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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
China Says Completes Development of New SSN

September 23, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: People's Daily Online; published September 22, 2013)


Development of China's Fourth-Generation Nuclear Submarine Completed


At the recent 2013 Four Northeastern Provinces Cooperation Leaders' Conference held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, Tan Zuojun, vice governor of Liaoning Province and former general manager of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, revealed that development of China's fourth-generation nuclear submarines and other high-tech weapons and items of equipment in the Northeastern Provinces of China had been completed. The news attracted considerable attention.


The fourth generation nuclear submarine features high performance and low noise


Military expert Du Wenlong pointed out that the main characteristic of the fourth generation nuclear submarine would be its high performance. Compared with earlier submarines, modern attack submarines differ significantly in offensive power, possessing both anti-submarine capabilities and also strong potential for anti-ship action and attacks on land-based targets.


He pointed out that the fourth generation nuclear submarines of the United States and Russia already have these capabilities; China's fourth-generation nuclear submarines too will be equipped with the appropriate torpedoes, along with missiles suitable for use against other sea-going or land-based targets.


In addition, the Chinese submarine will have low noise output, a key indicator for measuring a modern nuclear submarine's underwater survival capacity, as well as its ability to remain hidden during maneuvers, or undetected while launching an attack. He pointed out that the fourth-generation nuclear submarine will possess effective noise damping features, such as a quieter nuclear power plant with less vibration, and a more advanced hull muffler system, so that it will be difficult to detect even if within range of enemy sonar.


On the question when the fourth-generation nuclear submarine will enter service, Du Wenlong said that completion of development and completion of construction are two different phases - the cycle from completion of development to manufacturing, and then to fitting out and launch, can be very long, perhaps several years. Progress is determined by two factors: one is technical indicators, and the other is strategic need.


A significant enhancement of nuclear counterattack capability


Analysts believe that continual development of attack submarines and strategic nuclear submarines at times of peace, adding better performance and greater combat ability, can enhance strategic deterrence capability. China's strategic nuclear forces are weapons to deter third parties from becoming involved in local conflicts. China firmly adheres to the principle of non-first use of nuclear weapons, but the existence of strategic nuclear submarines will give China a stronger voice and more room for maneuver in the case of any crisis.


In addition, Song Xiaojun points out that the United States, Russia, Britain and France all possess modern strategic nuclear submarines as a symbol of their status as 'Great Powers'; it is natural that China should be unwilling to lag behind.

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16 septembre 2013 1 16 /09 /septembre /2013 11:40
K-150 Tomsk submarine (Archive)

K-150 Tomsk submarine (Archive)

VLADIVOSTOK, September 16 (RIA Novosti)


A fire that broke out Monday morning at the K-150 Tomsk nuclear-powered submarine, which was undergoing maintenance works at a dock in Russia’s far eastern Primorye Territory, has stabilized, a source at the headquarters of Russia's Pacific Fleet told RIA Novosti.


"The situation is being monitored. However, we can already say that the situation has improved, and the smoke is subsiding," the source said.


The fire erupted early Monday morning during welding operations on the submarine, a spokesman for the local Emergencies Ministry’s department said, adding that 13 firefighting units from the Pacific Fleet and the Emergencies Ministry had arrived at the scene to put out the blaze.


A spokesman for the Zvezda plant, where the submarine was undergoing maintenance operations, said the fire was unlikely to cause an explosion at the vessel and that there was no danger to nearby residential areas.


 The K-150 Tomsk cruise missile submarine was docked in 2010 due to problems with the cooling engine of its nuclear reactor.


Updated with additional quote and information about situation stabilization.

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27 août 2013 2 27 /08 /août /2013 11:20
USAF Releases Plan for Nuclear Component

August 27, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: U.S Air Force; issued August 23, 2013)


AF Releases Nuclear Enterprise’s Future Plan

WASHINGTON --- The Air Force recently announced a long-term vision for the service’s nuclear enterprise.

The plan, signed by the chief of staff and secretary of the Air Force and approved by the 4-star-level Nuclear Oversight Board, provides a framework for advancing and monitoring the overall health of the Air Force nuclear enterprise, supporting infrastructure and processes.

The plan is organized into three main sections. The first explains the Air Force’s perspective on 21st century deterrence and assurance, and how that differs from the Cold-War era.

The second section outlines five strategic vectors for the nuclear enterprise, and the final segment explains how the plan will be used to monitor and advance progress across the enterprise.

