the region. China on Friday said the move would "seriously damage" regional security in northeast Asia.

The US and South Korea began talks on deploying the THAAD system to the Korean peninsula in February after the North fired a long-range rocket.

South Korean authorities have scrambled to allay fears over possible trade retaliations from its largest trading partner China.

Finance Minister Yoo Il-Ho told the National Assembly Wednesday he believed China will separate politics from economic affairs and is not likely to hit the South with economic sanctions over missile system deployment.



Raytheon, Lockheed report successful Patriot tests

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎2, ‎2016, ‏‎3:29:44 AMGo to full article
White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (UPI) Jul 11, 2016 - Raytheon and Lockheed Martin each reported successful tests of the Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense system at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The tests involved the upgraded system, known as the Post-Deployment Build 8, or PDB-8, detecting, tracking and engaging a cruise missile surrogate target, Raytheon said in a statement.

Raytheon's Guidance Enhance Missile, or GEM-T, then destroyed a target, and a PDB-8 Patriot also destroyed a tactical fighter aircraft target.

The PDB-8 upgrade is expected to be fielded in 2018.

During the tests, the threats were manually engaged by soldiers using the shoot-look-shoot method of fire.

After the first interceptor was fired, Patriot soldiers watched to see if the cruise missile or aircraft was destroyed. The targets were each destroyed by the first interceptor.

As part of the PDB-8 testing, a Lockheed Martin PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement, or MSE, missile successfully intercepted a full-scale air breathing target, the company said.

The PAC-3 missile is a high-velocity interceptor that uses hit-to-kill technology to defend against incoming threats that include tactical ballistic missiles, aircraft and cruise missiles.



Moscow to raise US missile shield at NATO summit

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎2, ‎2016, ‏‎3:29:44 AMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) July 12, 2016 - Moscow said Tuesday it plans to discuss improving airspace safety over the Baltic Sea and the risks of a US missile shield in Europe at its summit with NATO this week.

The announcement comes after a string of incidents and near-misses in Baltic Sea airspace fuelled tensions between Moscow and the alliance.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow plans to raise "increasing aviation safety in the Baltic Sea region" when representatives of Russia and NATO convene in Brussels on Wednesday.

Russia's NATO-member Baltic neighbours have accused Moscow of regularly violating their airspace in recent months and flying with switched-off transponders, devices that allow radars to identify planes and prevent collisions.

President Vladimir Putin this month backed a call for all military aircraft flying over the Baltic region to keep their transponders on.

At the summit with NATO, Moscow will also "stress the risks to strategic stability that have appeared as a result of the ongoing construction of the US and NATO anti-missile system in Europe," Zakharova said.

Relations between NATO and Russia have soured since Moscow annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine in March 2014 and eastern European countries are worried that they too might be targets of Russian aggression.

NATO vowed at a summit in Warsaw last week to bolster its eastern flank to counter a resurgent Russia, agreeing to deploy four battalions in Poland and the Baltic states.

Moscow slammed the decision, accusing NATO of working to counter a "non-existent threat."

Putin said last month that Moscow will not be dragged into an arms race by NATO and accused the US-led alliance of skewering the military balance in Europe.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has meanwhile vowed to counter the NATO build-up by sending 2,000 items of new or modernised equipment to the country's western border flanking Baltic nations.



US to deploy missiles in S.Korea as North riled

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎2, ‎2016, ‏‎3:29:44 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) July 8, 2016 - The United States is to deploy an advanced missile defence system in South Korea, the two allies said Friday, as North Korea warned US sanctions against its leader amounted to a "declaration of war".

News of the unprecedented measures targeting Kim Jong-Un came as North Korea marked 22 years since the death of its founding president Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of the current "Supreme Leader".

Tensions have soared since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, followed by a series of missile launches that analysts said show the North is making progress toward being able to strike the US mainland.

The US and South Korea began talks on deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, or THAAD, to the Korean peninsula in February after the North fired off a long-range rocket.

"Based on these consultations, the (South) and the US made an alliance decision to deploy THAAD... as a defence measure to ensure the security of the (South) and its people," the allies' defence ministries said in a joint statement.

The allies have not revealed exactly when and where in South Korea the system would be deployed, saying they were in the final stages of selecting a potential venue.

The plan to deploy the powerful system, which fires projectiles to smash into enemy missiles, angered Beijing and Moscow, which both see it as a US bid to flex military muscle in the region.

