Showing posts from 2017

Chinese Troops Arrive in Syria to Fight Uyghur Rebels

The Syrian conflict has an endless capability to surprise analysts as seemingly every other day a new element, unprecedented in the Syrian civil war, comes to the surface. Such is the case with the arrival of the first Chinese Army special forces unit, “the Night Tigers,” to Syria’s Tartous port on the Mediterranean, according to reports in Arab media close to the Assad and Tehran regimes (the Al-Mayadeen TV channel).2 The Night Tigers were dispatched by Beijing to fight the Uyghurs, the Muslim Chinese ethnic group fighting with the rebel forces against the Assad regime.

According to these press reports, Beijing planned to send two units from the Special Operations Forces – the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers” – to assist Assad’s regime against Chinese Uyghurs fighting with radical Muslim organizations in Syria. However, unlike the news reporting about the arrival of the “Night Tigers,” no confirmation has been received yet on the second unit.

According to the Syrian ambass…

South Korea developing new Super Torpedo

One of the most feared—or hyped—weapons today is the supercavitating torpedo, essentially an underwater rocket that zooms toward a target at two hundred miles per hour. So far, only Russia has deployed them, with its VA-111 Shkval weapon. Now, South Korea may be developing supercavitating torpedoes as well, according to naval website Navy Recognition [3]. At the recent MADEX 2017 trade show in South Korea, a display by South Korea's Agency for Defense Development featured a mockup of a slim, bottle-shaped projectile.

The display included a poster that read:

“Development of key technologies for supercavitating torpedo:

- Supercavitator design technology

- Cavity shapes and hydrodynamic forces prediction technology

- High-speed cavitation tunnel for supercavitation experiment”

An Agency for Defense Development engineer told Navy Recognition that laboratory testing of the weapon had begun in 2015, and live tests are planned for 2020. “The diameter of the current test vehicle is 125 m…

Britain’s largest ever aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth has some flaws

One of the concerns that the new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth will not have enough crew trained to operate her.
The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is currently under sea trials and is the largest warship ever built by the Royal Navy.
The ordered fighters for her decks are too expensive and weak, the design itself is flawed and that there will not be enough royal navy ships to protect her.
The ship has absorbed £6bn ($7.6bn) worth of investment and has taken around 10 years to come to fruition.
The Royal Navy hopes that after a long period of underinvestment these two new supercarriers will bring prestige capability and prowess back to the UK’s naval forces.
These are enormously expensive ships and the project overran its price estimation by close to double (£6.2 billion ($7.9bn), up from the £3.5 billion ($4.4bn) projected in 2007).

For that money, only two ships have been obtained and that does not count the order for the F-35bs needed for each ship.
Which will cost around $10…

US Sends Special Ops to 149 Countries in 2017

The Trump White House has set a record, as US troops deploy around the world in an ever-widening net of American outreach at the end of a gun barrel.

According to new data, US Special Operations troops, including Navy Seals and Army Green Berets, were deployed in 149 nations in 2017, a 150 percent jump from the administration of George W. Bush, and a modern record for shipping US military policy around the globe.

"We operate and fight in every corner of the world," recently boasted chief of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) General Raymond Thomas.

"Rather than a mere ‘break-glass-in-case-of-war' force, we are now proactively engaged across the ‘battlespace' of the Geographic Combatant Commands," Thomas enthused, adding that US forces were globally "providing key integrating and enabling capabilities to support […] campaigns and operations," cited by The Nation.

But that worldwide scope has only spread thinner the assets of a country already t…

Pentagon’s New Missile Passes Field Tests

On Tuesday, the US Air Force (USAF) successfully conducted a test of their newest projectile, the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), built by defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The next-generation missiles are to be deployed by B-1B Lancers and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. The LRASM is meant to be a next-generation anti-ship missile that detects and destroys specific targets within warships while remaining far enough away to avoid engagement, a feat called "standoff engagement" in military jargon.