“All Airmen should understand the basics of the deterrence mission and its importance to our Air Force and the nation,” said Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, the Air Force’s assistant chief of staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration.

To promote understanding of the mission, the first part of the plan explains how Airmen across the Air Force contribute to national security by providing nuclear capabilities that deter potential adversaries, and assure our allies and partners.

The section concludes by describing the capabilities across the Air Force that contribute to effective deterrence and outlines the Air Force's commitment to sustain and modernize capabilities to meet the changing demands of the 21st century.

Section two of the plan identifies the “five vectors designed to advance and monitor the overall health of the nuclear enterprise and further develop our Airmen, organizations, processes, capabilities and strategic thinking,” Harencak said.

By outlining a vector for each of these areas, the general said the Air Force will be able to implement a continuous improvement process to assess, develop action plans for improvements, and track the progress in each area.

Finally, the plan outlines how the Nuclear Oversight Board and Nuclear Issues Resolution and Integration Board will oversee efforts to meet plan objectives.

Though it is not intended to supplement any programming guidance, nor outline specific force structures, the plan may be used by planners, programmers and others to inform their efforts, Harencak said.

“We encourage commanders and Airmen at all levels to use the flight plan as a starting point for discussion and debate about deterrence in the changing 21st century environment, and the Air Force role in meeting those challenges,” Harencak added.

Click here for the full report (38 PDF pages) on the US Air Force website.

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12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
Les États-Unis et la Chine réaffirment leur volonté de dénucléariser la péninsule coréenne

12/07/2013 par Gaëtan Barralon – 45eNord.ca


À l’issue d’une réunion diplomatique non prévue, à Washington, les autorités américaines et chinoises se sont entendus, jeudi soir, pour exiger de Pyongyang des mesures qui mettent fin à son programme d’armement nucléaire.


Un «consensus fort». Telle est la tendance qui resort de deux jours de «dialogue économique et stratégique» entre Pékin et Washington. Lors de cette rencontre annuelle entre les deux pays, le président américain Barack Obama a rencontré deux principaux responsables de la délégation chinoise.

Le secrétaire d’État américain adjoint, William Burns, a assuré qu’«il y a un consensus fort entre nous sur [...] l’importance que les États-Unis et la Chine ont à travailler ensemble pour s’assurer que [Pyongyang] soit à la hauteur de ses obligations et traduise son discours et ses engagements antérieurs dans la réalité».

S’exprimant devant des journalistes, William Burns a rappelé que les deux pays voulaient «une dénucléarisation vérifiable» et «des avancées significatives de la part de la Corée du Nord pour montrer son sérieux».

Principal allié de Pyongyang, Pékin souhaite remettre en place des pourparlers à six (Chine, les deux Corées, Japon, Russie et États-Unis) pour résoudre ce conflit diplomatique. La Chine «restera engagée dans la dénucléarisation de la péninsule coréenne, dans la paix et de la stabilité de la péninsule», a déclaré le représentant chinois Yang Jiechi.


Une vaste parade militaire pour les 60 ans de la fin de la guerre de Corée

Mais en attendant une avancée significative, Pyongyang se prépare à célébrer les 60 ans de la fin de la guerre de Corée.

S’appuyant sur une source militaire, l’agence de presse sud-coréenne Yonhap a assuré, ce vendredi, que plus de 10 000 soldats nord-coréens répétaient pour cette parade à l’aéroport Mirim, à proximité de la capitale. Des missiles de courte et moyenne portée auraient également été installés sur des lanceurs.

De quoi alerter les autorités sud-coréennes, qui surveillent actuellement tous ces préparatifs prévus pour le 27 juillet prochain. Si un armistice a mis fin à la guerre de Corée, en 1953, aucun traité de paix n’a été signé entre les deux pays, restant techniquement en guerre.



Pour autant, les deux pays tentent d’apaiser les tensions récentes, notamment à propos du complexe industriel de Kaesong. Alors qu’un accord de principe a été trouvé pour la réouverture prochaine du site intercoréen, les discussions se poursuivent quant aux modalités nécessaires pour relancer ce symbole de coopération entre les deux Corées.


Pyongyang recule sur les négociations concernant les familles séparées

Après un nouvel échec, mercredi, les deux parties se sont mises d’accord pour se retrouver dès lundi afin de reprendre leurs pourparlers. En revanche, Pyongyang vient de retirer son offre de négociations, concernant des familles séparées depuis six décennies.

