Thursday, January 31, 2013

Russian Navy News



Russia ended large navy exercises in the Mediterranean Sea 01.31.2013Russia ended large navy exercises in the Mediterranean Sea
Russia ended large navy exercises in the Mediterranean Sea

Russian Navy will conduct training shooting near Syrian coast01.30.2013Russian Navy will conduct training shooting near Syrian coast
Russian Navy will conduct training shooting near Syrian coast

Baltic Fleet will participate in multinational training exercise FRUKUS 201301.29.2013Baltic Fleet will participate in multinational training exercise FRUKUS 2013
Baltic Fleet will participate in multinational training exercise FRUKUS 2013

Russian armed forces are ready for a large-scale war - the General Staff01.28.2013Russian armed forces are ready for a large-scale war - the General Staff
Russian armed forces are ready for a large-scale war - the General Staff       

USS Boxer Participates in Major Amphibious Exercise Dawn Blitz 2013


SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- This week marked the beginning of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer's (LHD 4) involvement in the initial phase of Dawn Blitz 2013 (DB 13).
DB 13 is an exercise in which forces plan and execute an Expeditionary Strike Group and Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) - sized amphibious assault from sea in a maritime and land environment to improve naval amphibious core competencies.
Expeditionary Strike Group Three and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade are being hosted by Boxer. The initial phase of DB 13, conducted in a synthetic environment, began Jan. 28 and will end Feb. 1. The culminating phase is scheduled for summer 2013. This evolution helps to establish a "blue-green" partnership that will train Sailors and Marines for future deployments.
"Dawn Blitz is an excellent opportunity for Boxer sailors to see how the Marines and embarked staff will operate onboard during deployment," said Capt. John Gumbleton, Boxer commanding officer.
The exercise will involve several events resulting in the deployment of U.S. and allied forces in hypothetical scenarios. A major objective of DB 13 is to provide a realistic training to exercise naval amphibious capabilities. The Sailors and Marines focus on completing a series of tasks using systems that they are already familiar with, such as the Advance Combat Direction System and Air Defense System Integrator. 
One of the events portrays a MEB-sized Marine Air-Ground Task Force operating with Expeditionary Strike Group Three in an operational environment. The scenario allows for the integration of Combined Forces Maritime Component Command, Combined Forces Air Component Command, Joint Special Operations Task Force, and eventually Combined Forces Land Component Command forces as well as allied forces as participants and observers. Commander, U.S. Third Fleet is the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander and ultimately leads, plans and executes DB 13.
"Working with the Marines and going through DB 13 has been an awesome experience for a lot of my junior Sailors," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Christopher McMillan. "Having everyone be able to run all of our systems efficiently and effectively is an irreplaceable perk."
There are more than 250 Sailors and Marines working together to respond to any amphibious operation requirement with great efficiency, while exploring the feasibility and implication of alternative operational plans and concepts. U.S. Third Fleet provides realistic, relevant training, such as DB 13, necessary for an effective global Navy. 
Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.

Judge Sinks $78M FCA Suit Over Faulty Coast Guard Boats


Judge Sinks $78M FCA Suit Over Faulty Coast Guard Boats
By David McAfee
Law360, Los Angeles (January 30, 2013, 6:23 PM ET) -- A Louisiana federal judge on Wednesday threw out the federal government's False Claims Act suit over the alleged failure of eight U.S. Coast Guard vessels' hulls that Bollinger Shipyards Inc. modified at a cost of roughly of $78 million, saying the government has yet to specify where fraud had occurred.
U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance’s order dismissed the U.S.’ FCA, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment claims against Bollinger in a suit brought in 2011 over eight of the Coast Guard’s boats that were rendered unseaworthy because Bollinger miscalculated the hulls’ resistance to bending.
Judge Vance sided with Bollinger, saying the federal government failed to meet the pleading standards required for FCA suits.
“The complaint does not allege facts indicating that Bollinger’s initial representation of the hull strength was knowingly false or made in deliberate ignorance or disregard for the truth,” Judge Vance wrote in the order. “Thus, the complaint does not even allege that Bollinger made an intentionally false or recklessly untrue statement, or acted with deliberate indifference.”
The judge gave the U.S. leave to amend the FCA claims within 20 days of the order, saying it has yet to specify with particularity what was fraud actually was.
“The United States may well have False Claims Act or fraud claims to plead against Bollinger,” Judge Vance wrote in the order. “But given the federal pleading standards, the government’s factual allegations in the context of the history of the parties’ dealings and the technical nature of the government contract, do not add up to a plausible theory of fraud.”
According to the government's July 2011 complaint, Bollinger said the 13-foot hull extensions would not compromise the integrity of the vessels. But eight of the boats, known as patrol cutters, were eventually rendered unseaworthy because of the modifications that took place between 2000 and 2006.
Bollinger faced charges that it violated the FCA by knowingly using false records in connection with government payments and by submitting false claims, as well as allegations of fraud, unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation.
In its motion to dismiss the claims, Bollinger said the federal government had resurrected the flawed calculations from 2000 and 2002 and distorted them into a false claims case.
“This is a contract matter, not a fraud case,” Bollinger wrote in the April filing. “It centers ona flawed engineering calculation that Bollinger acknowledged was mistaken and which it 1/30/13 Judge Sinks $78M FCA Suit Over Faulty Coast Guard Boats - Law360 
www.law360.com/articles/411588/print?section=governmentcontracts 2/2
addressed during performance through contract modifications with the Coast Guard.”
Representatives for the parties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
Defendants are represented by Mark B. Sweet, Roderick L. Thomas, Scott M. McCaleb, Kara M. Sacilotto and Erin K. Nord of Wiley Rein LLP; C. Berwick Duval II and Stanwood Duval of Duval Funderburk Sundbery Lovell & Watkins; and Marcus B. Slater Jr. and Jennifer J. Zeien of Slater & Zeien LLP.
The case is U.S. v. Bollinger Shipyards Inc. et al., case number 2:12-cv-00920, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
--Editing by Lindsay Naylor.
All Content © 2003-2013, Portfolio Media, Inc.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

U.S. Coast Guard completes successful HC-130H test flight with Rockwell Collins avionics upgrade



CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Jan. 30, 2013) – The U.S. Coast Guard recently completed a successful Functional Check Flight of an HC-130H aircraft enhanced with an advanced avionics upgrade from Rockwell Collins under the Coast Guard’s Avionics 1 Upgrade program.
The flight marked the completion of a significant cockpit and avionics upgrade managed by Rockwell Collins. The upgrade includes incorporation of four multi-function displays, a new digital autopilot, and a Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) equipment suite for compliance with the latest airspace mandates. Rockwell Collins had previously upgraded the Coast Guard’s HC-130H fleet with its new MultiScan™ Hazard Detection Weather Radar.
“Rockwell Collins and the Coast Guard have developed a strong relationship over the years and this most recent successful flight test adds another chapter to that story,” said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager of Airborne Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “We’re continuing to add to our track record as the leading provider of cost-effective C-130 avionics upgrades, having completed more than 125 C-130 upgrades worldwide over the last decade.”
The upgrade reduces pilot workload while improving situational awareness through enhanced CNS/ATM flight management capability, incorporating the MultiScan™ Hazard Detection Weather Radar system for aircrew situational awareness, as well as implementing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), Required Navigation Performance Area Navigation (RNP RNAV) functions with digital takeoff and landing data computations, and providing key search and rescue patterns. In particular, aircrews will appreciate the fully integrated Class III electronic flight bag with digital map overlays on the cockpits new 6-inch by 8-inch multi-function displays.

ST Engineering wins contract for eight new naval vessels


Singapore 30 January 2013 – Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced that the Group has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) for the design and build of eight new vessels.  This new development attests to the Group’s core strength of providing integrated capabilities and solutions to support its customers.
The Group’s marine arm, Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine) will build the eight vessels at its Singapore Benoi Yard.  Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics), the Group’s electronics arm, will supply the core combat systems and combat system integration solutions.  ST Marine will carry out the platform system integration as the lead system integrator.  
Design of the vessels will commence immediately and the delivery of these vessels is expected to be from 2016 onwards. These new vessels will replace the Republic of Singapore Navy’s existing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels, indigenously designed and built by ST Marine in the 1990s.
“We are honored to be awarded this contract by MINDEF, which reflects the excellent partnership between MINDEF and ST Engineering.  It also demonstrates our continuing efforts and commitment to develop indigenous capability to better support MINDEF in the area of design, construction, operations and support.” ~ NG Sing Chan, President, ST Marine
As we are under contractual obligation to observe confidentiality in respect of the contract, we are unable to disclose any further details.
This contract is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Merton H. Mangold: US Navy Hero From 1918

US Navy Museum photo

While serving as a Pharmacist's Mate First Class with the Second Battalion, Sixth Regiment (Marines), Second Division, AEF, Merton H. Mangold saw action against the enemy at Imecourt, France, on 1 November 1918.  During that action, an enemy shell landed near a group of officers at an advanced point.   The blast killed one and wounded others.   Mangold bravely crossed the open field, which was under intense fire, administered first aid, then carried the officers to a place of safety.  For actions such as this in WWII, Corpsmen received the Medal of Honor.   The quality of the image, and his service, make this the scan of the day.  One can see the Navy Cross in the image.   He is pictured later as a Chief Pharmacist's Mate.

Sale of Navy Sea King helicopters


29 January 2013 - Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Navy’s remaining Sea King helicopters will be sold to Aerospace Logistics (ASL).
The final flight of 817 Squadrons Sea King helicopters occurred on 15 December 2011.
The final flight of 817 Squadrons Sea King helicopters occurred on 15 December 2011.
“Aerospace Logistics have over 30 years experience as an international specialist in the supply, refurbishment, exchange, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft parts,” Mr Clare said.
ASL will use the Sea King inventory to sustain and support capability of international military and search and rescue fleets.
The ASL bid provided the greatest return to the Commonwealth.
“The Sea Kings were known as the workhorse of the Navy, large enough to pick up loads heavier than a Land Rover,” Mr Clare said.
“They have played a significant role in naval aviation over the last 36 years.”
The Sea Kings were withdrawn from service in December 2011 and are being replaced by MRH-90 helicopters under Project Air 9000 Phase 6.
“In September 2011 I also announced that Sea King Shark 07 would be preserved at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Nowra,” Mr Clare said.
Sea King Shark 07 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Sea King Shark 07 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Shark 07 was chosen because it has the most operational history of all the Sea King helicopters, having served in the Middle East and East Timor.
“Displaying this aircraft for public viewing ensures as many Australians as possible have access to this piece of Australia’s aviation history.”
The Sea Kings have flown in excess of 60,000 hours in a range of operations both at home and abroad and come to the assistance of many Australians.
In 1994, the Sea Kings were involved in one of the largest fire fighting efforts in Australia’s history. The aircraft used water buckets to fight fires raging near Grafton, Gosford, Bulahdelah and Sydney’s western suburbs.
The Sea Kings have also been used for rescue operations at sea.
In 1998, two of the helicopters were involved in rescuing yacht crews in disastrous weather conditions during the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
One of the Sea Kings’ last operations was to south-west Queensland to provide response and recovery efforts during the Queensland floods.
The contract is subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) approval.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rockwell Collins launches MaxView Enhanced Security for commercial and military network management




CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Jan. 28, 2013) – Rockwell Collins has launched the newest version of its MaxView® Enhanced Security, the first commercially available monitor and control software with enhanced security attributes designed to meet stringent standards for operations on both government and commercial networks.
“Network security concerns are increasing in government and commercial environments. Customers cannot risk vulnerabilities and compromises affecting network availability, electronic communications and business transactions. It is our priority and commitment to customers to provide software with the highest security standards to manage both commercial and military networks,” said Bob Haag, vice president and general manager of Communication and Navigation Products for Rockwell Collins.
MaxView is a powerful and versatile software suite. Its modular framework and intuitive user interface enable users to manage local and remote networks, automate complex service tasks and unify management of disparate systems into one view. By managing networks in one view and eliminating the need for separate proprietary network management systems, MaxView minimizes operational complexity, training and support costs and helps customers identify and solve problems before they impact business.
For government network environments, the launch of the latest release of MaxView Enhanced Security provides additional security attributes complying with stringent Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs). These STIGs ensure secure configurations including operating systems, network devices such as routers and firewalls, and both enterprise and desktop applications. The STIGs are mandatory for many federal agencies and military branches.
For commercial network environments, customers will also benefit from the additional security attributes in the latest release of MaxView. These attributes result in reduced risk of security vulnerabilities, preserving high levels of network and communications availability and data integrity. Commercial applications include satellite service providers, broadcasters and media providers.
Installed and supported on more than 600 systems in 40 countries on all seven continents, MaxView enables local and remote network management. As a vendor-agnostic product, network management across all types of hardware and technologies is readily available.

