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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Navy Offers Army Veteran, Victims of Jet Crash Fraction of Possessions' Worth

An Army veteran whose home was destroyed by a fiery Navy jet crash said he was shocked to learn the U.S. government planned to pay him under $5,000 -- even though officials told him they'd cover "whatever it costs" to replace his family's lost possessions.

Jesus and Shady Valenzuela lost everything on June 4, 2014, when an AV-8B Harrier jet from the Third Marine Aircraft Wing malfunctioned and crashed into the Imperial, California, house they were renting.

In an interview Thursday, Jesus told NBC 7 military personnel were extremely helpful after the incident, telling the family to go shopping for necessities like pajamas and toothbrushes. A military official from Washington D.C. even flew to Imperial to meet with them about the recovery process and how to get everything replaced.

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IAF to get four more Tejas by end of this fiscal: National Aerospace Laboratories

Tejas LCAThe Indian Air Force is likely to get four more indigenously made light combat aircraft Tejas by the end of the current financial year from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, National Aerospace Laboratories' Director Shyam Chetty said here today.

"The four aircraft may adhere to international standards on end-to-end accuracy," Chetty said, adding, further research was on to meet the parameters stipulated by the IAF.

IAF had some concerns with Tejas's end-to-end accuracy and eff ..

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Libya Dawn Going DIY: S-125 SAMs Used as Surface-to-Surface Missiles

S-125 Pechora 2MA lack of spare parts for Libya’s sophisticated weaponry has resulted in a number of interesting conversions by the Libyan National Army and Libya Dawn, both poised to get the edge over the other party.

Recent examples of such conversions have included the installment of Oerlikon GDF naval guns on trucks by Libya Dawn and the installment of AK-230 naval guns on trucks by the Libyan National Army.

Libya Dawn, currently in control of Libya’s captital Tripoli and other large cities like Misrata , inherited a large number of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) found in the vast swats of land it controls in the west of Libya.

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Report: Alleged Israeli strike targeted Scud missiles

Scud missileThe target of the alleged Israeli strike in the suburbs of Damascus was a shipment of long-range ground-to-ground missiles, likely of the Scud variety, according to reports in Arab media outlets.

The reports claimed the attack occurred in two waves and left a number of casualties. Al Jazeera reported on Saturday morning that Israeli warplanes bombed positions belonging to the Syrian army and Hezbollah in the al-Qalamoun region near the border between Syria and Lebanon.

The strike was reported in Al-Arabiya, which claimed the target was a cache of Syrian Scuds. The Saudi-owned network further claimed that Israel had also struck the area on Wednesday.

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N-powered Charles de Gaulle docks at MPT

FS Charles de Gaulle (R91)Like a bluish-grey mirage shimmering in the afternoon sea, the nuclear-powered French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, is a mesmerizing site docked at the Mormugao Port Trust's mooring dolphin.

The 42,000-tonne warship is the fourth largest in the world and even the sea appears to have surrendered, having failed to ruffle the ship, even as nearby barges, tugs and frigates bob with the waves.

Don't let the deathly calm fool you, because that is exactly what the flagship of the French navy is—deadly.

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USS Annapolis arrives at Navy yard

USS Annapolis (SSN 760)The nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) and her crew of 16 officers and 122 enlisted personnel arrived Saturday morning at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

While at the shipyard, Annapolis will undergo planned maintenance work and several system upgrades. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the Navy’s center of excellence for attack submarine overhaul, repair and modernization.

As a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command, Portsmouth is committed to maximizing the material readiness of the fleet by safely delivering first-time quality, on time and on budget.

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Russian Black Sea Fleet Plans to Receive Two New Subs by End of 2015

Pjoject 636 Varshavyanka (improved Kilo) class SSKRussia's Black Sea Fleet will receive two new Varshavianka-class submarines by the end of 2015, with another four on the way to modernize the grouping.

The first two Varshavianka-class (Improved Kilo) diesel-electric submarines may enter permanent service in the Black Sea Fleet as soon as the end of 2015, the commander of Russia's Navy Viktor Chirkov said on Saturday. The submarines are currently undergoing deep-sea trials in the Arctic.

A total of six Varshavianka-class submarines are planned for the Black Sea Fleet. The second batch of two submarines is currently undergoing trials at the shipyard in Saint Petersbutg. The final two submarines were laid down in October 2014.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Argentina-China deal over FC-1 Xiaolong won't include anti-ship missiles

FC-1/JF-17 ThunderBeijing is not likely to provide Buenos Aires with anti-ship missiles as part of a deal whereby Argentina will purchase FC-1 Xiaolong multirole fighters from China, as Beijing does not want to upset the UK, according to Military Parade based in Moscow on April 22.

