13.08.2014 Pacific Sentinel
Aug 12 by Steve Weintz - war-is-boring
Wherein I ask Robert Caruso about the crisis in Iraq
With American jets and drones flying top cover, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have launched counter-attacks aimed at retaking territory they lost to Islamic State militants in northern Iraq in June, July and August.
I spoke with Robert Caruso—a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who has worked in the Pentagon, with the Army and at the State Department—about the Kurds’ future, American strategy and Iranian schemes.
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August 13, 2014: Strategy Page
In northern Iraq the threat posed by ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has led to over 2,000 Kurdish women volunteering for combat duty. Another 5,000 had volunteered for support work in the combat zone. This is nothing new for the Kurds, or many other peoples around the globe.
Throughout history women have often served in irregular combat organizations. In modern times, with the arrival of lightweight firearms, more women became capable of handling direct combat. This is because before modern firearms were developed in the 19th century lots of combat was dependent on muscle, which men have a lot more of.
Despite this inability to compete with men in the muscle department women often served as archers, using the small, shorter range short bow that did not require the big muscle of longer range bows. These women became accurate archers because in many cultures women used short bows to hunt small game near their camp or village. Men used more powerful bows for big game. But the short bow could kill a man, especially if he were not wearing a lot of armor. A skilled female archer could regularly get face shots, as they were accustomed to hitting small targets like rabbits and birds.
Despite being Sunni Moslem, the Kurds do not have a lot of restrictions on women. In fact, a lot of the clothing and behavior restrictions associated with Moslem women are, as many Islamic scholars will point out, based on cultural customs not religious scripture. In the Middle East for example, women in many ethnic groups, and of all faiths (including Christians) have ancient customs about women being well covered when in public and generally staying at home. The Kurds have little of that cultural baggage and they do have a tradition of women going to war, especially in self-defense militias. This was the case in Israel during the 1948 war and their Arab opponents were enraged (and humiliated) when they found that the “soldiers” who had just defeated in one encounter or another were female. ISIL will be similarly unamused when they get the same treatment from Kurdish women.
Russia, and other countries, discovered during World War II that women, in general, made better snipers. But that was something any student of archery through the ages could have told you. Since World War II warfare has come to depend more on brains more than muscle. This has made women competitive at more jobs in regular armies.
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft takes off from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) on June 20. (Staff Sgt. Lukas Atwell Marine Corps)
Aug. 13, 2014 - By ANDREW TILGHMAN – Defense News
US helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 US troops, defense officials said Wednesday.
The Ospreys arrived overnight Tuesday as they ferried about 130 additional US troops into the airfield, which is in or near the Kurdish city of Irbil, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
“They will stay there until they are no longer required,” Warren said of the aircraft. “There is no timeline.”
The new US troops include more than 80 Marines and dozens of special operations soldiers. Those troops were deployed from other locations within US Central Command, Warren said.
The expanding Iraq operation, which has no assigned name, comes as the White House is considering a more aggressive humanitarian mission to rescue the estimated 40,000 Iraqi Yazidis who are trapped on a nearby mountain, surrounded by Islamic State militants and on the verge of starvation.
The precise number of US aircraft on the ground in northern Iraq is likely to fluctuate, but for now includes about four MV-22 Ospreys and several rotary-wing aircraft, defense officials said.
The aircraft will support the 130 new US troops authorized by President Obama on Tuesday night. Their mission is limited to conducting intelligence assessments on Islamic State forces and helping to prepare possible recommendations for an expanded humanitarian assistance mission to help the Yazidis. Among those 130 new troops are some aircrew personnel and maintainers, Warren said.
About 1,000 US troops are now in Iraq, including about 200 in Irbil, which is under assault from Islamic State forces. In total, about 900 troops are providing security for US personnel and conducting intelligence assessments. About 100 more are on permanent assignment to the US Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq and arrived before the militants began seizing large swaths of Iraq territory in June.
