“On June 1 or a bit later we will resume constant patrolling of the world’s oceans by strategic nuclear submarines,” Vysotsky said at a meeting with naval personnel on Friday.
In a documentary aired by Russian state television on the eve of a global security conference in Munich, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated his confidence that U.S. missile shield plans were aimed at undermining Russia’s defense capabilities.
Russia has decided to suspend the planned disposal of third-generation strategic nuclear submarines currently in service with the Navy, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.
Russia has no plans to export S-400 Triumf air-defense systems before 2015 and may not start deliveries to Belarus and Kazakhstan until after 2014, a state-controlled arms exporter said on Thursday.
The first Mistral class amphibious assault ship will be put in service with the Russian Navy in 36 months, Russian Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said on Wednesday.
Russia will start producing six submarines and one aircraft carrier annually starting in 2013, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.
The new Russian Graney (Yasen) class SSGN (nuclear powered cruise missile sub) has been delayed yet again. Undisclosed problems with the first Graney have postponed it from entering service for at least a year. That will mean, if the latest delay is the last one, the first Graney will enter service twenty years after construction began. These problems are not restricted to the Graney, as other new sub designs are also encountering numerous construction and design problems.
Russia and NATO are planning to hold joint computer-simulated missile defense exercises in Germany in March, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday.
There has been no shift on the issue of a European missile defense system, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.
Two plants to manufacture space-defense missiles will be built in central Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
*U.S. IS `DISGUSTED' WITH RUSSIA, AMBASSADOR RICE SAYS AT UN
Russia's foreign arms exports rose to a value of $10.7 billion (8.2 billion euros) in 2011 despite a ban on weapons sales to its former important client Libya, the state arms export agency said Thursday.
About 30 Tu-22M3 strategic bombers from Russia's Long Range Aviation fleet will be modernized by 2020, Russian Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Tuesday.
Vladimir Putin has refused to host a top Chinese official tipped to become China's next prime minister due to his busy agenda ahead of polls putting a strain on bilateral ties, a newspaper said Wednesday.
NATO will locate the command centre for its US-led missile shield at the alliance air base in Ramstein, Germany, a diplomat told AFP on Thursday.
Russia has ordered mass production of the new Bulava SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile). The exact number of missiles was not disclosed but the order covered deliveries for the next eight years. The Bulava is only used in the new Borei SSBN (nuclear submarine carrying SLBMs). Each Borei carries 16 Bulavas and you need some spares for testing, maintenance, and such. Reloads are not an issue. So there will have to be about 18 Bulavas per Borei. There are currently two Boreis built and waiting for their Bulava missiles. Six more Boreis are to be built, indicating the need for over a hundred Bulavas before the end of the decade.
Russia's main military aircraft maker has decided not to take part in South Korea’s largest-ever arms tender, for a new fighter aircraft, The Korea Times said on Monday citing the country’s military procurement authorities.
The winner of the FX-III tender will sign a $7.3-billion deal to supply 60 advanced fighter jets with stealth capability for South Korea’s Air Force.
A Russian Army delegation has started a five-day visit to Mongolia to discuss preparations for a joint exercise, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Lithuania on Wednesday challenged Russian moves to deploy missiles on the EU's borders, which Moscow claims are meant to offset a planned US anti-missile shield in eastern Europe.
"Russia has been strengthening and modernising its armed forces in a western direction for some time, so there's no reason to link this to discussions on missile defence," defence ministry spokeswoman Ugne Naujokaityte told AFP.
The Russian Defense Ministry will deploy additional units of Special Forces (spetsnaz) to the North Caucasus to strengthen security in the region, the ministry said on Thursday.
All of Russia’s military airfields will be upgraded and modernized by 2020, Defense Ministry spokesman Col Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.
Russia will complete development of advanced tactical air-launched missile systems for the Sukhoi T-50 fifth-generation fighter within the next two years, the head of the Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV), Boris Obnosov, told RIA Novosti.
Despite harsh North Korean rhetoric, South Korea's top nuclear envoy expressed hope Friday of encouraging the North's new leadership to return to six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
The U.S. State Department gave a terse response Thursday to North Korea's demands for South Korea to offer an apology as a precondition for dialogue.
The head North Korea's reunification negotiating committee called on ex-patriot Koreans to put aside their differences and work for reunification of the Korean Peninsula.
The government apparently wants to include the Rajin-Sonbong and Hwanggumpyong special economic zones as external manufacturing regions in free trade talks with China, it emerged on Thursday. Seoul would give the same tariff benefits to products manufactured in the two areas that were given to goods made in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the South Korea-ASEAN FTA that went into effect in 2007.
