According to exclusive information made available to To Vima, the USA has asked the Greek government for the permission to place a number of UAV drones on Crete for a period of six to twelve months. The information suggests that talks on the critical matter began in January, with the American side pressuring the Greek government to transfer the drones by early June – no agreement has been reached. The drones are part of the American strategy in tackling the rising terrorism in the Middle East and surrounding areas.
The UK is to send a “full battle group” of 1,350 military personnel for exercises in Poland, amid rising tension with Russia over Ukraine. They will take part in Nato manoeuvres in October to support allies in Eastern Europe, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said during a trip to Warsaw. It is the UK’s largest such commitment to the region since 2008. Mr Fallon said Britain was playing a “central role” in responding to Russian actions in Ukraine. Some 350 armoured and other vehicles will be involved in the October exercises, known as Black Eagle.
Recent increases in the frequency of Japanese military exercises suggest that the country is preparing for war, a think tank with close ties to China’s military said in a report released Wednesday. “Island landing” and other readiness drills conducted by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces “are not only provocative and confrontational, but also meant for war preparedness,” the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association said in its third annual report on Tokyo’s military capabilities.
The United States and its European allies have made a number of recent moves to bolster military cooperation with Georgia as tension continues to fester between Russia and the West. But Georgia’s ability to accommodate more U.S. military traffic has been hampered by delays to a new rail line that it, Azerbaijan and Turkey are building, known as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Officials from Azerbaijan and Turkey have blamed Georgia for the delays, which have pushed back the projected date of inaugurating the railroad to the end of 2015.
Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to obtain non-NATO ally status, increase in transfer of military assets
The U.S. Congress passed in two readings a Russian aggression prevention bill that provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The bill was submitted to the competent commission for being prepared for the final reading, APA reports, quoting the official website of the U.S. Congress.
The EGF was originally planned around the turn of the millennium by Italy and France as EU force. Several Member States, including Germany, but had objections to such a paramilitary unit. The governments in Rome and Paris stuck to the plan and eventually founded the EGF as a multilateral, independent of EU unity. According to its statutes, the capabilities of NATO, the OSCE, the UN and the EU can be borrowed. In the foreground, however, are inserts of the European Union.
Spain is the only European country with a part of its territory located in Africa, being a vital security interest. This geographical position of Spain gives a vital role in maintaining security in the area, “he said. “We are also not hidden we have many economic interests in Africa. ” Morenés mentioned energy dependence, over 60% of our gas imports are from Africa (51% in Algeria, 10% in Nigeria), plus the purchase of oil Gulf of Guinea. And also other interests, “maintain heavy investment in infrastructure in certain countries.”
China is selling $38 million worth of missiles, grenade launchers, machine guns and ammunition to South Sudan’s government, even as it pledges to help end a civil war in the country now on the brink of famine. China North Industries Group Corp., the nation’s biggest arms manufacturer known as Norinco, shipped a consignment of weapons to the East African nation last month, according to marine-insurance documents sent to Bloomberg by an industry representative and confirmed by the broker handling insurance for the shipment.
We, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, recognize that current security trends in Europe call for even closer regional defence cooperation and multinational programs deeply rooted in NATO and EU policies. The Visegrád Cooperation continues to serve as a platform for coordination of our countries in all European and transatlantic security policy fora. Cooperation among the V4 national defence industries will be further explored in the field of research and development as well as production.
The deployments, consisting of up to 120 troops on the ground, go beyond the Pentagon’s January announcement that it had sent a handful of advisors in October. That was seen at the time as the first assignment of U.S. troops to Somalia since 1993 when two U.S. helicopters were shot down and 18 American troops killed in the “Black Hawk Down” disaster. Those U.S. plans include greater military engagement and new funds for training and assistance for the Somali National Army (SNA).
“The representatives of the EU Member States in the Council adopted a decision on the so-called ‘solidarity clause’. Were a disaster or a loosely defined crisis to occur, the organs of the European Union would be obliged to assist using all the instruments at their disposal. This includes military resources”, warned Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko. The use of the “European Gendarmerie Force” (EUROGENDFOR) is made possible by the “solidarity clause”.
Head of the Indian Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO), Avinash Chander recently declared that the first Indian nuclear submarine INS Arihant “within a month or two” will be capable of carrying out launches of ballistic missiles BO-5 with nuclear warheads. This implies that in the long term, India is planning to create strategic naval nuclear forces – notes Vasily Kashin, expert at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
Possession of a hydrogen bomb is essential to India to improve its image as a global power and become one of the centres of power in a multi-polar world, Russian experts said in reaction to a report from US intelligence think tank. IHS Jane’s said that a nuclear centrifuge plant constructed in 1992 near Mysore could be channelled towards making of hydrogen bombs. India will be capable of mastering all three ways of delivering nuclear warheads.