Satellite communications are a value to a business not a cost

 
Frank ColesShips owners and managers could make significant operational efficiencies if they spend a little more on satellite communications.
That's the message for 2013 from Frank Coles, President of Inmarsat Maritime (pictured right).
"Shipping has been in recession like the rest of the global economy since 2008 - yet continued to deliver more ships than the maritime world requires - and no change is in sight for 2013," said Frank, who has 34 years' experience in the maritime industry.
Innovative approach
"The over-capacity in the market has forced ship operators to look at all sorts of ways of saving costs or operating their vessels more effectively.

"Innovative ship owners and managers are also looking at how they can use technology to save money by operating more efficiently."
"Communications are a key part of those technology solutions ­- hence the term we've coined at Inmarsat - 'communications are a value not a cost'."
Maritime viewpoint
Having started his career as a deck officer, Frank, who is a qualified master mariner, believes he can see satellite communications services through a ship owner's eyes.

He combines his maritime knowledge with significant expertise in communications having been Chief Executive and President of satellite communications provider Globe Wireless, before joining Inmarsat in 2011.
"We have spent a lot of time at Inmarsat in the last 12 months tailoring our solutions and pricing plans to offer ship operators high volumes of data," he said.
Best price
"We will be offering a rich set of FleetBroadband packages this year, including FleetBroadband Unlimited, which will offer customers the cheapest price per megabyte of data in Inmarsat's history."

The package will build on the company's innovations for the maritime market during the past 12 months, which include:
  • XpressLink - a fully-integrated Ku-band and L-band solution for a fixed monthly cost that supports always-on data speeds of up to 768kbps - with a committed information rate of 192kbps when VSAT service is active
  • FleetBroadband Multi-voice - which supports up to nine simultaneous high-quality voice lines through a single terminal, enabling crew members to take personal calls away from the bridge.
In the pipeline
Frank also revealed two of the new solutions and services coming in 2013:

  • New billing system benefits - including FleetBroadband Multi-voice individual handset billing
  • FleetBroadband Lite - a terminal for the fishing and leisure sector positioned between IsatPhone Pro, Inmarsat's handheld satellite phone, and the FleetBroadband 150 terminal.
And he flagged up the revolution for global maritime connectivity expected following the launch of Inmarsat's new Global Xpress (GX) network, currently scheduled for full roll-out in 2014, which will enable connectivity 100 times the speed of FleetBroadband."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Topped Off with 555-Metric Ton Island

The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total lifts needed to complete the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The ship is about 90 percent structurally complete. HII photo.

Jan. 26, 2013 - Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) celebrated significant progress today as the 555-metric ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. The island will serve as the command center for flight deck operations aboard the first of the next-generation class of aircraft carriers.
"The Gerald R. Ford continues our tradition of building quality ships," said NNS President Matt Mulherin. "It is our duty, our responsibility and--indeed--our great privilege because we know CVN 78 will provide American presence and diplomacy anywhere she is needed. She will be home to thousands of sailors, and she will keep President Ford's legacy alive for future generations."
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the late President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford, serves as the ship's sponsor and participated in the event. "Shipbuilders--thank you for your extraordinary work," she said. "You are a national treasure. Thank you very much."
Ford Bales also placed items under the island during the mast-stepping, an ancient Roman ceremony in which coins were put into the mast of a ship to ensure safe passage and good luck. Ford Bales placed a sandstone piece made of the same sandstone used in the construction of the White House and the U.S. Capitol. The piece was embedded with a unique coin designed by Ford Bales, as well as five official seals representing her father's service to the nation.
"The Gerald R. Ford represents an incredible engineering achievement--truly a wonderful blend of technical know-how and American heavy metal," said Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. "This ship will operate until about 2065 or beyond."
Gerald R. Ford is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units, equipment is installed, and the large units are lifted into the dry dock. The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island represents the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total structural lifts needed to complete the ship. At this stage in construction, Ford is about 90 percent structurally complete.
"When the island is landed, Gerald R. Ford will take on that distinctive and unmistakable profile of an aircraft carrier," said CVN 78's prospective commanding officer Capt. John Meier. "Its profile will be easily recognizable; it belies the advancement of essentially every system aboard the ship. Simply put, this is not your father's aircraft carrier."
The island is redesigned on Ford to incorporate the latest technology in flat-panel array radar systems and dual-band radar that provides improved functionality. It is shorter in length but stands 20 feet taller than islands on previous aircraft carriers. Its placement is 140 feet further aft and 3 feet further outboard than previous carriers to improve flight deck access for aircraft operations.The first-in-class ship also features a new nuclear power plant, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for future technologies and reduced manning.

Friday, January 25, 2013

NAVAIR This Week


NAWCWD employees get taste of life at sea

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎4:00:00 PM
Five Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division employees recently returned from visits aboard two U.S. Navy ships as part of the Scientist to Sea (STS) program with increased excitement for their work and even more appreciation for the warfighter. STS is...

HX-21 V-22 pilot receives Air Medal

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎4:00:00 PM
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — A pilot for one of the two V-22s that rescued a downed F-15E pilot from Libya in March 2011 was recently recognized for her actions at an award ceremony held here at...

NAVAIR teams give Coast Guard HC-130H an avionics facelift

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎4:00:00 PM
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Descending onto the runway, the orange and white HC-130H was a flight of vivid color against the fading autumn landscape of Naval Air Station Patuxent River. For the crew navigating the arrival...

First Presidential V-22 takes flight

‎Tuesday, ‎January ‎22, ‎2013, ‏‎4:00:00 PM
Aircraft 197, the first MV-22 to be assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1, hovers over the runway during a test flight at the Bell-Boeing V-22 assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas, on Jan. 22. The aircraft, crewed by pilot Marine...

NAWCAD names Sailor of the Year

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎17, ‎2013, ‏‎4:00:00 PM
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. — Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division named Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AW) 1st Class Ryan Kirk the command’s Sailor of the Year for 2012 during a ceremony Jan. 15. Kirk, who enlisted in 2000,...


NATO Latest News


Media update on Patriot deployment to Turkey

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
Update on NATO’s deployment of Patriot batteries to Turkey by the NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu and the Director of the Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Center (CCOMC) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Brigadier General Gary Deakin.

Release of the Secretary General’s Annual Report for 2012

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
The Secretary General’s first Monthly Press Conference of 2013 will be held at NATO Headquarters on 31 January 2013 at 11h00. On this occasion, the Secretary General’s Annual Report for 2012 will be released to the public.