Moscow said any deployment would have "irreparable consequences", while Beijing warned it would "seriously damage" regional security in northeast Asia and urged South Korea and the US to reconsider.

News of the deployment came after the US on Wednesday placed "Supreme Leader" Kim on its sanctions blacklist for the first time, calling him directly responsible for a long list of serious human rights abuses.

- 'Wartime law' -

Pyongyang lashed out at Washington on Friday, warning North Korea would instantly cut off all diplomatic channels with the US if the sanctions were not lifted.

"This is the worst hostility and an open declaration of war against the DPRK as it has gone far beyond the confrontation over the 'human rights issue,'" the foreign ministry said, using North Korea's official name.

"Now that the US declared a war on the DPRK, any problem arising in the relations with the US will be handled under the latter's wartime law," said the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

Kim, who took power four and a half years ago after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il, is the subject of a personality cult that permeates every aspect of life in the repressive state.

At midnight, Kim went to pay his respects at the giant mausoleum for his grandfather and father and during the day, thousands of sombrely-dressed party, government and military officials bowed and filed past the cases containing their embalmed bodies.

In the meticulously-manicured gardens outside the mausoleum, tens of thousands more -- including students, soldiers and office workers -- lined up to bow to giant portraits of the two Kims that dominate the facade of the building.

While the US sanctions naming Kim Jong-Un were more symbolic than substantive, the foreign ministry's angry reaction reflected North Korea's hyper-sensitivity to any personal attack on the ruling Kim family dynasty

North Korea often issues bellicose statements against the US, but the reference to "wartime law" is rare and analysts warned of more sabre-rattling to come over the sanctions.

"There will be a bombardment of diatribes from North Korea against the US as the military, government agencies and various social groups are likely to fall over themselves to prove their loyalty to Kim", Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies told AFP.

China also condemned the latest round of US sanctions, saying it opposed "public pressure, confrontation and one country's imposing unilateral sanctions on another country by citing domestic laws".

New US missile defence in South Korea: key questions
Seoul (AFP) July 8, 2016 - The United States said on Friday it would deploy a high tech missile defence system in South Korea, allowing it to fire projectiles that can smash into incoming enemy projectiles.

Here are some key questions about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, system.

Why is it being deployed?

Washington and Seoul say it is to defend South Korea from the North. While tensions on the peninsula have been high for more than six decades, relations have become increasingly strained in recent years. Pyongyang has carried out four nuclear tests as well as a series of missile launches, flexing its military muscle and making progress towards being able to strike the US mainland.

Seoul and Washington began talks on deploying THAAD in February, after the North launched a long-range rocket.

What defence does South Korea already have against the North?

Seoul already has an anti-missile defence based on the US Patriot system, but this can only target missiles at relatively low altitudes. The new system is able to hit missiles at a much greater height, making it more effective against rockets that could be carrying a nuclear warhead.

How does THAAD work?

As the "T" in the name suggests, THAAD can only intercept missiles in their terminal phase, i.e. as they move downwards towards their target, not on their way up.

It does this by using radar to detect an incoming threat, before engaging and identifying the target. Then a launcher -- which can carry up to eight interceptors -- fires a "kill vehicle" attached to the booster, which hits the incoming missile mid-air. The system can target ballistic missiles both inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Why is it so controversial?

China and Russia have been saying for months that the defence system is unnecessary and would tip the balance of power in the Pacific towards the United States.

Some analysts have suggested Beijing is most concerned that THAAD would allow Washington to better track Chinese missiles in their early stages, undermining the country's nuclear deterrent.

When and where has it been used before?

The first THAAD test flight took place in 2005, according to its US-based developer Lockheed Martin. The first operational deployment was in the US island territory of Guam in 2013, and there are currently five THAAD batteries worldwide, including in the United Arab Emirates.

It is not yet clear exactly where in South Korea the system will be deployed or when it will arrive.



N. Korea threatens action over US anti-missile system

‎Tuesday, ‎August ‎2, ‎2016, ‏‎3:29:44 AMGo to full article
Seoul (AFP) July 11, 2016 - North Korea threatened Monday to take "physical action" after Washington and Seoul announced they would deploy a sophisticated US anti-missile defence system to counter the growing menace from Pyongyang.

Seoul and Washington had on Friday revealed their decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the South following recent North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

The two allies have not yet revealed exactly when and where the system, which fires projectiles to smash into enemy missiles, would be deployed but said they were in the final stage of selecting a potential venue.

