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.
The Marine Corps will soon stand up a crisis-response force, based in the United States, to respond to security challenges or humanitarian emergencies in the Caribbean and Central and South Americas. MARFORSOUTH will stand up a crisis response force — modeled after the one now forward deployed in Spain to deal with crises in Africa — to respond to embassy threats, evacuation needs, natural disasters and other contingencies in the Western Hemisphere, he said.
Amid Syria Tensions, Russia Is Sending Anti-Submarine Ship, Missile Carrying Cruiser To Mediterranean Sea
“The known situation that is currently observed in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea requires us to make certain adjustments to our naval group. A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet is expected to join it within the next few days. The Black Sea Fleet’s missile carrying cruiser Moskva, which is now wrapping up its mission in the North Atlantic and will soon head toward the Strait of Gibraltar, will join it a little later,” the source said. In autumn, the Pacific Fleet’s missile carrying cruiser Varyag is expected to replace the large anti-submarine ship Vice Admiral Panteleyev within the Russian naval group in the Mediterranean Sea, he said.
The US and Morocco recently signed a 12-billion-dollar arms contract, Moroccan Arab-language daily Al Massae reported Tuesday. The deal was inked under bilateral military cooperation accords on ”maritime security and fighting illegal maritime trafficking”. US defense contractor Raytheon has agreed to deliver last-generation systems, train personnel, and organize joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean. In spite of its economic difficulties Morocco has been steadily building up its military capability and is now the 12th arms importer worldwide, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual report.
A new NATO combined air and space operations center (CAOC) for southern Europe will help Turkey strengthen its air defences at a time when the country’s risk perception has heightened as a result of increased turbulence in the Middle East and Syria, according to analysts. Based in the north east of Madrid, the newly upgraded operations center was declared officially operational at the Torrejon de Ardoz airbase last month. The centre will monitor and control the airspace of 11 NATO countries, including Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Albania.
“The president has asked the Defense Department for options. Like always, the Defense Department is prepared and has been prepared to provide all options for all contingencies to the president of the United States,” he said. “And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options – whatever options the president might choose.” Separately, a US official said Mr Obama’s security advisers will convene at the White House this weekend to discuss US options, including possible military action, against the Syrian government over an apparent chemical weapons attack earlier this week.
Iran’s state-run media has said that an Iranian naval fleet may deploy to the Atlantic Ocean in the “near future.” In a report focusing on a new deployment in the Gulf of Aden, Iran’s English-language Press TV said in passing that Iran’s Navy “also plans to dispatch its 28th fleet to the Atlantic, Pacific or South Indian oceans in the near future.” Back in 2011, the head of Iran’s Navy raised the possibility that Iran would deploy warships close to America’s Atlantic coast.
A top US Air Force official’s remarks that his country is planning to station a military aircraft in Thiruvananthapuram as part of it’s policy of encircling China with defence bases has created flutters here and the government has dismissed any such possibility. “This is just the start of the Air Force’s plan to expand its presence in Asia. In addition to the Australian deployments, the Air Force will be sending jets to Changi East air base in Singapore, Korat air base in Thailand, Trivandrum in India, and possibly bases at Kubi Point and Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and airfields in Indonesia and Malaysia,” he was quoted as saying by the Foreign Policy magazine and other media outlets.
In September 1992, the United States sold 150 F-16A/Bs to Taiwan. In retaliation, the People’s Republic of China withdrew from the “Arms Control in the Middle East” talks, and in November 1992, it sold M-11 short-range ballistic missiles to Pakistan. China experts believe the sale was in direct retaliation for the F-16 sale. Clearly, China is not a fan of F-16 sales to Taiwan. Well, in 2006, Taiwan submitted a formal letter of request, or LOR, for 66 F-16C/D fighters — the improved version of the F-16A/Bs. The Bush administration refused to even accept the LOR. But that hasn’t deterred Taiwan from continuing to pursue the sale.
