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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Textron Systems G-CLAW™ Precision Guided Weapon Achieves Successful Live-Fire Demonstration

G-ClawTextron Systems Weapon & Sensor Systems, a Textron Inc. business, announced today its G-CLAW™ precision guided weapon successfully completed a live-fire demonstration recently at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.

The GPS-guided G-CLAW struck within four meters of the designation spot and detonated on the target as intended, proving the weapon’s guidance, warhead and its fuzing capability.

The weapon is on display during the Air Force Association’s (AFA) Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Sept.15 – 17, at the Textron Systems booth (#709). Invited guests of Textron AirLand will be able to view the Scorpion ISR/Strike jet, equipped with G-CLAW, while the aircraft is on display at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for the duration of the AFA conference.

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Boeing CST-100 Selected as Next American Spacecraft

Boeing CST-100Boeing will receive an award of $4.2 billion from NASA to build and fly the United States’ next passenger spacecraft.

Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 is being developed as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims to resume U.S.-based flights to space by 2017. The CST-100 will transport up to seven passengers or a mix of crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and other low-Earth orbit destinations.

“Boeing has been part of every American human space flight program, and we’re honored that NASA has chosen us to continue that legacy,” said John Elbon, Boeing vice president and general manager, Space Exploration. “The CST-100 offers NASA the most cost-effective, safe and innovative solution to U.S.-based access to low-Earth orbit.”

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Warning to U.S. – ISIS Has Shot Down a Syrian Regime Fighter Jet

The U.S.-led coalition may have to be extra careful the next time it sends out fighter planes to assist the Iraqi troops against the deadly jihadi fighters.

The ISIS militants had shot down a Syrian warplane on Tuesday, according to the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

The group said it was the first time the ISIS forces has shown it has the ability and machinery to target and down fast-moving military air jets, it what could also be a stern warning to the U.S.-led coalition that it is not afraid of its airstrikes and that it could also easily avert incoming jets into its stronghold.

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A Russian Factory Gave A Fighter Jet To A Moscow Religious Leader

Su-35 Flanker-EPatriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, was presented with an unlikely gift for a religious leader this week as he toured a factory in Russia's far-east: a single-seater fighter jet SU-35.

Kirill was presented with the jet after giving workers at the civilian and military aircraft plant icons blessed by himself, the church said in a statement on its official website on Tuesday.

The patriarch, with whom President Vladimir Putin has fostered increasingly close ties in recent years, addressed the workers on the importance of protecting Russia.

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Future USNS Fall River Delivered

USNS Fall RiverThe Navy accepted delivery of Joint High Speed Vessel, the future USNS Fall River from the Austal USA shipbuilder, Sept. 15.

The delivery marks a major milestone, the official transfer of the vessel from the shipbuilder to the Navy. USNS Fall River is the U.S. Navy's fourth Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV).

"Today the Navy received a tremendous asset," said Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager Capt. Henry Stevens. "The addition of Fall River to the fleet will enhance our forward presence and ability to bolster global security from the sea by quickly transporting significant resources to a wide array of geographic regions throughout the world in time of need."

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Japan Interested in Aegis Ashore for Ballistic Missile Defense

Aegis Ashore installationThe Japanese Defense Ministry is interested in acquiring Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense (BMD) battery, according to an August report from the Japanese newspaper, Mainichi Shimbun.

The paper reported the Defense Ministry is expected to spend “tens of millions of yen” as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 state budget for research into Aegis Ashore — which combines the Lockheed Martin SPY-1D radar with a battery of Raytheon Standard Missile-3 missiles.

“The ministry intends to introduce new ground-based SM-3 missiles, in addition to the sea-based SM-3s that the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) already possesses, to enhance Tokyo’s readiness to intercept ballistic missiles heading toward Japan,” according to the report.

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US Navy tests Pandarra Fog in exercise

To defend its carrier battle group from a potential attack by Chinese supersonic cruise missiles such as the C-602 and the C-805, the United States Navy launched an exercise to test its new obscurant, Pandarra Fog, between June 21-25 this year near the island of Guam according to National Defense, a monthly magazine operated by the Russian defense ministry.

The USS Mustin and the USS Wayne E Meyer, two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, were tasked with protecting the USS Frank Cable, an Emory S Land-class submarine tender, which was to be disguised as an aircraft carrier or some other large vessel of the United States Navy during the exercise.

The destroyers released the carbon fiber clouds known as Pandarra Fog to defend the submarine from simulated incoming enemy anti-ship cruise missiles.

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First MT30 engine for Korean Navy frigates passes acceptance tests

Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbineRolls-Royce is touting the passage of acceptance tests by its first MT30 gas turbine engine for the Republic of Korea Navy's FFX frigate program.

