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Postby Philip » 06 Feb 2008 13:17

Due to the last few years of continous action,poor funding,medical facilities,abject family living conditions,equipment shortages and low morale,the situ is as such.Gordon Brown has been accused by many in the UK of under-funding of the military when he was Chancellor,leading to such a crisis.Several British soldiers were killed due to their not having promised body armour/ammo/eqpt. ,it has been established. ... 566841.htm

Report: 7,000 British soldiers unfit to fight on front line

LONDON, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Almost 7,000 British soldiers are unfit to fight, leaving front-line troops "dangerously exposed," The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

Statistics from the Ministry of Defense show that one in 14 soldiers is sick or injured at a time when every regiment of 600 faces a shortfall of 100 men because of problems with recruitment and the numbers leaving the Army, the paper quoted the report as saying.

The seriousness of the shortages faced by the Army is highlighted in the spring deployment to Afghanistan.

Troop shortages are so acute that at least six battalions are being sent to do the job of four battalions when the next brigade deploys to Afghanistan this spring, the report said.

Figures in the report show that the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment has left behind 50 long-term sick troops while the battalion is fighting in Helmand province.

While the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery had almost 10 percent of its 388 gunners unfit for duty in Iraq last year.

For at least a year, military chiefs have been aware that the strain of two substantial missions in Iraq and Afghanistan would prove a massive drain on manpower and now the Armed Forces are at the very limit of being able to provide personnel for the front line, the paper said.

The Ministry of Defense was told in a critical House of Commons defense committee report that the armed forces were losing large numbers of experienced personnel fed up with constantly being away from home.

Liam Fox, the shadow defense secretary, said the government had overstretched the Armed Forces to the point where it has led to "some very real consequences on our abilities to fight on the front line". The shortages could "endanger the safety of personnel" and indicated a "retention crisis" in the military, according to the report.

"The forces pride themselves on their fitness and are well known for it but there will always be a small element suffering from sickness or injury and not fit to deploy to an operational theatre," an Army spokesman said.

The use of elements from a number of battalions was "not new" and battle casualty replacements were "provided as and when required by the Chain of Command," the spokesman added.

Britain has over 6,000 soldiers based in Afghanistan, and will increase to around 7,700 over the course of the year, while it has around 5,000 troops in Iraq.

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Postby Sanjay M » 07 Feb 2008 09:56

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Postby Philip » 07 Feb 2008 15:17

Brazil seeks an SSN.

Brazil seeks to modernize submarine Force
Brazil’s dreams of becoming the first Latin American country to operate a nuclear submarine were reportedly discussed during a late January visit by defense minister Nelson Jobim to France.

Long-dormant plans to enter the nuclear submarine club were recently revived by Brazil, which already has a modest submarine-building capability. ... rmato=HTML

Minister Nelson Jobim

The Associated Press and Reuters reported that Jobim discussed the possible purchase of a non-nuclear Scorpene-class submarine to improve Brazil’s shipyard technology. The Brazilian Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported that the Brazilian government wants to build the sub in Brazil at a price of $600 million, paid over 20 years.

The government already is spending about $560 million to develop a submarine nuclear reactor by 2015.

Jobim was reported by Reuters to have met in Paris on Jan. 28 with the head of DCNS, the state-owned French shipyard that makes the Scorpene. Chile already operates two Scorpenes, while six more are on order for India and two for Malaysia.

Brazil also is upgrading its existing submarine fleet. Lockheed Martin’s Undersea Systems unit in Manassas, Va., was awarded a $35 million contract Jan. 29 to deliver new combat systems for Brazil’s four Tupi-class diesel-electric submarines, the more modern Tikuna, and a shore-based trainer system.

Lockheed said in a press release that the modernized systems will “dramatically improveâ€

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Postby Austin » 08 Feb 2008 07:49

Moscow to deploy S-400 air defense systems in northwest Russia

MOSCOW, February 7 (RIA Novosti) - Advanced S-400 anti-aircraft / anti-missile systems will be deployed in northwest Russia in the near future, an army commander said on Thursday.

"S-300 systems, currently in service in northwest Russia, will soon be replaced by the new S-400 Triumf [SA-21 Growler] system," said Lt. Gen. Vladimir Sviridov, the Leningrad Region Air Force and Air Defense Army commander.

The S-400 is designed to intercept and destroy airborne targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles), twice the range of the U.S. MIM-104 Patriot, and 2.5 times that of the S-300PMU-2.

The S-400 Triumf is to form the core of Russia's theater air and missile defenses through 2020, or even 2025.

Russia said last month it would deploy a second S-400 regiment at the end of 2008.

The first S-400 battalion to be deployed was put into service to protect airspace around Moscow and industrial zones in central Russia.

The system is capable of effectively engaging stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles, with a range of up to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) and a speed of up to 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) per second.

A regular S-400 battalion comprises at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post, according to various sources. The new state arms procurement program until 2015 stipulates the purchase of enough S-400 air defense systems to arm 18 battalions during this period.

The Russian Air Force Special Command currently provides air defense for 140 strategic sites in 13 regions of central Russia, including administrative, industrial, and transportation facilities, as well as nuclear power stations.