The Sudanese government has been selling Chinese and local-made weapons to the Arab Gulf state of Qatar which in turn has been shipping it to rebels in Syria who have staged an uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s rule since 2011, U.S. officials and rebels told the New York Times (NYT). The shipments included newly manufactured small-arms cartridges and antiaircraft missiles which were desperately sought by rebels over the last year to neutralize Assad’s superior firepower. Western nations have been hesitant to supply sophisticated weapons such as surface-to-air missiles or shoulder-mounted missiles for fear that it might fall into the hands of hardline Islamist factions for use against western targets.
The Economist suggested a few months ago that “India’s naval advantage might allow it, for example, to impede oil traffic heading for China through the Malacca Strait.” David Scott’s recent article in theJournal of Strategic Studies, argues that: “In the case of the Malacca Strait … India [has] the ability to block (China’s so-called ‘Malacca Dilemma’) easy Chinese access to the Indian Ocean.” Ajai Shukla, a well-informed defense journalist, writes that “analysts agree that the Indian Navy … can shut down the Indian Ocean shipping lanes whenever it chooses,” and quotes a retired fleet commander as saying that “a couple of submarines and a fighter squadron at Car Nicobar could easily enforce a declared blockade.”
India launched a 37,500-ton indigenous aircraft carrier Monday in its bid to join a select group of nations capable of building such warships. The carrier INS Vikrant, meaning courageous, was unveiled at a shipyard in Kochi in southern India, defense ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told CNN. The warship will undergo extensive tests in the next few years before it is commissioned into the navy, he added. The INS Vikrant, which is 260 meter (853 feet) long and 60 meter (196 feet) wide, can carry MiG 29K fighters and light combat aircraft, he said. Only the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and France have the capability to design and build such warships, Kar said.
Canadian Navy should shift warships to West Coast in response to China’s aggressive military buildup, defence analysts say
Canada should get out of is cold war mindset and move the majority of its warships from Halifax to the B.C. coast in response to the Chinese navy’s aggressive military buildup, say defence analysts. The U.S. government has already announced its plan to put 60 per cent of its naval assets on its west coast by 2020 as part of its plan to make the 21st century “America’s Pacific Century” — a term coined by Hillary Clinton. The Canadian military’s tiny fleet of warships is split up on a 60-40 basis favouring the Atlantic coast
Britain and America’s support for the removal of long-established dictatorships in Egypt and Libya only served to create a dangerous political vacuum in North Africa that is being actively exploited by Islamist groups hostile to the West. And it is the dawning realisation that a similar fate could befall the kingdoms of the Gulf that has persuaded Britain to adopt a more nuanced approach. Indeed, according to senior Bahraini officials who travelled with the royal party this week, one of the main items on the Downing Street agenda was Bahrain’s desire to sign a billion-pound arms deal with Britain to supply 12 state-of-the-art Typhoon fighters.
Japan unveiled its biggest warship since World War II, a $1.2 billion helicopter carrier aimed at defending territorial claims, drawing criticism from regional rival China which accused its neighbour of “constant” military expansion. Japan plans to use the helicopter carrier, named Izumo and expected to go into service in 2015, to defend territorial claims following maritime skirmishes with China, which has demonstrated its own military ambitions in recent years. Tokyo is also locked in a separate territorial dispute with Seoul.
The Kyoto governor and Kyotango mayor will allow the U.S. military to set up a facility on the Tango Peninsula facing the Sea of Japan to monitor North Korean missile launches. Kyoto Governor Keiji Yamada and Kyotango Mayor Yasushi Nakayama agreed at a meeting on Aug. 1 to accept the facility, which was part of an agreement reached between the Japanese and U.S. governments to deploy the mobile X-band Radar. The radar will transmit data on ballistic missile launches to warships equipped with Aegis air defense systems and ground-based interceptor missile sites.