Deputy Secretary General stresses importance of transatlantic link

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow stressed the importance of the transatlantic relationship for dealing with many of today’s security challenges in remarks delivered in Berlin at the “Munich Security Conference Kick-Off” on January 21.

Press briefing

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM

Developing remote-controlled robots to clear roadside bombs

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
Secure roads, safe lines of communication and freedom of movement are crucial for the safety of both soldiers and civilians in Afghanistan. Several Allies are working together to identify the best equipment for route clearance operations, including remote-controlled robots. This is one of a package of multinational ‘Smart Defence’ projects launched at NATO’s Chicago Summit in 2012.

Hungarian President makes first visit to NATO headquarters

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PMGo to full article
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked Hungary’s President János Áder for his country’s strong support to the Alliance’s operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, during the president’s first visit to NATO Headquarters on Thursday 17 January.

NATO Chiefs of Defence bring transformation to the forefront

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
Brussels – Today, the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence format set out a vision for NATO Command and Force structures which must be capable, interoperable and also able to operate together with partners to meet the full spectrum of future challenges. As the operational tempo in Afghanistan progressively changes, NATO Chiefs of Defence remain committed to ensure that NATO military structures and capabilities stay fit for purpose and match the Alliance’s core tasks.

Visit to NATO by the President of Hungary

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
The President of Hungary, Mr. János Áder, will visit NATO Headquarters on Thursday, 17 January 2013. He will meet the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO Secretary General releases annual report on women, peace and security

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
The Secretary General detailed the Alliance’s efforts over the past year to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in its operations and activities in his second annual report on this issue, which was released on Tuesday 15 January. Adopted in 2000, the Resolution recognizes the disproportionate effect of armed conflict on women and children. All NATO Allies and partners are committed to ensuring that gender considerations are integrated into security work.

Visit to NATO by the Chairman of the Japanese Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM

Sweden: one of NATO’s most active and effective partners

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
Sweden is a high capability partner, which has provided valuable support to NATO-led operations mandated by the United Nations. It currently has forces deployed in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has agreed in principle to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led training mission for Afghan forces. In 2011, Sweden supported the NATO-led air operations over Libya. The country also actively participates in NATO exercises and projects aimed at developing military capabilities and training. NATO’s Secretary General visited Sweden on 14 January to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation.

Interoperability, capabilities, partnerships top priority for Gen. Paloméros

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
General Jean-Paul Paloméros said on Monday (14 January) that his top three priorities as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation were to foster Allied interoperability and capabilities and bolstering cooperation with partners.

Secretary General in Sweden to build on strong partnership

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
The partnership between NATO and Sweden is already strong, but it has the potential to be even stronger, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a visit to Sweden on 14 January.

NATO Secretary General to visit Sweden

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM

NATO and EU Work Together to Disrupt Pirate Group

‎Yesterday, ‎January ‎24, ‎2013, ‏‎10:11:45 PM
Late on Sunday 6th January, the NATO warship, USS Halyburton and the FS Surcouf from the European Union naval task force worked together to disrupt a pirate vessel which is believed to have attacked a merchant ship earlier in the day.

NATO Chiefs of Defence bring transformation to the forefront

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
Brussels – Today, the Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence format set out a vision for NATO Command and Force structures which must be capable, interoperable and also able to operate together with partners to meet the full spectrum of future challenges. As the operational tempo in Afghanistan progressively changes, NATO Chiefs of Defence remain committed to ensure that NATO military structures and capabilities stay fit for purpose and match the Alliance’s core tasks.

Hungarian President makes first visit to NATO headquarters

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked Hungary’s President János Áder for his country’s strong support to the Alliance’s operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, during the president’s first visit to NATO Headquarters on Thursday 17 January.

Visit to NATO by the President of Hungary

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
The President of Hungary, Mr. János Áder, will visit NATO Headquarters on Thursday, 17 January 2013. He will meet the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO Secretary General releases annual report on women, peace and security

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
The Secretary General detailed the Alliance’s efforts over the past year to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in its operations and activities in his second annual report on this issue, which was released on Tuesday 15 January. Adopted in 2000, the Resolution recognizes the disproportionate effect of armed conflict on women and children. All NATO Allies and partners are committed to ensuring that gender considerations are integrated into security work.

Interoperability, capabilities, partnerships top priority for Gen. Paloméros

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
General Jean-Paul Paloméros said on Monday (14 January) that his top three priorities as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation were to foster Allied interoperability and capabilities and bolstering cooperation with partners.

Secretary General in Sweden to build on strong partnership

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
The partnership between NATO and Sweden is already strong, but it has the potential to be even stronger, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a visit to Sweden on 14 January.

Sweden: one of NATO’s most active and effective partners

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
Sweden is a high capability partner, which has provided valuable support to NATO-led operations mandated by the United Nations. It currently has forces deployed in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has agreed in principle to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led training mission for Afghan forces. In 2011, Sweden supported the NATO-led air operations over Libya. The country also actively participates in NATO exercises and projects aimed at developing military capabilities and training. NATO’s Secretary General visited Sweden on 14 January to discuss how to further strengthen cooperation.

NATO officials attend high-level political military seminar on UNSCR 1325 in NATO-led Operations and Missions

‎Sunday, ‎January ‎20, ‎2013, ‏‎2:42:32 PM
Earlier this week NATO co-hosted a political-military seminar with the Swedish Government on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which was held on 17-18 December 2012 in Stockholm.

China Defense Mashup


Chinese Army colonel warns Australia not to ‘dance with the wolf’

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:42:52 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — A Chinese military officer has raised the spectre of nuclear weapons and warned Australia not to side with the United States and Japan as a territorial dispute in the East China Sea continues to escalate.
America is the global tiger and Japan is Asia’s wolf, and both are now madly biting China.
Colonel Liu Mingfu
Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, of the National Defence University, blamed America’s “orchestration” and Japan’s “militarism” for rising tensions over disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
“America is the global tiger and Japan is Asia’s wolf and both are now madly biting China,” Colonel Liu said. “Of all the animals, Chinese people hate the wolf the most.”
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China was a peaceful nation but it would fight to the death if seriously attacked, he said.
Both sides and the US have in recent days traded strident warnings over alleged territorial incursions, while holding out hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough. Diplomats privately warn of a growing risk of accident or miscalculation.
Asked about the People’s Liberation Army fighting capability, Colonel Liu referred to the PLA department that houses China’s strategic missile and nuclear arsenal. He raised a hypothetical scenario that he said would justify a nuclear attack, while clarifying that he was not calling upon China to take such measures.
“If this Japanese wolf again attacks America’s Pearl Harbour or Australia’s Darwin, how do you know it wouldn’t receive another nuclear bomb?” Colonel Liu said. “The world would hail if Japan receives such a blow.
“I don’t want to mention China here, as it is sensitive,” he added.
Colonel Liu is one of a group of outspoken hawkish PLA officers who do not claim to speak on behalf of the leadership but are given licence to speak stridently on some issues at certain times.
Foreign diplomats say they can serve to provide unofficial warnings, test foreign reactions and rally nationalistic support for the Communist Party or sections of it.They can also complicate China’s diplomatic objectives and place leaders under pressure to demonstrate their nationalistic credentials.