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Postby Philip » 09 Feb 2008 11:27 ... cean-water

Autonomous Submarine Runs Off Ocean Water
Researchers just finished a successful field test with a robotic submarine that can autonomously study the ocean for up to 6 months at a time. While it uses battery reserves for its more fundamental navigation and communication systems, the torpedo-like glider by Webb Research Corporation and WHOi can propel itself using the temperature differences within the ocean.

It's a neat idea that seems straight out of Mr. Wizard. When gliding through warm water, internal chambers filled with wax expand, repositioning internal oil bladders and changing the glider's buoyancy—causing it to sink. Then cold water at lower depths causes the wax chamber to contract, moving the oil back in place allowing the system rises again.

As we understand it, this principle alone would simply make the device go up and down within the water. But adding wings to the torpedo allows it to harness this up down pressure and glide through the water.

During the successful test, the glider covered thousands of kilometers. We wonder how many such devices have been lost to sharks and overzealous fishermen. [BBC][image]

PS: I once had a digital "waterwatch",that worked by dipping it into any liquid,water,beer,etc! It had small "sponges" that werethe equivalent of batteries.It had a patent pending.

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Postby Austin » 09 Feb 2008 18:22

did we miss this news ?

Russia Completes Hybrid Submarine

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Postby Igorr » 10 Feb 2008 20:28

Austin wrote:did we miss this news ?

Russia Completes Hybrid Submarine
I wrote about it here even twice.

New big video about BMP-3M: ... c49a626cfd (flash)

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Postby Austin » 11 Feb 2008 06:22

Hi Igorr , there are disbelief on his new hybrid submarine , can you provide more information on this ? Dimension , displacement , more on hybrid fuel and finally pics of possible :)

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Postby uddu » 11 Feb 2008 15:26

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Postby JaiS » 13 Feb 2008 01:21

Russia says bombers' flyover of US aircraft carrier part of routine patrol

MOSCOW (AP) - The Russian military says the flyover of a U.S. aircraft carrier by its bombers is nothing to get excited about.

A Russian air force spokesman calls the incident in the Pacific part of a routine patrol conducted in accordance with international rules. In a statement carried by Russian news wires, the spokesman says the Tu-95 bombers did not violate any rules of engagement when they flew over the Pacific on Saturday.

U.S. officials say 1 of the planes buzzed the USS Nimitz twice at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 50 nautical miles out.

U.S. fighters were scrambled from Nimitz to intercept the bombers.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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Postby JaiS » 13 Feb 2008 01:26

Russian Airplanes did not Perpetrate Air Space of Japan

VLADIVOSTOK, February 11, Colonel Alexander DROBYSHEVSKY, the assistant on information of the Commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Forces, refuted the information on unwarranted intrusion of the Russian bomber to the Japanese air space.

"The airplanes of the Russian Air Forces flew in accordance with their task. They did not perpetrate the Japanese air space. Strategic airplanes were flying according to the schedule and in compliance with the International Rules of Using the Air Space above Neutral Waters and they did not cross the air border of other states," Colonel DROBYSHEVSKY told RIA Novosti (News).

According to the Japanese party, the Russian strategic bomber Tu-95 perpetrated the air space of Japan. Its maximum speed is 882 kilometres per hour and radius of action is 5 thousand kilometres.

According to the Ministry of Defence of Japan, at 7.30 a.m. (1.30 a.m. Moscow time) on Saturday the Russian plane perpetrated the air space above the Idzu Archipelago (Prefecture of Tokyo). As the Ministry of Defence of Japan alleged, the Russian bomber was heading from the direction of the Sea of Okhotsk to the south of the Pacific Ocean.

In the area of Sofugan Rock that is the Japanese territory it changed its course, broke into the Japanese air space and was flying there for 3 minutes. Then the plane set its course for the Sea of Okhotsk again and flew back to the territory of Russia.

24 air planes of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces including the F-15 fighters and the reconnaissance aircrafts with airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aboard were scrambled.

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Postby JCage » 13 Feb 2008 20:30

Note the SAM tests in bold...I wouldnt touch the PAC-3 or Russian gear with a bargepole...test results on PPT and briefings by LockMart Raytheon guys apart...I'd take the SDRE tests at Chandipur and Pokhran any day..they occur right in front of you.

Hope the IA/ IAF realise this!

The second part in bold is what I mentioed in the China watch thread about the 2nd Arty being a bigger hidden threat than the PLAAF. With such a substantial warstock of locally built SRBMs they can be used with the belief that they can be replenished easily as compared to expensive warplanes with imported engines. Ergo, they will be used extensively in a conflict. ... detail.asp

Boom and Bust
By Christopher Griffin
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Armed Forces Journal (January 2008)
Publication Date: January 1, 2008

A mock defense of Taiwan's bustling Suao Bay naval base in May, conducted as a part of the Han Kuang, or "Chinese Glory," live-fire military exercises, presented a snapshot of Taiwan's evolving military. New capabilities were on display, but the failures of antiquated weapons stole the show. Civilian officials in the viewing stand demanded explanations, a far cry from the island's long history of military domination under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

Taiwan's progress was apparent, but so was the array of challenges in military strategy, procurement and personnel reform if the island is going to be able to defend itself in the future.