South Korea and the U.S. plan to jointly stage major military maneuvers, called Key Resolve, from Feb. 27 to March 9, with about 200,000 South Korean and 2,100 U.S. troops participating.
North Korea has been preparing for a large military parade for this spring since before the death of its former leader Kim Jong-il, a government official here said Monday.
The official added the North's military may be targeting the 100th birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il-sung, on April 15, or the 80th founding anniversary of the military on April 25.
China will provide 500,000 tons of food and 250,000 tons of crude oil to North Korea following the death last month of former leader Kim Jong-il, a news report said Monday.
The head of the U.S. Pacific Command said Friday that there will be no "significant" change in the scale and role of American troops in South Korea despite the Pentagon's plan to cut budgets and slash the number of ground troops.
In the last month, newly anointed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited at least six military units, with photos and videos for the media to prove it. This is all about portraying Kim Jong Un as in control. The reality is somewhat different but it's hard to tell exactly who is calling the shots up north now.
What the government is trying to do is convince the people that all is well and under control. To that end free food is being distributed, with everyone getting at least three days rations. In areas where the people are seen as more unreliable five days' worth is being provided. In past decades such distributions led to a spike in pro-government feelings, for a while anyway.
Top North Korean officials have vowed to move ahead with an ambitious project to build a pipeline through their isolated country to ship Siberian gas to South Korea.
A South Korean charity group on Friday delivered the first flour aid to North Korea since the death of the North's former leader Kim Jong-il.
South Korea's police said Friday the chance of military provocations from North Korea are high ahead of Seoul's global summit in March and two major elections this year.
Two-way trade between North Korea and China jumped 62 percent in 2011 from the previous year, with the North doubling its exports of minerals to its major ally, data showed Tuesday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's repeated visits to the military may be a sign of weakness rather than strength, as the new leader desperately seeks to foster loyalty within the key backbone of the regime, analysts in Seoul said Tuesday.
South Korea's point man on North Korea pressed Pyongyang Wednesday to move toward bilateral talks with a commitment to change the policies that have deepened its isolation and worsened its economy for decades.
Philippine troops battled Muslim extremists on a remote southern island on Friday where a day earlier three of Southeast Asia's top terror suspects were killed in a US-backed air strike, the army said.
The Philippines announced plans on Friday to allow a greater US military presence on its territory, in a move analysts said was directly aimed at trying to contain a rising China.
Philippine activists picketed the US embassy on Saturday and burned a cardboard American flag and mock stealth bomber, vowing to launch a campaign opposing a plan to allow more US troops in the country.
A Taiwanese official predicted Wednesday that China would maintain a conciliatory stance with Taipei, saying that likely next leader Xi Jinping has experience dealing with the self-ruling island.
India's planned purchase of 126 fighters from France's Dassault marks the latest stage in a huge military procurement cycle that has turned the world's largest democracy into its biggest arms importer.
The final Dassault contract is expected to be worth $12 billion and India is preparing further big ticket purchases over the coming years, including of helicopters and artillery.
In a report to be published next week, Jane's Defence Weekly forecasts that India's aggregate defence procurement spending between 2011 and 2015 will top $100 billion.
But others sense a more combative impulse, driven by the military modernisation efforts of its rivals and neighbours Pakistan and China, as well as the need to secure energy resources and supply lines outside its borders.
"The Indian military is strengthening its forces in preparation to fight a limited conflict along the disputed border, and is working to balance Chinese power projection in the Indian Ocean," Clapper said.
Pakistan signalled on Thursday that it could shortly end a more than two-month blockade on NATO supplies entering Afghanistan for foreign forces.
Attackers on Friday fired rockets at Pakistan's top military academy, damaging its outer wall in a major security breach near the home where Osama bin Laden lived for years, officials said.
Two months into Pakistan's blockade on NATO supplies crossing into Afghanistan, thousands of trucks are crowding the port in Karachi where drivers, fed up with waiting, are starting to desert.
He says more than a thousand trucks are stranded in Karachi. In addition, there are containers and military vehicles -- about 5,000 according to a count provided by the authorities in early January.
In Pakistan, angry generals have forced (via threats of a coup) the president to retract a lot of his open criticism of the military. A month ago, the president had spoken openly of the military as a "state within a state" and criticized generals for illegal acts. The generals then spoke vaguely, but ominously, of serious consequences for such talk. Cooler heads prevailed and the president and the generals met and agreed to back off on threats to reduce economic and political power of the military. But the Supreme Court has continued to examine recent abuses (murdering prisoners) by military intelligence (ISI). This is dangerous stuff, as the ISI has been behind most of the government support for Islamic terrorism.