Séoul avait donné son accord de principe à la réouverture de ce processus qui concerne des centaines de milliers de personnes séparées de leurs familles depuis la guerre de 1950-1953, mais a souhaité que ces discussions aient lieu à Panmunjom, au cœur de la zone démilitarisée entre les deux pays.

«Dans un message transmis [jeudi], la Corée du Nord a annoncé qu’elle retirait sa proposition» pour mieux se concentrer sur le cas de Kaesong, a déclaré un porte-parole du ministère sud-coréen de l’Unification. Preuve de la fragilité toujours aussi importante d’une péninsule coréenne des plus instables.

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 18:30
Photo situant les entrées des tunnels sur le site de Damavand. Crédits photo CNRI

Photo situant les entrées des tunnels sur le site de Damavand. Crédits photo CNRI

11/07/2013 Par Sunniva Rose – LeFigaro.fr


Des opposants iraniens font état de l'existence d'un site nucléaire souterrain, en construction depuis 2006, près de Téhéran.


Un site nucléaire secret serait en activité près de la ville de Damavand, dans la province de Téhéran, selon le Conseil national de la Résistance iranienne (CNRI), principale organisation d'opposition iranienne en exil. La première phase de la constrution de ce projet, caché dans une série de tunnels («Kothar» tunnels sur la carte) sous une montagne à environ 50 kilomètres de la capitale, aurait débuté en 2006. Les travaux auraient été achevés il y a quelques semaines.


«Deux tunnels de 550 mètres de long et six immenses salles de travail ont été construits à l'intérieur de la montagne. Les routes pour accéder au site ont également été finalisées», explique Afchine Alavi, porte-parole du CNRI. La deuxième phase prévoit la construction de trente tunnels et de trente entrepôts sur le site de plus de 120 hectares.


Selon Afchine Alavi, plusieurs indices forts démontrent que le site est à vocation nucléaire. «Tout d'abord, il est couvert par un secret total. Pour rentrer sur le périmètre, il faut un laissez-passer du ministère de la Défense. Ensuite, pour accéder au site, il faut un deuxième laissez-passer du ministère des renseignements.» Le CNRI affirme tenir ses informations d'une cinquantaine de sources dans divers organes du régime.


De plus, le projet serait supervisé par Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, le personnage-clé du programme nucléaire du régime iranien. L'agence internationale de l'énergie atomique (AIEA) a demandé en vain à rencontrer cet officier supérieur du corps des Gardiens de la révolution islamique, qui a piloté le programme clandestin nucléaire iranien dans les années 2000.


«Attendre et voir»


Les pays occidentaux soupçonnent depuis des années l'Iran de chercher à se doter de l'arme atomique et font pression pour amener Téhéran à y renoncer. Mais selon François Nicoullaud, ambassadeur de France en Iran de 2001 à 2005, l'absence d'éléments concrets liés au nucléaire sur le site de Damavand, tel que la construction de centrifugeuses, appelle à la prudence dans l'interprétation des conclusions du CNRI. «Il faut attendre et voir. On est tout de même très en amont d'une installation nucléaire qui pourrait être dangereuse en terme de prolifération», analyse-t-il.


Le CNRI est l'aile politique de l'Organisation des Moujahidines du peuple iranien, qui a combattu auprès des forces de Saddam Hussein pendant la guerre Iran-Iraq dans les années 1980. Connue pour son opposition farouche au régime des mollahs, elle a apporté à plusieurs reprises dans le passé des révélations sur le programme nucléaire iranien. En 2002, l'organisation a ainsi dévoilé l'existence de l'usine souterraine d'enrichissement d'uranium de Natanz et le projet d'un réacteur à eau lourde d'Arak. Le CNRI reste convaincu que le nouveau président Hassan Rohani joue «un rôle clé dans la poursuite» du programme nucléaire iranien.


Toutefois, ses «scoops» ont parfois eu l'effet de pétard mouillé. En 2010, les Moujahidines du peuple annoncent qu'ils détiennent les preuves de l'existence d'une nouvelle installation nucléaire, à l'ouest de Téhéran. Une «révélation» démentie par les Américains qui affirment connaître déjà ce site et estiment par ailleurs qu'il n'est pas forcément nucléaire. Cela n'empêche pas le CNRI de maintenir ses affimations, implicitement confirmées, d'après lui, par le directeur iranien de l'énergie atomique de l'époque, Ali Akbar Salehi.