"The DPRK will take a physical counter-action to thoroughly control THAAD... from the moment its location and place have been confirmed in South Korea," the artillery bureau of the North's military said in a statement, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

North Korea's military, which has "sufficient latest offensive strike means", will take "more merciless and powerful successive corresponding measures against the US keen to ignite a war by deploying THAAD", it said.

It also warned the South of "miserable self-destruction" as a consequence of deployment of the THAAD system.

"We once again warn the enemies that it is the steadfast will of the (Korean People's Army) to make merciless retaliatory strikes to reduce South Korea to a sea in flames, debris once an order is issued," the statement said.

Seoul denounced the "ridiculous threats" by the North, which had staged serious provocations including a nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.

"North Korea must recognise who is threatening peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and first apologise for its provocations," defence ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun told reporters.

- Communications cut -

Also on Monday, the North cut all communications with the US through its office at the UN -- a rare channel of communications between the two nations that do not have official diplomatic ties.

The move was in protest at new US sanctions targeting leader Kim Jong-Un for a long list of serious human rights abuses, the first sanctions that name the leader of the isolated state.

Pyongyang had earlier slammed the sanctions on Kim as a "declaration of war" and vowed to take strong retaliatory measures.

Tensions are high since Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January, followed by a series of missile launches that analysts said showed the North was making progress toward being able to strike the US mainland.

Pyongyang also test-fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile a day after the THAAD announcement by Seoul and Washington, sparking swift international condemnation.

Saturday's launch followed Pyongyang's back-to-back tests of powerful new medium-range Musudan missiles on June 22 -- theoretically capable of reaching US bases as far away as Guam.

The planned deployment of the powerful anti-missile system has angered the South's neighbours including China, which said Friday the move would "seriously damage" regional security in northeast Asia.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye however defended the move as a "purely defensive" action aimed at protecting the South.

"The international community will be aware that we have no intention to target or threaten another country... we are taking a purely defensive measure to protect our country and our people," Park said in a meeting with advisors.

She also urged support from South Koreans over the deployment of powerful weapon, in the face of growing protest in the areas said to be potential venues.



China protests over US deploying missile system in S.Korea

‎Wednesday, ‎July ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:08:25 AMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) July 8, 2016 - China lodged protests with US and South Korean ambassadors Friday over their countries' decision to deploy an American missile defence system to counter threats from North Korea, a move Beijing said would damage regional security.

The deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) system announced by Washington and Seoul would "will severely undermine regional strategic security and disrupt the strategic balance," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

"We strongly urge the US and the Republic of Korea to halt the deployment process," he said, adding that Beijing "has launched solemn representations with their ambassadors," without giving any more details.

The move would not aid the "denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula, he added.

China is North Korea's largest trading partner and has been its key diplomatic protector for decades.

But relations have soured over Pyongyang's nuclear tests and long-range missile launches, with Beijing supporting UN sanctions.

Still, analysts say Beijing is concerned over any build up of US power on its doorstep and values Pyongyang as a strategic bulwark, while worrying THAAD could undermine its nuclear deterrent.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of "friendly relations" to a visiting North Korean official last month, even after the envoy reportedly told Chinese officials Pyongyang would continue with its internationally condemned nuclear programme.

The US and South Korea began talks on deploying the THAAD system to the Korean peninsula in February, when the North launched a long-range rocket following a fourth nuclear test in January.

They announced Friday that they had agreed to install it.

Separately, Washington this week imposed sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, calling him directly responsible for a long list of serious human rights abuses.

China condemned the move, with Hong telling a briefing Thursday that it opposed "public pressure, confrontation and one country's imposing unilateral sanctions on another country by citing domestic laws".

New US missile defence in South Korea: key questions
Seoul (AFP) July 8, 2016 - The United States said on Friday it would deploy a high tech missile defence system in South Korea, allowing it to fire projectiles that can smash into incoming enemy projectiles.

Here are some key questions about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, system.

Why is it being deployed?

Washington and Seoul say it is to defend South Korea from the North. While tensions on the peninsula have been high for more than six decades, relations have become increasingly strained in recent years. Pyongyang has carried out four nuclear tests as well as a series of missile launches, flexing its military muscle and making progress towards being able to strike the US mainland.

Seoul and Washington began talks on deploying THAAD in February, after the North launched a long-range rocket.

What defence does South Korea already have against the North?