On Wednesday, a White House official reiterated Obama’s vow to keep US troops out of direct combat. “What he’s ruled out is reintroducing US forces into combat on the ground in Iraq,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser.
However, the precise definition of “combat” is unclear. At the Pentagon, Warren said he did not want to get into “the whole debate over, ‘When does an action become combat?’ ”
“Make no mistake ... these personnel are in Iraq where there is unrest and there is an active enemy. That said, their purpose is [to] assess ... options for humanitarian assistance [in Irbil]. In Baghdad, their purpose is to assess the capability of the Iraqi security forces,” Warren said.
August 13, 2014: Strategy Page
Hamas hoped for a big popularity boost by taking on Israel again. Didn’t work out that way. While there is a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, Hamas is getting no love. It’s gotten so bad that even when Israel bombed mosques that Hamas has been using to store rockets or fire rockets from there were no protests even in Moslem countries. Hamas appears to be suffering from the Al Qaeda Disease. This happens when an Islamic terrorist group gets a lot of Moslems killed and seems to have no realistic agenda to justify the lives it so enthusiastically snuffs out. Hamas should have seen this coming as what is happening to them is just another case of Islamic terrorist groups suffering a big drop in popularity even among Moslems. This was also seen happening with Iraqi Islamic terrorists (ISIL or Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) who, for the second time since 2007, suffered a major dip in approval ratings because of their seemingly pointless brutality.
Back in 2007 it was the "Al Qaeda In Iraq" leadership that was out of control. Back then opinion polls in Moslem countries showed approval and support of al Qaeda plunging, in some cases into single digits. Thus after the 2003 invasion of Iraq al Qaeda managed to take itself from hero to zero in less than four years. Since that low point al Qaeda recovered somewhat but that kinder and gentler approach did not last and by 2013 the Iraqi al Qaeda (now rebranded as ISIL) was again losing popular support. That was quite visible in 2014 when ISIL seized control of parts of Iraq and promptly slaughtered captured Iraqi soldiers and police, mainly because these men were Shia. ISIL put videos of these mass killings on the Internet.
Then ISIL declared the parts of Syria and Iraq it controlled were the new Moslem caliphate. Naturally the ISIL leaders are running this new caliphate and are calling on all Moslems to follow them. Most Moslems have responded, according to recent opinion polls, by expressing greater fear rather than more admiration for Islamic terrorist groups, especially ISIL. In the meantime (earlier in 2014) al Qaeda leadership condemned ISIL as completely out of control and not to be trusted or supported.
In the last year opinion polls show Moslems becoming more hostile to Islamic terrorists, seeing them as a cause for concern not as defenders of Islam. The same thing happened back in 2007 and now, when Hamas began getting more aggressive towards Israel in June of 2014 they found that there Hama was now considered as pointless, and dangerous to Moslems, as ISIL
When al Qaeda showed up in the 1990s as a post-Afghanistan international Islamic terrorist organization they were popular to Moslems in proportion to how far away the al Qaeda violence was. Once al Qaeda began killing people nearby Moslems tended to change their minds and disliked the Islamic terrorists. In 2013 37 percent of Turks were concerned about Islamic terrorism while now it is 50 percent thanks to increased ISIL violence on the Syrian border and some inside Turkey itself. In 2013 54 percent of the people in Jordan were concerned versus 62 percent for the same reason. In Lebanon, where the Syrian violence spilled over quickly after 2011 last year 81 percent were concerned about Islamic terrorism versus 92 percent today.
The hostility towards al Qaeda in the region has tainted all forms of Islamic radicalism, including the Shia ones (especially Hezbollah in Lebanon). Yet once Islamic terrorism disappears again (as it does regularly) many Moslems will get nostalgic for those legendary warriors seeking to defend Islam. This is a cycle many Moslems would like to break, but so far the cycle of violence persists.