The European Commission on Tuesday (24 June) laid out plans on how to boost the EU’s military and defence industries. It wants to create a single market on defence, make it more profitable, and intensify and merge research with the civil sector. The 14-page plan wants to expand on ‘dual-use technology’, in which equipment can be used for both civilian and military objectives. The EU’s €80 billion Horizon 2020 research programme would be used to help fund dual-technology projects.
The recent pattern of pro-Russian unrest and fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine resembles a Russian military playbook used in exercises simulating invasion drills, according to a new analysis. The analysis, by ex-NATO commander Wesley Clark and Phillip Karber. The plan was announced despite NATO evidence, disputed by Russia, that President Vladimir Putin is resuming his nation’s buildup of troops near the Ukrainian border.
India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defence research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in an arms race with China and Pakistan.The revelation highlights a lack of nuclear safeguards on India, while sanctions-bound Iran faces minute scrutiny in talks with world powers over its own nuclear programme. Unlike Iran, India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas urged NATO on to establish a permanent presence in the Baltic state in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, telling his allies to “open your eyes and stay awake”. The Western alliance has tripled the number of fighter jets based in the Baltics as part of measures to beef up its defences in eastern Europe following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. NATO’s top military commander, said that NATO would have to consider permanently stationing troops in eastern Europe.
As President Barack Obama weighs options for potential U.S. intervention in Iraq, the Pentagon has a broad range of ground, air and sea troops and assets in the region. They include: —Six warships in the Persian Gulf, including the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, a cruiser, three destroyers and the amphibious transport ship the USS Mesa Verde, which is carrying about 550 Marines and five V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft. About 5,000 U.S. soldiers across the border in Kuwait, as part of a routine rotational presence.
Turkey’s Air Force has sent F-16 fighter jets on reconnaissance flights near the Iraqi city of Mosul. Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on that Iraq has not taken the necessary security measures to combat ongoing violence affecting the country. “The ongoing violence in Iraq is quickly spreading and has started to enter neighboring countries,” said by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry. Iraq has seen a marked increase in sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims in recent months
Britain is deploying 90 additional military personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina to “foresee, monitor and prevent civil unrest” in the country, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced. Two reconnaissance platoons will be sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina for up to six months during the country’s election period and will be based at the EUFOR (European Union Force) Althea headquarters in Sarajevo, according to the MoD.This additional support came after a request from the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the ministry said.
Tehran has ballistic missiles able to pound targets over twice as distant as previously thought, and can reach the American mid-ocean strategic base at Diego Garcia, a senior Iranian official has explicitly warned. “In the event of a mistake on the part of the United States, their bases in Bahrain and (Diego) Garcia will not be safe from Iranian missiles,” said an Iranian Revolutionary Guard adviser to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Majatba Dhualnuri.
A rising trend of military surplus purchases is sparking a debate about the militarization of police departments, raising questions about whether weapons meant for war belong in America’s small towns. M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, and silencers are among the weapons making their way into police departments. Surprisingly, the military surplus buys don’t end there. In Johnson County, Indiana, law enforcement sparked a debate when they purchased a 55,000 pound, six-wheeled mine-proof armored vehicle.
The People’s Liberation Army has practiced jamming GPS signals, according to a Pentagon report today. The Chinese are testing those and other electronic warfare weapons and they have “proven effective.” China plans to launch 100 satellites through 2015, including “imaging, remote sensing, navigation, communication, and scientific satellites, as well as manned spacecraft,” says a special section headlined ”Special Topic: Reconnaissance Satellites”
NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wants European leaders to spend more on defense, but Germany, France and the UK are keeping their grip tight, Deutsche Welle reads. “We live in a different world than we did less than a month ago,” Fogh Rasmussen told a Brookings Institution forum in March. In 2013, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey failed to provide the NATO-agreed 2% of GDP on defense. But even debt-struck Greece decided to allocate 2. 3% of its GDP in this sector.
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to announce a $1 billion fund to help boost defensive capabilities of European allies shaken by Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, according to a U.S. official. Depending on its size and scope, the initiative may be the highest-profile move to date by Obama affirming a commitment to Europe even as he emphasizes the administration’s rebalance to Asia.
NATO defence ministers will discuss temporarily reinforcing forces in Poland when they meet in Brussels this week, a spokesman for the German defence ministry said, a move that would be aimed at reassuring countries nervous about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. The spokesman said this could include “enhanced air patrols over the Baltic states, AWACS surveillance planes over Polandand Romania, more exercises, and an enhanced naval presence by NATO allies from the Baltic to the Black Sea.”
Over the last 25-30 years Sweden’s military, security and foreign policy elites have changed Sweden’s policy 180 degrees. These fundamental changes were initiated by the Social Democratic government under Prime Minister Goran Persson (1996–2006) and have been carried out with virtually no public debate. The rapprochement with interventionism, militarism and the U.S./NATO in all fields has been planned, incremental, furtive and dishonest; in short, unworthy of a democracy.