The engine, the "world's most power-dense marine gas turbine," will power eight Block II FFX ships being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology, and produces 36 to 40 megawatts. It already powers the U.S. Navy's Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships and will power the U.S. Navy's DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer, as well as Britain's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and Type 26 frigates.

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JSF & The Path of DOOM

F-35B Lightning IIIn February of 2014, Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition official, said big, audacious programs like the Joint Strike Fighter were “doomed the day the contract was signed.”

As the former Program Executive Officer for the JSF, he brings a pretty credible perspective to the situation.

Given his first-hand experience and the F-35’s track record of delays, cost overruns, technical problems, operational limitations, and the recent grounding of the entire fleet due to an engine fire, I am very much inclined to agree with him.

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Russia’s ‘Stealth’ Sub Joins Black Sea Fleet

Project 636M (Varshavyanka) class SSKRussia's first Varshavyanka-class submarine, the Novorossiisk, has entered service with the Black Sea fleet, the Southern Military District's press service said Wednesday.

The submarine currently remains at the Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg and will head to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk after completing final trials with the Northern Fleet.

The Defense Ministry has ordered a total of six Varshavyanka-class subs, dubbed "black holes in the ocean" by the US Navy because they are nearly undetectable when submerged.

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Submarine sales to Taiwan ‘improbable’: US council

Hai Lung (Zwaardvis) class SSKSubmarine sales to Taiwan are “highly improbable,” a new commentary published by the US Council on Foreign Relations says.

“Transferring submarine technology to the island will take too long and cost the Taiwanese military far more than what it can afford,” council research associate Lauren Dickey said.

She said that the costs the US would incur to resurrect small numbers of diesel-powered submarines for Taipei would yield few benefits for the US military.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nato describes Russia and Islamic State as main threats

NATO flagNato has described Russia and Islamic State (IS) as the main threats to Western security, but says it can still talk to Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine.

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen likened Russia to IS in a speech at the Carnegie Europe think tank in Brussels on Monday (15 September).

He said: “Russia considers Nato, and the West more broadly, as an adversary. Russia has trampled all the rules and commitments that have kept peace in Europe and beyond since the end of the Cold War … from Moldova to Georgia, and now in Ukraine, Russia has used economic pressure and military actions to produce instability, to manufacture conflicts”.

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US Air Force Expands RQ-4 Global Hawk Fleet

RQ=-4 Global HawkThe U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $354 million primarily firm-fixed-price contract to expand their RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) fleet by three aircraft.

Global Hawk operates multiple sensors simultaneously to gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data. The new aircraft are Multi-INT models that carry sophisticated imaging and electronic signals sensors capable of collecting multiple types of intelligence from high altitudes for up to 32 hours.

The contract also includes retrofit kits to add Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) sensors into two of the existing RQ-4, providing them with Multi-INT capability. ASIP is an advanced ISR collection sensor also built by Northrop Grumman.

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US weapons makers sense rising demand for air defense systems, tanks

Scout specialist tankMilitary crises around the world are boosting foreign demand for U.S. weapons, especially air and missile defense systems, spy equipment and armored vehicles, according to the U.S. government and industry officials.

Weapons makers like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon anticipate new markets for their goods, which could help offset lower U.S. military spending.

The Ukraine crisis is reviving long-dormant European demand, while the emerging threat from militant groups like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has underpinned already strong Middle Eastern demand.

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Lockheed Martin Conducts Flight Tests Of Aircraft Laser Turret For Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turretLockheed Martin, in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the University of Notre Dame, has demonstrated the airworthiness of a new beam control turret being developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and AFRL to give 360-degree coverage for high-energy laser weapons operating on military aircraft.

A research aircraft equipped with the Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret conducted eight flights in Michigan.

“These initial flight tests validate the performance of our ABC turret design, which is an enabler for integrating high energy lasers on military aircraft,” said Doug Graham, vice president of advanced programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

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Pratt says next F-35 engine deals will cut costs by 7-8 percent

F135 enginePratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, said its contracts with the Pentagon for the next two batches of engines for the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet will result in combined cost savings of 7 percent to 8 percent.

Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt's military engines division, told reporters the company had already more than halved the cost of its F-35 engine, and the savings from the next two contracts - for the seventh and eighth batches of engines - would come on top of that.

Croswell, speaking at the annual Air Force Association conference, said Pratt had essentially reached agreement with the Pentagon on the next low-rate production contracts, which will be worth over $1 billion.

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Watch fighter jets use freeway as airstrip

Fighter jets and other combat aircraft used Taiwan's main highway as a makeshift airstrip Tuesday as part of a dawn drill that simulated an attack from China.

Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) said the aircraft practiced emergency take-offs and landings near the city of Chiayi, on a section of the main north-south route that runs along the island's west coast. Ground crews practiced refueling and re-loading ammunition, CNA said.

The drill is part of Taiwan's annual "Han Kuang" exercises that last five days and test the military's combat readiness in the event of an attack from China, said J. Michael Cole, a correspondent for IHS Jane's Defense Weekly and a fellow of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

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Makin Island amphibious ready group arrives in Mideast

USS Makin IslandThe Makin Island amphibious ready group with more than 4,000 Marines and sailors arrived in the Middle East on Friday.

The group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and is expected to relieve the Bataan group, now operating in the Persian Gulf, the U.S. 5th Fleet said in a news release.

The Bataan group was extended 21 days in the Middle East last month, beyond its original departure date to ensure a continuous presence in the region.

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French Planes Start Recon Mission Over Iraq

Dassault RafaleFrench planes have begun their reconnaissance missions over Iraq on Monday in support of the United States campaign against the Islamic State insurgent group.

An AFP journalist reported seeing two French Ragale fighter jets take off from the Al-Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had already announced from the base that the “first reconnaissance flights” would fly over Iraq “in agreement with the Iraqi and Emirati authorities.”

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Al Qaeda Group Attacks Wrong Ship

The terrorists thought they were storming an American aircraft carrier in Karachi in light of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but the ship turned out to be a Pakistan navy frigate.

Three jihadis were killed and seven more were arrested. Two Pakistan Navy guards were injured during the attack.

A senior official confirmed that there was no kind of damage done, and more captures may come. The attackers were well-equipped and came with the intention of taking a ship into their custody, but were caught in the initial stages.

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Mabus: Ohio-Class Submarine Replacement Could ‘Gut’ Navy Shipbuilding Budget

Ohio class SSBNWithout extra funding from Congress, the production of 12 new ships to replace the Ohio-class submarines could “gut” the Navy’s shipbuilding budget for more than a decade, Secretary of the Navy Raymond Mabus said Sept. 15.

“It will take half of our normal shipbuilding budget every year for a dozen years to build these … ballistic-missile submarines,” Mabus said during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. “It has the potential to gut the rest of our shipbuilding programs.”

Navy officials have repeatedly called the replacement program a top priority. However, tight budgets are threatening to make the service choose between the replacement subs and other ships.

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Yury Dolgoruky submarine to test-fire Bulava missile with full missile set aboard

RFS Yuri DolgorukiyThe launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from the Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine scheduled for October will mark an important stage in testing the submarine’s missile system, a source in the Russian Navy headquarters said on Monday.

“This will be the first launch of the Bulava missile from the submerged position by the Project 955 (Borey) missile-carrying nuclear submarine with a full set of 16 Bulava ICBMs on its board,” the source said.

“The launch will test the submarine’s operation after the test-firing. Earlier, all Borey-class submarines went into the sea with only one missile aboard, which was launched,” the source said.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets for the UAE

TALON Laser Guided RocketUnder a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon Company, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket.

"Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for Raytheon and the program," said Darryl Kreitman, Raytheon TALON program director. "UAE defense manufacturing industry participated in development of this revolutionary system and the end user can now benefit from this laser guided precision capability."

Under the contract, Raytheon will maintain full integration of the TALON system into the UAE Armed Forces to include logistics, training and warranty support. Raytheon is also exploring options to integrate TALON onto NIMR armored vehicles which are now serving in different units of the UAE Armed Forces.

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Russia Deploys SU-30 Fighter Jets in Crimea

Su-30SM FlankerRussia has deployed Su-30 fighter jets at the Belbek air base near Crimea’s Sevastopol, acting Sevastopol governor told RIA Novosti in an interview Friday.

“New Su-30 aircraft have already been deployed in Belbek,” Sergei Menyailo said.

He did not say how many Su-30 fighter jets were deployed, but RIA Novosti sources estimated their number at up to 20 aircraft.

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Russia to Handover High-Speed Landing Craft for Vietnam

Ivan Kartzov landing shipAmphibious ship Ivan Kartzov high speed (280 tons the amount of water displacement) has completed state testing in the Pacific Ocean, near the military port Vladivostok (Russia) and is about to hand over to the Vietnamese Navy, according to Red Star newspaper (Russia) dated 11.9.

This is a lightweight class amphibious ships of project 21820 (code named Sea Cow), with displacement water volume of 280 tons, 45 meters long, 8.5 meters across, a draft of 1.9 m, maximum speed is 35 knots (65 km/h) in 0.75 m high wave mode.

Range of class amphibious assault ship is 930 km. Capacity 4 armored vehicles and 40 soldiers. Ship's cargo compartment can accommodate up to 140 tons.

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