Royal Australian Air Force aircrew arrive at their C-130J Hercules transport aircraft as airdrop bundles of humanitarian aid are loaded into the aircraft for delivery to isolated Iraqi civilians on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq - photo Australian DoD
14 August 2014 Australian DoD
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has completed its first humanitarian drop to Iraq, delivering nine tonnes of badly needed supplies to Yezidi civilians, trapped on Mount Sinjar in the country’s north.
The RAAF C-130J Hercules delivered 10 large bundles of Australian humanitarian supplies.
The cargo included 150 boxes of high energy biscuits and 340 boxes of bottled water – enough to feed and hydrate 3700 people for 24 hours.
The ADF’s contribution in Iraq is part of a coordinated international humanitarian response.
The IDF's Skylark mini-UAV is used broadly in support of ground forces in the latest Gaza operation. (Israel Defense Forces)
Aug. 12, 2014 - By BARBARA OPALL-ROME – Defense News
IAF Debuts Hermes 900; IDF Deploys 2 Skylarks With Each Brigade
KASTINA ARMY BASE, ISRAEL — Israeli military commanders are crediting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by Elbit Systems for delivering added operational value in recent combat in Gaza.
From the one-ton Hermes 900 debuted by the Israel Air Force (IAF) to the soldier-launched Skylarks supporting ground-force brigades, officers here say assets acquired from the Haifa, Israel-based firm boosted combat effectiveness of Operation Protective Edge.
While the Skylark mini-UAV has been operational here since 2008, Protective Edge marked the first time it was used in quantities for high-tempo support of ground forces, said Brig. Gen. Roy Riftin, IDF chief artillery officer.
“This was the first time we deployed it broadly,” Riftin said of the system, known here as SkyRider, operated by the Artillery Corps.
“Every brigade — even the reserves — got at least two air vehicles and flew them nonstop; at the same time,” he said.
In an Aug. 12 interview at a base in southern Israel, Riftin said some 18 systems flew hundreds of hours, generating intelligence and streaming target-acquisition data to myriad shooters on the ground.
“It was phenomenal; a real asset,” Riftin said.
“We stretched these systems to the edge of their capability,” he said of the 7.5 Skylark and its 1.1 kilogram payload.
“They created intel; helped close the loop with other shooters ... and served up targets of opportunity for Tammuz,” the officer said of the electro-optic, precision strike system built by Rafael and operated by IDF gunners.
At the opposite end of Elbit’s unmanned portfolio is Hermes 900, which the IAF fielded for the first time during the operation that began July 8 and has not yet officially concluded due to unresolved ceasefire negotiations.
Known here as Kochav (Star), Hermes 900 is the newest system to be integrated into the IAF’s unmanned force. With a maximum takeoff weight of 1.1 tons and payload capacity of some 300 kilograms, it’s double the size of Elbit’s Hermes 450S. The 900 model also carries nearly twice the weight and flies some 12 hours longer than its predecessor.
“The Kochav was introduced during the operation for unique missions that it could perform in a much better way than Hermes 450,” Capt. Grisha, an officer who managed the operational integration of Hermes 900.
In an account published on the IDF’s website, the officer said the Hermes 900 was still undergoing test flights and wasn’t planned for operational deployment until later next year.
“In addition to the aircraft itself, the cockpit and flight systems are much more advanced, which enables greater operational flexibility,” said the officer, whose surname was withheld from publication.
The IDF officer said that following conclusion of the still ongoing operation, Hermes 900 would resume operational integration and flight testing. “There’s still some significant milestones that need to be met,” he said.
Dalia Rosen, a spokeswoman for Elbit, declined comment on company systems deployed in the Protective Edge operation.
“It’s always preferable to hear what the customer has to say,” she said.
12 Aug 2014 By: Arie Egozi - FG
Israel Aerospace Industries is negotiating further sales of its Harop loitering munition, which it is offering as part of a package that also includes the Lora surface-to-surface missile.
The Harop can be launched from a variety of platforms on land or sea, before navigating towards a potential target area.