To accomplish this, the LRASM is equipped with a sophisticated autonomous guidance system known as a "passive sensor" that minimizes the need for intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance. Instead, the LRASM independently detects and homes in on enemy shipboard radar systems. And according to a Lockheed Martin press release, USAF's tests of the LRASM over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California were a complete success. "B-1B aircrew simultaneously launched t…

The South China Sea: China’s Provocations And ASEAN Silent

Chinese and Filipino diplomats are still deciding when and where to pick up talks on the South China Sea in 2018, but in terms of substance, the two sides are already on the same page. Li Keqiang of China and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines spent the 31st ASEAN summit in October jointly insisting a “code of conduct” could stabilise tensions in the South China Sea – but failed to mask the lack of real progress. The current state of affairs already represents a major diplomatic victory for Beijing. The Philippines, host of this year’s ASEAN summit, has effectively abandoned an unequivocal 2016 ruling in its favour from the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) over China’sconstruction of artificial islands in disputed waters.

China rejected the validity of both the ruling and the PCA’s authority, but the Philippines and its ASEAN partners also failed to stand by the decision. Among member states, only Vietnam has come out in direct support of the PCA decision. China already ignores a …

India and Russia are likely to sign a contract soon on sale of Russian S-400 air defence system

India and Russia are likely to sign a contract soon on sale of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system, a senior Russian official said, describing discussions on the deal to be at a “very profound stage”. Presently discussions are going on the exact number of S 400 Triumf air defence systems that will be bought by India, according to Viktor N Kladov, director for international cooperation and regional policy of Rostec, a state-owned Russian defence and industrial group. Asked when will the contract be signed, Kladov said, “As soon as they prepare the contract it will be signed…I cannot give you the time as I don’t know but anytime in future because the two teams are working very hard”. “It is being discussed and it is still at a very profound stage. Technical details are being discussed. The two teams are working very hard on negotiations. It is a very sophisticated system, lots of technical details are to be looked into.

“It also includes pricing, training, transfer of technologies, …

Global arms industry: First rise in arms sales since 2010

Sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies—the SIPRI Top 100—totalled $374.8 billion in 2016, according to new international arms industry data released today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The total for the SIPRI Top 100 in 2016 is 1.9 per cent higher compared with 2015 and represents an increase of 38 per cent since 2002 (when SIPRI began reporting corporate arms sales). This is the first year of growth in SIPRI Top 100 arms sales after five consecutive years of decline. US companies increase their share of total arms sales in 2016 
At a combined total of $217.2 billion, arms sales of US companies listed in the SIPRI Top 100 grew by 4.0 per cent in 2016. US military operations overseas as well as acquisitions of large weapon systems by other countries have driven this rise. Arms sales by Lockheed Martin—the world’s largest arms producer—rose by 10.7 per cent in 2016, which was decisive …

Drone Designed By Indian Start-Up Could Track China’s Military Moves

In a little over three years from now, a cutting-edge drone made by a Noida-based start-up may be able to fly 65,000 feet over the town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and remain in the air for no less than three weeks at a time. From this lofty perch in near-earth orbit, the drone, which doesn’t have a name as yet, will be able to monitor Chinese military movements in the city of Shigatse in Tibet, more than 200 kilometres away, 24 hours a day. It could, in effect, replace surveillance satellites, which need to expend their limited reserves of internal fuel if they are to be positioned over an area of interest to capture high-resolution images. 

Developed by NewSpace Research and Technologies, the new drone is the first private sector aircraft to be designed in India. All research and development of the aircraft was done in-house, which is being validated by aerospace major Boeing. The first flight of the aircraft, which falls in the category of a HAPS or High Altitude Pseudo Satelli…

World’s 'Deadliest' Missile BrahMos to Achieve Hypersonic Speed Within 7 Years

The present version of BrahMos travels at a speed of Mach 2.8. Indian and Russian scientists have been jointly working on increasing the speed to even greater hyper-sonic levels. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, an Indo-Russian joint venture product, is expected to achieve hypersonic speed in next seven to 10 years. "We are working on increasing the speed of the missile in a phased manner. The current BrahMos missiles have a speed of Mach 2.8. In two years time, we would have a speed of Mach 3.5. In the next three to four years time, we would have a speed of Mach 5. Then we have to go hypersonic, which would take seven to 10 years," Sudhir Kumar Mishra, CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace Ltd said on Tuesday. Supersonic missiles and aircraft travel faster than sound but less than five times the speed of sound; hypersonic missiles would break this Mach 5 barrier. BrahMos Aerospace is soon expected to start the production of the air-launched version of the missile as Godrej…

