Defence

The newest weapon in the US Navy’s arsenal is now under construction

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WASHINGTON ― When the destroyer Jack Lucas joins the U.S. Navy’s fleet in 2024, it will look similar to the 73 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers that preceded it. David B. Larter DefenseNews But it’s going to be a very different, more capable killer than its predecessors. Huntington Ingalls announced Tuesday that it had begun fabrication of the first Flight III Destroyer, a ship that crucially adds Raytheon’s AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar. A ship is considered “in fabrication” after the ... Read More »

Missile attacks reflect changing strategic landscape

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Russia has shown its willingness to allow attacks by Israel on the Iranians or Hezbollah Stephen Bryen Asia Times While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marched in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Immortal Regiment in memory of Russian fighters who died in World War II, Israel was getting ready to retaliate for an Iranian rocket attack on Israeli military units in the strategically sensitive Golan. Israel attributed the missile attack to Iran’s al-Quds Force, an elite unit of Iran’s ... Read More »

Iran says Israel launched Syria strikes on false ’pretexts’

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Iran on May 11 condemned Israel’s air raids in Syria, saying they had been launched on “invented pretexts”. TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “Iran firmly condemns the attacks by the Zionist regime on Syrian territory,” said foreign ministry spokesmanBahram Ghasemi, cited by semi-official news agency ISNA. “The repeated attacks by the Zionist regime on Syrian territory were carried out under pretexts that were invented by themselves and are without foundation,” he added. “They are a violation of Syria’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and contrary ... Read More »

The Israelis Who Prevented a War With Iran

KHAN YOUNIS REFUGEE CAMP - GAZA STRIP - SEPTEMBER 01:  An Israeli tanks guards the vacant Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim on September 1, 2005 in the southern Gaza Strip. According to reports from Israeli security sources, Israel aims to withdrawal troops from the occupied Gaza Strip by September 15 following the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the territory.  (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Netanyahu came close to ordering airstrikes in 2010 — but was thwarted by his own security chiefs. Anshel Pfeffer FP As the shadow conflict being waged between Israel and Iran in Syria has intensified in recent days, the risk has grown that the two countries — among the strongest in the region — may soon find themselves in an all-out war. But this isn’t the first time Israel and Iran have approached the precipice. Nearly a decade ago, at the start ... Read More »

China’s Plan to Conquer the South China Sea Is Now Clear

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Well, it was hardly surprising when the news came out: Beijing has based – permanently, perhaps – offensive weapons on the artificial islands it has painstakingly constructed in the South China Sea. Richard A. Bitzinger The National Interest These deployments cap a series of deceptions, increasingly belligerent military actions, and various illegal activities that have surrounded Chinese goings-on in the region for nearly a decade. In 2015, Chinese leader Xi Jinping promised not to militarize the islands that his country ... Read More »

Explainer: how the Australian intelligence community works

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National security, intelligence and espionage have been in the headlines due to events abroad and significant developments at home. John Blaxland The Conversation News of diplomatic expulsions, cyber-attacks, leaked documents about sweeping new surveillance powers and the creation of a new Home Affairs Department make it hard to follow. What’s more, everyone has heard of the CIA, for instance, but Australia’s own national security organisations are comparatively unknown. So how is intelligence gathered? What are Australia’s peak national security bodies ... Read More »

Russian arms deal sours US-Turkey relations

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That Turkey, a Nato ally, is at odds with the US is something that is more than obvious. Nicos Panayiotides Asia Times The deteriorating relations between Ankara and Washington are manifested by a number of issues, ranging from disagreements about the Kurds’ role in the fight against Islamic State and violations of the domestic rule of law to strategic decisions considered by the Americans to be against their interests. Specifically, Ankara’s strategic decision to buy the S-400 missile system from ... Read More »