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A Royal Saudi Air Force AWACS takes off. The US has approved upgrades to five Saudi AWACS aircraft. (Jim Anderson / Boeing)
Aug. 12, 2014 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News
WASHINGTON — The US cleared two major potential sales to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Tuesday.
The Saudi government has requested $2 billion in upgrades for its E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. The Saudi military operates five of the command-and-control planes, produced by Boeing.
Upgrades include “Block 40/45 Mission Computing Upgrade systems, 20 Next Generation Identification Friend or Foe (NG IFF) AN/UPX-40, communication equipment, provisioning, spare and repair parts, support equipment, Mission Planning System, repair and return, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment.”
The sale would help “improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability in the Middle East,” DSCA said in its notice.
Boeing will be the principal contractor on the proposed deal. On Aug. 6, the company announced a $250 million agreement to upgrade NATO’s AWACS fleet.
The agency also cleared a possible sale to Turkey for 145 AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles missiles and associated equipment. That sale would be worth an estimated $320 million.
Those missiles will be used on the Turkish Air Force’s fleet of F-16 fighters, although the DSCA notice adds that they could also be used on the country’s eventual F-35 fleet.
The weapons will help “maintain the TAF’s air-to-air capability to defend its extensive coastline and borders against future threat,” according to DSCA. Raytheon would produce the equipment in its Tucson, Arizona, facility.
While both sales have now been cleared by the State Department, they are subject to congressional approval and further negotiations with the potential customers.
12 Aug 2014 By Ben Farmer, Defence Correspondent
British Chinook helicopters could soon join RAF transport planes and Tornado jets operating in Iraq as the UK rapidly escalates its aid mission
Britain is considering sending Chinook helicopters to Iraq to bolster an aid mission for thousands of desperate refugees fleeing Islamist extremists demanding they convert or die.
The heavy lift helicopters would join two RAF C130 Hercules planes already carrying out aid drops and Tornado jets on their way to the region, as Britain rapidly steps up efforts to save a quarter of a million people fleeing fighting in northern Iraq.
The proposal was being discussed in a meeting of Government’s COBR emergencies committee on Tuesday afternoon.
14 août 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)
Washington - Les Etats-Unis ont jugé mercredi beaucoup moins probable d'organiser une mission d'évacuation des réfugiés yazidis du mont Sinjar, dans le nord de l'Irak, après avoir constaté que ces derniers étaient beaucoup moins nombreux et vivaient dans de meilleures conditions qu'attendu.
Sur la base de cette évaluation, les agences ont déterminé qu'une mission d'évacuation était beaucoup moins probable mais que les Etats-Unis continueraient à fournir une aide humanitaire aux réfugiés restant, a affirmé dans un communiqué le porte-parole du Pentagone, le contre-amiral John Kirby.
Une vingtaine de soldats américains qui ont effectué mercredi une mission de reconnaissance sur place ont rapporté qu'il y avait beaucoup moins de Yazidis sur le mont Sinjar que craint auparavant et qu'ils vivaient dans de meilleures conditions qu'attendu précédemment.
Les Yazidis sont moins nombreux car chaque nuit depuis quelques jours plusieurs milliers d'entre eux ont réussi à quitter la montagne, a expliqué M. Kirby, qui a aussi souligné l'utilité des largages d'aide humanitaire et des frappes aériennes contre l'Etat islamique (EI), menés quotidiennement par les Etats-Unis depuis vendredi dernier.
Les réfugiés restant continuent d'avoir accès à la nourriture et à l'eau que les Etats-Unis larguent par avion, a-t-il assuré.
Un responsable du Pentagone avait évoqué précédemment cette mission de reconnaissance menée par des Bérets verts, une force spécialisée dans la formation et le conseil des armées locales. Elle n'a pas été engagée dans des opérations de combat et est revenue depuis à Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan irakien, a précisé le Pentagone.