Seoul already has an anti-missile defence based on the US Patriot system, but this can only target missiles at relatively low altitudes. The new system is able to hit missiles at a much greater height, making it more effective against rockets that could be carrying a nuclear warhead.

How does THAAD work?

As the "T" in the name suggests, THAAD can only intercept missiles in their terminal phase, i.e. as they move downwards towards their target, not on their way up.

It does this by using radar to detect an incoming threat, before engaging and identifying the target. Then a launcher -- which can carry up to eight interceptors -- fires a "kill vehicle" attached to the booster, which hits the incoming missile mid-air. The system can target ballistic missiles both inside and outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Why is it so controversial?

China and Russia have been saying for months that the defence system is unnecessary and would tip the balance of power in the Pacific towards the United States.

Some analysts have suggested Beijing is most concerned that THAAD would allow Washington to better track Chinese missiles in their early stages, undermining the country's nuclear deterrent.

When and where has it been used before?

The first THAAD test flight took place in 2005, according to its US-based developer Lockheed Martin. The first operational deployment was in the US island territory of Guam in 2013, and there are currently five THAAD batteries worldwide, including in the United Arab Emirates.

It is not yet clear exactly where in South Korea the system will be deployed or when it will arrive.



Raytheon's air and missile defense radar to be tested

‎Wednesday, ‎July ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:08:25 AMGo to full article
Tewksbury, Mass. (UPI) Jul 7, 2016 - Raytheon has delivered the first AN/SPY-6(V) air and missile defense radar early to the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, the company announced Thursday.

The array is now being installed in preparation for first radar light-off this month, Raytheon said in a statement, and is ready for live target tracking.

SPY-6(V) is the Navy's next-generation integrated air and ballistic missile defense radar.

The system's engineering and manufacturing development phase is now 80 percent complete, Raytheon said.

The delivery represents the latest milestone achieved on time or ahead of schedule, the company said.

Design, fabrication and initial testing of the array was completed in less than 30 months, and the system remains on track for delivery to the first DDG-51 Flight III destroyer in 2019.

SPY-6(V) is the first scalable radar using radar building blocks, each of which is a standalone radar that can be grouped to build any size radar aperature.

All the cooling, power, command logic and software are also scalable.

The radar also offers better range, sensitivity and discrimination accuracy.



Poland moves towards multi-billion-euro Patriot missile deal

‎Wednesday, ‎July ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:08:25 AMGo to full article
Warsaw (AFP) July 4, 2016 - Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz on Monday said he would ink a letter of intent with US defence firm Raytheon to buy a Patriot missile system valued at an estimated 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion).

The EU member's previous government had said in April it planned to buy the Patriot system, but soon after coming into power in November the current conservative administration placed a question mark over the purchase.

Macierewicz himself had said at the time: "The price is much higher, the delivery time much longer... in short, this contract is practically non-existent."

On Monday Macierewicz said Poland was able to move ahead with the plan because Raytheon had pledged that 50 percent of the missile system spending would be on works "done in Poland by Polish arms firms".

"That being the case, we're signing the letter of intent," Macierewicz said, quoted by the Polish news agency PAP.

He said that meant Raytheon would be the "most likely" maker of Poland's missile defence system.

The defence ministry had said in April that it wanted to acquire eight missile batteries by 2025, with two of them to be delivered within three years of signing a deal.

The Eurosam consortium including MBDA France, MBDA Italy and France's Thales Group had been the other party in the running for the missile deal.






IMDO and MDA Complete Integrated Ground Test

‎Wednesday, ‎July ‎20, ‎2016, ‏‎8:08:25 AMGo to full article
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Jul 07, 2016 - The Israeli Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in conjunction with the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the United States European Command (EUCOM) successfully conducted an Integrated Ground Test which ended on June 22nd.

The test validated the combined United States/ Israeli Missile Defense integrated architecture for the defense of Israel. The test was carried out by Elisra, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems.

The integrated architecture consisted of the Israeli Arrow Weapons System using Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 interceptors, and the David's Sling Weapon System interoperating with the United States assets consisting of Command and Control elements, Aegis ships, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot missile defense systems.

The David's Sling missile defense system, which was recently delivered to the Air Force, participated in the drill as part of its transition to becoming operational.

During the test, scenarios consisted of multiple missile and rocket attacks were simulated against Israel with both United States and Israel successfully employing, engaging and destroying the simulated incoming threats.

