Inside the Ring: Pentagon Studies Ways to Counter Hypersonic Missile Threat from China, Russia

Navy Phoenix missiles like this one may be used to acquire hypersonic flight test data. (NASA)

 

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has launched a study of innovative ways to counter advanced missile threats such as ultra-high-speed maneuvering hypersonic missiles.

“MDA understands the emerging threat posed by hypersonic glide vehicle and maneuvering ballistic missile warheads and is evaluating programs and technologies to address this threat,” MDA spokesman Chris Johnson told Inside the Ring.

The agency recently released a request for information that will seek to identify weapon concepts for defense against future advanced threats such as hypersonics, he said. The responses are due Friday and will be used to develop an “analysis of alternatives” planned for 2017. Continue reading

Iran Renews Destructive Cyber Attacks on Saudi Arabia

AP

Tehran strategy seeks takeover of oil-rich U.S. ally

After a four-year hiatus, Iran recently resumed destructive cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia in what U.S. officials say is part of a long-term strategy by Tehran to take over the oil-rich kingdom and regional U.S. ally.

Late last month, the Saudi government warned in a notice to telecommunications companies that an Iranian-origin malicious software called Shamoon had resurfaced in cyber attacks against some 15 Saudi organizations, including government networks. Continue reading

Iran ready to give U.S. ‘slap in the face’: commander

Head of Iran’s Revolutionary guards ground forces Mohammad Pakpour (C) attends a funeral ceremony in Tehran October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

 

Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

“The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake,” said General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards’ ground forces, quoted by the Guards’ website Sepahnews. Continue reading

Planes, tanks, ships: Russian military gets massive upgrade

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 file photo, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shougu speaks during a meeting with senior military officials in Moscow, Russia. Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, that the sweeping military modernization program will continue at a high pace this year. Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. (Balashova Olga/Defence Ministry Pool Photo via AP, file)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military received a sweeping array of new weapons last year, including 41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the wide-ranging military modernization will continue this year, the defense minister said Wednesday.

Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers the air force will receive 170 new aircraft, the army will receive 905 tanks and other armored vehicles while the navy will receive 17 new ships this year.

Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. Continue reading

Geostrategy: Russia takes the Arctic seriously, U.S. has only two icebreakers

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Polar Star icebreaker. / Coast Guard photo

 

Russia, with nearly 40 icebreakers, is dominating the battle for the Arctic over the United States, which has just two of the vessels, a key Congressional leader said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation, said he will press Congress and the White to increase the Coast Guard’s budget, which stands at $10 billion. Continue reading

Robots poised to take over wide range of military jobs

Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute. (K.C. Alfred / Union-Tribune)

 

The wave of automation that swept away tens of thousands of American manufacturing and office jobs during the past two decades is now washing over the armed forces, putting both rear-echelon and front-line positions in jeopardy.

“Just as in the civilian economy, automation will likely have a big impact on military organizations in logistics and manufacturing,” said Michael Horowitz, a University of Pennsylvania professor and one of the globe’s foremost experts on weaponized robots.

“The U.S. military is very likely to pursue forms of automation that reduce ‘back-office’ costs over time, as well as remove soldiers from non-combat deployments where they might face risk from adversaries on fluid battlefields, such as in transportation.” Continue reading

Nuclear Submarines and Hypersonic Missiles: China Is Making Game-Changing Weapons Advances

Caption: Chinese navy formation during military drills in the South China Sea on January 2, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The United States military could be in “serious trouble” in a face-off against Chinese forces in the South China Sea, according to analyses published this week. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is making massive gains in its development of two key areas of advanced weaponry: Nuclear submarines and hypersonic missiles.

Alongside these advances, the PLA is demonstrating ever more willingness and resolve to use its military might. Analysts believe these factors could eventually tip the scales of a regional conflict in Beijing’s favor. Continue reading

Russia sends spy ship near US coast, deploys banned missiles at home, officials say

A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such instance during the Trump administration — and the same day it was learned the Kremlin had secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles inside Russia, U.S. officials told Fox News.

The Russian spy ship was in international waters, 70 miles off the coast of Delaware and heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles.

