France keen to buy 12 US Reaper drones: minister

 

France keen to buy 12 US Reaper drones: minister

France wants to buy 12 Reaper drones from the United States, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday, as ministry officials put the cost at 670 million euros ($889 million).

Le Drian said he wanted two Reapers to be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa, where France is battling Islamist militants in Mali.

The 10 others would be deployed in French and European skies.

The deal needs the approval of Congress. Le Drian said that if it did not give a go-ahead, France could buy the drones from Israel.

The Reapers are made by California-based General Atomics.

Su-35S Gets Ready for the Paris Air Show in France

su35s

Training flights of the Su-35S take place these days at the Zhukovsky airfield at the M. M. Gromov Flight Research Institute in preparation for participation in the le Bourget-2013 International Air Show.

The Honored test pilot of the Russian Federation, the Hero of Russia Sergey Bogdan works on two sets of aerobatics – for normal and complex weather conditions.

Participants and visitors of the largest exhibition of the world aircraft industry achievements will be able to watch such a complex and spectacular flight figures as spatial barrels, somersaults, a flat spin, and, of course, the famous “Pugachev’s Cobra”.

Next week, upon completion of test flights, the aircraft will fly to France to continue getting ready for the flight program of the air show.

The newest multirole Su-35S fighter will be presented for the first time in a foreign air show. Its premiere flight program was held at the MAKS-2009 air show in Russia.

Su-35S is a deeply modernized super-maneuverable multirole fighter of the “4++” generation. The applied technologies of the 5th generation provide for the superiority of Su-35S aircraft over similar class fighters.

The aircraft has a much better flight characteristics compared with standing analog fighters and more perfect on-board avionics. Aircraft characteristics exceed all European tactical fighters of the 4th and “4+” generation like Rafale and Eurofighter 2000, as well as upgraded American fighters such as F-15, F-16 and F-18. Su-35S can also successfully counter the 5th generation fighters – F-35 and F-22A.

This aircraft, in particular, is the fastest (2,400 km/h at an altitude of 11 km) fighter, it has a higher thrust, it also has an almost two-fold benefit to the modern French (Rafale) and Swedish (Gripen) fighters in the flight range (without suspension tanks – 3600 km). The Gripen NG aircraft, for example, has only one engine, so it has a smaller combat survivability and reliability. The American F/A-18 fighter is inferior to the Russian Su-35S in the flight altitude.

Taiwan renews arms sales call amid US-China summit

Taiwan renews arms sales call amid US-China summit
Taiwan urged the United States Sunday to continue arming it with defensive weapons as it kept a wary eye on the first summit between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

During the meeting in California, the Chinese side had asked the US to end its arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing sees as part of its territory.

“We urge the United States to continue selling defensive weapons to the Republic of China (Taiwan) according to the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances the United States promised to Taiwan,” Taiwan’s defence ministry spokesman David Lo told reporters.

Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. But it has continued to arm the island in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act approved by Congress the same year.

In 1982 the Reagan administration orally delivered “Six Assurances” to Taipei, promising not to set a date to end arms sales to Taiwan, nor to hold prior consultations with China on such sales.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry has set up a group to monitor Xi’s visit to the United States, officials said.

Ties across the Taiwan Straits have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan’s China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008. He was re-elected in January 2012.

But Beijing has still refused to renounce the possible use of force to reunify with Taiwan, even though the island has ruled itself since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.

Taiwan has continued to seek advanced weapons, largely from the United States.

Exercise ‘Eager Lion’ returns to Jordan

U.S. forces joined their Jordanian hosts and regional partners today to begin Eager Lion 2013, an annual multilateral land, naval and air exercise. The exercise takes place at various locations throughout the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from June 9-20.

Eager Lion is a multi-national exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military partnerships and enhance security and stability in the region by responding to realistic, modern-day security scenarios. This year’s scenarios will focus on Integrated Air and Missile Defense, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Exercise Eager Lion demonstrates U.S. Central Command’s dedication to the Kingdom of Jordan and regional partners and the combined efforts to sustain regional security and stability.

“Eager Lion is an excellent example of teamwork that brings together military forces and inter-agency partners from around the world,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Catalanotti, Director, USCENTCOM Exercises and Training. “This exercise challenges the participants to respond to realistic, modern-day security scenarios by integrating a variety of disciplines in the air, on land and at sea. Our relationship with Jordan and the 19 partner nations involved in the exercise is built on a foundation of interoperability that brings us closer together and enhances regional stability.”