According to the Saudi media, the exercise, code-named Abdullah’s Shield, involved Saudi troops. The manoeuvres were held in the kingdom’s Eastern province at King Khaled Military City, in Hafr al-Batin, facing Iran and Iraq. A preeminent guest at the exercise and parade was Gen. Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani chief of Army Staff According to persistent rumours spreading in the Arab media, Pakistan has helped Saudi Arabia to equip some of its ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.
NATO Deputy Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia region James Appathurai said in Tbilisi today that he believed the Alliance would discuss whether NATO allies should deploy “defensive assets” in Georgia. Appathurai announced this in response to the Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania’s suggestion to put “air defense and anti-armour capabilities in Georgia,” which he made in Washington at the Atlantic Council’s conference “Toward a Europe Whole and Free”.
India has signed an agreement under which it will pay Russia to supply arms and equipment to the Afghan military as foreign combat troops prepare to leave the country, in a move that risks infuriating Pakistan. Under the deal, smaller arms such as light artillery and mortars will be sourced from Russia and moved to Afghanistan. India’s neighbor and rival Pakistan is likely to be angered by any move to help arm Afghan forces, even if indirectly.
As China boosts its military spending, rattling neighbours over territorial disputes at sea, an AFP investigation shows that European countries have approved billions in transfers of weapons and military-ready technology to the Asian giant. China’s air force relies on French-designed helicopters, while submarines and frigates involved in Beijing’s physical assertion of its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea are powered by German and French engines — part of a separate trade in “dual use” technology to Beijing’s armed forces.
The U.S. military will have greater access to bases across the Philippines under a new 10-year agreement set to be signed Monday in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s visit and seen as an effort by Washington to counter Chinese aggression in the region. Medeiros declined to say which specific areas in the Philippines are being considered under the agreement, but said the long-shuttered U.S. facility at Subic Bay could be one of the locations.
Here’s a scenario that’s bound to go well. Take one of the most militarized countries on Earth and start adding Russian weapons and money into the mix. Southern Cyprus is also building ties with Russia, whose navy is increasingly active in the eastern Mediterranean. This means arms sales and access to Cypriot ports and airfields. At the same time, Limassol has become a transit point for illegal Russian arms shipments heading to Syria.
Russia has acknowledged an Egyptian request to procure a squadron of MiG-35 advanced fighter aircraft, to include up to 24 fighter jets at a cost of US$3 billion. The fulfilment of this package could be delayed though, as this specific type of aircraft hasn’t reached a production stage. The manufacturer, Russian Aircraft Corporation (UAC) through its subsidiary Russian Aircraft Corp (RAC) has failed to gain international orders for the aircraft and is currently awaiting an initial order from the Russian Air Force to kickstart production by 2016.
With the annexation of Crimea, Turkey faces a stronger and bolder Russian naval power in the Black Sea. Russia now possesses the Ukrainian navy’s submarine and several, if not most, of Ukraine’s 11 major surface combatants. Even without the Ukraine’s naval assets, Russia’s own new additions to its Black Sea Fleet will enable Moscow to dominate the region. Russia recently put to sea the first of its six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates. All six frigates are designated for service in the Black Sea Fleet.
The U.S.-led alliance will upgrade contingency plans, hold more military drills in eastern Europe and step up air and naval policing on its flanks, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels today after the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies approved the bulked-up defense posture.
China is planning to increase its military capabilities in space in reaction to US and other world powers developing astronomical weapons. At the time, US Air Force space analyst Brian Weeden said: “If true, this would represent a significant development in China’s anti-satellite [ASAT] capabilities. “No other country has tested a direct ascent ASAT weapon system that has the potential to reach deep space satellites in medium earth orbit, highly elliptical orbit or geostationary orbit.”
Some 67,000 US military members are currently stationed on the European continent, mainly in Germany (40,000), Italy (11,000) and Britain (9,500). When the Soviet Union fell in late 1991, the total presence stood at 285,000. Chollet, testifying before the House Armed Services Committee, did not specify what such a re-examination could entail at a time when the Pentagon faces budget cuts and is seeking to redeploy part of its resources to the Asia Pacific region as part of a so-called pivot strategy.
Djibouti may be one of the smallest countries in Africa. But it’s about to become significantly more important, as US forces stationed there increase their operations, on their own and working with local governments. We are building an environment that won’t allow violent extremists to survive in East Africa. The Navy Riverines, American sailors who are part of the United States’ growing joint task force in the Horn of Africa, monitor vessels leaving Djibouti’s harbour for the potentially dangerous waters of the Gulf of Aden.
The UK will expand its military presence in Bahrain with a $9.7m expansion of its maritime command in the capital, Manama, Gulf Daily News has reported. The expansion includes a new, larger headquarters and facilities to provide engineering and logistics support for the four Royal Navy mine countermeasure vessels based in the kingdom. The Middle East has the UK’s second largest Royal Navy presence, with 10 of its 32 warships and support vessels in the region.
