Chinese armed drones now flying across Mideast battlefields

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FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2015, file photo, Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, center, inspects a first Chinese drone to be used by the Iraqi Air Force before sending it to bomb Islamic State group positions at an airbase in Kut, 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq. Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, who are world’s main distributor of armed drones. The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region crucial to American security interests and bolstering Beijing’s ambitions of being a world leader in high-tech arms sales. (AP Photo, File)

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — High above Yemen’s rebel-held city of Hodeida, a drone controlled by Emirati forces hovered as an SUV carrying a top Shiite Houthi rebel official turned onto a small street and stopped, waiting for another vehicle in its convoy to catch up.

Seconds later, the SUV exploded in flames, killing Saleh al-Samad, a top political figure.

The drone that fired that missile in April was not one of the many American aircraft that have been buzzing across the skies of Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. It was Chinese. Continue reading

U.S. Air Force seeks sharp growth to stay ahead of China, Russia

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U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., taxi upon landing at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, U.S. seeking shelter from Hurricane Florence in this September 12, 2018 handout photo. Senior Airman Isaiah J. Soliz/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force is predicting it will need to grow sharply over the next decade or so, boosting the number of operational squadrons by nearly a quarter to stay ahead of increasingly muscular militaries in China and Russia, officials said.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that the preliminary analysis drew partly from classified intelligence about possible threats in the 2025 to 2030 time frame, showing that the service, at its current size, would be unable to preserve America’s edge.”The Air Force is too small for what the nation is asking us to do,” Wilson told a small group of reporters ahead of a speech on Monday that will lay out her arguments. Continue reading

If the Iran Nuclear Deal Collapses, Iranian Hackers Will Target These U.S. Companies

 

If the Iran nuclear deal fails, U.S. companies will suffer never-before-seen security breaches thanks to Tehran’s “hacker army.”

This particular cyber militia has been honing its skills and expanding since 2013. That’s when then-Iranian President Hassan Rouhani increased the country’s cybersecurity spending 12-fold, Business Insider reported in 2015. Rouhani allocated roughly $19.8 million to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Tehran’s military) to up its cyber capabilities. Continue reading

Israel deploys ‘Star Wars’ missile killer system

FILE PHOTO: An “Arrow 3” ballistic missile interceptor is seen during its test launch near Ashdod, Israel December 10, 2015. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

 

The Defence Ministry said the U.S.-funded Arrow 3 system, jointly developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and U.S. firm Boeing Co. , was handed over the Israeli Air Force.

The Arrow 3, together with the Arrow 2, which has been operational since 2000, would “significantly reduce the possibilities of ballistic missiles” hitting Israel, the ministry said in a statement. Continue reading

China Would Outlast U.S. in Trade War, Billion-Dollar Fund Says

China would outlast the U.S. in a trade war, which is a “distinct possibility” next year after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, a commentator wrote in the $1 billion Pine River China Fund’s investor letter.

China’s government would be better placed than the U.S. to marshal state resources to cushion the impact on exporters, wrote James Wang, a City University of Hong Kong professor who pens a monthly commentary for the fund. Privately-owned Chinese exporters would be worse hit than state-controlled peers because they have less political clout in Beijing, he said. Continue reading

Exclusive: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After discovering China-made components in the F-35 fighter jet, a Pentagon investigation has uncovered Chinese materials in other major U.S. weaponry, including Boeing Co’s B-1B bomber and certain Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters, the U.S. Defense Department said.

Titanium mined in China may also have been used to build part of a new Standard Missile-3 IIA being developed jointly by Raytheon Co and Japan, said a senior U.S. defense official, who said the incidents raised fresh concerns about lax controls by U.S. contractors.

U.S. law bans weapons makers from using raw materials from China and a number of other countries, amid concerns that reliance on foreign suppliers could leave the U.S. military vulnerable in some future conflict. Continue reading