These challenges are rooted in the transformation of Taiwan's military strategy since 2000, when Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) beat the long-ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to become president of the Republic of China (ROC). Chen inherited an army-centric military that had been designed over nearly 50 years of KMT rule to focus on the defense of the island's physical territory. Chen feared this focus would turn Taiwan's densely populated cities into urban combat zones if conflict with China ever came, and instead decided to pursue "decisive offshore operations" that would employ air and naval power to carry the fight into the Taiwan Strait and, if necessary, to the mainland. The immediate obstacle for Chen's strategy was Washington's reluctance to sell Taipei the types of advanced weapons systems necessary for such a defensive strategy after the U.S. promised to reduce its sales to Taiwan in a 1982 Sino-American joint communiqué.

Although Taiwan's military too often feels it is caught in the crossfire, it is nonetheless taking substantive steps toward establishing a force that can execute the types of offshore operations it has been charged with conducting.

The election of President Bush provided Chen an opportunity to break through this barrier. In April 2001, Bush famously declared that he would do "whatever it takes" to defend the island, despite the absence of a formal security treaty, and approved a series of arms sales that by the summer of 2003 would amount to $30 billion on the table. This flood of offers followed two decades during which Taipei had never processed a single purchase from the U.S. greater than $500 and quickly blew bureaucratic circuits at Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense, which found itself responsible for mountains of documentation on planning, programming, budgets and systems analysis.

As Washington sent a slew of arms offers in Taiwan's direction, the ROC was undergoing fundamental reforms to the way its military did business and related to its civilian leadership. In 2002 and 2003, Taiwan's legislature, the Legislative Yuan (LY), adopted the National Defense Law and National Defense Organization Act, which former U.S. Defense Department official Mark Stokes has compared to being "equal to the U.S. National Defense Act of 1947 and the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 combined." These laws established firm civilian leadership over the military, creating an institution inside the Ministry of National Defense equivalent to Washington's Office of the Secretary of Defense--a civilian organization to oversee almost every facet of Taiwan's defense policy.

While the newly reorganized bureaucracy was grappling with a previously unimaginable series of arms sales offers, Taiwan's political leadership was also trying to find its own bearings. Just as the KMT found itself in the unaccustomed role of the political opposition, the Legislative Yuan was newly empowered to exercise oversight and budgetary control over the government. When the Chen government requested that the LY approve a single $18 billion "special budget" to pay for the procurement of submarines, P-3C maritime patrol aircraft and Patriot missile batteries, the KMT balked. The subsequent stalemate over defense spending has begun to undermine Washington's confidence in Taipei's commitment to its own defense.

Although Taiwan's military too often feels it is caught in the crossfire among these many changes, it is nonetheless taking substantive steps toward establishing a force that can execute the types of offshore operations it has been charged with conducting. When I visited Taipei in May to observe the 23rd annual Han Kuang exercises, I saw these changes first-hand, as well as the major barriers that Taiwan's military must yet overcome.

Organizing for Offshore Operations

Since 2000, Taiwan's strategy of decisive offshore operations has served multiple goals. It has sought to remove Taiwan's population and economic centers from the battlefield. It has shifted power away from the army, a service that many DPP leaders identified as being an anti-democratic element of the old regime and bolstered the relative prestige of the navy and air force. Most importantly, it is also a response to the "revolution in military affairs," a shift in war fighting that has left relatively static, army-centric forces vulnerable to more integrated militaries with strong air and naval capabilities--the model that Beijing is pursuing today.

The problem that such operations pose is that they require a military reorganization that is time-consuming, expensive, and necessitates fundamental changes in personnel and command structures. The Chinese term for this task captures the concept neatly: xinxihua, which translates to the clumsy English term, "informationalization." The centerpiece of the Taiwanese military's effort to catch up with the challenge of informationalization is the Po Sheng (Broad Victory) program, a $2.3 billion modernization effort launched in 2003 to enhance the C4ISR capabilities of its military.

The centrality of the Po Sheng program to Taiwan's broader modernization effort is captured simply by the fact that for years, its aircraft and naval vessels could not effectively communicate with one another, its soldiers depended upon cell phones more than radios, and its central military command, the Joint Operations Control Center (JOCC), could not monitor military operations in real time. The net consequence of these deficiencies was that the goal of joint operations remained a dream: Without the means to share data and integrate command structures, the Taiwanese military services could not expect but to fight independently, implying a sequence of air, naval and land battles as each service met an invading force from the mainland.

Although Taiwan's C4ISR program is a work in progress, its successes so far were demonstrated by the structure of the April 16-20 Command Post Exercise (CPX) conducted by the Taiwanese military as the first leg of the Han Kuang exercises. The CPX was an extensive, five-day war game that linked Taiwan's various field headquarters to the JOCC, where game managers created a scenario that forced the military to respond to a rapidly evolving crisis scenario through the joint employment of Taiwan's military forces.

The CPX posited a scenario set in 2012 in which mainland China launched a massive attack in response to Taipei's intransigence toward Beijing's demands for unification talks. The scenario captured the principal concerns of Taiwan's defense leadership today. The mainland prefaced its assault with a massive missile barrage that destroyed much of the island's infrastructure and military installations, and the two-week timeline of the hypothetical scenario represented Taipei's fear that the mainland would attempt to execute an invasion before American forces could reach the theater.