Four former Soviet satellites in Central Europe signed a military pact Friday to coordinate defence planning and to create a joint combat unit to operate under NATO and EU auspices, in response to the Ukraine crisis. “The current situation in Europe shows that unfortunately a military conflict, previously considered unthinkable, could happen,” Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said at a meeting of the Visegrad 4 (V4) group of countries — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Russian military ally Belarus will ask Moscow to deploy 12 to 15 warplanes on its territory in response to increased NATO activity near its borders due to tension over Ukraine, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday. The United States and Poland, Belarus’s western neighbour, began war games on Tuesday that are expected to involve at least 12 U.S. F-16 fighter jets. A joint naval exercise of U.S., Bulgarian and Romanian naval forces in the Black Sea started on Wednesday.
Laser weapons like those developed by the United States pose little threat to the PLA – smog or no smog – because mainland researchers have pioneered coatings that can deflect beams and render them harmless, mainland scientists say. PLA Navy Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong drew widespread ridicule last month when the National Defence University researcher suggested that China’s thick smog provided the country’s best defence against military lasers.
As a developing country, while the area of Myanmar wide but the location need not much defense. So, the HQ-12 if equipped for the military of Myanmar will mostly assume the ground mission. If the Western powers to attack Myanmar, attacks can come from the East and the city of Yangon. Meanwhile, rocket HQ-12 deployed in any one location in the outskirts of downtown Yangon is able to cover the city’s airspace. The current capital of Naypyidaw is Myanmar in Mandalay, are surrounded by forested mountains, the eastern front was the high mountain ranges, if missiles HQ-12 on the mountain in the East can also protect the city.
Russia says it plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday in remarks carried by Russian news agencies the military was conducting talks with Algeria, Cyprus, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore. He said that it was essential for the Russian navy to be able to call at their ports to service its ships. Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries asking them to allow long-range bombers to use their air bases for refueling.
The military build-up in the Arctic is underway. In 2014 Russia will create a new military structure, which will be called the Northern Fleet – United Strategic Command (NF-USC). General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces informed that the mission of the new unit would be the protection of Russian national interests in the Arctic. The active work in this direction started last year, after President Putin’s televised appeal to the Minister of Defense “to pay special attention to deploying infrastructure and military units in the Arctic.”
Asia’s emergent superpowers have been flexing their respective hardware and troop capabilities around the region – a cause for concern among those who come too close. Such as Australia. A report just released by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said that China’s emergence as a major economic power will pose great challenges for the global community. “The re-emergence of China as a great power will be Australia’s greatest foreign policy challenge during the 21st century. Canberra will have to carefully balance Australia’s growing economic relationship with China and its traditional alliance with the US,” the report said.
The newest American tanks arrived at the American military base in Bavaria on January 31. So what? According to the statements made by American military officials, 29 heavy new generation Abrams tanks would be a part of the European Activity Set (EAS). They are supposedly just to serve as equipment for the training center. The appearance of the tanks is explained by the fact that at a time when the American command has decided to continue training American tank personnel in Europe, they had nothing to train them on.
Combat aircraft in Baranavichy may carry nuclear weapons. This statement was made by leader of the United Civil Party (UCP) Anatol Liabedzka. “A number of steps were made in connection with the deployment of Russian troops in Belarus: an appeal to the Constitutional Court; we tried to carry out pickets across Belarus; we appealed to the defence minister to figure out the status of the group of Russian fighter jets in Baranavichy,” he told ucpb.org. We have received an answer. Firstly, it follows from the letter that citizens of Belarus cannot influence the decisions of top officials relating to defence issues. There are no mechanisms of influence.
The U.S. (obviously) tops the chart with a recorded 682 billion dollars of annual military spending, or about 20% of our total federal spending. That is a sizable sum. It’s more than the entire GDP of Norway last year. To give you even more perspective, the U.S.’ share of global military spending is more than the rest of the top 10 combined. If we were to divide the defense budget by the median American salary, it would be worth the salaries of 14 million people. It has come under scrutiny with current debt crisis, and with the Iraq and Afghanistan war costing an estimated $4 trillion over the last decade.
The Algerian military appears to have acquired self-propelled artillery from China and is evaluating Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as it continues to vastly expand its military forces. Earlier this month photos appeared online showing what appear to be PLZ 45 self-propelled howitzers on a road outside the capital Algiers. The convoy of around 50 vehicles may have been headed to the Central Logistic Base in Blida, to which much of the country’s new military equipment often goes, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.
In the region, France will have four main bases: N’Djamena (Chad), Niamey (Niger), Gao (Mali) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). A N’Djamena: combat aircraft Rafale and Mirage 2000, supported by tankers and ground forces – and the staff who will control operations in the Sahel. In Niamey, intelligence assets, including two new Reaper drones purchased in the United States and will be operational in the coming days. These monitoring devices controlled from the ground in Niamey are collocated with those of the U.S. Air Force.