The first week of February 2012 will be crucial for strained US-Pakistan relations as a joint session of the Parliament of Pakistan is going to decide fate of NATO supply routes into Afghanistan.
Russia is set to sell up to 60 infantry fighting vehicles to Indonesia in a deal worth more than $100 million, the Izvestia newspaper cited an unnamed military source as saying on Tuesday.
Myanmar President Thein Sein has denied his country is trying to obtain nuclear weapons from North Korea, describing allegations of a covert programme as "unfounded".
The US commander handling Asia on Friday called for greater military relations with China, saying that dialogue between the Pacific powers has not advanced beyond broad strategic issues.
Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka reiterated his hopes that the U.S. Marine Corps Station Futenma can be relocated soon to Okinawa's Henoko coastal area.
The Japanese Air Force is having a harder time keeping foreign aircraft out of Japanese air space. For the last nine months of 2011, Japan aircraft were scrambled an average of 37 times a month to intercept foreign aircraft coming into, or very close to, Japanese air space. Nearly 43 percent of the time the sorties were for Chinese aircraft. That's almost three times as many Chinese intrusions as in the previous year. Meanwhile, Russian intrusions declined 25 percent compared to 2010. Russia still accounted for 52 percent of the intrusions, but the way things are going China will soon be the major offender. The Japanese believe that cause of this shift is more electronic and maritime patrol aircraft available to the Chinese and a desire to gather as much information as possible about the strongest potential foe in the area.
The United States is to shift 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam without waiting for progress on controversial plans to relocate a US base on the Japanese island, it was expected to be announced Wednesday.
South Korea and Russia have agreed that the stalled six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program need to be swiftly resumed, Seoul officials said Thursday, amid persistent concern following the death of the North's leader Kim Jong-il.
North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un paid an inspection visit to the navy in his latest round of military inspections, the country's state media said Monday, as the young leader moved to strengthen his grip on power.
- The Obama administration's wait-and-see attitude toward North Korea's new leadership is expected to lead to another nuclear test by the unpredictable communist regime, a U.S. expert said Tuesday.
North Korea is developing unmanned attack aircraft using U.S. target drones purchased from the Middle East, a military source in Seoul said Sunday, indicating the aircraft will likely target the South.
Seoul and Washington are reportedly in favor of U.S. marines being deployed on South Korea's west coast to prepare for an emergency. The mooted redeployment of U.S. marines from a base in Okinawa, Japan to South Korea on a rotating basis would fit in with their hopes.
But the U.S. Marine Corps is essentially an attack unit focusing on amphibious operations, and its deployment to South Korea could upset neighboring countries other than North Korea, especially China.
Some U.S. marines stationed in Okinawa will likely move to South Korea under a plan whereby the U.S. redeploys some 3,300 of the 18,000 marines on the Japanese island to other countries on a rotating basis.
Islamabad said Afghan, NATO and Pakistani commanders were holding talks Wednesday to improve border coordination, more than two months after a lethal NATO attack flung relations into a major crisis.
Years of misbehavior are catching up with the Pakistani army and intelligence agencies. Their use of terror against non-Moslems (mainly Pakistani Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs) and tribal rebels (especially in Baluchistan) is no longer hidden by censorship and media controls. The growth of the Internet brought with it the demise of the unenforceable media control laws. While the liberated media remained very nationalistic and pro-Islam, journalists also looked more closely at the terror campaigns sponsored by the military and intelligence agencies against Pakistani opposition. The murders and disappearances can no longer be hidden, and killing journalists is no longer as effective as it once was.
An unusual hearing took place today in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA) headed a meeting on Pakistan’s province of Balochistan. Publicly, the hearing focused on condemning the Pakistani government and accusing it of broad human rights abuses against the Balochs.
Reports of human rights violations in Pakistani Balochistan are nothing new within the Pakistani press, but the sudden interest among US officials, coupled with eager condemnations from human rights groups, comes with serious undertones.
That is because last month, Rep. Rohrabacher and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R – TX), in a policy paper condemning the Obama Administration, proposed that the US pursue an independent Baloch state “carved out of Pakistan,” nominally to defeat the Taliban.
Singapore on Wednesday urged the United States to be careful in comments on China, warning that suggestions of a strategy to contain the rising power could cause strife in Asia.
Russian leaders under fire for a UN veto Wednesday rejected outside interference in the Syrian conflict, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warning against behaving "like a bull in a china shop."