Plus tôt mercredi, Ben Rhodes, conseiller adjoint à la sécurité nationale de Barack Obama, avait évoqué la possibilité d'établir des couloirs, de procéder à des évacuations par voie aérienne des réfugiés qui doivent supporter des conditions climatiques extrêmes et ont dû tout abandonner face à l'avancée des combattants sunnites.
Mais en soirée, M. Rhodes affirmait lui aussi sur Twitter qu'une mission d'évacuation était désormais beaucoup moins probable.
Aug. 12, 2014 - By BURAK EGE BEKDIL – Defense News
ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkey’s top procurement panel selected a local tractor and diesel engine manufacturer to design and develop an engine for the country’s first indigenous new generation main battle tank, the Altay.
The Defense Industry Executive Committee said that it decided to launch contract negotiations with Tumosan in connection with the engine program for the Altay.
Kurtulus Ogun, Tumosan’s general director, told reporters Aug. 12 that the contract involved development of a diesel engine and transmission system for the planned tank.
“This program will increase Turkey’s self-sufficiency in defense industry and end its dependency on foreign suppliers (of diesel engines),” he said.
Turkey’s procurement authorities are preparing to officially launch a multi-billion-dollar competition for an eventual batch of 1,000 Altays.
The race for the serial production will involve an initial batch of 250 tanks, followed by three additional orders each comprising 250 more tanks, officials said.
The Altay program has faced hurdles and delays, as the most problematic development feature concerned its engine. Turkey’s months-long negotiations with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for joint development and production of an engine for the Altay failed earlier this year.
13 août 2014 US Navy
Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU 2) have just wrapped up two weeks in Guatemala working with divers from the Fuerza Especial Naval (FEN) as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014.
TEWKSBURY, Mass., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and the University of Massachusetts Lowell have announced an agreement to establish a joint research facility focused on the advancement of innovative technologies in a collaborative, state-of-the-art institute. Raytheon is committing $3 million with options to $5 million throughout the next 10 years for establishment of this research facility.
The Raytheon-UMass Lowell Research Institute (RURI) will feature state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms that will serve as a launchpad for collaboration and learning among UMass Lowell faculty and students and Raytheon employees to benefit both organizations in the pursuit of federal research funding. It will also provide UMass Lowell students with opportunities for research projects and employment opportunities at Raytheon.
"The creation of the RURI presents a tangible opportunity to advance the research and the learning of technologies under development for students and employees alike and will inspire future engineers and drive innovation," said Dan Crowley, president of Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business.
"We look forward to bringing the expertise of our top-notch faculty together with researchers from Raytheon. This new partnership is just one example of how UMass Lowell is leading the way in collaborating with industry to power innovation and the economy in Massachusetts and beyond," said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. "This institute will also provide our students with the kind of real-world experience that is one of the hallmarks of a UMass Lowell education."
"As a co-directed, co-located research environment, the RURI signifies a unique opportunity for Raytheon's university partnerships," said Mark E. Russell, Raytheon vice president of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance. "The RURI will serve as an extension of our current research capabilities and represents a resource across the Raytheon enterprise for the study of advanced materials and flexible circuit technologies, such as printable electronics and nanotechnology."
Initial research will focus on future technologies for radar and communication systems and could expand into other areas as needed. The institute will leverage UMass Lowell's strengths in printed electronics and nanotechnology that align with Raytheon's strategic technology needs including high-frequency printed conformal antennas, carbon-based transistors and photonic devices.
The RURI will be located in the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, an $80 million, 84,000-square-foot research facility on the UMass Lowell campus that is home to cutting-edge research in a variety of science and engineering disciplines. The center – one of nine new buildings opened by the university since 2009 – was constructed to provide not only UMass Lowell faculty and students with the most advanced research facility of its kind north of Boston, but to also support collaboration with businesses from startups to world leaders like Raytheon.
The building's fourth floor will be specially equipped to house the institute, which will be co-directed by Dr. Christopher McCarroll of Raytheon and UMass Lowell Prof. Craig Armiento, Ph.D., a faculty member in electrical and computer engineering in the university's Francis College of Engineering.
About UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its 17,000 students bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in business, engineering, education, fine arts, health, humanities, liberal arts, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers. www.uml.edu
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.
BELLEVUE, Neb. – Aug., 13 2014 – Northrop Grumman Corporation
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract valued at up to $300 million to continue helping U.S. Air Force Weather (AFW) deliver a full range of terrestrial and space environmental information, products and services to military users worldwide.
The Air Force, Army, special operations forces and others rely on AFW environmental information and forecasts for mission planning, combat operations by military units in the field, and airfield and flight operations.
Under the Systems Engineering, Management and Sustainment (SEMS) III contract, Northrop Grumman will continue to facilitate enterprise-level systems engineering, systems management and sustainment services. In addition, the company will support scientific projects, the transition of new capability to operations, logistics analysis and management, and testing and fielding support. The company has been the prime contractor for SEMS since 2002.
Northrop Grumman's SEMS work includes supporting AFW's continuing enhancement of existing systems, development of enterprise-level distribution methods that use network-centric services, expanding on-demand capabilities and fully integrating environmental domain data from land, sea, atmosphere and space sensors.
"We are very pleased to build upon our strong partnership with the Air Force Weather community as we work together to implement the government's single baseline architecture for the future," said Linnie Haynesworth, vice president and general manager, Intelligence Systems and Reconnaissance division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "The Northrop Grumman SEMS team ensures all systems are operational and available, enabling the Air Force to provide the continuous, complete and current weather information that is so critical to our military for mission success. We have a long history of delivering strong performance and are dedicated to increasing performance levels to satisfy existing and emerging missions while reducing total cost of ownership."
Supported systems include the Weather Data Analysis, Point Analysis Intelligence System and Air Force Weather Web Services, which provide timely data and services to warfighters making critical operational decisions; the Space Weather Analysis and Forecast System, which characterizes the near earth electrical and magnetic fields for global Defense Department space operations and communications; and operational numerical weather modeling systems including the Land Information System, Weather Research and Forecast Model, Cloud Depiction and Forecast System II, and AFWA Coupled Assimilation and Prediction System to analyze and predict environmental conditions worldwide for mission planning, current operations and post-strike analysis.
The SEMS III contract was awarded by the 55th Contracting Squadron, based at Offutt Air Force Base. Work will be performed primarily at the Air Force Weather Agency, also headquartered at Offutt. AFWA runs the strategic center for weather for the Air Force and supplies all weather-related information to the Air Force, Army, other Defense Department activities, the intelligence community and many civilian agencies.
Northrop Grumman was first awarded SEMS in 2002, initially tasked with consolidating the Air Force's weather systems to reduce the costs of maintaining individual weather systems. Under related contracts, the company has supported the Air Force's weather mission for more than 25 years.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
Aug 12 by David Axe – War is boring
A taxonomy of armored vehicles, volume four — the tricked-out M-1
The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over. The Afghanistan war is winding down. Today America faces “emerging threats in an increasingly sophisticated technological environment,” according to Gen. John Campbell, the Army vice chief of staff.
For the U.S. ground combat branches that means a renewed emphasis on fast-moving armored warfare. The Army and Marines are dusting off heavy vehicles that played a minor role in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In this series, we spotlight some of the more obscure, weird and lamented armored behemoths. The battle wagons of a new era of warfare. The focus of this volume — the Army’s latest M-1 tank … with all the bells and whistles.