In the CPX scenario, mainland China employed a two-phased strategy in its assault on Taiwan. The first phase was an air war in which Beijing sought to destroy Taiwan's air defenses and wreak havoc on the Taiwanese government. China has invested heavily in means to target Taiwan's air defense in recent years, including its purchase of Israeli-made Harpy anti-radiation drones, which are designed to home in on and destroy the radiation emissions of air defense radars. Even where Taiwan's radar systems are not vulnerable, it suffers from a notable lack of logistical support for its air defenses. Many surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems are outdated, and it can be difficult for Taipei to procure spare missiles from Washington.

Over the initial days of combat, the CPX scenario predicted that the mainland would seek to exploit its suppression of Taiwanese air defenses to establish air superiority over the Taiwan Strait. China already possesses some 400 fourth-generation aircraft, comprising advanced Su-27, J-11 and Su-30 fighters poised to attack Taiwan, and is investing to upgrade the rest of its air fleet by 2012. While ever more advanced Chinese aircraft patrol the skies, they will be supported from the ground by S-300PMU2 surface-to-air missile batteries, which will be able to strike any aircraft flying over Taiwan's west coast.

The final portion of China's first-phase operations was the employment of its short- and medium-range ballistic missile batteries, as well as airstrikes and special operations forces, to strike a wide array of civilian and military targets on the island. These attacks disrupted the government and forced Taiwan's military to seek shelter in hardened bunkers. While these attacks occurred, the bulk of Taiwan's military was sheltered on the east coast of the island, where PRC submarine forces were attempting to force a blockade on the movement of ships into and out of port. Although the CPX planners assumed that Taiwan would be bloodied in the opening phase of a war, they also argued that it would be possible to save the bulk of the force.

In the second phase of the exercise, Chinese forces attempted a major amphibious landing on Taiwanese soil, forcing the ROC military to employ its decisive offshore battle concept in a joint naval-air interdiction of the amphibious force. Having assembled the bulk of its naval and air power on the east coast of Taiwan, the military had a single-shot opportunity to interdict and destroy the amphibious Chinese force. According to CPX planners, the penultimate battle was so successful in the game that the red force had to be reconstituted for the following land battle. The stakes involved in this single battle were emphasized when Taiwan's deputy chief of general staff for operations and planning told the Associated Press afterward that because of China's superior submarines and jet fighters, "we would suffer great damage to our force."

The successful interdiction of the Chinese amphibious force was also a source of much controversy in Washington when Taiwanese briefers announced after the exercise that their military had employed a "tactical shore-based missile for fire suppression" to buy the striking force a window when China's missile forces, radar stations and airfields would be temporarily crippled. This euphemism was widely interpreted to be a reference to the HsiungFeng-2E (HF-2E) land attack cruise missile that Taiwan reportedly has been developing for several years, and immediately prompted U.S. criticism. National Security Council official Dennis Wilder stated that "offensive capabilities on either side of the Strait are destabilizing and therefore not in the interest of peace and security," and called on neither Taipei nor Beijing to develop ballistic or cruise missiles.

Despite Washington's criticism, Taipei will likely continue to develop the HF-2E or similar systems that allow it to attack the Chinese mainland directly. According to the predictions of the CPX scenario, after all, the capability to strike China's air defenses will be a central component to any interdiction of an amphibious force headed for Taiwan. More important, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense believes that the Han Kuang CPX exercise demonstrated that the offshore decisive battle strategy is the key to victory if Beijing should attempt to invade the island. But no plan survives contact with the enemy, and it remains to be seen whether Taiwan will develop the necessary capabilities for its actual forces to conduct the type of interdiction operation that was the key to the CPX scenario victory.

The Challenge of Procurement

Even the most finely tuned strategy cannot succeed if the military is unprepared to execute it, and on May 15-18, the Taiwanese military conducted a series of field training exercises (FTX) to test the concepts developed in the April CPX simulation. The Han Kuang FTX is the island's largest annual live-fire exercise and is, indeed, one of the rare opportunities for Taiwan's troops to use live fire in their training. The first, and most telegenic, exercise was the landing of pairs of fighter aircraft--F-16s, Mirage 2000s and Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs)--on a strip of Taiwan's main highway near Taizhong on April 15 to demonstrate how the ROC Air Force would protect its aircraft even if its airfields were destroyed by Chinese missile and special operations forces attacks. The islandwide exercises soon expanded to include offshore defenses, engagements with mock paratroopers and preparations at bases on Taiwan's east coast to break out of a blockade.

The May 16 exercises at Suao Naval Base in Ilan County were one portion of these exercises, testing the type of interdiction battle that Taiwan is betting its victory in a real conflict with the mainland. The Suao exercise involved some 2,163 military personnel from the three services and was conducted as a series of missile launches at aircraft drones and ships from a combination of air, ground and sea-based platforms. The action involving Kidd-class destroyers occurred some 72 kilometers from the viewing stand but gradually ranged into Suao Bay, where the majority of interceptions involved direct fires from AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, as well as a combination of F-16s, Mirage 2000s and IDFs.

The beginning of the exercises was wholly successful, as a variety of naval platforms and all of the aircraft involved in the exercise destroyed their targets, but the exercise took a turn for the worse when the ROC Army's missile corps repeatedly failed to strike targets with Hawk, Chaparral and Avenger missiles. The medium-range surface-to-air Hawk missile was tested relatively early in the exercise, but one of the missiles failed upon firing and crash-landed into a cemetery before reaching the coast. The Chaparral, a ground-launched version of the air-to-air Sidewinder missile, had a less spectacular failure when the first missile launched failed to hit its assigned target, necessitating a successful strike by a backup missile.