Xi Jinpin raises bar on Chinese military ‘combat readiness’

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:37:18 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — General Secretary and Commander-in-Chief Xi Jinping has lost no time in establishing his stamp of authority over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which is deemed an important power base of the princeling leader. Barely two months after he took over the chairmanship of the policy-setting Central Military Commission (CMC) from President Hu Jintao, Xi has passed a series of regulations on “administering the army with strictness and austerity”.
The 59-year-old Xi has with lightning speed presided over a large-scale reshuffle of senior staff in the four general departments as well as the seven military regions (MRs). More significantly, the CMC chief has put significantly more emphasis than his predecessors on combat readiness, reiterating that it is the calling of every soldier to fight and win wars.
On different occasions in the past month or so, Xi has demanded that the 2.4 million-strong PLA’s profess “absolute loyalty” to the party leadership. The Xinhua News Agency in early January released a set of instructions from the General Political Department (GPD) and the PLA Disciplinary Inspection Commission on “solidly implementing the objectives of administering [military] party organizations with strictness and administering the army with strictness”.
The instructions stated, “Through studying and education, we must hoist high the flag [of the party] and heed the instructions of the party… We must run [military] party organizations with strictness and strictly oversee [the conduct of] officers.” The series of dictums also pointed out that officers and enlisted forces alike must “safeguard a high level of concentration [of authority] and unity among the troops”.
Apart from unquestioned loyalty to the “CCP Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary”, the PLA is asked to distinguish itself in frugality and austerity. It is a common perception among Chinese public intellectuals that PLA officers are at least as corrupt as CCP cadres. Last month, military authorities passed the so-called “Ten Regulations on Improving the Work Style of the Army”. PLA personnel, particularly mid- to senior-level officers are forbidden from holding big banquets and to give or receive gifts.
Liquor is banned for all occasions. Also proscribed are red carpets and “empty talk” when senior officers tour the regions. Moreover, military personnel have to seek the approval of the CMC General Office before giving views on “major and sensitive issues” in the public media. “In terms of its code of ethics, the PLA should live up to the people’s expectations and stand high in Chinese society,” the official PLA Daily commented when reporting on the Ten Regulations.
Just before the start of the 18th CCP Congress on November 8, the CMC announced a new slate of leaders for the four general departments, the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery as well as the seven military regions (MR). This major reshuffle was presided over by President Hu and reflected his desire to promote at least several of his key PLA proteges prior to his retirement.
In the past fortnight, however, Xi has masterminded the appointments of a few dozen deputy heads of the four general departments, the Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery as well as the deputy commanders, deputy political commissars as well as the chiefs of staff (CoS) within the seven MRs.
A dozen-odd senior staff in the General Staff Department (GSD), GPD, the General Logistics Department, the Second Artillery, as well as the Jinan, Lanzhou, Shenyang and Guangzhou MRs have been reshuffled. The official Chinese media has paid much attention to the promotion of the PLA’s youngest lieutenant general, the 54-year-old Yi Xiaoguang from deputy commander of the Nanjing MR to assistant chief at the GSD.

Chinese Army develops Unmanned Car for Driver who tired to Sleep

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:32:07 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — The Chinese army is developing an unmanned road vehicle, official military media reported Jan. 23, adding that it could be put to civilian use to reduce fatigue at the wheel and allow drivers to “sleep in peace.”
The Fierce Lion 3 is fitted with a sophisticated computer that can track nearby traffic, along with radar, video cameras and satellite navigation, enabling it to overtake and make other maneuvers safely, the report said. The car — which looks like a standard sports utility vehicle, with cameras added — completed a 114-kilometer (71-mile) test drive in 85 minutes, reaching speeds of 105 kph, according to the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army.
The exercise was described as being on a “highway,” and the vehicle overtook slower-moving traffic 33 times, it added, saying that on occasion it refrained from overtaking because it would be dangerous.
“Researchers did nothing but set the vehicle’s destination coordinates,” said the newspaper.
At present, military use of remote-controlled vehicles is most prominent in Pakistan, where American officials believe U.S. drone strikes are a vital weapon in the war against Islamist militants. Several Western automakers are researching driverless cars.
The PLA Daily said of the Chinese car: “The vehicle can effectively reduce driver fatigue when used for civilian purposes. When the driver is tired, it can enter the unmanned state to allow him to sleep in peace.”

China to buy Russian 12 T-22M3 bombers

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:26:32 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — China is to purchase Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers through a contract with the Russian Federation for 36 aircraft.
The agreement calls for 12 bombers to be delivered first and the other 24 coming in a second tranche.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Soviet Union. A number the bombers remain in service with the Russian military — as of 2010, the Russian air force fielded 93 Tupolev Tu-22s and the Russian navy 58 — and represent a significant upgrading of the operational abilities of the Chinese air forces.
Since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the Tupolev company has sought export customers for Tu-22M bombers.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 can fly at 1,240 mph and has a 1,500-mile combat radius.
The Chinese naval air forces designation for the Tu-22M3 will be the “H-10.”
The Tu-22, a Soviet-era aircraft, was designed as a long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber and the Chinese variants will be updated with indigenous systems and an extended range. That will allow Beijing to extend its military presence by having a counter to many advanced Western latest generations weapon systems.
The Tupolev Tu-22M3 aircraft will replace China’s H-6 bombers, which are Chinese-built versions of an older Tupolev design, the Tu-16.
Analysts are speculating on what weaponry might be included with the bomber sale, which might include the Russian-built Raduga Kh-22 long-range, anti-ship missile, the Viet Times reported Tuesday.
China’s acquisition of the Tu-22M3 will introduce another element into the evolving situation in the western Pacific, where the United States is increasingly shifting military forces.