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12 Aug 2014 by Lazarus - informationdissemination.net
Much of the recent discussion of the current Littoral Combatant Ship (LCS) program and the proposed new frigate FF(G)X involves the “survivability” of both classes. Numerous senior civilian and uniformed officials have called for the FF(G)X to be “more survivable” than the current LCS. Casual observers may not know how much information goes into determining this feature of a warship design. Before the Second World War and for some time after, “survivability” was primarily concerned with how many “hits” of a certain size projectile a warship could sustain and still be mission capable. In the postwar era, the concept of survivability changed based on a new ethos in surface combatant design, the advent of nuclear weapons, and advances in detection, communication, weapons, and countermeasure technologies. In fact, a warship’s active and passive defenses against attack from aircraft, cruise missiles and underwater weapons have effectively replaced armor and other elements of physical resistance to damage, making a warship’s “survivability” more akin to a combat aircraft than past combatants.
12 August 2014 airforce-technology.com
Airbus Defense and Space has secured a contract for the provision of services related to hosting US Air Force (USAF) communications systems onboard commercially operated satellites.
The firm fixed-price indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract features a five-year ordering period and has maximum potential value of $500m.
The contract pre-qualifies Airbus to submit proposals for hosted payloads, which is a business model designed to provide government customers with more rapid access to space for their programmes and missions without the costs associated with buying or leasing an entire spacecraft.
Airbus Defense and Space president Michael Cosentino said: "As a major satellite manufacturer and commercial operator, Airbus Defense and Space is well-positioned to offer the USAF and other US Government customers affordable and dependable access to space for both geostationary and low earth orbit hosted payloads."
Airbus Defense and Space US Government satellite communications unit president Ed Spitler said: "This is a great opportunity for Airbus Defense and Space to leverage its expertise in support of critical US space missions.
"Over the past two decades, Airbus Defense and Space has facilitated more than 30 hosted payload programmes worldwide and for US Government organisations, including the Federal Aviation Authority, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, National Research Laboratories and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."
Managed by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Developmental Planning Directorate, the contract covers multiple deliveries, including fully functioning on-orbit hosted payload systems, along with integrated ground system equipment and interfaces.
Work under the contract is scheduled to be complete by January 2029.
As well as the latest contract, the company also holds multiple future commercial satellite communications contract awards that are jointly managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency and the General Services Administration.
The contracts enable the company to provide US Government and military customers with access to its entire portfolio of transponded capacity and fixed and mobile subscription services.
Aug. 12, 2014 - By JAROSLAW ADAMOWSKI – Defense News
WARSAW — Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has announced plans by his country to supply arms to the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq to support their battle against the Islamic State terror group.
Zaoralek said the Czech government considered supplying weapons to Kurdish troops because Islamist fighters have increased access to modern arms.
“The Kurdish side is not sufficiently armed to face such [militants],” Zaoralek told local news agency CTK.
The minister said that many former military officials under ousted dictator Saddam Hussein have joined the ranks of the Islamic State, which was another reason for concern by the international community.
Zaoralek did not disclose what types of weapons the Czech Republic could supply; the plan is being discussed by the Czech government, according to the minister.
“The Czech Republic is preparing deliveries of military gear for the democratic forces, which are struggling against terrorists from IS/ISIL in Iraq, regardless of whether they be a unit subordinated to the central government in Baghdad or the regional authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan,” the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.
The announcement by the foreign minister follows a decision by the US to ship arms to Kurdish troops in Iraq in a bid to halt an advance by Islamic State fighters. Last week, President Barack Obama said he had authorized the US military to make targeted air strikes in Iraq against the group’s militants
U.S. Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division travel in a Bradley Fighting Vehicles during Combined Resolve II on May 24, 2014. Photo James L. Brown U.S. Army
August 13, 2014 By Jon Harper Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — Approximately 600 soldiers from the Army’s 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division will deploy to Poland and the Baltic States to help reassure European allies who feel threatened by Russian military moves, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
The troops and their equipment — which include M-1 Abrams tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers — will go to Europe in October for a three-month series of training exercises.
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13 août 2014 22h17 Romandie.com (AFP)
Dohuk (Irak) - Des conseillers militaires américains doivent se rendre dans la région montagneuse de Sinjar, dans le nord de l'Irak, pour étudier les moyens d'évacuer des civils qui y sont coincés, a déclaré mercredi un porte-parole des forces de sécurité kurdes.