It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed. Continue reading

Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined (AFP Photo/GREG BAKER)

 

China is beginning to export its own weapon designs, including armed drones, worldwide and is reaching “near-parity” with the West in terms of military technology, according to a report on Tuesday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined. Continue reading

Germany to deepen military ties with France, others: sources

A German soldier holds NATO flag during a ceremony to welcome the German battalion being deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO deterrence measures against Russia in Rukla, Lithuania February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

 

Germany will move forward this week with plans to set up a joint fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J transport planes with France and join a Netherlands-led fleet of Airbus A330 tanker planes, defense ministry sources said on Monday.

Those and several other initiatives with Norway, Romania and the Czech Republic are part of a broader drive to expand European defense cooperation to be announced at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, the sources said. Continue reading

Reaching for the Bomb

WARSAW/HAMBURG/BERLIN (Own report) – The Polish government’s éminence grise, Jarosław Kaczyński, has picked up the German establishment’s call to acquire its own nuclear weapons. He would welcome it, if the EU would become a “nuclear superpower,” Kaczyński told a leading German daily. Last week, the left liberal, government critical “Panorama” television program of the ARD’s Norddeutscher Rundfunk channel called for launching an “open debate” on the “German nuclear bomb,” because “no state” could presently be “confident” that the USA, under President Trump, would “unconditionally defend the other NATO allies.” To “deter” Russia from attacking a member of the Alliance, in this situation, it is necessary to have national control over nuclear weapons, claimed the authors of the program. Numerous experts from think tanks, the media and from the political domain have expressed similar views, even while differing, on whether to confide the nuclear war potential to the authority of the EU’s military bodies or to the German government. Continue reading

Russia to give Syrian army high-precision weapons

Loitering bomb [DEBKAfile]

 

It came in an announcement by Ilyas Umakhanov, deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council, who said, “Russia will continue an asymmetrical response (to terrorism) in Syria, which may include the regrouping of forces and means…and of course the supply of high-precision weapons to the Syrian government.”

He added that “It is impossible to defeat terrorism only by efforts of one country. Terrorism has assumed a global character and, having achieved obvious victory in one place, there is no reason to create additional vacuums where terrorists can resume military operations.” Continue reading

Global arms race won’t stop now: U.S. eyes potential foes working on new weaponry

It’s just basic human nature, but no one likes to look over their shoulder to see an eager competitor gaining on them no matter what the situation is, right?

Well, while we have the world’s finest, most powerful military, we have some potential enemies, “frenemies,” etc. who are trying to catch up to us with their development and deployment of cutting-edge military weapons.

There’s reason to be unsettled. Continue reading

Has China been Practicing Preemptive Missile Strikes against U.S. Bases?

What a great time to have most of the U.S. carrier strike groups docked on the mainland… for China, that is.

Please see the source for more eerie satellite pictures, etc…

 

Fig. 10: Possible moored ship and naval facility targets, imagery dated August 2013. Compared for scale with actual U.S. destroyer.

You’ve probably heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers. Or perhaps you’ve read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force would make short work of it. In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to strike U.S. bases. This is a time of increasing tension, with China’s news organizations openly threatening war. U.S. leaders and policymakers should understand that a preemptive Chinese missile strike against the forward bases that underpin U.S. military power in the Western Pacific is a very real possibility, particularly if China believes its claimed core strategic interests are threatened in the course of a crisis and perceives that its attempts at deterrence have failed. Such a preemptive strike appears consistent with available information about China’s missile force doctrine, and the satellite imagery shown below points to what may be real-world efforts to practice its execution. Continue reading

China Boosting Nuclear Capabilities, Narrowing Gap With US, Russia

“The DF-5’s strengths are obvious. This is a powerful liquid-fuel missile which weighs 183 tons. Its energy potential is so great that it [led to China] creating a family of space launch vehicles based [upon this missile]. It is capable of delivering a powerful front section with ten warheads and the means of overcoming ballistic missile defenses to the US,” Vasily Kashin said.

 

China is likely to change the rules of the game in the Asian-Pacific region: in the coming years Beijing may narrow the gap with the US in terms of strategic nuclear capabilities, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik, referring to Beijing’s flight test of advanced DF-5C intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

There appear to be more and more reasons to expect China to make a spectacular breakthrough in the field of nuclear weapons development, Russian military expert Vasily Kashin told Sputnik, adding that this could lead to radical changes in the ongoing geopolitical game over Asia-Pacific.

On January 31 Bill Gertz, a senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, reported that Beijing had flight tested “a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads,” dubbing it a “dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.” Continue reading