The South Korean Defense Ministry last week offered its five-year budget proposal, which includes a major focus — to the tune of tens of billions of dollars — on increasing the country’s ability to thwart possible North Korean missile strikes from reaching their targets. Approximately $26.4 billion is sought for fiscal 2014 to 2018 for the purchase of missile defense-related armaments, including cruise and ballistic missiles, satellites and remotely piloted surveillance aircraft. The spending proposal asks for funding to modernize South Korea’s arsenal of U.S.-made Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile interceptors and to acquire new PAC-2 missiles.
Israel’s Navy has begun installing a new defense system on its missile boats that would protect them from the feared Yakhont Russian anti-ship missile, Israel Hayom reported. The Barak 8 medium-range missile is designed to intercept airborne threats, including enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-ship missiles and cruise missiles. “History has never seen ships capable of controlling territory as well as Israel’s Navy using the Barak 8 missile,” according to a source familiar with the weapon.
The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Sunday that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.
Azerbaijan’s rapid arms build-up is cause for concern in the region, with some defence analysts warning that it heightens the risk of renewed conflict. President Ilham Aliyev frequently boasts of the amount of money his oil-rich state can afford to spend on weaponry. Appearing at a military parade in Baku on June 26. he took the opportunity to remind everyone that at 3.7 billion US dollars, annual defence expenditure is nearly twice the size of neighbouring Armenia’s entire government budget. A decade ago, Azerbaijan’s defence budget stood at 160 million dollars.
Military officials meet in Lima as rumors abound of increased arms and activity on either side of the border, while the two nations wait for news from The Hague. Annual talks between Chilean and Peruvian military officials continued this week as signs of simmering tensions begin to emerge between the Andean neighbors. Rumors of increased military activity are circulating on both sides of the border ahead of an international court ruling on a territorial dispute between the two parties expected in the coming months.
The Indian government this week reportedly paved the way for the creation of a new military corps of 50,000 troops near its border with China. If correct, analysts say this is a sign that New Delhi, which has been largely focused on its frontier with Pakistan, is now shifting its attention to the long, disputed Sino-Indian boundary. The creation of a strike corps would give India thousands of war-ready soldiers, trained and equipped to respond rapidly to a military threat, stationed close to the border between India and China, known as the Line of Actual Control.
The first U.S. land-based ballistic missile defense base in Europe is to be constructed in Romania by KBR. The construction contract to build the facility at Romania’s Deveselu Air Base was issued to the Texas-headquartered company by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, and is worth $134 million. KBR said that under the contract it will re-locate a four-story radar deckhouse structure from the East Coast of the United States to Romania and build various facilities and infrastructure to support the Aegis Ashore weapons system.
Boosting Army’s war fighting capabilities along the line of actual control (LAC), the government on Wednesday has given the go ahead to the creation of a corps including deployment of 50,000 additional troops along the China border at a cost of around Rs 65,000 crore. The Cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the proposal in its meeting, sources told PTI. The 1.3 million-strong Army is expected to raise the new corps’ headquarters at Panagarh in West Bengal.
Alexander Khramchikhin, an independent Moscow-based military analyst, said the massive exercise held in the areas along the border with China was clearly aimed at Beijing. He said: “It’s quite obvious that the land part of the exercise is directed at China, while the sea and island part of it is aimed at Japan.” Mr Khramchikhin, who recently posted an article online painting a grim picture of Russia being quickly routed in a surprise Chinese attack, said that the war games were intended to discourage China from harbouring expansionist plots.
The Taurus KEPD 350 air-to-surface missile can be carried by South Korean F-15K fighter jets, and is equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) that allows a 480kg warhead to penetrate up to 6 metres of reinforced concrete. Joint German-Swedish venture TAURUS Systems, a collaboration between LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme GmbH and Saab Dynamics AB, produces the missiles. Theoretically, if launched from a fighter jet in airspace above the central South Korean city of Daejeon––home to ROK Military headquarters––the Taurus could “hit an underground bunker in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang,” Yonhap said.
Russia will continue to increase its potential in air-space forces and other parts of its nuclear deterrence strategy, Chief of Staff said Tuesday. “(Russia) will beef up its air-space defense capabilities through modernization of its informational and first-strike parts,” Valery Gerasimov told reporters. He added that such modernization would guarantee early warning about launch of the strategic ballistic missiles and long-range cruise missiles.