The Russian Air Force recently revealed that about 16 percent of its 188 MiG-31 interceptors are on alert at any time, ready to take off and confront aerial intruders. A larger number of the 240 Su-27s are on alert as well. The high-flying and extremely fast MiG-31s are able to catch just about any type of aircraft. The Su-27 comes along to back up the Mig-31s and protect them from any fighters. The MiG-31 is optimized for quick interception, not prolonged air combat.
Russia is covering 20,000 kilometers of land borders with fewer than 600 fighters. Worse yet, most of the Cold War era radars along the borders are elderly or off-line.
Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force had to scramble fighter jets in response to a sudden appearance of Russian military aircraft near Japanese airspace, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday citing Defense Ministry.
“The production of weaponry must reflect the fact that modern wars will be brief and unpredictable in nature, they will not rage on for years,” Rogozin said on Wednesday at a meeting with defense industry officials.
“We need a very compact, mobile, armed to the teeth army and fleet that instill fear in our enemies, and strategic nuclear forces that would ensure our [national] security,” he said.
Russia and the United States have signed agreements on the exchange of telemetric information on ICBM and SLBM launches, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Russia’s Almaz-Antey concern will finish the development of the advanced S-500 air defense system by 2017, two years later than the deadline announced earlier, the company’s General Director Vitaly Neskorodov said.
The Russian Navy will receive at least 10 new Borey class strategic nuclear submarines in line with a revised state armament procurement program until 2020, Kommersant daily said in Tuesday.
In addition to submarines, the Navy will receive 14 frigates, 35 corvettes, six Buyan class small artillery ships and six Ivan Gren Class large landing ships.
Russian military prosecutors have found that about 20 percent of Russian defense spending is stolen by corrupt officers and officials. That there is corruption in the Russian military is no secret. Officers, including generals and admirals, have been prosecuted frequently for the last two decades. But this comprehensive investigation revealed that the extent of the thievery was greater than anyone could have imagined. This discovery is all part of a decade long trend.
Taking corruption to uncharted heights, a military official in central Russia has sold an airfield for a bribe.
Andrei Usok, a procurement officer with the Defense Ministry, sold to an unspecified company some 4,000 slabs of concrete making up the landing strip of a military airfield in Bryansk region, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Russia announced that its SSBNs (nuclear powered ballistic missile boats) would resume long range "combat patrols" later this year. In recent years, there have been only about ten such patrols a year, each lasting three months or less. Most have not gone far from Russian waters and some were not even made by SSBNs.
The problem here is that the Russian Navy has not only shrunk since the end of the Cold War in 1991 but it has also become much less active. In the last six years, only about ten of their nuclear subs went to sea on a combat patrol each year. Most of the boats going to sea were SSNs (attack subs), not SSBNs. Most of these trips were short range training missions, which often lasted a few days, or just a few hours.
Currently, Russia only has 14 SSBN (nuclear ballistic missile sub) boats in service and not all of them have a full load of missiles. Some lack full crews or have key systems in need of repair. Twelve of the SSBNs are Delta IVs, which are overdue for retirement and rarely got to sea.
The peak year for Russian nuclear sub patrols was 1984, when there were 230. That number rapidly declined until, in 2002, there were none.
Russia will build a reliable aerospace defense system to effectively counter NATO missile threats, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Sunday.
“We will receive the first three subs in 2014, one more – in 2015, and the last two – in 2016 to form a full-size submarine brigade in the Black Sea Fleet,” Fedotenkov said.
Russia and India started on Monday the preparation for joint INDRA-2012 military exercises scheduled to be held in Russia this summer, a spokesman for Russia’s Eastern Military District said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is making a re-run for the post of Russian president, expressed doubt on Monday that Russia would be able to make the transition to a fully professional army by 2015.
The military needs to recruit about 300,000 men during each draft to keep the number of personnel at the required level of 1 million.
In Russia, a recent parliament-ordered investigation of the armed forces found that the army was short a third of the privates (lowest ranking enlisted troops) they were supposed to have. The Russian military (mainly the Army and Interior Ministry paramilitary units) are supposed to have a million personnel. But officials admitted last year, off-the-record, that the real number is closer to 800,000 and falling fast.
After nearly two years of negotiations, vigorous internal dissent and several successful tests, Russia has finally signed a purchase order for 60 (not the 2,500 originally discussed) Italian LMV (Light Multipurpose Vehicles) M65 "Lynx" armored vehicles.
But there was a lot of resistance from some generals and executives of Russian armored vehicle manufacturers. But after all the shouting had ended, it was still rather obvious that similar Russian vehicles were inferior to the Italian M65 (and other Western models). It came down to a choice between saving jobs and Russian pride versus saving the lives of Russian soldiers.