The most unsatisfactory mark was posted by an Avenger missile system that failed to hit its target drone at all. Using a Humvee-launched version of the Stinger missile, the Avenger operators tried twice to strike a relatively low and slowly flying drone target, failing on both attempts. The drone made its prescribed flight path over Suao Bay, turned and returned to the ocean, presumably having dropped its imaginary payload somewhere near the viewing stand.

The failure of the missile strikes at Suao Bay is a reminder that if the Taiwanese government is going to fully implement a strategy of pushing future battles with China offshore, it must have the necessary military equipment to do so. The mixed fleet of fighter aircraft delivered over the 1990s is a useful start, and the Kidd-class destroyers are a major step forward for Taiwan's navy, but the country still faces several major capability gaps.

The first of these is the threat posed by China's growing missile capabilities, which the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense estimates has almost doubled since 2000 to nearly 800 Dongfeng-11A and Dongfeng-15A short- and medium-range missiles. In 2001, the U.S. and Taiwan agreed to a two-tracked response to this missile threat. The first track emphasizes hardened C4ISR and other continuity of government measures to ensure that even a significant missile strike will not fundamentally cripple Taiwan. The second track was the combined upgrading of Taiwan's existing Patriot missile launchers to Patriot Advance Capability 3 (PAC-3) batteries, as well as the purchase of six additional PAC-3 fire units.
The PAC-3 offer was ultimately included in the "special budget" that Chen submitted to the LY in late 2003 and that included funding to develop a diesel-electric submarine program and purchase P-3C maritime patrol aircraft. The special budget stalled as the KMT-controlled legislature dug its heels in and focused instead on a bruising political fight with Chen through the 2004 election and beyond. Only in June did the LY pass a budget to cover the upgrade for its existing Patriot batteries, losing some four years on the procurement of a vital defensive system that can compliment such aging systems as the Hawk and Chaparral, which were phased out of the U.S. military in the 1990s.

The passage of the 2007 defense budget also raised an additional procurement challenge as Taiwan looks at its mixed fleet of F-16s, Mirage 2000 and IDF aircraft. In June, the LY approved a $400 million budget to begin purchasing American-made F-16C/D aircraft, a significant upgrade on its existing air forces. Moreover, the added F-16s would complement the broader Po Sheng C4ISR effort, because it would increase the number of Taiwan's fighters that are directly tied into the JOCC's operational picture through the Link-16 tactical data communications system.

Despite these advantages of procuring the new aircraft, Taiwan's request for new F-16 sales has been shunned by Washington in response to a brewing political fight over the country's planned referendum on whether to apply to the U.N. under the name of "Taiwan," instead of the constitutional title of "Republic of China." In short, while the U.S. has accused Taiwan of treating defense spending as a domestic political football, it does the same when it tries to use the approval of sales as a stick or carrot in its management of cross-Strait relations.

Procurement will remain a litmus test of Taiwan's ability to implement its national defensive strategy. Continuing to build on the June 2007 budget is one way for Taiwan to make a more credible demonstration in this regard, but even a well-equipped Taiwanese military will face significant obstacles to achieving its maximum possible effectiveness.

When President Chen first arrived in office in April 2000, he inherited a military that was staffed with some 400,000 conscripts who served between two- and three-year terms based upon their military specialties. The troops perceived this system as unfair, unnecessary, and corrupt--a 2001 survey revealed that some 50 percent of enlisted men believed that if they had come from richer families, they could have avoided military service altogether, while only 15 percent viewed conscription as vital to national survival. For Chen's strategy of fighting Taiwan's defense, conscription was inefficient, a drain on precious budgetary resources and a system that bolstered the army's traditional domination among the military services.

The Chen government decided to shift away from the expensive and inefficient manpower system by simultaneously dismantling the conscription system and investing in the development of an all-volunteer force (AVF). Overall troop numbers have fallen by more than 125,000 men, and conscription commitments have fallen precipitously in recent years to only 12 months from 2008, but creating an AVF has proved more difficult. Volunteer recruitment began in 2004, but less than 30,000 soldiers have been recruited for service to date. The promised pay raises for volunteers have been difficult to implement, and the military's claims that it will have a force that is 60 percent volunteer by 2008 is only possible by counting officers and NCOs who re-enlisted following the end of their conscription terms.

The result of this process is that the enlistment durations of many Taiwanese soldiers, sailors and airmen has fallen in recent years, but there has been little increase in volunteer troops to fill the gap. As a result, Taiwan's weapons systems will soon be manned by troops who only have two to three months of training before shipping out to serve their nine-month durations of service. The implications for Taiwan's military preparedness were demonstrated at exercises I attended on May 17 at the Hukou army base in Hsinchu County, about 50 kilometers southwest of Taipei.

The Hukou exercise involved a simulated airborne invasion in which the red force troops captured a series of Taiwanese command posts, followed by a simulated blue force counter-landing and armored assault. Because of a combination of rainy weather and perhaps responding to a training accident the week before in which the crash of an F-5F Tiger II trainer killed a three Singaporean soldiers on the base, there were no actual airborne troop maneuvers (helicopters flew in and out without carrying any soldiers) or strikes by F-16 and IDF fighters that were supposed to be supporting the attack.