India invites China to Aero India air show

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:18:08 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — India has invited China to the 2013 Aero India air show in Bangalore in early February after tensions between the neighbours over disputed borders have eased and bilateral military relations improved.
Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne sent an invitation to his Chinese counterpart in early January, although R K Mathur, the MoD’s secretary of defence production, told reporters in New Delhi on 21 January that the ministry had yet to receive a response from Beijing.
Industry sources said the MoD was adamant that a Chinese delegation attending the show would in no way be “embarrassed” by participating Taiwanese defence companies, and no Taiwanese flags or national anthem would be allowed at the venue.
Diplomatic sources told IHS Jane’s that India anticipated a “senior” Chinese military delegation visiting Bangalore after the successful conclusion of the fifth bilateral Annual Defence Dialogue in Beijing on 14 January. The two-day deliberations between tri-service delegations headed by Indian Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma and Lieutenant General Qi Jianghuo, deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army, confirmed the resumption later this year of joint military exercises that terminated acrimoniously in 2009.

Taiwan Air Force showcases combat readiness

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:16:58 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — The Republic of China Air Force demonstrated its air combat readiness and flight skills Wednesday at an airbase in the eastern county of Hualien to show its efforts to strengthen combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
In a display for the media, F-16 A/B jet fighter pilots demonstrated their ability to scramble within six minutes of receiving an emergency deployment order.
The pilots also performed a series of maneuvers such as short landings and rotations.
In a room adjacent to the hangar where the F-16 A/B fighters are parked, there is a notice on the wall showing how to identify military aircraft from China, Japan and the United States.
Depending on the seriousness of an emergency, different deployment orders will be given to pilots, said Col. Hsieh Jih-sheng.
The exhibition came in the wake of escalating tension over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands that lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan, which have been under Japan’s administrative control since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.
Tension in the region has escalated since last year, when the Japanese government nationalized some of the islets in the island group after buying them from their private owners.
China and Japan have deployed aircraft to the area in recent weeks in a further escalation, although no actual clashes have taken place.
Later in the day, the Army also held a drill at its military base in Hualien to demonstrate its ground combat capabilities.
Dozens of soldiers were involved in the drill, which incorporated weapons such as M60A3 battle tanks and M113 armored personnel carriers to counter a simulated attack.
The Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday’s drills were designed to highlight the military’s efforts to stay alert and strengthen combat readiness ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year break in February.
During a two-day media tour organized by the ministry, the Navy also held an anti-submarine drill in the southern city of Kaohsiung a day earlier

WZ-10 helicopter Pilot’s Helmet look very strange!

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:14:19 PM | admin
Cheng Jianzhong, chief of staff of an army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), is China's first batch of super-level pilots of WZ-10, first batch of all-weather pilots of WZ-10, and also the first batch of pilots who completed the fire test with WZ-10's all kinds of weapon systems. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
Cheng Jianzhong, chief of staff of an army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is China’s first batch of super-level pilots of WZ-10, first batch of all-weather pilots of WZ-10, and also the first batch of pilots who completed the fire test with WZ-10′s all kinds of weapon systems. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)

An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)

An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)
An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)

An army aviation brigade under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizes a helicopter flight training, in a bid to temper the tactical skills of the pilots and the helicopter operation-and-control capability. (Xinhua/Guo Weihu)

PLA Naval H-6 bombers conduct bombing drill

‎Wednesday, ‎January ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:10:27 PM | admin
2013-01-23 — A PLA Navy bomber squadron stationed along China’s southeast coastal region recently conducted a live-fire bombing exercise targeting an imaginary enemy port.
PLA Naval aviators conduct bombing drill.[Photo/Navy.81.cn]
PLA Naval aviators conduct bombing drill.[Photo/Navy.81.cn]
At 8:20 A.M., a green flare marked the start of the drill, and a dozen H-6 bombers took to the sky.
“Now starts radio silence! Keep your course by compass and meters!” said the drill commander.
On the mark, the lead bomber makes a drastic descent towards the sea surface, followed by his wingmen. The bomber pilots approach the combat zone at an extremely low attitude, an effective way to avoid radar detection.
At 9:45 A.M., as the bombers close in on the combat zone, they pull up to an attitude of 600 meters and spot the target in distance.
“Target in sight! Target locked!” reports each pilot. Soon after, bomb bay doors open and explosives hit the target area, splashing the water below.
In recent years, this naval bomber squadron has successfully practiced long-range raids, bomber-fighter coordinated bombing, low attitude stealth raids, and over-the-horizon precision strikes, creating an iron fists that guards China’s maritime borders.
PLA Naval aviators conduct bombing drill.[Photo/Navy.81.cn]
PLA Naval aviators conduct bombing drill.[Photo/Navy.81.cn]

China plays its space weapon projects

‎Monday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2013, ‏‎4:55:49 AM | admin
2013-01-21 — When China destroyed one of its own satellites in space six years ago, it alarmed many other Asia-Pacific countries that had invested heavily in orbiting satellites for telecommunications, earth observation and scientific research.
China’s action caused particular concern to the United States, Australia, Japan, India and other nations that used satellites for military purposes, including voice and data communications, surveillance, precise navigation and guidance of bombs and missiles.
In 2008, just over a year after the Chinese test, the US fired a modified ballistic missile defence rocket from a warship to shoot down a malfunctioning US spy satellite about 250 kilometres above the Pacific Ocean. The US said the operation was essential to prevent the bus-sized craft and its toxic fuel from crashing back to Earth, possibly causing death, injury and damage.
While space has long been used for military reasons, it is not yet a place for stationing weapons, a development that will create a highly volatile frontier of international rivalry and geo-political tensions.
Some Western and Asian analysts are concerned that China may be planning another test of a weapon designed to destroy or damage a satellite or interfere with its functioning.
The Global Times, an often-nationalistic newspaper published by the People’s Daily, the flagship of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, said in an editorial this month that the US advantage in space was “overwhelming”. It pointed out the US had so far refused to negotiate on a treaty to outlaw arms in space first proposed by China and Russia in 2008.
The US said such a treaty could not be verified and that the US needed freedom of action in space. The Global Times said China therefore needed “an outer space trump card” by showing it could threaten US superiority.
The newspaper added that, “against this background, it is necessary for China to have the ability to strike US satellites. This deterrent can provide strategic protection to Chinese satellites and the whole country’s national security.”
Is the world on the verge of a space warfare era in which weapons are based in space with the capability to attack targets there or on the ground?
The US Department of Defence, in its 2012 report to Congress on Chinese military developments, accused China of “developing a multi-dimensional program to limit or deny the use of space-based assets by adversaries in times of crisis or conflict”.
China’s test, in January 2007, of an anti-satellite weapon to shoot down an ageing Chinese weather forecasting satellite in low earth orbit about 850 kilometres out, showed it had the capability to strike spacecraft in the most widely used satellite traffic belt.
Nearly half of the world’s estimated 1020 operational satellites are in low earth orbits, those below 2000 kilometres. They include spy satellites that need to be relatively close to the surface of the land or sea to take high-resolution photographs and other images that are of intelligence and military value.
The Chinese test ended a long period of restraint by the main space users. Only two nations, the former Soviet Union and the US, had previously destroyed spacecraft in anti-satellite tests. America’s last test was in the mid-1980s.