«L'AIEA va maintenant sûrement demander à visiter le site», conclut François Nicoullaud. Si les Iraniens résistent à cette visite, cela pourrait être une indication de leurs intentions nucléaires à Damavand.

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12 juin 2013 3 12 /06 /juin /2013 12:55
photo Marine Nationale

photo Marine Nationale

Jun. 11, 2013 Defense news (AFP)


PARIS — France on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into security at a nuclear submarine base off its western coast following a report that the ultra-sensitive site could easily be targeted by terrorists.


Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has ordered an immediate review of the ground, maritime and aerial security of the base on Ile Longue, an island off the Britanny coast, officials said.


The move follows a report in the regional daily Telegramme de Brest detailing a string of shortcomings in security at the base.


According to the newspaper, it can be accessed by anyone who has an easy-to-copy identity badge, and there is no system of biometric identification of staff via their irises or fingerprints.


For vehicles, a simple piece of paper with a few basic details is sufficient to get past checkpoints and, as a result of ongoing upgrading work, trucks entering the site have not been subject to systematic checks.


The paper also noted that a large number of the 115 military police deployed to protect the site were part-time volunteers, many of whom were young, inexperienced and poorly paid.

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 16:30
The Gulf Military Balance Volume II: The Missile and Nuclear Dimensions

May 28, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies; issued May 27, 2013)


No single aspect of US and Iranian military competition is potentially more dangerous than the missile and nuclear dimensions, and the possibility Iran will deploy long-range, nuclear-armed missiles.

At one level, Iran’s current missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air power and allow it to pose a threat to its neighbors and US forces that could affect their willingness to strike on Iran if Iran uses its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf or against any of its neighbors. At another level, Iran’s steady increase in the number, range, and capability of its rocket and missile forces has increased the level of tension in the Gulf, and in other regional states like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Iran has also shown that it will transfer long- range rockets to “friendly” or “proxy” forces like the Hezbollah and Hamas.

At a far more threatening level, Iran has acquired virtually every element of a nuclear breakout capability except the fissile material needed to make a weapon. This threat has already led to a growing “war of sanctions,” and Israeli and US threats of preventive strikes. At the same time, the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear programs cannot be separated from the threat posed by Iran’s growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf and along all of its borders.

While negotiations continue and still have some promise, Iran has also acquired most of the technology to design a fission warhead or bomb small enough to be carried by a fighter-bomber or long-range missile. This does not mean it has a rapid break out capability to actually deploy a nuclear weapon. It will need to test a basic device, then test weapons designs, and finally actually deploy a weapon.

Click here to reach the report’s home page, on the CSSI website.

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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 18:12
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26 juin 2012 2 26 /06 /juin /2012 07:25

India Navy


25 Jun, 2012, economictimes.indiatimes.com


LONDON: With the Navy poised to attain a retaliatory nuclear strike capability, India will soon have a "credible and invulnerable" deterrent nuclear triad in place, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said here today.


Verma said such a nuclear triad was required in view of India's 'no first-use' policy.


Setting out his analysis of India's maritime security, Admiral Verma, who is here on a three-day visit as part of a bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Navy interaction, said there was increasing awareness in India that "the destiny of our nation is entwined with our maritime destiny".


"A retaliatory strike capability that is credible and invulnerable is an imperative. The Navy is poised to complete the triad, and our maritime and nuclear doctrines would then be aligned to ensure that our nuclear insurance will come from the sea," he said while addressing a conference in London.


India is developing a retaliatory strike capability through weapon systems from land, air and sea. It is believed that it already has the capability to do so from land and air.


It will have the capability to do so with the induction of the indigenous INS Arihant nuclear submarine which is expected to be launched for sea trials in near future.


Observing that Asian nations were growing at different rates, in different ways, and different economic models, Verma expressed concern over the fact that "it may lead to rapid military growth, non-compliance with the norms of international law, and the use or threat of the use of force."


"Three of the world's four largest economies will be in Asia. Many nations widely perceived to be 'rogue', or 'failed states', also belong to the same region. The region is also recognised by many as the 'primary loci' of 'ostensible' non-state threats in the world," he said commenting on the regional scenario by the year 2025.