Regularly scheduled exercises such as Eager Lion allow U.S. forces the opportunity to operate with, contribute to, and learn from their Jordanian partners, all while promoting long-term peace in the region.

Exercise Eager Lion provides multilateral forces with the opportunity to promote cooperation and interoperability among participating forces, build functional capacity, practice crisis management and enhance readiness. Approximately 5,000 U.S. military personnel from all services will participate in this year’s exercise, along with U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft and ships.

Afghanistan: three Americans and one Italian killed in separate attacks

US soldiers in Afghanistan

Three Nato soldiers and a civilian have been killed in two separate attacks in Afghanistan.

Two US soldiers and an American civilian were killed in Paktika when a man in an Afghan army uniform turned his weapon on them, according to a spokeswoman for Afghanistan’s Nato-led force. The attacker was killed in a shootout which also injured two US soldiers.

In western Afghanistan, an attacker threw explosives into an armoured vehicle, killing an Italian soldier and wounding three others.

The Italian defence ministry said the attack in Farah province came as the soldiers were returning to their base from training Afghan security forces.

The convoy of three armoured vehicles slowed down near a junction and an attacker ran up and threw an explosive device into the lead vehicle. The three wounded soldiers’ injuries were not life-threatening, the ministry said.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, with a spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, claiming that the attacker was an 11-year-old boy.

The deaths on Saturday brought to 16 the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this month. On Thursday, seven Georgian soldiers died in a lorry bombing at their base in the south.

Taliban insurgents have launched intense attacks across the country as Afghan forces take over most security responsibility before the majority of foreign troops withdraw next year.

Russia Tests ‘Missile Defense Killer’

Kapustin Yar testing site (archive)

MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) – The US missile defense system is no match for the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that Russia tested this week, a senior Russian official said Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defense industry, hailed Thursday’s tests as a success and dubbed the new ICBM a “missile defense killer.”

“Neither current nor future American missile defense systems will be able to prevent that missile from hitting a target dead on,” he said, during an event organized by the ruling United Russia party.

The Russian Defense Ministry was more modest in its appraisal of the test, carried out by the Strategic Missile Forces at the Kapustin Yar testing site, between Volgograd and Astrakhan, on Thursday.

“The test launch was a success as the [simulated] warhead hit a designated target within the set time frame,” said a Defense Ministry statement issued Thursday.

The US missile defense system in Europe, which NATO and the US say is aimed at countering threats from North Korea and Iran, has been a particular source of friction in US-Russian relations for a number of years.

Russia and NATO formally agreed to cooperate over the European missile defense system at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon, but talks foundered, in part over Russian demands for legal guarantees that the system would not target its strategic nuclear deterrent.

In mid-March, the US announced that it was modifying its planned missile defense deployment to Poland, dropping plans to station SM-3 IIB interceptors in the country by 2022.

Russian officials responded by saying that this did nothing to allay their concerns over US missile defense in Eastern Europe, and reiterated their demand for legally binding agreements guaranteeing that Russia’s strategic nuclear forces would not be targeted.

Although analysts were quick to interpret the US change in plan as a concession to Russia, possibly intended to pave the way for further bilateral talks on nuclear arms reduction, US officials repeatedly refuted this suggestion.

Speaking after a bilateral meeting with the Polish foreign minister on Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the United States’ continued commitment to that element of the missile defense system.

“We are on track to deploy a missile defense site in Poland by 2018 as part of NATO’s modernized approach to our security,” Kerry said.

Exclusive: Pakistan expresses interest in non-nuclear EMP weapons technology

by Zaki Khalid
[Terminal X Report]

Well-informed sources say that Pakistani security officials have expressed interest in the research and development of non-nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapons.

Sources privy to the development had earlier shared that a panel of Chinese and Russian experts had met in Moscow to discuss means of collaborating for a giant Asian EMP-shield (‘umbrella‘) that would protect regional airspace, particularly that of Russia and China, from intruding systems.

In this context, Pakistani officials expressed their interest. It is expected that as previously, Pakistan will approach its counterparts in China to map a possible joint R & D venture.

Source: http://www.terminalx.org/