The culmination of the Hukou exercise was a joint maneuver by M60A3 Patton tanks, CM21 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and infantry troops to destroy targets and take objectives downrange from the observing stand. To some degree, the exercise reflected Taiwan's military tradition of doing more with less: the CM21 APCs were built indigenously by adapting the American-made M113 armored personnel carrier hull to include a set of side gun hatches that permit the soldiers traveling inside to fire from the vehicle.

But the Hukou exercise was also notable because the lines of maneuver for the units participating in the final joint armor and infantry assault exercise were strictly proscribed in advance and diverged toward individual target ranges rather than a single objective. As a consequence, the participating units did not demonstrate the ability to provide covering fire while moving forward in alternating lanes of advance. The commanding officer of the drill explained afterwards that he had ordered the troops and tanks "not to proceed at top speed, because it is extremely muddy and slippery because of the rain," but the exercise still raised questions about the progress of training Taiwan's troops for complex, joint operations in the future.

Reflecting the unpopularity of the conscription system, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou promised in a September 2007 speech that he will move Taiwan to a wholly all-volunteer force within three to four years if he is elected, but this is a challenge that the DPP government has pursued for years with only partial success. Moving from conscription to an AVF is a tremendous challenge, and the country will very likely maintain some form of conscript system to man its reserves even after the transition is complete. But the task for Taipei is clear--it must develop a sufficiently robust personnel structure to operate the ever more sophisticated weapon systems that it seeks to deploy.

U.S. Role in Taiwan Defense

Taiwan's 2007 Han Kuang exercises were a test of the military strategy of taking Taiwan's defense offshore and fighting jointly. The exercises demonstrated that such a strategy is within Taiwan's grasp but also served as a reminder that Taiwan's military is yet undergoing a wrenching transformation as it adapts to greater civilian control and a more professionalized force, carries out major arms purchases, and maintains an increasingly antiquated arsenal. This effort will require years before it is completed to the satisfaction of policymakers in either Taipei or Washington, be they DPP or KMT, Republican or Democrat.

The U.S. has played a positive, bipartisan role in this effort. The decision to support major upgrades to Taiwan's C4ISR system dates back to the latter years of the administration of President Clinton, and the American interest in Taiwan's possessing a credible self-defense will long outlast the final years of the Bush administration. Washington can take concrete steps in guaranteeing that this interest continues to be realized.

As Taiwan continues to improve and test its C4ISR capabilities, its potential to serve as an ad hoc coalition partner in the event of either a cross-Strait crisis or a humanitarian disaster in the region will grow significantly. Under the Po Sheng program, Taiwan has procured a set of capabilities that can plug directly into the U.S. C4ISR system in the western Pacific, both providing and receiving critical data when the two sides work together. If the U.S. is to bolster this latent ability, it must enhance the level of dialogue between the two sides. One example would be to lift the nearly 30-year ban on visits to Taiwan by serving U.S. flag and general officers, so the managers of American command-and-control systems could visit their colleagues at Taiwan's JOCC and field headquarters.

The U.S. should also support Taiwan's continued acquisition of weapons systems for its defense. Although Taiwan's defense spending as a share of GDP remains at a relatively low 2.7 percent, both the DPP and KMT candidates in March's presidential election have indicated that they plan to increase it past 3 percent. As Taiwan seeks to shoulder a larger share of the defense burden, Washington should also play a more productive role.

The recent experience with Taiwan's request to purchase F-16s is a clear example of how not to handle this relationship. Taipei's regular arms purchases should be handled as a matter of course in U.S. security assistance and sales programs, not as an instrument for punishing or rewarding Taipei's behavior on tangential matters. Likewise, the CPX seems to have demonstrated a useful role for a Taiwanese land-attack cruise missile. Washington may not prefer that Taiwan develop that particular capability, but it is not obvious why Taipei should be expected to foreswear options for striking military facilities on the mainland while it lives under the shadow of Beijing's growing missiles force.

Finally, the Han Kuang exercises serve as a reminder that although Taiwan aims to defend itself through the initial stages of a conflict with the People's Republic of China, its military would suffer tremendous attrition during such a conflict. The U.S. must be prepared to accept a leading role in the defense of Taiwan, including providing a major naval and tactical air presence in defense, even in the face of advanced Chinese submarine and SAM capabilities. Surviving Taiwanese forces would also require significant logistical support after the opening weeks of a conflict. While no one seeks a war in the Taiwan Strait, such a scenario is yet a plausible outcome and one that demands Washington remain prepared.

Christopher Griffin is a research fellow at AEI.

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Postby Austin » 16 Feb 2008 17:15

Yuri Dolgoruky launched

The first submarine of the Project 955 Borey class, Yury Dolgoruky, was finally launched today at the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk. One launch ceremony has already taken place - on April 15, 2007 - but the submarine was left in a dry dock after that.

According to the START treaty data, the submarine will carry 16 Bulava missiles (with six warheads each). The missile, however, is not ready yet, so it is unclear when the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine will be able to begin service.