"Juxtaposed with these entities are three of the world's four largest Armies, and at least four declared nuclear weapon states... Certainly not a dull neighborhood!" he said.


Admiral Verma said in view of the situation, the Navy has adopted a capability-based, rather than a threat-based approach for future growth.


"We have articulated a perspective plan that lays out a roadmap for development of capability upto 2027... Our indigenous aircraft carrier project, besides the ongoing construction of destroyers and frigates, LCA (Navy) and strategic submarine programmes are a few examples," he said.


He said the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) programme is planned to be a continuing process over the next decade-plus, as part of the Navy's medium-term aim of having at least two fully operational and combat-worthy carriers available at any given time.


Verma said of the 47 ships and submarines presently on order, 44 are from Indian shipyards.


The induction programme of various vessels, he said, has been structured to continue at a pace such that over the next five years we expect to induct ships and submarines at an average rate of 5 platforms per year provided the yards deliver as per contracted timelines.


"Our air element is also being strengthened, with the induction of Mig 29K fighters, P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well as multirole helicopters," he said.


Meanwhile, Navy officials have said the third stealth frigate INS Sahyadri will be inducted into operational service on July 21.


This would be the third of the Shivalik Class stealth frigates being produced indigenously by the Mazagon Dockyards Limited.


Admiral Verma also said that the Indian Navy has been working with its counterparts in China, Japan and South Korea, to end the scourge of sea piracy and India's efforts had "nearly eradicated piracy in our waters".


Verma said: "It may surprise some to know that our anti-piracy operations have thus far been coordinated trilaterally with the Chinese and Japanese and very recently this initiative has included the South Korean navy. Such are the opportunities in the maritime environment".


Expressing satisfaction over the increasing allocation for the navy in the defence budget, Admiral Verma said: "Right until 1981 the Navy was constantly under 9 per cent of the Defence Budget and during times of crises, it was between 3 to 4 per cent.


"This year we crossed the 18 per cent mark, with the Defence budget at USD 36 Billion".


He added: "Though, in my view this is still a shade short - the important takeaway is that there is an increasing realisation that the destiny of our nation is entwined with our maritime destiny".


A generation ago, he said the Chief of Indian Navy would have had to contend with the challenges posed by what he called a national psyche of 'sea blindness'.


"Today, we are in gratitude of the efforts of our Veteran community that we suffer no such impediment. The Government of India is completely seized of the imperative to have a credible maritime force that is commensurate to the requirements of our national interests given the compulsions of budgetary boundaries," he said.


According to him today's global security environment was characterised by the changing nature of conflict, the predominant feature being that the challenges and their possible solutions are globalised in their character.


"Easy access to disruptive technology, sophisticated arms and distorted ideologies, have resulted in the emergence of non-state, trans-state as well as state-supported actors who are employing asymmetric means to damage political as well as social structures".


"Nanotechnology, robotics, biotechnology, nuclear proliferation and cyber warfare may change future warfare in unforeseen ways. We have had to recalibrate our responses accordingly".

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11 avril 2012 3 11 /04 /avril /2012 07:05

pentagon source defenseWeb


Apr. 10, 2012 By KATE BRANNEN – Defence News


The debate over the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is heating up following the release of a National Academy of Sciences report, which says the United States is able to maintain a safe and effective nuclear weapons stockpile without testing.


The report, released March 30, provides support for the Obama administration’s position that the U.S. Senate should reconsider ratifying the treaty, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and then defeated in the Senate in 1999.


The treaty would ban all nuclear explosions for military and civilian purposes, including the testing of nuclear weapons. The United States last conducted a nuclear weapons test in 1992.


The new report concludes the United States is much better positioned to monitor clandestine nuclear testing abroad than it was in 1999. This makes it easier to detect countries that might cheat on the treaty’s commitments.


The report says there have been significant advances, particularly in seismology, which is the most effective approach for monitoring underground nuclear explosion testing. It does not take a position on whether the U.S. should ratify the treaty.


“Our charter was entirely technical,” Linton Brooks, who served on the study committee, said. He is a former ambassador and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Department of Energy, appointed by former President George W. Bush.


“We hope if there is a debate that it will be informed by the best technical data available,” Brooks said in an April 10 call with reporters.


The White House asked for the report, calling on the National Research Council to review and update a 2002 study that examined the technical concerns surrounding the CTBT.


Those who oppose ratifying the CTBT admit the new report is a big improvement over the 2002 study.