India, China and Pakistan are vying for supremacy in weapon technology as never seen before. The inventory attained by the three is formidable. Kashmir is embroiled in these equations because a sharp tilt in one direction will influence an outcome on politics here. China has a vested interest in Kashmir as demonstrated not only by its belligerency on LAC with India and Ladakh but by stapled visa on passports from Kashmir and provoking inclusion of Indian administered parts of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh in their official maps as Chinese territory.
The entrance of U.S.military forces could be truncated as a result of a recent verdict from Costa Rica´s Constitutional Chamber. Last July 5th it determined that the General Direction of Civil Aviation violated the “right to peace” of Costa Ricans, since in May of this year it authorized the entrance of U.S Army Blackhawk helicopters. The criterion of the sentence 2013-9122 could be applied to entry permits of U.S military ships to Costa Rican waters and it could fall under the joint patrol agreement.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation expressed in a current position paper for new “military capacity building” in the German Kriegsmarine. Germany is economically heavily dependent on the sea. This is not just on maritime activities in the strict sense because that at least work it out to 3% of the GDP, but also the export industry to transport large parts of their exports by ship. With the steady growth of world trade, to take the “risks of global maritime value chain”; new “vulnerabilities” of the “maritime transport network” – such as West Africa – where also Germany must show in the future presence, caused much like today in the Horn of Africa.
The United States is negotiating an agreement to allow it to position military equipment and rotating personnel in the Philippines while avoiding the controversial issue of re-establishing US bases in the country, officials from both countries say.
The negotiations for increased military access by the US take place against the backdrop of simmering tensions between the Philippines and China over areas in the South China Sea claimed by both countries. The Philippines, which has a small navy and air force, is relying on support from the United States to modernise its military and upgrade its capabilities.
The Commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet addressed a recent report Thursday at the Pentagon that outlines a growing Chinese intercontinental ballistic threat that estimates that the Chinese could have over 100 ICBMs able to reach the U.S. in 15 years.
The report in question, called the 2013 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat Assessment from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, called China’s ballistic missile development program the “most active and diverse” in the world.
The first step should therefore be to redefine the scope of Europe’s neighborhood strategy in order to include the Sahel area as a whole. For obvious historical reasons, France will continue to be more involved in the stability of this part of Africa than other countries, but the development of new safe havens for terrorism and transnational crime in the region should be considered a threat to all European national interests, just as instability in the Caucasus should concern Western European countries. At this point, France has neither the political will nor the capacity to assert sole leadership in a vast region stretching from Senegal to the Horn of Africa.
Russia is getting a new defense system which will ensure guaranteed detection of enemy ballistic and long-range cruise missiles at blastoff, a top military official said. The officials said the system would feature advanced information-gathering, data-processing and attack capabilities with an early-warning radar system to be deployed along the entire Russian border. The other measures will include the modernization of existing surface-to-air missile systems and the provision of advanced S-400 and S-500 air defense systems, “capable of reliably protecting critical installations against air and missile attacks,”.
The size of Britain’s military budget is set to be surpassed by India’s in the next few years, a development that would see the United Kingdom spend less on defense than its former colonial subject, a defense analysis firm said Wednesday. HIS Jane’s said that projections show that Britain — once No. 4 in terms of global military spending — had fallen into fifth place behind Russia this year and is due to slip into sixth place behind in India in 2017. “The U.K.’s standing is not a strong as the public perceive it to be,” Ben Moores, an IHS Jane’s analyst, said in a statement.
The US presence in the remote northern Australian port of Darwin will soar from its current 250 troops to 1,000 next year and ultimately to 2,200, granting a full Marine Expeditionary Unit an effective base of operations. Although the general agreement had been made in 2011, the renewed commitment is likely to elicit a negative reaction from China, already irked by the Australian’s agreement to effectively base Marines in their country at the most useful port closest to the People’s Republic.