In a move that will pull India a step closer to achieving the “nuclear triad”, Indian Navy is all set to start sea trials for its first indigenously-built nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant in few weeks, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral LVS Babu said on Tuesday. A miniature model of the prestigious subamrine will also be flaunted as a part of Indian Navy tableaux at the Republic Day Parade. INS Arihant’s commissioning into the Indian Navy, which is expected till the end of the year, will gift India with the “nuclear triad”, that is the ability to retaliate to nuclear strikes from land, air and sea-based systems.
The United States has asked Spain for permission to expand its 500-strong Marine rapid-reaction force for Africa by at least 50 percent and extend its presence at the Morón de la Frontera base by one more year, government sources said.A bilateral agreement between both nations allows the US to temporarily station its Marines in the southern airbase, which provides fast access to the Mediterranean region. Because of this temporary nature, the Spanish government could approve the increase to anywhere between 750 and 900 Marines without modifying the agreement, and thus without consulting Congress first.
The U.S. Navy surface fleet must steer away from depending on defensive missiles and must move toward becoming more offensively lethal, says the admiral in charge of those ships. “The surface force must greatly improve its offensive lethality,” says Vice Adm. Thomas Copeman, commander of the Naval Surface Force and U.S. Pacific Naval Surface Force. “We must move beyond the missile as a defensive system,” he says in his “Vision for the 2026 Surface Fleet” report, which was released earlier this month in advance of the Surface Navy Association Conference and Symposium being held Jan. 14-16 in Arlington, Va.
Japan announced that it would buy stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of a splurge on military hardware that would beef up defense of far-flung islands amid a simmering territorial row with China. The Cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen ($240 billion) between 2014 and 2019 in a strategic shift toward the south and west of the country—a 5-percent boost to the military budget over five years. The shopping list is part of efforts by Abe to normalize the military in Japan. Its well-equipped and highly professional services are limited to a narrowly defined self-defensive role.
The Israeli navy is getting two German-built frigates under a $1.37 billion contract that will build up its maritime firepower, officials said. Their primary mission is expected to be protecting the Jewish state’s rich natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean. The warships, which the Israelis are expected to pack with their own weapons and electronic systems, such as the Barak 8 medium-range air defense system produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, will be the most advanced surface vessels in the Israeli navy. The frigates will reinforce three advanced Super Dvora Mark III missile corvettes, known as Sa’ar 5s, currently on order from state-run IAI’s shipyards in Haifa.
European countries bordering Russia’s territory of Kaliningrad say they are worried at reports that Moscow has put nuclear-capable missiles there. Lithuania and Poland both issued statements of concern. Russia has not confirmed the report but insists it has every right to station missiles in its western-most region. Moscow has long threatened to move Iskander short-range missile systems to Kaliningrad in response to the United States’ own European missile shield. Russia sees the missile shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent.
France is pushing its European partners this week to create a fund to pay for overseas military interventions, like the operation France is leading in the Central African Republic. Other European governments aren’t too excited about the idea. The dispute exposes a divide between France, which has several military bases abroad and argues that Europe has a responsibility to former colonies in Africa, and countries like Germany that are wary in today’s economic times of intervening and spending taxpayer money abroad.
The $580 million expansion now underway at the U.S. Navy base here, which will nearly double its size, is a clear signal of the Pentagon’s commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the Middle East. Naval Support Activity Bahrain, home to the U.S. 5th Fleet, has outgrown the capacity of the existing facilities and is expanding to an adjacent 77-acre piece of land along the waterfront. An important milestone in the expansion will be reached next month, when a 400-foot-long tied-arch suspension bridge is lifted into place to join the main base and the new base grounds.
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.
“The maritime domain in general has got more complex, with the undersea domain a huge part of that with more sophisticated submarines and the emergence of long-endurance, unmanned or remotely operated vehicles,” he said. “You see it just in oceanographic capabilities. Frankly the way countries globally are using technology in the undersea domain is going to make it a very interesting operational space. You’re going to have to bring a lot more capability into that operating space to ensure you stay dominant — economically as well as militarily.
The PAK-DA doesn’t just fill in a technological gap in the current Russian aircraft inventory, but should have the capacity to return Russia — should Mr. Putin desire such — to the glory days of Soviet bomber power, pushing a dynamic long-range bomber into the air that could be the worst of threats to enemies the world over. It was that threat — the threat of rapid deployment and possibilities for diverse missions—that was as powerful a psychological weapon against the Americans in the Cold War as the core aspect of nuclear weapons to be placed aboard these bombers.
Saudi Arabia has emerged as the biggest foreign customer for German arms, buying nearly a quarter of Germany’s total weapons sales. It’s part of an emerging pattern of weapons purchases by Saudi Arabia and its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia was the world’s 10th-largest weapons importer in 2008-12 (the Emirates was No. 9). And Saudi Arabia is expected to be among the top 5 for 2013-17 “due to major outstanding orders, such as for 48 Typhoon combat aircraft from the UK and 152 F-15SA combat aircraft from the USA.”