Myanmar president meets Chinese military delegation

‎Monday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2013, ‏‎4:49:39 AM | admin
2013-01-21 — Myanmar President U Thein Sein met with visiting Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Qi Jianguo and his party Saturday in Yangon.
U Thein Sein said that Myanmar and China share a long border and have maintained good neighborliness and friendship since ancient times.
He said that the Chinese government and the army had given Myanmar selfless assistance in its most difficult period, which the Myanmar side will never forget.
He also said that strengthening communication and exchange between the two armies in the current complicated situation is very important and expressed the hope that the two sides will make joint efforts to safeguard their common interests and maintain peace and stability in their border regions.
Qi Jianguo said that the Chinese armed forces have attached great importance to consolidating and developing relations between the two countries and their armed forces, and will make vigorous efforts for this end, and that China will not interfere in the internal affairs of Myanmar.
He said China hopes that the Myanmar government will give high priority to Myanmar’s domestic social harmony, and the peace in its northern part, and that the government will take care of the security needs in Sino-Myanmar border areas, and adopt effective measures to achieve stability there.
Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Li Junhua attended the meeting.
Qi jianguo arrived here Saturday for the first China-Myanmar strategic security consultation.

PLA to step up war preparedness by military drills

‎Monday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2013, ‏‎4:47:15 AM | admin
2013-01-21 — The People’s Liberation Army must rid itself of deep-seated habits, cultivated within the military by decades of peace, in order to prepare for war at a moment’s notice, the mouthpiece of the armed forces reported yesterday.
The PLA Daily ran an article yesterday highlighting problems found during a military review on Wednesday of three recent drills in Inner Mongolia involving an unnamed artillery brigade with the 38th Army Corps, which is affiliated with the Beijing Military Command.
One of the problems was that the unit allocated food based on the length of the drill and number of participants, without bringing extra provisions in case of bad weather. Troops also used all the ammunition after a drill without reserving any for a possible ambush on their way back to camp.
“After a long period of peace … some troops have little awareness of war, and their exercises are no longer realistic. They have become a show,” the PLA Daily warned.
This came as Xinhua reported yesterday that General Xu Qiliang , vice-chairman of the PLA’s top decision-making body, the Central Military Commission, pledged to forge a number of elite troops to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and safety when needed. The promise came during Xu’s recent fact-finding trip to Luoyang city in Henan province and Qingdao in Shandong province, which are under the Jinan Military Command.
There have also been stepped-up calls by state media for war preparedness, after the party’s new general secretary, Xi Jinping , stressed the importance of using military drills to prepare for war, and amid escalating tensions between China and Japan because of a territorial dispute in the East China Sea, as well as similar tensions in the South China Sea.
On Friday, the overseas edition of the People’s Daily carried a front-page commentary saying the best way to ensure peace was to be ready to win a war, so other countries would know that they would not gain anything by waging a war against China.
Veteran PLA observer Antony Wong Dong said that the army’s recent tone in preparing for a war had hit its highest point since the end of the Taiwan Strait crisis in the late 1990s.
“It is not bad, though it is rare, to highlight concrete bad habits as examples within the army … in addition to putting pressure on the rank and file to prepare for the dangers of war at any time,” Wong said, adding that the country had been used to a relatively peaceful environment since the end of the Vietnam war.
In a separate report yesterday, the PLA Daily also said the army was planning on changing the training strategy of its army aviation unit from logistics missions to combat ones.

Chinese expert advises China to strengthen force on Indian border

‎Monday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2013, ‏‎4:34:55 AM | admin
2013-01-20 — A Chinese expert has advised the government to increase supervision on its border with India after New Delhi’s decision to form a new mountain strike corps for the 3,380km-long border that the two countries share in total.
Reacting to a news report in The Times of India, Fu Xiaoqiang, researcher from the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said, “China should strengthen its supervision and control over the border area with India.”
The formation of a new corps shows India sees China as its military competitor, Fu was quoted by Beijing-based newspaper the Global Times.
The TOI report said that the new corps, having around 40,000 soldiers, will be formed during India’s 12th Five-Year Plan from 2012 to 2017, at an estimated cost of 810 billion rupees ($14.9 billion). The idea is to build the capability of launching counter-offensives into the Tibet Autonomous Region against potential “Chinese attacks.”
However, Fu felt the Indian proposal has little relation to a military exercise carried out by the Chinese air force over the Tibet Autonomous Region in December. It is part of India’s overall plan to strengthen its military power along its border with China, he said.

China needs a cautious UN resolution on DPRK

‎Monday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2013, ‏‎4:31:45 AM | admin
2013-01-20 — China said on Monday that the United Nations Security Council needed to pass a cautious resolution on North Korea’s December rocket launch, saying that was the way to ensure regional tensions do not escalate further.
“We regret that North Korea went ahead with the launch amid widespread concern by the international community,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.
“At the same time we believe that any response by the United Nations Security Council should be prudent, moderate, conducive to peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and prevent the situation from further escalating.”
UN diplomats said on Friday that the United States and China had struck a tentative deal on a draft UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea for the launch.
The resolution would not impose new sanctions, but would call for expanding existing UN sanctions measures against Pyongyang, the envoys said on condition of anonymity. They added that China’s support for the move would be a significant diplomatic blow to Pyongyang.
The 15-nation council could adopt the compromise resolution this week, they said.
China is the North’s only major diplomatic ally, though it agreed to UN sanctions against Pyongyang following North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.
North Korea is already banned under Security Council resolutions from developing nuclear and missile technology but has been working steadily on its nuclear test site, possibly in preparation for a third nuclear test, satellite images show.
December’s successful long-range rocket launch, the first to put a satellite in orbit, was a coup for North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un.