Ambassador C. Paul Robinson, former director of the Sandia National Laboratories, said the report is far more thorough and balanced in its conclusions than the earlier study. However, it does not dispel his concerns that ratification would tie the hands of the United States while allowing other countries to evade international monitoring.


The report notes that countries could still develop nuclear weapons without testing and therefore without being detected, but it concludes that such a threat would not require the United States to return to weapons testing in order to respond.


“We could not identify a scenario that would likely lead to a national security requirement for the United States to resume testing,” Brooks said.


Even if the Senate ratifies the treaty, it is unlikely to enter into force because other countries that must sign for the treaty to take effect are unlikely to do so, Robinson said, speaking April 10 at the Heritage Foundation.


The treaty would enter into force after ratification by the 44 countries that either already possessed nuclear weapons or had nuclear reactors in 1996. To date, 36 have done so, including Russia, the United Kingdom and France.


Of the remaining eight countries, the United States, along with China, Iran, Israel and Egypt, have signed the treaty, but have yet to ratify it. India, North Korea and Pakistan have not signed it.


Indonesia ratified the treaty Feb. 12, the latest country to do so.


John Foster, former director of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, said he is concerned that by ratifying the treaty the United States would risk further delaying the modernization of its nuclear weapons.


By not testing, “we may be running serious risks and not know it,” Foster said, also speaking at the Heritage Foundation.


While nuclear disarmament to date has marked a “remarkable accomplishment,” it is important the United States maintain a nuclear deterrent that is tailored to today’s threats, Foster said.


Maintaining a safe and effective nuclear weapons stockpile is mostly an issue of resources, Brooks said. This means continued funding to recruit and maintain a high quality workforce, repairing aging infrastructure, and investing in needed technologies, especially satellites for international monitoring.


There was little dissent when it came to the report’s conclusions, Brooks said. Instead, “we spent more time arguing about the right way to express our conclusions to maintain nuance than anything else.”

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30 septembre 2011 5 30 /09 /septembre /2011 06:55



September 29, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE


The Russian nuclear submarine fleet will be reduced to about 30 boats in a few years. Russian rulers, and any citizens who care to dig around the Internet, have been aware of this trend for over a decade. The admirals have had a hard time getting anyone excited about this, even when it was pointed out that, twenty years ago, Russia (then the Soviet Union) had a nuclear sub fleet larger (at 180 boats) than that of the United States (150 subs). Since 1991, the U.S. sub force has also shrunk, but only by about half.  The U.S. sub fleet is now nearly twice as large, and the Americans are building more each year than Russia, although not enough to prevent the American fleet from gradually shrinking. The Russians are currently mostly concerned with replacing SSBNs (ballistic missile carrying nuclear subs) and boats that carry anti-ship missiles (for handling aircraft carriers.) The admirals admit, at least among themselves, that this is all they are likely to get.


In the last few years, the Russian public has becoming aware of the fact that they won't have much of a navy in 5-10 years. There has been no public outcry over this. Russia has never been a great naval power, and whenever it tried to be, the effort was expensive and ultimately disastrous. Most Russians have more pressing concerns than the size of the fleet.


The basic problem is that, in the last two decades, very few ships were built, and most of the Cold War era warships that now comprise the fleet, will have to be retired. These ships are falling apart, as there was not any money, since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, for repairs and upgrades. Some Russian politicians are calling for more money, to build enough surface ships to maintain a respectable fleet. That is proving difficult, particularly because of the lack of popular support for such an effort. Then there's the problem that most of Russians warship building capability has disappeared since 1991.


For the last two decades, most of the Russian naval construction effort went into finishing a few subs, and building some surface ships for export. In the last decade, some effort was put into building new surface ships. Thus there is a new class of 4,500 ton frigates (the Gorshkov class), but only a few are being built or planned. The Gorshkov's have a 130mm gun, plus anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles. The navy wants at least a dozen of these 4,500 ton ships, but the money has not been provided yet.