The Middle East is rich with all sorts of Russian-made anti-aircraft systems. Most of them were delivered to the Arab countries opposing Israel and, in the time of the Soviet Union, to other clients on a political pretext. Although UAE and Jordan are among those nations that have historically bought the bulk of their military equipment in the West, these countries have procured certain air defense systems from Russia. In particular, the UAE was the launch customer for the Pantsyr SAM.
This support of some €5 billion to Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad (subject to the approval by the European Parliament and the European Council) will aim to help those countries tackle the specific and complex challenges of the Sahel region: security and stability, development and resilience. Governance, rule of law and security, delivery of social services, agriculture and food security, as well as regional trade and integration will be at the heart of the development programmes over 2014-2020.
Romania has started building a base which will form part of a controversial US ballistic missile defence system. The plan is to have the Deveselu base in southern Romania operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment. The US government says the missiles will have no offensive capability and only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by a hostile power. Iran is seen as a potential threat. But the US plan has also angered Russia. The new Romanian facility would help protect Washington’s European allies from a “rogue” missile attack.
Japan plans to deploy a surface-to-ship missile unit on Miyako Island in the country’s southern-most Okinawa prefecture for the first time next month. Units equipped with Type 88 surface-to-ship missiles will be deployed on Miyako Island and in the southern part of Okinawa’s main island as part of an 18-day military drill starting on November 1 with about 34,000 personnel taking part, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF)
This would put all waters between the islands within range of the guided anti-ship missiles, reports the NHK broadcaster.
Australian academics have pointed to dangers that Antarctic bases are for the first time being militarised, despite the continent officially being called a land of peace and science. Satellite systems at polar bases could be used to control offensive weapons, according to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and little could be done to prevent it due to the loose nature of the Antarctic Treaty rules. The report highlights a Chinese base inland in the Australian Antarctic Territory for its satellite intelligence gathering potential and also flags Iran’s recent interest in establishing a polar presence.
The Angolan government has bought arms from Russia in a $1 billion deal, Portuguese news agency Lusa said. With the deal Angola becomes the principal purchaser of Russian arms on the continent, outstripping Uganda. “Angola has inked with the state-owned Rosoboronexport monopoly a $1billion agreement which includes the supply of eight Sukhoi 30 hunt planes, transport Mi-17 helicopters, ordinance, light weapons and ammunition. Angola, which is recovering from decades of civil war, maintains close ties with Cold War ally Russia.
Chinese military strategists have for millenniums been fascinated by asymmetric methods of warfare. China has no illusions about its military inferiority vis-à-vis the United States and knows that the status is likely to endure for at least two decades. As such the PLA has been developing a full range of asymmetric strategies to deter the US until its military reaches maturity. Aware of the US dependence on space and satellite communications to conduct even the most basic military operations, the PLA has for the past decade invested significant amounts to develop anti-satellite weapons.
Brazil is pushing ahead with a planned $1 billion purchase of anti-aircraft missile batteries from Russia in a deal that will cement a strategic defence partnership between the two BRICS nations, the Brazilian Defence Ministry said. Brazilian officials said they expect to sign a contract by the middle of 2014 for short- to medium-range surface-to-air Pantsir S1 missile batteries and Igla-S shoulder-held missiles. Amorim said defence cooperation between the two members of the BRICS group of leading emerging nations, which also includes China, India and South Africa, could “counterbalance” other options that Brazil wants to keep open – a reference to traditional arms suppliers such as the United States.
Malaysia is to set up a marine corps and establish a naval base close to waters claimed by China, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in a statement. According to the statement, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base will be established at Bintulu on the South China Sea (SCS) to protect the surrounding area and oil reserves. Unstated by the minister is the base’s proximity to James Shoal, which is 60 n miles away and was the location for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) exercises on that were the most recent example of China asserting its claims to most of the SCS.
Speculation is mounting whether the government has agreed a deal with Washington to take part in the U.S.-led missile defense program in exchange for another delay in the handover of full control of South Korean troops. Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin fanned speculation Monday by telling a National Assembly audit that the military is hoping to buy SM-3 interceptor missiles that could destroy North Korean ballistic missiles. The SM-3 missiles constitute the core of the U.S.-led missile defense shield. All the signs are that the government is growing less reluctant to join the missile defense program, which China is extremely wary of.
China is largely in line with international treaties governing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but its global dealings in small arms are shadowy and potentially helpful to anti-U.S. factions abroad, a new study finds. Most Chinese weapons for export lack the quality of weapons from the United States, Russia or other developed nations. China is therefore a cheaper source of weapons for poor countries with unsophisticated militaries, like many in Africa, the Middle East and South America. China is seen to have a “guns-for-oil” relationship with some African nations.
The number of nuclear warheads globally is about 17,000, estimates the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), down roughly 75 percent over the last thirty years largely because of cuts by the United States and Russia. Last June the US president proposed further cutting nuclear arsenals by a third but Russia responded that the shield, intended to protect against attack from Iran and North Korea, would require Moscow to hold more missiles or lose its deterrent capability. Russia fears the system’s interceptors could shoot down its long-range nuclear missiles.