Japan May Turn Its F-15J Eagles Into Cruise Missile Carriers

Japan is at a strategic crossroads of sorts. The days of strict adherence to Article Nine of the country's constitution are coming to an end as threats both new and old grow and evolve. Tokyo seems to be willing and able to move beyond the strategic confines of its post WWII past to become a more capable and longer-reaching military force that can project power well beyond its own territory and even its region. But considering what seems like an exponentially expanding threat posed by North Korea, as well as an increasingly hostile dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, Japan finds itself in need of the ability to quickly strike deep into the heart of a contested territory on relatively short notice.

Our own Joseph Trevithick detailed Japan's emerging hunt for an advanced air-launched cruise missile. As we suspected, The Japan News now says this missile will likely be America's highly capable and stealthy Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, otherwis…

China confirms deployment of fighters to South China Sea island for first time

China has for the first time confirmed the deployment of fighter jets to Woody Island in the disputed South China Sea, state media have reported. Citing footage aired by the official state broadcaster, the Global Times reported late Friday that China had sent J-11B fighters to the island in the contested Paracel chain. While fighter jets had been spotted on the island in 2016 and in April this year, the footage was the first time Beijing had confirmed the deployments. It was aired by China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday as part of a report on the air force’s expanding capabilities.

Woody Island, known in China as Yongxing Island, is the largest of the Paracels, which Beijing calls the Xisha Islands. It is the seat of the Sansha city government — covering several island groups and undersea atolls — in southern China’s Hainan province. The footage showed fighters landing, taking off and conducting drills, apparently over the South China Sea. It also showed at least one fighter “…

New North Korean Missile Is A 'Monster'

The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea launched on Wednesday appears to be significantly larger and more powerful than previous versions, according to independent analysts. "It's a monster," says Vipin Narang, an associate professor at MIT who tracks the North's nuclear capabilities. The missile is so much larger than previous versions that Narang suspects it could carry a powerful thermonuclear weapon, regardless of whether the North has managed to make a compact, missile-friendly version. "They wouldn't have to miniaturize much," Narang says.

Other analysts are less sure about what the missile could carry and where it could reach. David Wright, a rocket expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, says the devil remains in the details surrounding the rocket's engines and the weight of the warhead it carries.

Still, he believes that this missile gives the North Koreans the ability to deliver a nuclear warhead to U.S. soil. "I …

US Navy boosts patrols in Black Sea amid tensions in region

The USS James E. Williams sailed into the Black Sea this week, the second U.S. warship in the past three months to patrol a region where fighting has increased between Ukrainian government troops and separatists backed by Russia. Another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, the USS Porter, completed a similar mission in August. The current patrol demonstrates the Navy’s more frequent presence in the Black Sea, where its ships once visited sporadically.

Russia has viewed the U.S. naval presence as aggressive posturing since 2014, when it annexed the Crimean Peninsula and began backing separatist forces fighting in eastern Ukraine. U.S. and European sanctions against Moscow have ratcheted tensions throughout much of Eastern Europe.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian media reported that a government soldier was killed and two others wounded in shelling by militants in the country’s east. The Navy doesn’t attribute any particular significance to the increased frequency of its Black Sea patrols. Destroyers a…

Spartan vs. C295: Winner of Turkish airlifter contest may secure $500M deal

Italian Leonardo’s C-27J Spartan airlifter will soon face off against the Airbus’ C295 in a sizable Turkish contract, with Ukraine-based company Antonov potentially joining the race. “We wish to see as large a competition as possible. We are certain about the European contenders joining the bidding,” a Turkish procurement official said of the program for the purchase of an initial batch of nine transport aircraft for the Turkish military. Another Turkish official confirmed there would be follow-on orders. Industry sources estimate the initial contract to be worth nearly $500 million. “With the follow-on orders, the program may double in size,” one source said. The deadline for questions, answers and clarifications between the bidders and Turkey’s procurement agency, the Under secretariat for Defense Industries, or SSM, is Nov. 29. The contenders will submit their bids to the Turkish government by Dec. 29. Leonardo officials who briefed a group of Turkish journalists at the 46th Air Br…