Pentagon Confirms Chinese Fired Lasers at U.S. Pilots

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The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that Chinese nationals fired lasers near a military base in east Africa against U.S. military aircraft in the region, injuring several pilots. JewsNews Pentagon Press Secretary Dana White said the U.S. government made diplomatic protests to the Chinese government over several recent incidents of laser firings near China’s first overseas military base at Djibouti. “These are very serious incidents. There have been two minor injuries. This activity poses a threat to our airmen,” White told reporters. ... Read More »

Mirror Images: The Standoff between Moscow and Western Capitals

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Russia and the West are mired in mutual mistrust, sinking deeper with each contretemps in the post-Soviet space and every round of sanctions punishing perceived Russian malfeasance. Magdalena Grono ICG A rapprochement appears unlikely soon, so both sides must open channels to avert confrontations where their interests collide. Relations between Russia and the West are at a perilous juncture. The two sides’ narratives on major issues of the day – for instance, the future of Crimea or the wars in ... Read More »

The Challenge of Reinstating Sanctions Against Iran

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It’s Not as Simple as Withdrawing From the JCPOA Peter Harrell FP U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be on the brink of withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with… He faces a May 12 deadline to renew waivers of key U.S. sanctions on Iran, and despite pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to do so, Trump seems set to deliver on his January ... Read More »

France aerospace research firm Onera will shutter two locations. But what happens to the wind tunnel?

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PARIS ― Onera, an aerospace research center, said it aims to shut down two sites in pursuit of its broad restructuring plan. Pierre Tran DefenseNews That reorganization is part the “structural outlook” for this year, Onera Chairman and CEO Bruno Sainjon said during a May 3 news conference on the 2017 financial results. This year will see moves to shut down research facilities at Meudon and Chatillon, just outside the capital, and the staff moved to the Palaiseau headquarters on the ... Read More »

Turkey’s fighter jet program races ahead as Russian firm reveals interest

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s program for the design, development and production of the country’s first indigenous fighter jet gained pace late in April when two local prime contractors joined forces to outline a production scheme for critical parts. By: Burak Ege Bekdil DefenseNews Meanwhile, in a surprise move, a top Russian aerospace concern expressed interest in developing an engine to power the TF-X, the Turkish fighter aircraft in the making. On April 26, two strategic local contractors of the TF-X ... Read More »

How Europe Can Save the Iran Nuclear Deal

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The U.S. is threatening to withdraw from the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program if no one “fixes” it by President Donald Trump’s deadline of 12 May. ICG The danger of deeper Middle East turmoil is great. Europe should salvage the deal no matter what Trump decides. What’s new? The U.S. is threatening to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran if what it calls the deal’s “disastrous flaws” are not fixed by 12 May. Europe is scrambling to ... Read More »

China quietly installed defensive missile systems on strategic Spratly Islands in hotly contested South China Sea

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China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts in the South China Sea, sources tell CNBC. By all accounts, the new coastal defense systems are a significant addition to Beijing’s military portfolio in one of the most contested regions in the world. Amanda Macias | CNBC China has quietly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts west of the Philippines in the South China Sea, ... Read More »

Israelis targeted Iranian anti-aircraft missiles in Sunday strike: US officials

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Iran vows retaliation as sources say Israel preparing for open warfare Asia Times A late-night air strike targeting a base in the Syrian city of Hama was carried out by Israeli F-15s, US officials revealed on Tuesday amid calls for retaliation from Iran. Media outlets associated with the Syrian government and Hezbollah initially suggested Israel was behind the attack, but parties on both sides were slow to shed light on the strike. The three US officials, cited by NBC News, ... Read More »

Moscow’s Maritime threats to Ukraine and the West

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Since invading Ukraine in 2014, Moscow has become significantly bolder. Russia has expanded into Ukraine’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the body of water up to 200 miles from the country’s coast that is internationally recognized as its legal territory. Stephen Blank 112 international Russia’s recent naval activity around Ukraine and the Baltic Sea is more than simply a threat to countries in the region. In fact, it represents a challenge to the international order, one that could be replicated by ... Read More »