There have recently been two noteworthy developments in the long-running saga of Burma’s reported interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. In different ways, both were welcome but, inevitably, concerns remain. And it certainly is short, even more so than the first two reports, which briefly covered developments in 2009 and 2010. The latest report simply states that during 2011, Burma’s main suppliers of weapons and military-related technology were China, North Korea, Russia and Belarus. Also, firms based in Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand apparently assisted Burma’s defence industries in acquiring unspecified production technology.
The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for US military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of US forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.
Want to be an Asian superpower? Then an aircraft carrier, it seems, is the minimum requirement for joining this elite club. In China, a retro-fitted former Ukrainian carrier dating back to the Soviet era is the flagship of the country’s hopes for a “blue water” navy — a fleet that can operate on the high seas thousands of nautical miles from base. India has launched its first home built aircraft carrier as part of a plan to operate three carrier battle groups by 2020.
The island of Saipan — an unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean — will be reconstructed as a military base to prepare for a potential missile attack by the People’s Liberation Army over the Second Island Chain, according to John Reed, a US military analyst, in an article written for the website of the Foreign Policy magazine. The Second Island Chain is a series of island groups stretching from northern Japan to the Bonin and Marianas islands. It is the second defense line of the United States to prevent the expansion of China’s maritime power in the Eastern Pacific after the First Island Chain, which extends from Alaska to the Philippines, Reed said.
The European Parliament’s majority group of MEPs called for a new headquarters that would direct major civilian and military crisis operations. The European People’s Party said governments “have to start building stand-by forces under Union command”, a move branded as the latest drift to federalism by the UK Independence Party. The proposal came in a new report from the EPP which wants Europe to redefine its security interests and to begin achieving these by actual operational deployments.
China criticized Japan on Monday for its plans to install a cutting-edge U.S. military radar system to monitor North Korean missile launches, saying that could impact regional stability and upset the strategic balance. The X-band radar system would boost Japan’s ability to track and intercept missiles from across the Sea of Japan. That was “not conducive to regional nuclear non-proliferation and stability, and will cause an extremely negative impact on the global strategic balance,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
The new weaponry, developed under a project codenamed “Wan Chien” (Ten Thousands Swords), is scheduled to be carried by dozens of Taiwan’s fighter jets. The new weaponry will enable Taiwanese fighter jets to hit Chinese targets from a distance and reduce the risk of having to fly over mainland territory, analysts say. The weapons, an equivalent of the US-developed joint direct attack munition (JDAM) that converts unguided bombs into all-weather “smart” munitions, is designed to target harbours, missile and radar bases, as well as troop build-ups prior to any invasion of the island, they say.
Saudi Arabia’s estimated $45 billion yearly military outlay represents the region’s largest budget specifically for airpower capabilities in support of Kingdom’s protection. The ¬potential acquisition of 84 new ¬F-15Es and upgrades for 72 existing aircraft, plus 190 new helicopters, including 72 ¬UH-60M Black Hawks, 70 ¬AH-64D Apaches, 36 AH-6i Phoenix ¬helicopters and 12 MD ¬Helicopters MD-530Fs is still in the works. The Kingdom still seeks 48 Eurofighter Typhoons from a 72-aircraft deal brokered via the UK government.
The U.S. Department of Defense says it is rebalancing military forces in the Asia-Pacific region. In line with this, it is proposing to increase its joint military training capabilities by developing live-fire ranges and training areas on Tinian and Pagan, some three-quarters of the way between Hawaii and the Philippines. Tinian and Pagan’s use will address the U.S. military’s unit-level and combined-level training deficiencies in the Western Pacific. Training areas in Guam, also a U.S. territory, are already being used to capacity.
The DoD is considering Fort Custer Training Center in Battle Creek as the possible location of an anti-ballistic missile launch site that would help protect the East Coast from a missile attack from Iran or other threats. The Michigan site is one of five that will be evaluated by the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency as it considers building an interceptor base intended to shoot down ballistic missiles in mid-flight. All five sites are on land owned by the federal government and are operated by the Defense Department or the National Guard.
India successfully test-fired for a second time a nuclear-capable missile on Sunday that can reach Beijing and much of Europe, bringing a step closer production of a weapon designed to strengthen its nuclear deterrent. India is trying to keep up with China’s growing military strength and wants to have a viable deterrent against its larger nuclear-armed neighbor. The two countries have generally warm relations, but they fought a brief Himalayan war in 1962 and a buildup of conventional defenses along their disputed border is a source of tension.
An arms race in South Asia and Pakistan’s development of tactical “battlefield” nuclear weapons are increasing the risk of any conflict there becoming a nuclear war, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said on Thursday.
Noting that Pakistan looks set to overtake Britain as the owner of the world’s fifth-largest nuclear weapons stockpile, it urged India and Pakistan to improve their communications to avoid any fatal misunderstandings during a crisis.