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Postby shetty » 16 Feb 2008 17:26

[url=]How U.S. plans to destroy out-of-control spy satellite
By Marc Kaufman and Walter Pincus
The Washington Post[/url]

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Postby Gerard » 19 Feb 2008 07:53

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Postby Sadler » 19 Feb 2008 08:39

While some folks may have their heads buried up their musharraf and claim ignorance, this news (for those with friends/kin in the armed forces) is NOT NEWS. The only thing that is "news" is that this has not been reported more often. When the $hit hits the fan years from now, those with a working brain will trace this directly back to EVJ Dubya and his disastrous eight yrs in office. And we (or at least most of us without our heads buried up our behinds) will wonder why this moron was not impeached when he admitted in public to receiving orders from his Father (no, not pere) to invade iraq.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Postby shetty » 20 Feb 2008 21:40

Belarusian experts advised Algeria to turn back MIG 29 aircrafts

The Belarusian experts assumed that MIG aircrafts were constructed with old date spares, while MIG spokeswoman denied having cancelling armament contracts sealed with Algeria.

Boeing Delivers First KC-767 Tanker to Japan

AIM-9X Enters the US Navy's Weapons System User Program

Missile-ready China warns U.S. against plan to destroy spy satellite :roll:

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Postby shetty » 21 Feb 2008 20:47

[url=]China arms buildup 'alarming'
By Sara A. Carter[/url]

China received the second of two Russian-made Sovremenny II guided-missile destroyers fitted with anti-ship cruise missiles in late 2006 — providing China with a capability to challenge American aircraft carriers.

The report states that the Chinese government is also negotiating with the Russians on submarines, such as the Kilo-class diesel submarine; a battalion of S-300PMU-2 surface-to-air missile systems with an intercept range of about 125 miles; AWACS aircraft with air-to-air refueling capability; sophisticated communications equipment among other aircraft and defense systems.

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Postby Apu » 25 Feb 2008 09:49

Argentina, Brazil eye joint project for nuclear submarine
Times of India

BUENOS AIRES: Brazil and Argentina have agreed to work together to build a nuclear submarine, laying the groundwork for a South American defence industry, Argentina's media has reported.

Brazilian Defence Minister Nelson Jobim and his Argentine counterpart, Nilda Garre, discussed plans last week to form a bi-national company to construct the submarine and could convene a South American Defence Council in Brazil in October, Jobim said.

South American militaries are fundamentally "deterrent" rather than "expansionist," he said minutes before leaving Argentina on Sunday.

"But that deterrence power can only be exercised if there is behind it a regional military industry that makes us independent of foreign supplies," the newspaper quoted Jobim as saying.

A spokesman for Argentina's Defence Ministry had no comment on Sunday's report, and a spokesman for Brazil's Defence Ministry was unavailable.

The project to build Latin America's first nuclear submarine would combine Argentine experience crafting the sort of compact reactor that could power the vessel with Brazilian access to other necessary parts, including nuclear fuel, the reports said.

Jobim travelled to France in January to explore buying a Scorpene class diesel submarine that could be used as a model for the sub. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced USD 540 million in new funding for Brazil's nuclear sub and uranium enrichment programs last year.

Silva and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez agreed in a meeting last week to cooperate in enriching uranium for nuclear power and to consider building a shared reactor.

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Postby Arun_S » 26 Feb 2008 01:59

Argentina, Brazil to jointly build n-subs: ministers

by Staff Writers
Buenos Aires (AFP) Feb 24, 2008
Argentina and Brazil are to jointly build nuclear-powered submarines by pooling their expertise in atomic technology, Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said in an announcement published Sunday.

The project will also involve France, which is to contribute to the non-nuclear side of building the vessels, he told the Argentine newspaper Clarin.

The plans were revealed after an agreement Friday between the presidents of Argentina and Brazil, Cristina Kirchner and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to set up a joint uranium enrichment company to build a power-generating nuclear reactor to serve both countries.

Jobim said talks with his counterpart, Nilda Garre, and three military chiefs in Argentina resulted in an accord "to build a bi-national company to make the reactor" that would propel the submarines.

The Argentines are to bring their experience in building nuclear reactors to the deal, while the Brazilians will apply their knowledge in atomic combustion, he said.

The French input comes from a "strategic alliance" offered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

During discussions with Sarkozy last week, "we agreed to create good conditions for a bilateral company aimed at the non-nuclear part of the submarine," Jobim said.

His comments were made as he accompanied Lula on an official two-day visit to Buenos Aires.

The joint enrichment program announced by Lula and Kirchner was presented as being exclusively for peaceful, power-generating purposes.

Argentina is the first South American country with a nuclear power industry. It currently boasts of two nuclear plants, with a third under construction, and also exports nuclear technology.

Lula last year decided to relaunch his country's nuclear program, taking advantage of the fact that Brazil has the sixth largest uranium reserves in the world.

Kirchner and Lula have agreed to meet every six months to review joint projets. They will next meet September 8 in Brasilia.

Jobim said Brazil also proposed the creation of a South American security council that would address regional defense issues.

He said the idea was "very well received" by Argentina and he planned to head to other countries soon to promote the initiative, starting with Venezuela, which Lula is to visit at the beginning of April.