Fmr. Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff: Russia Is Ready to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria
Finland's president-elect Sauli Niinistoe must come clean on key foreign policy issues such as NATO membership and relations with Russia, political observers said Monday, a day after his crushing election triumph.
Ninistoe, a conservative pro-European career politician and former finance minister, scored a resounding victory over Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto on Sunday, winning 62.6 percent of the vote to Haavisto's 37.4 percent.
Despite his convincing win after two rounds of campaigning and election voting, the president-elect has yet to say where he stands on major foreign policy issues, analysts noted.
Before introducing the NATO question, though, Niinistoe will have to prepare the nation, Virkkunen countered, adding that "he did say he wants to have a referendum before Finland can join NATO."
The Western arms embargo (because of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre) against China is crumbling. France is leading the way. European firms are particularly eager to drop the embargo and some, like France, are ignoring it. This is done by disregarding the installation of dual-use Western equipment in weapons systems. The latest example is the use of French Arriel 2C engines (built under license in China) for the Z-9WE combat helicopter.
China has 2,500 "Blue Helmets" serving among the United Nations' 12 peacekeeping operations, most of them in the largest one, Congo, one-third the size of the United States and a source of constant crisis since independence from Belgium 52 years ago.
Some 6,000 Chinese workers broke ground in the Bahamas last September -- 15 minutes from Nassau airport -- for the Caribbean's largest gambling casino complex, which is destined to rival Macau, the former Portuguese colony now part of China.
The African Union's new Chinese-designed, built and funded, $200 million headquarters opened in Ethiopia two weeks ago, just in time for Organization of African Unity's annual summit. Ultra-modernistic in its design, it looks like a huge spaceship
China's trade with Africa hit $120 billion last year, a 12-fold increase.
Almost 6 million Chinese workers are deployed throughout what was once called the Third World, including 1 million in Africa, on a wide variety of industrial and agricultural projects, developing future markets for Chinese products and importing all manner of raw materials.
Originally posted by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi
Africa would probably be better off working with China than the West anyways.
Originally posted by signal2noise
Originally posted by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi
Africa would probably be better off working with China than the West anyways.
Really? The West "exploits" Africa and China "works with" Africa?
Is that what you really believe?
Originally posted by Vitchilo
Well kind of breaking...
Apparently, there's big rumors in China about Kim Jong Un was assassinated this morning.
If this is for real, we'll know soon enough.
Yonhap quotes unnamed military official saying #ROK & US to conduct joint anti-submarine drill next week in sensitive Yellow Sea waters.
The Navy is seeking to establish a command for its submarines.
South Korea recently held a secret meeting with North Korea in Beijing during which the two sides discussed ways to achieve a breakthrough in strained inter-Korean relations, a news report on Thursday said.
The US and South Korean navies will stage a joint anti-submarine drill in the Yellow Sea next week to guard against potential attacks by North Korea, Seoul's defence ministry said Thursday.
The drill from February 20-24 will involve a number of submarines and warships from both countries, a ministry spokesman told AFP without elaborating.
The United States plans to expand the presence of its Marines in Asia in tandem with diplomatic initiatives towards the increasingly important region, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Defense has denied reports that the U.S. plans to relocate U.S. Marines from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to South Korea.
U.S. aircraft carriers reportedly will not participate in Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, the two major South Korea-U.S. military exercises that will be conducted on Feb. 27.
A government source in Seoul said Wednesday, “(South) Korean and U.S. military authorities have recently decided not to use a U.S. aircraft carrier in Key Resolve and Foal Eagle." Key Resolve, an annual exercise for expanding U.S. military and equipment promptly to the Korean Peninsula in an emergency situation, will run through March 9. Foal Eagle, an annual combined field training exercise, will be held from early March to April.
NYT: China leader Xi Jinping urges U.S. to respect China's "core interests," esp. Tibet & Taiwan
China's defence budget will double between 2011 and 2015 and outstrip the combined spending of all other key defence markets in the Asia-Pacific region, global research group IHS said Tuesday.
As the Chinese Navy grows larger, mainly to protect the import/export capabilities of a booming economy, neighboring nations are building up their submarines forces. These are the ideal weapons for disrupting seaborne trade and mining major ports and that threat is most likely to cause China to back off. All this is a boon for Western arms manufacturers because Chinese neighbors seek a quality edge over the largely Russian designed Chinese gear by getting the superior Western equipment and weapons.
North Korea and China finally reached an agreement at the end of last year to jointly develop the Rajin-Sonbong special economic zone in the far northeastern edge of the isolated country, it emerged on Wednesday.
The zone is seven times larger than the Kaesong Industrial Complex (65.7 sq.km), the site of inter-Korean economic cooperation.