In a strange parallel to the great nineteenth century’s ‘Scramble for Africa’, the world’s poorest continent is set once again to become the object of fierce Western competition. However, whereas Cecil Rhodes and Rudyard Kipling waxed lyrical about colonial possessions and the ‘White man’s burden’, today the prize takes the form of lucrative defence contracts and licenses for the local manufacture of hardware. As you might imagine, this is a very different ‘scramble’ altogether.
EU battlegroups are military units that support the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Member states contribute personnel and resources to the units, which comprise about 1,500 troops, on a rotating six-month basis. EU battlegroups have been on standby since 2007, but they have yet to be used. Currently, a British-led battlegroup is on standby with contributions from the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania. “We propose to use EU battlegroups in a more flexible way by using only some part of the group in line with a crisis scenario.”
Work on the US missile defense system at a military base in southern Romania will start in early October, Romania’s Defense Minister Mircea Dusa announced this week. The minister made the announcement while visiting the air base in Deveselu on Monday (September 9). The missile defense system was flagged in an agreement signed by the two countries in Washington DC on September 12 in 2011. It allows America to construct, maintain and operate a facility encompassing the land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system at the air base.
State-backed China Shipbuilding Industry (601989.SS) plans to raise up to $1.4 billion through a private share sale to buy assets used for building warships, the first time Beijing is tapping the capital market to fund its military expansion.
The move comes as China creates its own military-industrial complex, with the private sector seen taking a key role, as the country gains a new sense of military assertiveness and deals with a growing budget to develop modern equipment including aircraft carriers and drones.
The Turkish army started to build a new military base on the top of Kel Mountain, which is located near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, Turkish Daily News reported on Sunday. Trucks carrying with military equipment from southern Hatay province were heading to the Kel Mountain, the report said, adding that soldiers have started to assemble the equipment on the top of the mountain. Meanwhile, armored vehicles and tanks have also been dispatched to the southeastern city of Sanliurfa’s Mursitpinar border post, according to the report.
The National Command Authority (NCA) decided to further develop the country’s nuclear weapons programme for preserving “full spectrum deterrence” against any possible external aggression. The decision was taken at a meeting of the NCA— the principal policy making body on the research, development, production, use and security of the nuclear programme. This was Mr Sharif’s first session on the nuclear policy after returning to the prime minister’s office in June for a third term. The prime minister had in his second tenure rejected all international pressure and conducted nuclear tests in 1998 in response to Indian nuclear tests.
President Obama is requesting congressional authorization for military strikes in Syria, and at this point it appears likely that his case will be supported. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime has created plenty of conflict in the Middle East, but the last straw and what has prompted military action has been the use of chemical weapons. Should the U.S. continue its planned limited military strikes, Bloomberg points out that the assets are already in place. Air bases on both sides of Syria and several ships in the Eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea are idly waiting for orders.
In the plane of the debate on the opportunities and methods used in a chaos in the Syrian conflict, a fact is the progressive militarization of the eastern shore of the Mediterranean . The events of recent weeks have somehow forced the Western actors indirectly involved in the conflict, at least those without a concrete geographical proximity to implement some countermeasures in advance. Waiting for the go-ahead to a joint inter-and against the Assad regime, or in the event of a less than desirable escalation of the crisis, the United States, France and Britain have increased their military commitment in the area.
Algeria has deployed 12,000 troops to step up control over the borderline with Tunisia, a security source told Xinhua Monday. Algeria has been reinforcing the presence of its troops over the border with Tunisia for the last four months, as it established 60 checkpoints and outposts, the source added. The troops are tasked combing rugged areas on the border, notably in the easternmost provinces of Tebessa, Souk Ahras and El Oued. A security source told Xinhua previously that an Algerian- Tunisian joint military force was deployed on the border to track down terrorist groups.
Taiwan plans to spend more than $100 million to build a dock big enough for warships in the disputed Spratly islands, a legislator said Thursday, as other claimants strengthen their regional military presence. The plan submitted to parliament Thursday by the coastguard would cost Tw$3.4 billion ($112.4 million). Sources said the spending is expected to be approved. The dock will be an upgrade on the existing pier at the Taiwan-controlled island of Taiping, the biggest island in the Spratlys. It is scheduled to become operational in 2016.
“The promising S-500 air defence missile system is at the development stage. It’s planned to be deployed in 2017,” the source was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. The long-range system will be able to destroy targets even if they are in space and cover the whole Russian territory, the source added. Russia is developing more and more effective missile defence systems for use as a deterrent while opposing plans by the United States to build a missile defence shield in Europe.
Belarus Defense Minister Iuri Zhadobin stated Russian fighters will be deployed in Belarus before the end of the year. As both Poland and Lithuania and neighboring Latvia are now all members of NATO, sharing a common frontier with Belarus, seeking to allay European fears, in May Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the plans for a Belarus air base are not a response to the proposed deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Europe the Russian federation has fiercely opposed since it was first suggested.