Quelque 130 conseillers militaires sont arrivés à Erbil, la capitale de la région autonome du Kurdistan, et certains d'entre eux devaient se rendre aux monts Sinjar pour y évaluer la situation, a déclaré à l'AFP Halgord Hekmat, sans préciser si ces hommes étaient déjà partis vers cette région.
La prise de Sinjar par les jihadistes de l'Etat islamique (EI) a poussé des milliers de personnes à fuir vers les montagnes.
13 août 2014 US Navy
ARABIAN GULF (Aug. 12, 2014) Flight deck operations from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Bush is operating in the Arabian Gulf on a scheduled deployment to U.S. 5th Fleet. The President has authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct military operations in support of humanitarian aid deliveries and targeted airstrikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and interests, in response to activities conducted by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. (U.S. Navy video/Released)
13 août 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca
C’est la mobilisation générale sur les front doplomatique, humanitaire et militaire: après les États-Unis et la Grande-Bretagne, la France fournira des armes «pour soutenir la capacité opérationnelle» des forces kurdes engagées contre les djihadistes qui progressent vers Bagdad, a annoncé l’Elysée ce mercred 13 août dans un communiqué.
«La situation catastrophique à laquelle doit faire face la population dans la région du Kurdistan irakien nécessite la poursuite et l’amplification de la mobilisation de la communauté internationale. La France entend jouer un rôle actif en fournissant, en lien avec ses partenaires et en liaison avec les nouvelles autorités irakiennes, toute l’assistance nécessaire», dit le communiqué de l’Élysée.
«De premières livraisons humanitaires ont eu lieu ces derniers jours. Elles vont se poursuivre. Le Président de la République a demandé au ministre des Affaires étrangères et du développement international de suivre personnellement cette question», poursuit le communiqué.
«Conformément aux termes de l’entretien du 7 août entre le Président de la République et le président Barzani, la France a déjà pris les dispositions nécessaires depuis plusieurs jours pour soutenir la capacité opérationnelle des forces engagées contre l’État islamique. Afin de répondre aux besoins urgents exprimés par les autorités régionales du Kurdistan, Le chef de l’Etat a décidé, en accord avec Bagdad, de faire acheminer des armes dans les heures qui viennent», précise l’Élysée.
Suite de l’article
Aug. 13, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)
NEW DELHI — India’s talks to buy fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation in a 2012 deal worth $12 billion are still underway but are complex, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has said.
India chose Dassault for “exclusive negotiations” for 126 Rafale jets, but successive deadlines to complete one of the world’s biggest airline contracts have slipped by.
“Given the complexity of the procurement case, the process of negotiations with Dassault Aviation on various aspects of the commercial proposal and provisions of draft contract is on,” Jaitley told parliament late Tuesday.
The cost of the deal was pegged at $12 billion but media reports have recently put it at around $15 billion.
Jaitley, named defense minister when the new right-wing government took power in May, was replying to a question in parliament about progress on the purchase.
India is in the midst of a $100-billion defense upgrade program.
Military experts say India urgently needs the twin-engine multi-role fighters to maintain a combat edge against nuclear rival Pakistan, with which it has fought three wars.
The Rafale, which would replace India’s Russian-made fleet of MiG-21 and MiG-27 planes, beat out rivals such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
Jaitley told parliament that the United States has overtaken Russia as the largest arms supplier to India in the last three years, followed by France and Israel.
The new government has raised the foreign investment cap on India’s defense industries to speed up modernization of the military.
The production-sharing deal agreed by the previous Congress government would see Dassault supply 18 Rafales by 2015 in a “ready to fly” state.
The remaining 108 would be made by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under technology transfer agreements with India, which is keen to boost homemade defense manufacturing.
In a boost for Dassault, the government last month said the deal complied fully with technology transfer requirements spelled out in the plane tender offer.