The agreement entitles China to develop three new piers and grants it the right to use them for 50 years. According to the source in China's Jilin Province, the deal was inked in the second half of last year.
China's likely next leader Xi Jinping warned the United States against plans to boost its military strength in Asia as he prepared for a closely watched visit to Washington starting Monday.
China's second 071 class amphibious ship (the Jinggang Shan) entered service late last year with the South China Sea Fleet. The first one, Kunlan Shan, entered service four years ago. The 071s are LPD (landing ship dock) type vessels and are currently the largest ships in the Chinese Navy. That will change in the next year when the first aircraft carrier enters service. A third 071 is nearing completion and a fourth is believed on order.
These LPDs are 210 meters (689 foot) long, 20,000 ton amphibious ships with a flight deck for up to four helicopters and a well in the rear for landing craft. It normally carries four hovercraft in the well and two smaller landing craft suspended on davits. The ship can carry up to 800 troops (500 are more common) and up to 20 armored vehicles.
Russia would use nuclear weapons in response to any imminent threat to its national security, Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov said on Wednesday.
“We are certainly not planning to fight against the whole of NATO,” Makarov said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio, “but if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation, we have the right to use nuclear weapons, and we will.”
The Russian military, despite a severe manpower shortage, refuses to accept recruits from the Caucasus (especially Chechnya and Dagestan). It's been this way since the 1990s.
Even before 1991, the Russian dominated army warned company (units of about a hundred troops) commanders to not allow more than ten Chechens (Chechnya is adjacent to Dagestan) in their unit. Experience had shown that ten or more Chechens (or other men from the Caucasus) would form a very tight, tough and disciplined clique that would prey on the other troops in the company, and cause all manner of discipline and crime problems.
Russia is increasing its Tu-160 bomber force from 16 to 30 aircraft. This requires keeping the production line going. The first Tu-160 was built over three decades ago, and 35 have been built so far, although most have been retired or scrapped. This production decision is not just to increase the heavy bomber force it's also to solve another problem. Last year the Russian Air Force found that they could not order enough Tu-160 replacement engines to keep the engine factory going. The air force only wanted about five NK-32 engines a year. Each Tu-160 is fitted with four of these 3.5 ton engines. Most of these engines were built 10-20 years ago, and have been overhauled several times. After a while, these engines cannot be refurbished anymore, and that's why some new ones are needed. But the manufacturer insisted the smallest economical annual production was twenty engines. Otherwise, the price per engine for five a year will be more than the government is willing to pay. The solution was to increase the number of Tu-160s in service.
A second regiment of the Teikovo Missile Division in central Russia will be fully equipped with Yars mobile ballistic missile systems in 2012, Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) spokesman Col. Vadim Koval said on Thursday.
The Yars missile system is armed with the RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile that has considerably better combat and operational capabilities than the Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin).
Russian aircraft manufacturers must develop at least two competitive prototypes of a fifth-generation fighter jet, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.
“Two variants of the future fighter jet must be developed to encourage competition,” Rogozin said at a meeting with Russian lawmakers.
Russia recently announced that a Russian space technology engineer had been convicted of espionage and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
The engineer, Vladimir Nesterets, worked at the Plesetsk missile test site. This is where all sorts of missiles are tested and the results monitored by people like Nesterets. It's not just the rockets that are tested, but new payloads as well, including "penetration aids" (decoy warheads to confuse anti-missile systems.) It's possible that Nesterets could have turned over large quantities of new Russian technology, and information on just what shape Russia's current ballistic missiles are in.
Russia will place several new S-400 Triumf air defense systems near its borders in 2012, Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin said.
“The Russian Armed Forces will receive several S-400 air defense systems this year,” Zelin told RIA Novosti on Monday. “This time they will be deployed in air defense units guarding [Russia’s] border regions.”
Russia will complete the first prototype of the new Armata main battle tank by 2013 and begin production and deliveries to the Russian Armed Forces in 2015, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the CEO of tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod Oleg Sienko told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Lenta.ru news portal reported.
Anti-corruption efforts in the military are uncovering more problems, causing incidents of known corruption to increase. Last year, 144 commanders were prosecuted for stealing cash and other assets under their control. The use of violence against troops by officers was also on the rise.
The Russian government will submit a proposal to the parliament on the establishment of an advanced military research agency, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said.
The new government body will be similar in its purpose to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US.
The fourth of Russia's state-of-the-art fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50 fighter jets will make its test flight this year, Head of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Mikhail Pogosyan announced on Wednesday.
The third PAK FA T-50 jet has already performed over 120 test flights.
