If Iran resumes enrichment, the US and Israel poised to attack its facilities

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: If Europe fails to back Iran against the US, Tehran will resume uranium enrichment. He is asking for trouble. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei tried Wednesday, May 23, to counter Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s ultimatum with one of his own for the European powers, the UK, France and Germany, which are trying to save the 2015 nuclear deal after the US walkout. The dictates he put before them included: European banks must safeguard trade with Iran and stop seeking new negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional Middle East activities to gratify the US president. The Europeans must further guarantee Iran’s oil sales and compensate Tehran for losses incurred from US sanctions. If Europe fails to meet Khamenei’s demands, Iran will go back to enriching uranium, effectively turning its back on the 2015 nuclear deal, he warned. Continue reading

Moscow’s “Eye In Turkey”: Transfer Of S-400 Missiles Will Open Turkey To Russian Spying, NATO Warns

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The German language Der Spiegel magazine in a recent editorial attempted to sound the alarm of encroaching Russian influence in NATO connected with Russia’s advanced S-400 anti-aircraft systems.

“The Turkish government wants to buy the state-of-the-art Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system. NATO considers this a serious provocation: the system is not only incompatible with the alliance’s existing defenses, but it could also expose secrets of the new US F-35 fighter jet to Russia, which Turkey also wants to buy,” according to a rough translation from the German.  Continue reading

Fewer planes are ready to fly: Air Force mission-capable rates decline amid pilot crisis

The F-22 saw an 11.17 percentage point reduction in mission-capable rates in 2017. It was one of several airframes that saw similar dips, contributing to an overall decline in mission-capable rates across the Air Force. (Tech Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth/Air Force)

 

The readiness of the Air Force’s aircraft fleet is continuing its slow, steady deterioration — and this could spell trouble for the service’s effort to hold on to its pilots and its ability to respond to contingencies around the world.

According to data provided by the Air Force, about 71.3 percent of the Air Force’s aircraft were flyable, or mission-capable, at any given time in fiscal 2017. That represents a drop from the 72.1 percent mission-capable rate in fiscal 2016, and a continuation of the decline in recent years.

Former Air Force pilots and leaders say that this continued trend is a gigantic red flag, and warn it could lead to serious problems down the road.

“It scares the heck out of me,” said retired Gen. Hawk Carlisle, former head of Air Combat Command. “It really does.”

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Russia to Israel: We will defend you if Iran attacks, but also defend Iran’s presence in Syria

This is a mixed message with the aim of outwardly projecting propaganda in the sense that the Iranian buildup isn’t a threat, when in reality Russia is saying the Persian state has green light to do as it pleases with full protections. They are baiting Israel into attacking, and they just might should the threat level continue to increase in this Middle Eastern game of chicken.

“If Iran attacks Israel, Russia will stand alongside the US to defend Israel,” said Russian ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein at the Munich security conference last week –  in a mixed message from Moscow. This assurance is part of the effort Moscow has been making for some time to allay Israel’s concerns and stop the Netanyahu government from agitating against the peril posed by an Iranian military presence in Syria.  The Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu carried this message when he paid an unprecedented visit to Jerusalem last October. Continue reading

North Korea SURROUNDED: US warships, bombers, missiles and 80,000 soldiers READY

The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier leads a formation of ships (UIG Via Getty Images)

 

NORTH Korea is nearly totally surrounded by a wall of US warships, bombers and missiles with more than 80,000 soldiers on alert as Donald Trump heads for Asia.

The US President is jetting into the Pacific this week for a whistle-stop tour of the nations surrounding North Korea.

Trump will be popping in for one-on-one meetings with the leaders of China, South Korea and Japan – with Kim Jong-un’s nukes right at the top of the agenda. Continue reading

The Future the US Military is Constructing: a Giant, Armed Nervous System

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, gives a keynote address during the Naval Future Force Science and Technology (S&T) Expo, July 21, 2017. This is a slide from his presentation.

 

Service chiefs are converging on a single strategy for military dominance: connect everything to everything.

Leaders of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines are converging on a vision of the future military: connecting every asset on the global battlefield.

That means everything from F-35 jets overhead to the destroyers on the sea to the armor of the tanks crawling over the land to the multiplying devices in every troops’ pockets. Every weapon, vehicle, and device connected, sharing data, constantly aware of the presence and state of every other node in a truly global network. The effect: an unimaginably large cephapoloidal nervous system armed with the world’s most sophisticated weaponry.

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The future of the Air Force is fighter pilots leading drone swarms into battle

CONCEPT ART OF MULTIPLE VALKYRIE DRONES IN COMBAT The Valkyrie is designed for an Air Force “Low Cost Attritable Strike UAS Demonstration.” In other words, it’s a drone that’s inexpensive enough to lose sometimes. Image courtesy of Kratos

 

Cheap, unmanned wingmen could add punch and protection to fighter formations.