Spain and the US are expected to formalize an agreement in the coming weeks over the stationing of four destroyers at the naval base in Rota, Cádiz, for an initial period of over four years. The deal is worth 200 million euros to Spanish public company Navantia, which will be responsible for the maintenance of the four Arleigh Burke class vessels. The destroyers form part of the NATO missile defense shield and are equipped with Aegis combat systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.
Images analysed by experts at IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review has revealed a hitherto undisclosed surface-to-surface missile base deep in the Saudi desert, with capabilities for hitting both countries. Analysts who examined the photos spotted two launch pads with markings pointing north-west towards Tel Aviv and north-east towards Tehran. They are designed for Saudi Arabia’s arsenal of lorry-launched DF 3 missiles, which have a range of 1,500-2,500 miles and can carry a two-ton payload. The base, believed to have been built within the last five years, gives an insight into Saudi strategic thinking at a time of heightened tensions in the Gulf.
U.S. and Western weapons have been reaching Iranian-backed Shiite militias fighting to keep Bashar Assad’s forces in power in Syria. Analysts say it’s unclear if the weapons were captured, stolen or bought on the black market in Syria, Turkey, Iraq or Libya. Propaganda photographs from Shiite militias posted on dozens of websites and Facebook pages show the weapons were acquired in new condition, said Phillip Smyth, an analyst for Jihadology.net, a site affiliated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The French government decided to provide the Lebanese army with heavy weapons to boost its military performance, a local newspaper reported on Monday. According to al-Joumhouria newspaper, a recent meeting held between French and Lebanese Defense Ministry officials discussed the matter. France decided in light of the meetings to supply the Lebanese army with anti-tank missiles and sophisticated surface-to-air missiles. Informed sources told the newspaper that Paris is “confident that the Lebanese army command is controlling the institution despite what rumors said.”
On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.
Things are beginning to move on the Pentagon’s plan to build a ground-based missile-defense system in Romania to protect U.S. allies in southern Europe – as well as American troops in the region – from attack by Iranian missiles. The latest sign is this Pentagon solicitation seeking “100mb [megabyte] direct access with internet routable IP addresses for MDA [Missile Defense Agency] contractors onsite” at Romania’s Deveselu air base near Caracal. The U.S. anti-missile base will consist of 430 acres surrounded by base property, and be run by about 200 U.S. military and civilian personnel.
How many nuclear weapons and delivery systems does a country need as an effective deterrent against the threats of attack? Finding an acceptable balance is critically important in Asia, where four of the world’s nine nuclear-armed states are located.Asia may be sliding into a nuclear arms race, aggravated by underlying tensions and mistrust. As one nuclear weapons state enlarges its arsenal, other regional atomic powers do the same. SIPRI estimated that China, India and Pakistan had each added about 10 warheads to their operational stockpiles in 2012.
The British government is preparing a “substantial” new package of military assistance to the Lebanese Army to supplement its existing program, according to British diplomatic sources. The new package, which will triple in one year the British government’s total military assistance to the Lebanese Army since 2006, was the focus of discussions Friday between Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi and other top military officials and Gen. Sir David Richards, the British chief of the defense staff, who was on a visit to Beirut.
You’ve heard of planned obsolescence — tactical nuclear weapons are a case of deferred obsolescence: a weapon that has long ago worn out its welcome in the U.S. arsenal. Politically, however, there are still voices that argue that even a bomb with no military utility is “reassuring” to certain allies, and that storing this artifact in European bunkers and maintaining allied aircraft capable of dropping this bomb is a valuable demonstration of NATO “burden sharing.” Moreover, these proponents are prepared to pay — or rather, have the U.S. pay — $10 billion to modernize and store the B61.
