Russian air defense system sale to Iran will tilt military balance

Iran has begun receiving one of Russia’s most advanced and capable air defense system, the S-300 after years-long delays due to international pressures.

At present it is assessed by NATO to be able to attack aircraft flying as high as 90,000 feet or at ranges of about 100 miles. It also can defend against cruise missiles and some variants can defend against ballistic missiles. Continue reading

China to build 40,000-ton amphibious assault ship: Kanwa

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To compete against the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, China is planning to build a new class of amphibious assault ship with a displacement of 40,000 tons, according to Kanwa Defense Review, a Canada-based Chinese-language military magazine. Continue reading

NORAD to Conduct Test Flights Over Washington, D.C., Area

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct training flights over the Washington, D.C., area next week in preparation for responding to “unknown and potentially threatening aircraft.” Continue reading

SCO exercise Peace Mission 2014 to involve 7,000 troops

Russian military servicemen get ready to head for China to take part in Peace Mission 2014 drills, Aug. 2014

 

SHANGHAI, August 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The Peace Mission 2014 antiterrorist exercise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will be the largest ever in the organizations’ history, a Chinese military official said on Tuesday.

It’s the first time that so many troops and so much weaponry have been deployed in joint drills under the SCO aegis,” Wang Ning, chief director of the drilla and deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told the China Daily newspaper. Drones, Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft, air-defense missiles, tanks and armored vehicles have joined the anti-terrorist drills in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region that will be held from August 24 to 29.

Continue reading

Spy Plane Fries Air Traffic Control Computers, Shuts Down LAX

On Wednesday at about 2 p.m., according to sources, a U-2 spy plane, the same type of aircraft that flew high-altitude spy missions over Russia 50 years ago, passed through the airspace monitored by the L.A. Air Route Traffic Control Center in Palmdale, Ca. The L.A. Center handles landings and departures at the region’s major airports, including Los Angeles International (LAX), San Diego and Las Vegas.

The computers at the L.A. Center are programmed to keep commercial airliners and other aircraft from colliding with each other. The U-2 was flying at 60,000 feet, but the computers were attempting to keep it from colliding with planes that were actually miles beneath it.

Though the exact technical causes are not known, the spy plane’s altitude and route apparently overloaded a computer system called ERAM, which generates display data for air-traffic controllers. Back-up computer systems also failed. Continue reading

Pentagon Prepared to Defend US Planes in China Defense Zone

It should be interesting to see how serious the US is in defending the Asia Pacific as it has just recently left Israel, one of its strongest allies, alone out in the cold in a hostile Middle East. China smells blood as well as American weakness, politically, economically, socially and militarily — and only time will tell how far they take this.

PENTAGON — A Pentagon spokesman says the United States will not comply with China’s new air defense zone in the East China Sea and is prepared to defend its aircraft that enter the region.

Shortly after China declared it was establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement condemning the move and saying the new Chinese policy would not in any way change how the United States conducts military operations in the region.

On Monday, Pentagon spokesman U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren made the U.S. position even clearer. Continue reading

Japan unveils largest warship since World War II

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Japan on Tuesday unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a huge flat-top destroyer that has raised eyebrows in China and elsewhere because it bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.

The ship, which has a flight deck that is nearly 250 meters (820 feet) long, is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters. Japanese officials say it will be used in national defense – particularly in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions – and to bolster the nation’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Though the ship – dubbed “Izumo” – has been in the works since 2009, its unveiling comes as Japan and China are locked in a dispute over several small islands located between southern Japan and Taiwan. For months, ships from both countries have been conducting patrols around the isles, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in China. Continue reading

China fake parts ‘used in US military equipment’

Vast numbers of counterfeit Chinese electronic parts are being used in US military equipment, a key Senate committee has reported.

A year-long probe found 1,800 cases of fake parts in US military aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee said.

More than 70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China, the report said.

It blamed weaknesses in the US supply chain, and China’s failure to curb the counterfeit market.

The failure of a key part could pose safety and national security risks and lead to higher costs for the Pentagon, the committee said.

US servicemen rely on a variety of “small, incredibly sophisticated electronic components” found in night vision systems, radios and GPS devices and the failure of a single part could put a soldier at risk, the report said.

It highlighted suspect counterfeit parts in SH-60B helicopters used by the Navy, in C-130J and C-27J cargo planes and in the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon plane.

After China, the UK and Canada were found to be the next-largest source countries for fake parts.

Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny”

‘Avoiding scrutiny’

The committee criticised China for failing to shut down counterfeit manufacturers and said that committee staff wanting to travel to China for the investigation had not been granted visas.

“Counterfeit electronic parts are sold openly in public markets in China,” the report said.

“Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny,” it added.

But the report said that use of Department of Defense programmes such as the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), designed to log suspected fake parts, were “woefully lacking”.

Between 2009 and 2010 the GIDEP only received 217 reports relating to suspected fake counterfeit components, the majority of which were filed by just six companies, it said. Only 13 reports came from government agencies.

Full article: China fake parts ‘used in US military equipment’ (BBC)