Deliveries of the initial batch of T-50 aircrafts will kick off in 2013. “Everything is going according to plan,” Mr. Pogosyan assured the press-conference.
Russia’s newest nuclear-powered submarines, the Yury Dolgoruky and the Alexander Nevsky, will be put into operation in the summer, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Thursday.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM, developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (since 1998), carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines.
Russia and Vietnam are planning to start in 2012 joint production of a modified anti-ship missile, head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev said on Wednesday.
As North Korea celebrated the birthday of its late leader Kim Jong-il, its officials said Thursday that ties with South Korea can improve if Seoul follows through on deals reached at two previous summits held in 2000 and 2007.
AFP: #DPRK warns it'll bombard Yellow Sea islands near disputed maritime border if #ROK conducts naval firing drill tomorrow. #Korea
KPA: If "a single column of water is observed in its territorial waters, the KPA will promptly make merciless retaliatory strikes."
KPA Command: #ROK gov't "traitors should not forget the lesson taught by the Yonpyong Is. shelling case that occurred Nov. 23, 2010."
North Korea's military paraded Thursday to mark the birthday of late leader Kim Jong-Il, pledging to defend his son and successor Jong-Un with their lives and crush enemy forces if attacked.
North Korea on Saturday rejected South Korea's offer to hold Red Cross talks on reunions of separated families, saying Seoul should first respond to its demand for an apology for not paying official respect over the death of former leader Kim Jong-il and for a promise to carry out previous summit agreements.
A helicopter containing North Korea’s Minister of Commerce Kim Bong Cheol and gifts to be given away for Kim Jong Il’s birthday has crashed, killing five people.
The man fingered by South Korean authorities as being responsible for the torpedo attack against the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, has been promoted from lieutenant general to general, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The United States made clear Friday that North Korea's demand for the pullout of American troops on the Korean Peninsula is not negotiable.
Although North Korea has, on paper, 1.1 million troops in its military (equipped with over 5,000 armored vehicles, 600 combat aircraft, and hundreds of ballistic missiles and rocket launchers), this force has been falling apart since the late 1990s because of a lack of money. To put that in perspective, South Korea (with 680,000 troops, and more tanks, aircraft, and warships than the north) spends over forty times more than the north per man, each year, on equipping, maintaining, and training each of its troops. North Korean troops spend a lot of their time growing their own food, working in factories, laboring on public works projects, and practicing their goose-step. There is little money for fuel to operate trucks or armored vehicles, and even less for spare parts if these elderly vehicles break down. In the north, aircraft and ships rarely operate, which means the crews are poorly trained.
North Korea has named its late leader Kim Jong-il as a generalissimo by praising him for turning the North into a nuclear power, the country's state media reported Wednesday.
North Korea is stepping up harsh rhetoric against South Korea ahead of the latter`s parliamentary elections set for April 11.
“The North has accelerated its slandering of the South since the end of last year, when its leader Kim Jong Il died,” an official of South Korea`s Unification Ministry said Sunday. “This is different behavior from the past in responding the same day to what happens in the South.”
A senior US envoy will hold talks this month in Beijing with North Korea, resuming a dialogue put on hold last year by the death of leader Kim Jong-Il, the State Department said Monday.
Glyn Davies, the coordinator for US policy in North Korea, will meet in Beijing on February 23 with North Korean negotiator Kim Kye-Gwan, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.
North Korea has completed a hovercraft base which could be used to attack South Korean islands near the disputed Yellow Sea border, a report said Thursday.
Recent satellite photos showed construction had finished at the base at Koampo, 50-60 kilometres (30-35 miles) from the nearest South Korean island, Yonhap news agency reported.
For the seventh time, India successfully tested its anti-missile system, intercepting a Prithvi ballistic missile. The AAD interceptor missile was fired from an island 70 kilometers off the coast. The system uses two types of interceptors. The Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) missile is the larger of the two and is used for high altitude (50-80 kilometers up) interception. The short range Advanced Air Defense (AAD) missile is used for low altitude (up to 30 kilometers) intercepts. The two missiles, in conjunction with a radar system based on the Israeli Green Pine (used with the Arrow anti-missile missile), are to provide defense from ballistic missiles fired as far as 5,000 kilometers away. This will provide some protection from Pakistani and Chinese missiles. A third interceptor, the PDV, is a hypersonic missile that can take down missiles as high as 150 kilometers and is still in development.
India is buying 99 American F414 jet engines for $8.1 million each. These will be used for the new LCA (Light Combat Aircraft, or "Tejas") jet fighter.
India plans to test launch its new Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in the second half of March, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.