There are two Stereguschyy class corvettes in service, with five more building. These are small ships (2,100 tons displacement), costing about $125 million each. These "Project 20380" ships have impressive armament (two 30mm anti-missile cannon, one 100mm cannon, eight anti-ship missiles, six anti-submarine missiles, two eight cell anti-missile missile launchers). There is a helicopter platform, but the ship is not designed to carry one regularly. Crew size, of one hundred officers and sailors, is achieved by a large degree of automation. The ship also carries air search and navigation radars. It can cruise 6,500 kilometers on one load of fuel. Normally, the ship would stay out 7-10 days at a time, unless it received replenishment at sea. Like the American LCS, the Russian ship is meant for coastal operations. The navy wants at least fifty of them (but there is only money for 30). There is also an amphibious ship under construction, and lots of talk about aircraft carriers. But until money is allocated, and construction starts, it's all just talk.


Russia has proposed putting some retired (because they were too expensive to operate) ships back into service. This includes two Typhoon class SSBNs (the largest subs, at 24,000 tons, ever built) and three Kirov class battle cruisers. These 28,000 ton ships carry over 400 missiles each (for anti-ship and anti-aircraft use). But this is a partial, expensive and one time solution to the problem that the Russian fleet is fading away, because of too little concern, and too little cash.

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3 septembre 2011 6 03 /09 /septembre /2011 08:00



NEW DELHI, Sept. 2 (UPI)


India postponed until next week a test-firing of its indigenously built Agni II ballistic nuclear capable missile due to a technical glitch.


The two-stage surface-to-surface missile was to be tested by its Strategic Forces Command from Wheeler Island off the Bay of Bengal on Monday, a report in the Indian Express newspaper said.


"But we had to postpone the test due to technical problems," Avinash Chander, director of the Agni missile program, said.


The day next week for the launch is not decided, said Chander, who gave no reason for the failure.


But previous missile failures have been blamed on guidance problems.


There also were doubts about continuous rainfall in Balasore near the test-firing range over the past three days.


India has a checkered history of launching indigenously built missiles, including the Agni I, II and III weapons.


The basic Agni series includes the single-stage 450-mile range Agni I, already inducted into service, and the two-stage Agni II and III models.


The 1,200-mile range Agni II was inducted into the army in 2004 and still is undergoing test-firings. The 65-foot missile weighs around 17 tons and can carry a 1-tonne payload.


The 2,000-mile range Agni III is in the last stages of development.


The solid-propellant Agni series of ballistic missiles are manufactured by Bharat Dynamics, one of India's major manufacturers of munitions and missile systems founded in 1970 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.


Bharat Dynamics also manufactures India's Konkurs anti-tank missile.


Agni-II has been developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other laboratories under the government-backed Defense Research and Development Organization.


India's main missile test launch center is Wheeler Island -- just over 1 mile long and 6 miles off the country's east coast in the Bay of Bengal and about 90 miles from Bhubaneshwar, the capital city of Orissa state.


It was from Wheeler Island that Agni III, with a range of just over 2,000 miles, was successfully test-launched from a mobile launcher in February last year.


During a test launch the following month, a Prithvi missile veered off its path, failing to reach its required altitude of around 70 miles. It climbed to around 45 miles before tumbling back into the Bay of Bengal.


Then in September, the DRDO acknowledged guidance problems that caused a failure in another Prithvi missile test launch. The surface-to-surface missile remained on the launch pad during a trial in Chandipur, Orissa.


The short-range, 4.6-tonne nuclear-capable missile became enveloped in orange smoke and the launch was aborted, officials from the DRDO said at the time.


"The failure to lift Prithvi II was due to a snag either in the main missile or the sub-system, including the launcher," a DRDO spokesman said.

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19 mai 2011 4 19 /05 /mai /2011 13:00
Interpol launches nuclear terror prevention unit

May 19th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK – AFP


Interpol on Wednesday announced the creation of a nuclear terrorism prevention unit to counter a threat "facing all" nations.


Interpol said the new team would "crucially " expand Interpol's anti-bioterrorism activities to take in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNe) threats.


This will be done "using an integrated approach that leverages international partnerships and expertise across all sectors," said the international organisation during a conference at its headquarters in Lyon, France.


"Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said such an integrated approach recognised" the CBRNe threat facing all of Interpol's 188 member countries.


He said the destructive capacity the atom can unleash, as highlighted by the recent nuclear crisis in Japan and the 1986 Chernobyl incident, "was not lost on those who sought to use it to instill terror and threaten innocent lives."


Interpol said the key objective of the new Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit was "to build police capacity globally to prevent the next bioterrorist attack."


In 2005 Interpol and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched project Geiger to collect exhaustive data on the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials and evaluate the threat posed.


The project logged 2,500 such smuggling cases, according to Interpol.

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