The US Navy has deployed three additional coastal patrol ships to its Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, bolstering America’s presence in the strategic Gulf, officials said Wednesday. The USS Tempest, the USS Squall and the USS Thunderbolt arrived Wednesday at the port of Manama, bringing the total number of patrol craft to eight, the Navy said.The small, speedy 52 meter-long (79-foot) ships, which can be armed with 25 mm cannons and .50 caliber machine guns, are seen as a counterweight to Iran’s fast boats that operate in shallow waters around the Strait of Hormuz.
NATO has asked Hungary to establish and further develop capabilities during the period 2014-2028 in a way that coincides with Hungary’s national military strategy, Defence Minister Csaba Hende said on Tuesday.
Hungary should develop an infantry unit by 2023, set up a new helicopter fleet, strengthen special operational capabilities and develop stabilisation and reconstruction capabilities – all in line with its national interests, he told a meeting of military and air attaches in Budapest.
Turkey’s western allies look puzzled by a looming decision by Ankara to select Chinese long-range anti-missile and air defense systems which they think cannot be integrated into the NATO-sponsored early warning architecture currently deployed on Turkish soil.
A NATO ally defense attaché in Ankarasaid that deploying a Chinese air defense system to protect Turkish airspace could have political repercussions. “Questioning Turkey’s geopolitical trajectory would then be legitimate,” he said.
North Korea has deployed new rocket launchers along its border capable of hitting targets beyond Seoul, a report said Sunday. Artillery units from the North were spotted replacing older multiple rocket stations with an upgraded version of the 240mm guns, Yonhap news agency said. The agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying the new multiple rocket launchers with a maximum range of 70 kilometres (42 miles) could extend their reach beyond the South Korean capital. The South’s defence ministry declined to confirm the report.
Jordanians are suspicious about US weapons and troops being deployed to the kingdom, even if Washington seeks to help its ally protect itself from a possible spillover of Syrian violence, experts say.
Worried about the security of Jordan, which is already struggling to cope with around 550,000 refugees from its war-torn northern neighbor, the United States has kept F-16 warplanes and Patriot missiles in the country since a joint military exercise ended on June 20.
The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.
The bases would allow the Philippines to station warships and fighter jets just 124 nautical miles from Scarborough Shoal, a contentious area of the South China Sea now controlled by China after a tense standoff last year.
Russia will open its first military airbase in Belarus before the end of this year, air force commander Lieutenant General Vladimir Bondarev said Tuesday. The base will be near the city of Lida close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania, both of which are NATO members, Bondarev said in a report carried by Interfax. Lida was chosen for the base, which will host Su-27 fighter jets, because of it already has appropriate facilities, Bondarev said.
Panama National Borders Service (Senafront) and the Colombian Army prepare a military base of joint operations in the common border, confirmed the Interior Minister Jose Mulino.
The information, reproduce by the Panamanian media and confirmed by the army commander of the neighbour country Sergio Mantilla, noted that the mission of the base will be to fight drug trafficking, human trade and other crimes linked to organized crime, among other aspects.
Russia considers its military base in Armenia to be vital for the South Caucasus country’s national security and will continue to strengthen it with modern weaponry, a visiting top Kremlin official said on Monday, Asbarez.com reported.
“I think the presence of Russian servicemen is a guarantee that there will be no negative developments in Armenia,” Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said at the headquarters of the base in the northwestern Armenian city of Gyumri.
Moscow is showing that it is increasing the utilization of its military presence in Armenia for greater strategic purpose and depth, while at the same time further consolidating its overarching sway over the Caucasus region. This is part of Moscow’s geostrategic plan to increase its influence in the Middle East, a region bordering the Caucasus and one that has in recent years become more important to Russia’s global geopolitical calculations.
Jordan’s prime minister says the country is hosting 900 U.S. military personnel to bolster its defense capabilities against potential threats from the Syrian civil war.
The first Jordanian public official to speak publicly of the numbers of U.S. troops in the kingdom, Abdullah Ensour told reporters Saturday that 200 of the personnel were experts training for how to handle a chemical attack. He said the remaining 700 are manning a Patriot missile defense system and F-16 fighter jets which Washington deployed this month in case the Syrian war worsens.