The test demonstrated the United States' commitment for the protection of Israel as well as the interoperability between the United States and Israeli integrated defense system architecture.





DVD Price R 899.00


Session Listing

Introduction and Isaiah 1

Introduction. Case against Judah.

Isaiah 2 - 5

A Vision of the Coming Kingdom. Israel, the Lord’s vineyard. The

Nation’s Judgment and Exile.

Isaiah 6 - 7

Isaiah’s New Commission. Confederacy of Rezin and Pekah. The Sign

of the Virgin.

Isaiah 8 - 9

Overthrow of Damascus and Samaria. Christ’s Birth.

Isaiah 10 - 12

Predicted Judgment upon Assyria. A Future Kingdom.

Isaiah 13 - 14

Babylon. Babylon’s Defeat. Lucifer’s Pride and Rebellion.

Isaiah 15 -18

Moab’s Devastation. Damascus will Fall. Ethiopia.

Isaiah 19 - 22

The Doom of Egypt. A Burden about Jerusalem.

Isaiah 23 - 27

A Burden about Tyre. Isaiah’s “Little Apocalypse” Chapters.

Session Listing

Isaiah 28 - 30

Prophetic warning concerning Ephraim and Judah.

Isaiah 31 - 35

Future Kingdom Blessings. Focus on Jerusalem.

Isaiah 36 - 39

Historical Parenthesis. Hezekiah and Rabshakeh.

Isaiah 40 - 42

How Many Isaiahs? Cyrus Predicted. Jesus Christ the Servant.

Isaiah 43 - 44

God’s Blessing on His people. The Rise of Cyrus.

Isaiah 45 (and the Gap Theory)

Cyrus to Restore Jerusalem. God created the Earth “not in vain.”

 The Gap Theory.

Isaiah 46 - 48

Babylon, the Pride of the Caldeans.

Isaiah 49 - 51

The Restoration of Israel. Vision of the Kingdom Age.

Session Listing

Isaiah 52 (and Acts 8)

Messianic Theme. The Ark of the Covenant. The Ethiopian Treasurer

in Acts Chapter 8. The Mercy Seat.

Isaiah 53 (Part 1)

The Holy of Holies of the Old Testament.

Isaiah 53 (Part 2)

The Fulcrum of the Entire Universe.

Isaiah 54 - 59

Israel, the Restored Wife. Idolaters rebuked.

Isaiah 60 - 62

Sin. Kingdom Age. The Two Comings of Christ. Kingdom Blessings.

Isaiah 63

Day of Vengeance. Isaiah Prays for Redemption of Israel.

Isaiah 64 - 66

A New Wine. New Heaven and New Earth. Judgment and Hope.



DVD Series - R 799.00
( 8 Discs)






PRICE R 159.00





Iranium DVD

The movie Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't want you to see




Riots in the Middle East, bloodshed and the overthrow of a Dictator. Does this sound like the Middle East in 2011?  Try 1979, the year the Shah was overthrown in Iran.  Is it possible history is about to repeat itself as Islamic Fundamentalists replace the Arab dictatorships of the Arab world?  What lessons can we learn from the Iranian revolution and the threat this nation currently poses to Israel and the Western world.

In this Documentary you will be taken back to the events of 1979 and the history of terrorism and conflict that has developed since then to bring Iran on it's current nuclear path.  You will learn about the EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) threat to America, Iran's current treatment of it's own citizens and  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's obsession with the 12th Imam of Islam.

Although the Stuxnet virus may have slowed down it's nuclear program, it is only a matter of time before Iran crosses the nuclear threshold.  How will a nuclear Iran change the Middle East?  Saudi Arabia has already threatened to develop its own program (or buy one from Pakistan) in response. Iran's nuclear program could be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century as the potential for nuclear devices to fall into the hands of terrorists increase.  This video will help you to see the emerging challenge we all face in a new urgency.  

Iran had attempted to shut down screenings of this movie in Canada but the Canadian government took a stand and showed this DVD despite the threats.  Find out why Iran is attempting to stop this movie from being seen around the world.

For a more detailed look at this DVD in relationship to current events we encourage you to watch Sean Hannity's interview with the producer here:



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Robotic Weapons - Chuck MIssler

In this segment, Chuck Missler discusses the use of robotic weapons. This segment comes from "The Hybrid Age" briefing pack recorded in 2011 and pu...




Nuclear Weapons, Proliferation and Policy Doctrine




News About Wars On Planet Earth




















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