Earlier reports suggested that Argentina was looking to purchase between 12 and 24 FC-1 or J-10 fighters from China. Eventually, Argentina chose to purchase the Xiaolong because the country's air force concluded that Block 2, the upgraded version of the FC-1 is more suitable to the nation's combat environment than other aircraft on offer.

The magazine said that an aerial refueling system may be installed in the design of the aircraft for the Argentine Air Force.

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Zimbabwe: Air Force Jet Crashes in Gweru

K-8 KarakorumTwo Air Force of Zimbabwe pilots escaped death by a whisker when their plane crashed at an open area in Gweru yesterday after developing a fault.

Zimbabwe National Army director-general responsible for policy, public relations and international affairs Brigadier-General John Mupande confirmed the incident, saying investigations were underway to determine the exact cause of the accident.

"The Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga commended the pilots for having taken all precautionary measures that saved the lives of people and further prevented damages to civilian property." Brig-Gen Mupande said.

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RAAF keen to buy armed drones, dispatches personnel to the US to learn how to remotely pilot Reaper aircraft

MQ-9 ReaperAerial drones equipped with missiles could soon be added to Australia’s military shopping list after the RAAF sent personnel to the US to learn how to pilot unmanned Reaper aircraft.

The Federal Government plans to buy a fleet of giant unarmed, unmanned Triton surveillance aircraft, which will be housed at Adelaide’s Edinburgh Air Force base.

The RAAF is also interested in buying armed American Reaper drones, which can be used as attack aircraft.

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A-10 Makes Emergency Landing in Iraq After Engine Failure

A-10 Thunderbolt IIA "catastrophic" engine failure aboard an A-10 Thunderbolt on a mission over Iraq forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing at the al-Asad airbase where U.S. Marines have been training Iraqi forces in in contested Anbar province, U.S. Central Command confirmed Friday.

Col. Patrick Ryder, a CentCom spokesman, told a Pentagon briefing that the engine failure was "not uncommon" for combat aircraft.

"It was just one of those things that happen when you’re operating high-performance aircraft," Ryder said of the engine failure.

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India receives first upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft

IAF Mirage 2000The Indian Air Force today received the first two upgraded Mirage-2000 aircrafts from France under a Rs 10,000 crore deal.

The two upgraded aircraft, flown in by IAF pilots from France covering Greece, Egypt and Qatar in over seven days, landed at the Gwalior Air Force Station.

On arrival, the two aircraft were accorded the traditional 'Water Cannon Salute'.

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Launch Date Set for 4th Flight of X-37B Spaceplane

X-37B SpaceplaneThe U.S. Air Force says it will launch an unmanned X-37B spaceplane for a fourth mission no earlier than May 20.

Built by Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, the X-37Bs are reusable unmanned orbital maneuvering vehicles that launch atop an expendable rocket and return to Earth much like NASA’s now-retired space shuttle and glides in for a runway landing.

The Air Force declined to say which of the two X-37B spaceplanes the service will use for the mission.

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Men in black – NATO’s cybermen

Men in blackThere are six men. All dressed in black like the ones in the famous movie. They have black cases too but they are not using their technology to erase your memory. Their name: NATO Rapid Reaction Team, or RRT. Their aim: to provide assistance to NATO nations or facilities suffering a cyber attack.

He is one of six civilian members of the RRT who can be deployed to NATO sites, in operational theatres or in support of an Ally, in order to provide technical assistance or respond to incidents arising from a cyber attack.

Cyber threats are becoming more intense and complex. Every day, NATO has to manage more than 200,000,000 events; after analysis, about ten on average turn out to be sophisticated attacks requiring remedial action.

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US aircraft carrier heading away from Yemen: officials

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)A US aircraft carrier and a guided-missile cruiser are leaving the waters off Yemen and heading back to the Gulf after an Iranian naval convoy also turned back from the area, officials said Friday.

The carrier and the cruiser, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Normandy, had deployed to the region this week amid signs of a possible showdown with the Iranian flotilla. Washington suspected the convoy of carrying weapons destined for Shia Huthi rebels in Yemen.

The Roosevelt and the Normandy are expected to re-enter the Gulf “very soon,” said a defense official.

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US seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

The United States has asked for access to eight military bases in the Philippines to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea.

At least eight locations in the Philippines have been identified as possible sites where US troops, planes and ships will be rotated through a series of military training and exercises, Philippine General Gregorio Catapang, military chief, told local television network ABS-CBN on Friday.

In a speech in Arizona on Friday, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region.

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The German Shipbuilding Rebound

SAS Spioenkop (F147)German shipbuilding has made a significant turnaround. The country’s shipbuilding industry has seen increases in the number of employees, orders and deliveries compared to 2013, according to the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM).