India's lone aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, may be over 50 years old, but the latest refit that it went through in 2009-10 has made it a potent warfare platform of the 21st century and this was showcased to Defence Minister A.K. Antony when he boarded the vessel off Visakhapatnam as part of a large maritime exercise on Tuesday and Wednesday.
India successfully tested on Friday an interceptor defence shield developed to detect and destroy incoming ballistic missiles, a government official said.
For over two decades India has been unable to buy new howitzers for its army. The problem is politics, corruption, and bureaucracy, not a lack of cash or demand. The current crises began in the 1990s, when India decided to buy 1,500 FH77 155mm howitzers from Bofors (Sweden). Then it was revealed that bribes were involved.
There have been over a dozen competitions for new artillery contracts, all of them aborted by incompetent administration or corruption (real or imagined) charges.
Ten years ago Denel (South Africa), Soltam (Israel), and Bofors (Sweden) were all bidding on a huge contract for towed 155mm howitzers. The winner would export 200 guns to India and then get royalties and fees to assist an Indian firm in building up to 3,800 more under license. These guns were desperately needed to re-equip 200 artillery battalions (18 guns each) which were using much older guns, most of Cold War (Russian) vintage. That competition has been halted and revived several times, and the army is still waiting for new artillery.
Discounting US intelligence reports of a limited armed conflict between India and China, a senior Indian Air Force officer Friday ruled out any war in the near future but said Indian forces were fully prepared to protect the country's strategic interests.
India and Saudi Arabia will explore the joint development and production of weapons and equipment to control rising imports.
While no details on the proposed joint weapon development with Saudi Arabia are known, sources said the two countries have agreed in principle to boost joint ventures.
Media reports on Feb. 11 state the Pakistan Navy intends to build nuclear-powered submarines as a matter of priority.
No sources were quoted in the reports, which indicated the first submarine would be operational in five to eight years.
According to report, the groups are backed by some foreign powers, including India and Israel, are involved in deteriorating situation in the province.
Pakistani judges on Friday agreed to allow star witness in a major scandal threatening President Asif Ali Zardari to testify abroad, resurrecting an investigation that appeared to come unstuck.
French warship builder DCNS has won its first export customer for its new Gowind frigates and offshore patrol vessels (OPV). Malaysia is buying six Gowinds, for $471 million each. Malaysia will receive the first one in five years, with the other five arriving at six month intervals.
The Malaysian Gowinds are 2,400 ton corvettes armed with a 57mm gun, anti-aircraft missiles, anti-submarine torpedoes, and an EC-275 helicopter. It has a top speed of 48 kilometers an hour.
Taiwan has ordered 440 U.S. AN/SSQ-53F sonobuoys, for $762 each. This sonobuoy weighs 8.6 kg (19 pounds) and can last up to eight hours once ejected into the ocean by an aircraft or a helicopter. The sonobuoy transmits back to the aircraft what it hears. The AN/SSQ-53F has a shelf life of five years.
A retired Taiwanese general came under fire on Friday after he allegedly claimed that Taiwanese and Chinese armies are both "striving for unification" during a recent trip to China.
The U.S. will soon give a second Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines as part of efforts to boost the ally’s military amid tensions at sea with China, officials said Tuesday.
Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea could soon be replicated in neighbouring waters, a Japanese government-backed report said Friday, amid rising regional nervousness about China's intentions.
In the last year the police have been brutal against separatists in Papua and very lax against Islamic radicals attacking Christians and Moslems who do not follow strict lifestyle rules. The government believes it is following the votes by tolerating the police brutality (which has been common in Indonesia for decades). Most Indonesians do not want Papua (the western half of New Guinea, the fourth largest island in the world) to be independent. In addition to lots of valuable natural resources there's lots of unused land that can be occupied by Moslem migrants from crowded parts of the country. But that causes friction because the native Papuans are Melanesian, who look quite different from the majority Malays. Moreover, the Melanesians tend to be Christian while the Malays are almost all Moslems. The Malays are better educated and run the government and police. There are a lot of Melanesians outside of Papua and they are increasingly subject to violence by Malay Islamic radicals.
State Department says North Korea agrees to allow IAEA inspectors to verify moratorium on uranium enrichment, in return for food aid from the U.S.
The United States said Wednesday North Korea has agreed to suspend nuclear activities and a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests in a breakthrough in negotiations with the secretive communist nation.
maybe North Korea does not want the nuke after all, or they have all they want.
US: North Korea to Suspend Nuclear Activities
Originally posted by signal2noise
Yep, the West will give them a boat load of food....
And it will go straight to the North Korean Army kitchens.