Russia now world’s No. 2 in arms sales, report shows

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Russia is now the world’s second-largest arms producer, overtaking Britain and moving behind only the United States, researchers said Monday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report sales of arms and military services totaled $398.2 billion in 2017. The figure, which excludes China because of a lack of available data, is 2.5 percent higher than it was the previous year and 44 percent higher than it was in 2002. Continue reading

3-D Printed Missiles Now a Thing

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Raytheon, one of the U.S.’s largest defense contractors, has built a missile almost entirely from 3-D printing technology.

“The day is coming when missiles can be printed,” Raytheon said in a press release. “Researchers at Raytheon Missile Systems say they have already created nearly every component of a guided weapon using additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3-D printing. The components include rocket engines, fins, parts for the guidance and control systems, and more.” Continue reading

US and Japan Successfully Test Ballistic Missile Killer

Germany Orders New Air Defense System and Battleships

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Military chief General Volker Wieker said Germany plans to acquire the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). The system – developed by European defense firm MDBA and Lockheed Martin of the United States – will replace the military’s current Patriot system by 2025.

Germany has used the Patriot system since 1989. The unit’s manufacturer, United States-based Raytheon, had updated its version of the Patriot, but ultimately lost in its quest to secure a new contract with the Germans. Continue reading

10 George Orwell Quotes That Predicted Life In 2014 America

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

2)  “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

Examining the nightly news in the run up to almost any military intervention will find scores of talking heads crying for blood to flow in the streets of some city the name of which they just learned to pronounce. Once the bullets start flying, those that clamored for war will still be safely on set bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of the carnage while their stock in Raytheon climbs. Continue reading

South Korea likely to acquire Iron Dome system from Israel

The South Korean Government is reportedly interested in the acquisition of an Iron Dome anti-missile defence system from Israel in an effort to bolster protection against rockets launched from North Korea.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems CEO Yedidia Yaari was quoted by Israel’s Army Radio as saying that Iron Dome’s performance in the ongoing Gaza war had fuelled foreign interest in its procurement, including by South Korea. Continue reading

Congress to Cut Key U.S. Missile Defense System

Funding cut comes as Chinese, Iranian, Russian cruise missile threat grows

Congress is poised to significantly cut funding for a key U.S. missile defense system that is slated to be deployed against threats in the Washington, D.C., area, prompting outrage from former military leaders and defense industry insiders.

Congress is seeking to slash $25 million from JLENS, or the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor, an advanced missile detection radar system capable of finding and intercepting missiles, drones, and planes far before they reach the homeland.

Major cuts to the system are coming down the pike just as JLENS is to be deployed in the nation’s capital and integrated into the region’s air defense system. Continue reading

US defense industry over-reliant on rare earth from China

Rare earth elements from China are being used to build weapons systems sold to the US Department of Defense, according to American geologist Victoria Bruce in an article written for Truthout, a nonprofit news organization based in the United States.

According to Bruce, participants at the meeting were outraged to discover that various top US weapon systems including Lockheed Martin’s F-16 fighter, Raytheon’s ground-to-air missile system, Boeing’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense missile system, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk, and General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator would not work at all without China-sourced rare earth materials. After learning this fact, a number of the participants promised to take action. Continue reading

Why Is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight?

BEIRUT — No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that has Saudi-watchers scratching their heads and wondering whether the deal is related to Riyadh’s support for the Syrian rebels.

The proposed weapons deal, which the Pentagon notified Congress of in early December, would provide Riyadh with more than 15,000 Raytheon anti-tank missiles at a cost of over $1 billion. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Military Balance report, Saudi Arabia’s total stockpile this year amounted to slightly more than 4,000 anti-tank missiles. In the past decade, the Pentagon has notified Congress of only one other sale of anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia — a 2009 deal that shipped roughly 5,000 missiles to the kingdom. Continue reading

Homeland Security Taps Generals to Run Domestic Drone Program: The Rise of Predators at Home

DHS decided – with virtually no reviews or evaluations – to purchase unarmed versions of the Predator drones used abroad for “signature strikes” (targeted drone killing). The department, whose mission includes “border security,” has also relied on military bases along the land border and coastal waters to host its own drone fleet.Since DHS began acquiring Predators, along with Predator variants called Guardians, from General Atomics nine years ago, this domestic drone program has proved an abysmal failure – whether measured by its effectiveness in immigration enforcement, drug control, or counterterrorism.  A series of reports by the General Accountability Office, Congressional Review Service, and the DHS Inspector General’s Office have documented the paltry achievements, the alarming strategic confusion, and near-systemic logistical and technical shortcomings of the DHS drone program.