The special shipbuilding sector drove this growth, as 20 of the 34 delivered new builds could be classified as high-quality special vessels or naval units.

Although VSM announces its annual balance officially in May of each year, MR was able to obtain some early insights into the results. “The order incomes in 2014 have been remarkably better than in 2013 – in regard to value as well as tonnage.

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China to provide 110 fighter jets to Pakistan

JF-17 ThunderPakistan will acquire 110 latest JF-17 Thunder fighter jets from China as the two countries forge closer economic and defence cooperation following President Xi Jinping's visit here earlier this week, a media report said today.

Radio Pakistan reported that China will deliver the first batch of 50 jets over a period of three years.

The Head of Chinese Aircraft Industry told a Chinese daily that under the contract signed between the two countries, Pakistan will receive a total of 110 JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft from China.

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Israel's hidden depths

Israel has quietly become a submarine superpower.

The Navy's transition into a long-term strategic arm is currently taking place, making this branch of the armed forces of crucial importance to Israel's national security and deterrent capability, with its option to go further, deeper and more quietly, and for extended periods.

A few months ago, the Navy received its fourth submarine, INS Tanin (crocodile), a German-built Dolphin class submarine. And, if all goes well, the fifth submarine, INS Rahav, is expected to arrive in Israel in about six months.

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New seagoing tugboat "Alexander Piskunov" joins Russian Navy's auxiliary fleet

Alexander PiskunovThe tug "Alexander Piskunov," built at Khabarovsk Shipyard (part of Far Eastern Centre of Shipbuilding and Ship Repair) has entered service with the Pacific Fleet's auxiliaries, the ECSSR press release said.

A ceremony of hoisting flag of auxiliary fleet was held at Berth No 33 of Korabelnaya embankment of Vladivostok.

This is the first support vessel in the Pacific Fleet named after Captain, Cap. 1 rank Alexander Piskunov, who was chief of the Pacific Fleet's service fleet in 1998-2009.

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France and Russia agree 'terms' on warship contract

Vladivostok LHDFrance and Russia have all-but reached agreement to terminate a contract for two warships.

French president Francois Hollande and Russian leader Vladimir Putin discussed the delivery, or not, of the “Mistral” vessels at a meeting in the margins of genocide solemnities in Yerevan on Friday (24 April).

Coming out of the meeting, Hollande told press that if the ships aren’t delivered, then he has reached agreement on the “terms” of a “repayment” to Moscow.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Malaysia plans to upgrade four Kedah-class corvettes for ASW role

Kedah-class FSThe Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) plans to upgrade four of its Kedah (Meko 100 RMN)-class corvettes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations, an RMN official has confirmed.

The RMN operates six Kedah-class vessels, which were commissioned between June 2006 and December 2010. The vessels are based on the Blohm+Voss MEKO 100 design and were built by local prime contractor Penang Shipbuilding & Construction (now Boustead Naval Shipyard) in partnership with a German naval consortium.

To achieve the ASW upgrade, the RMN is proposing to equip the four vessels with torpedo launchers, towed array and hull-mounted sonars, and equipment to support the operation of an ASW helicopter, the official told the annual OPVs & Corvettes Asia Pacific conference in Singapore.

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First RAAF pilots qualifies on F-35

RAAF F-35 Lightning IIAustralia's first fully qualified F-35 Lightning pilot admits this controversial new aircraft takes his breath away.

Squadron Leader Andrew Jackson, 37, started out flying elderly Macchi jet trainers, then graduated to the RAAF's classic Hornets and Super Hornets.

Since January, he's been learning to fly the advanced new F-35, making his first flight in January and now qualifying to fly F-35s and also to instruct new RAAF F-35 pilots.

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North Korea expands nuclear arsenal, Chinese experts say

Unha 3 rocketNuclear experts in China have revealed that North Korea may already have 20 nuclear warheads and could double that arsenal by next year, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The total exceeds current U.S. assessments of the secretive state's nuclear weapons.

The Chinese experts believe North Korea has a greater domestic capacity to enrich uranium than previously thought, Siegfried Hecker, a Stanford University nuclear expert and former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, told the Journal.

The Chinese estimates were shared in a closed-door meeting with U.S. nuclear specialists in Beijing this February, said the report.

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T-90 tanks to S-400 missiles: Top Russian military hardware rehearse for 70th V-Day parade

About 200 units of Russia’s cutting-edge military hardware have hit the ground in Moscow region for rehearsal of Victory Day celebrations which are set to take place on the Russian capital's Red Square on May 9.

The preparatory training exercises took place in Alabino area, Moscow Region, on Wednesday and saw various army vehicles.

They included T-90 battle tanks, GAZ-2975 Tigr armored vehicles, BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, and 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers.

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