The future of the United States Air Force is a human-piloted, $100 million stealth jet guiding flocks of $3 million drones that glide effortlessly into position powered by turbo fans. Thanks to the Air Force Research Lab and drone-maker Kratos, that future of combined human/robot formation is already being tested.

There are many good reasons to want a human in the cockpit of a plane, including their judgement, fast-thinking skills, and the capability to respond to unexpected threats. Continue reading

Congress considering restart of F-22 program

Lockheed debuts C-130J variant for special operations forces

 

The House Armed Services Committee is currently reviewing a classified report it ordered last year on restarting production of the F-22 Raptor, according to a spokesperson for the committee.

“I can confirm that we received the report and are reviewing it,” HASC spokesman Barron Youngsmith told UPI, declining to comment further due to the classified nature of the review. Continue reading

US Air Force Grounds F-35s at Arizona Base

An F-35A Lightning II on static display at Luke AFB, Arizona, in April 2016. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

 

Base officials halted local flights after five pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The U.S. Air Force has grounded 55 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Arizona’s Luke Air Force base following five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The pilots “reported physiological incidents while flying” but a backup oxygen system turned on, allowing them to land safely, Capt. Mark Graff, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon, said in an email Friday afternoon.

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SEAL Team 6 is training for a decapitation strike against North Korea’s Kim regime

A Navy SEAL emerges from the water during a training exercise. [US Navy Photo]

 

The annual Foal Eagle military drills between the US and South Korea will include some heavy hitters this year — the Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, Army Special Forces, and F-35s, South Korea’s Joon Gang Daily reports.

The SEALs, who will join the exercise for the first time, will simulate a decapitation attack, or a strike to remove North Korea’s leadership. Continue reading

China stealth fighter enters service as Beijing vows to narrow gap with U.S.

China unveiled its J-20 stealth fighter during an air show in Zhuhai on Nov. 1, 2016. /Reuters

 

As part of its ambitious military buildup aimed at narrowing the gap with the United States, China has put into service its J-20 stealth fighter and vowed to build a “first class” navy and develop a marine corps.

Chinese state television’s military channel confirmed in a March 9 report that the J-20 had now entered service, but gave no other details. Continue reading

F-35 Program Delayed Again, Costing At Least $500 Million

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has been delayed again and will cost at least $500 million more, according to correspondence between the Pentagon and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) revealed Tuesday afternoon that the Defense Department had confirmed the seven-month delay in the F-35’s system development and demonstration phase, or SDD. McCain has long been a harsh critic of the F-35 program for its delays and accompanying cost overruns, and President-elect Donald Trump has more recently took aim at Lockheed Martin’s development of the fifth-generation stealth fighter jets for its “out of control” costs. Continue reading

China’s spies gain valuable US defense technology: report

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

 

According to the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Chinese cyber espionage is a “major problem” for America

China has gained military benefits in recent years from stealing defense secrets through industrial and cyber espionage carried out by its intelligence services, according to a US congressional report.

“In recent years, Chinese agents have extracted data on some of the most advanced weapons and weapons systems in the US arsenal, such as jet fighters and unmanned submersible vehicles,” states the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, released on November 16.

“The loss of these and other sensitive defense technologies undermines US military superiority by accelerating China’s military modernization and giving China insight into the capabilities and operation of US weapons and weapons systems,” the report adds. Continue reading

Canada’s Military–A Shameful Shadow of Its Once Glorious Past

Caption: Destroyer HMCS Athabaskan (iStock.com/OlegAlbinsky)

 

Canada’s military services can no longer defend the nation’s borders—much less its citizens. According to the new commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, Vice Adm. Ron Lloyd, Canada’s last destroyer, hmcs Athabaskan, will be retired from service in the spring of 2017, leaving the nation to rely on its allies for defense for at least the next seven years. Over the previous decades, Athabaskan and other similar vessels provided the capabilities of command and control for both the Royal Canadian Navy and the area air defense. By next spring, the Navy will be left with only 12 frigates, 12 coast defense vessels and 4 submarines. Canada will need to rely on the United States for its area air defense.

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China cyber espionage continues

U.S. Cyber Command recently reported within secret government channels that China is continuing aggressive cyber espionage against American companies.

An intelligence report disseminated earlier this month stated that one of China’s biggest cyber spying operations involved the theft of 1.65 terabytes of sensitive proprietary data from a major U.S. software company, according to a defense official familiar with the report.

The U.S. company was not identified by name. But the hacker group behind the data theft is part of the Ministry of State Security, China’s main police and intelligence service. Continue reading