These government reports pointed to the complete absence of any cost-benefit evaluations and efficiency assessments of the DHS drone program.

Yet these official reviews failed to shed any light on the department’s controversial decision to deploy only the hugely expensive military-grade Predator drones and to enter into sole-source contracts with General Atomics to provide, maintain, and even operate the federal government’s domestic drone fleet. Continue reading

Look! Up in the sky! It’s an antimissile blimp!

 

If you visit the Washington, D.C. area in coming years and see a pair of large blimp hovering high overhead, there’s a good chance they won’t belong to Goodyear.

Instead, they could well belong to the Pentagon, which is in the late stages of testing a new program that was designed to deploy blimps over the nation’s capital as a form of anti-missile defense. Raytheon, the program’s lead contractor, said Wednesday it has completed one of last major milestones necessary for real-world deployment. Continue reading

Persian Gulf states ‘unable to protect themselves’

Despite massive spending on Western weapons, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are “unable to secure themselves from any external threat” — meaning Iran — and are running up huge public and foreign debt, a Gulf think tank says.

Omar al-Shehabi, director of the Gulf Center for Development Policies in Kuwait, said that even though the defense expenditure of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states is the highest in the world, exceeding the combined military spending of Israel and Britain, they still have to “rely on Western countries to provide military protection and security.” Continue reading

S. Korea to deploy new surface-to-air missiles for Aegis destroyers

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea will arm its Aegis destroyers with the surface-to-air Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) starting 2016 as part of efforts to bolster its missile defense against North Korean threats, a senior government official said Wednesday.

The SM-6, which is suitable for low-altitude sky defense with a maximum range of 320-400 kilometers, is an upgrade of the SM-2 by U.S. defense firm Raytheon. Continue reading

Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies

Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.

Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board. Continue reading

U.S. missiles infected with Chinese fakes — Report confirms ‘84,000 suspect electronic parts installed’

WASHINGTON – Fake electronic components from China have been discovered in thermal weapons sights delivered to the U.S. Army on mission computers for the Missile Defense Agency’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missiles and on military aircraft, including several models of helicopters and the P-8A-Poseidon, according to federal investigators.

Suspected electronic parts were found in the Forward Looking InfraRed, or FLIR, Systems being used on the Navy’s SH-60-B. The counterfeit parts were delivered by Raytheon, which alerted the Navy.

The military aircraft that have been affected include the SH-60B, AH-64 and CH-46 helicopters; and the C-17,  C-130J, C-27J and P-8A Poseidon airplanes

A defense subcontractor in Texas had sold the components to Raytheon. The components prior to that sale traveled through four states and three countries, originating with a company called Huajie Electronics Ltd in Shenzhen, China.

Suspect parts also were found in the C-130J and C-27J, two military cargo planes equipped with display units that provide the pilot information on aircraft performance, engine status, fuel use, location and warning messages, according to documentation from Senate investigators.

The display units were manufactured by L-3 Display Systems, a division of L-3 Communications. L-3 Display Systems manufactures the display units for Lockheed Martin, which is the prime contractor for the C-130J. For the C-27J, L-3 Display Systems manufactures the display units for Alenia Aeronautica, a subcontractor to L-3 Integrated Systems.

Display Systems, however, learned that a memory chip used in the display units was a suspect counterfeit. By the time it was noticed, however, the company had installed counterfeit components in more than 500 display units, including in units for the C-27J, the C-130J and C-17 aircraft, and the CH-46 helicopter used by the Marine Corps.

Full article: U.S. missiles infected with Chinese fakes — Report confirms ‘84,000 suspect electronic parts installed’ (WND)