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Postby bart » 26 Feb 2008 12:39 ... 22:00%20AM

Stealth bomber crashes at US air base

Associated Press
Saturday, February 23, 2008 (Andersen Air Force Base)

I guess they didn't see it coming. :twisted:

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Postby krishnan » 26 Feb 2008 12:44

Maybe it was too stealthy for the stealth bomber.

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Postby shetty » 26 Feb 2008 21:22

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Postby Vick » 27 Feb 2008 05:29

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Postby shetty » 28 Feb 2008 04:55

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Postby vina » 01 Mar 2008 07:18

This is huge
The New York Times
Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

February 29, 2008
Northrop and EADS Win Refueling Tanker Deal

In a surprising reversal for the Boeing Company, the Pentagon on Friday awarded a multibillion-dollar contract for refueling tankers to a partnership between Northrop Grumman and EADS, the European parent of Airbus.

The deal, which puts a critical United States military contract into the hands of foreigners, at least in part, calls for spending up to $40 billion on the first phase of a multidecade program to replace the nation’s aging aerial tanker fleet, which dates back to the Kennedy and Eisenhower era. The fleet, which now numbers about 535 refitted Boeing 707’s and DC-10’s is one of the largest but oldest fleets of jets in the world. Yet the tanker planes are essential to keeping Air Force and allied fighter jets, bombers, cargo planes and other military aircraft in the air when on critical missions far from airports where they can land to refuel.

And replacing these tankers — essentially flying gas stations that offload their fuel in mid-air — has been the Air Force’s top priority since 1996, when the government first proposed acquiring new planes. Eventually, the contract is expected to be valued at $100 billion, as the Air Force spends the next several decades acquiring new tankers at a rate of about 15 a year. It is expected that nearly 400 new refueling planes will be needed.

Yet for more than a decade the Air Force’s effort to modernize the fleet has been thwarted by global politics, Washington scandals and an aggressive attack by Senator John McCain, now the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

In the end, the scandal lead to the departure of Phil Condit, the chief executive of Boeing, the resignation of James G. Roche, the secretary of the Air Force, and the imprisonment of two Boeing executives, one of whom was the former Pentagon acquisition official that had worked on the program. Another Air Force acquisition officer who was working on the program later committed suicide.

The Air Force, short on cash and wanting to acquire the planes as fast as possible, proposed an arrangement to Congress in late 2001 under which the Pentagon would lease the Boeing 767s in a multiyear sole-source contract that would keep Boeing’s aging 767 production line alive.

But just as the Air Force was about to sign that deal, it came under sharp attack from Senator McCain, a former pilot and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mr. McCain denounced the deal as a sweetheart arrangement between Boeing and the Air Force that would shortchange the taxpayer and that was arranged with insufficient scrutiny and oversight.

In the ensuring firestorm, embarrassing e-mail messages were made public in which the Air Force secretary, Mr. Roche, said “Go Boeing!â€

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Postby NRao » 01 Mar 2008 08:50

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Postby bala » 03 Mar 2008 10:32

Saw this on CBS 60 minutes; it is a ray gun that can be used to control crowds without death.

Pentagon's Ray Gun

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Postby Gerard » 03 Mar 2008 16:44

Wait till the protesters discover aluminium foil...

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Postby Austin » 07 Mar 2008 18:46

*** Deleted *****
Last edited by Austin on 07 Mar 2008 20:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby gauravjkale » 07 Mar 2008 19:13

no images..

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Postby Austin » 07 Mar 2008 20:21

A beautiful picture of the rail mobile SS-24 ICBM , This is a 100 Ton , all solid fuel , three stage ICBM , with a throw up weight of 4 Tons and a range of 10000 Km.

It carries 10 MIRV with penaids and was considered as a culmination of Soviet effort to build a silo/rail based solid fuel ICBM that matched and outclassed the US Peacekeeper ICBM.


It apparently uses cold launch technique to throw this 100 Ton missile out of the cannister.

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Postby Singha » 07 Mar 2008 20:35

must be one hell of a cold launcher in there. Ru sure had a nice collection
of rail mobile TEls prowlin around in the woods. ... 506522.jpg

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Postby Austin » 07 Mar 2008 20:49

Singha thats correct , Check this link

Nuclear missile train at its final destination

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Postby Kalantak » 09 Mar 2008 19:50

USAF B-1 bomber collides with two vehicles

March 8, 2008

Around noon yesterday, a B-1 bomber declared an in-flight emergency shortly after taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, according to Capt. Joel Stark, acting chief of public affairs.

The plane returned to Andersen and landed safely. The crew members exited the plane, which then rolled into two emergency vehicles that were on the runway, Stark said.

No one was hurt in the accident. "A panel of officers will investigate the incident," Stark said.

Stark said in-flight emergencies can be declared for a number of reasons, but it was unclear what the nature of the emergency was as of yesterday.

"Many times it's just a prudent safety precaution," Stark said.

The B-1 bomber was in transit from an air show in Singapore, Stark said. It is based out of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

Arror Mian, How about an nice story on this accident on your blog from your 'torsion bar' sources?

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Postby NRao » 12 Mar 2008 03:05

The Man Between War and Peace

The Bush Administration wanted a war with Iran. The head of U.S. Central Command, Admiral William "Fox" Fallon, disagreed. And now, as of March 11, Fallon has resigned.

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Postby shetty » 12 Mar 2008 18:19

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