Chinese North Industries Group Corp profits up 18.7%

‎Monday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2013, ‏‎4:29:54 AM | adminGo to full article
2013-01-20 — China North Industries Group Corp, the country’s largest defense equipment manufacturer, said Thursday that its profits jumped 18.7 percent year-on-year last year amid a slowing global economy.
Profits totaled 10.27 billion yuan ($1.63 billion) in 2012, up from 8.65 billion yuan in 2011, Zhang Guoqing, the company’s general manager, said at an annual work meeting.
Revenues stood at 351 billion yuan, up 14.5 percent from one year earlier, according to Zhang.
He attributed the profit growth to the company’s continuous technical innovation and lean management.
The company paid 10 billion yuan in taxes and fees last year and filed 1,287 patent applications, obtaining approval for 595 of the patents, Zhang said.

China’s military hawks take the offensive

‎Saturday, ‎January ‎19, ‎2013, ‏‎1:18:17 AM | admin
2013-01-19 — It was supposed to be a relaxed evening for a group of senior international military chiefs. Gathered at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, they had changed out of uniform for dinner and discussion.
China’s Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquan took the podium in a room overlooking the Yarra River last October 29 and began diplomatically enough. But as he neared the end of his speech, he went on the offensive.
“Some people” had ignored the outcome of World War Two and were challenging the post-war order, he told counterparts from 15 other nations. It was a pointed reference to Japan’s claim over islands in the East China Sea that Beijing insists are Chinese.
“One should never forget history and (should) learn from history,” Ren said, according to a copy of his speech. “Flames of the war ignited by fascist countries engulfed the whole region, and many places, including Darwin in Australia, were bombed.”
In a jarring coincidence, say officers in the audience, fireballs belched into the sky as he spoke, part of the casino’s hourly fireworks display.
Visibly displeased at the dig, the senior Japanese officer present, army Lieutenant General Yoshiaki Nakagawa, left with his fellow officers as soon as the speeches concluded, people in the audience said.
Neither Ren nor Nakagawa were available for comment.
“KILL A CHICKEN”
Ren’s provocative dinner talk was no isolated outburst. His message was typical of the increasingly hawkish rhetoric coming from senior officers in the People’s Liberation Army.
At issue these days are the disputed islands known as the Diaoyu (in China) or Senkaku (in Japan) and a string of islets in the South China that China is contesting with various Southeast Asian nations.
But the combative streak speaks to profound shifts in Chinese politics and foreign policy that transcend the heat of the moment. The more provocative of these officers call for “short, sharp wars” to assert China’s sovereignty. Others urge Beijing to “strike first”, “prepare for conflict” or “kill a chicken to scare the monkeys”.
They routinely denounce the Obama administration’s recent “pivot” to Asia – without naming the United States, Ren in his Melbourne speech accused “external countries” of complicating disputes in Asia.
In a political system where civilian officials hew to tightly scripted public positions, these uniformed pundits, both serving and retired, appear free to go well beyond the official line. Almost all of the most-outspoken generals are military academics or theorists.
Foreign military analysts are uncertain if the hawks represent a majority opinion in the 2.3 million-strong military or exercise real influence over foreign policy. It is also unclear if operational commanders share the views of these so-called “activist officers.”
However, there is one generally agreed explanation for their prominence: The PLA now has something to talk about. The military budget has soared to almost $200 billion, according to some Western estimates – the world’s second-highest military budget behind the United States. That money has paid for the warships, strike aircraft and missiles allowing the PLA to plan for distant conflict. For the first time in its modern history, China has the firepower to contest control of disputed territory far from its coastal waters.
Over the same period, China has emerged from decades of isolation to become a powerful trading nation with a complex global web of commercial and diplomatic ties. That means military planners are increasingly concerned with security of sea lanes – particularly in the South China Sea – that carry manufactured exports and imports of vital energy and raw materials.
“Until quite recently, China didn’t have a lot of overseas interests,” said Li Nan, an analyst of the Chinese military at the United States Naval War College. “It didn’t get involved in foreign-policy crises.”
“PEACEFUL RISE”
For some Chinese foreign policy researchers, the emergence of the hawks is part of Beijing’s “good cop-bad cop” strategy to influence diplomatic negotiations over the disputed territory.
For anxious neighbors, though, the tough talk backed up with firepower delivered over a three-decade military buildup, is sending an unnerving signal that a rising China may be ready to use force. It also conflicts with repeated assurances of a “peaceful rise” from the civilian leadership in Beijing.
“There appears to be a discord between this peaceful rise language and the comments from senior PLA officers,” said Li of the U.S. Naval War College. “There is no doubt about that.”
A Japanese Foreign Ministry official, noting Lt-Gen Ren’s remarks in Melbourne and similar comments from China, stressed Japan’s own peaceful rise from the ashes of World War Two.
“China itself clearly stated in the Japan-China joint statement, issued in May 2008, that it highly regards Japan’s history as a peaceful nation for more than 60 years after the war,” the official said.
Japan’s Defense Ministry has flagged the Chinese armed forces’ growing role in shaping foreign policy as a security risk. in its annual Defense white paper last July, Tokyo said some believe relations between the PLA and the Communist Party leadership were “getting complex”. The degree of military influence on foreign policy decisions could possibly be changing, the paper said, adding: “The situation calls for attention as a risk management issue.”

Designation of PLA group army is opened to public

‎Saturday, ‎January ‎19, ‎2013, ‏‎1:06:21 AM | admin
2013-01-19 — The designation of China’s group army is no longer confidential information to the public as of Jan. 15, 2013, reported by CCTV news Tuesday.
“How do snipers practice shooting with great precision in such severe coldness. The reporter has witnessed snipers from the 39th Group Army in the Shenyang military area having military drill under the severely cold condition”, CTV military news reported. This is the first time that the designation of a group army was exposed to the public.
Last night, CCTV military channel has announced through Weibo that,The designation of group army is unveiled as of today”. According to the information, the designation of PLA group army can be used to the public instead of referred to as “a group army” This act indicates ” more open presentation of Chinese army”
The news which unveiled the designation of the group army for the first time was with the headline “Snipers in the 39th Group Army conducts drill” The news also showed the subtitle of “a soldiers with the 39th Group Army” when soldier Liu Shan and An Shifu were interviewed. At the same time, “Gao Wei, the deputy battalion commander of the 39th Group Army” accepted interview.
The news has triggered loads of comments and is widely shared on the Internet. Some said,” can now talk about my designation years ago!”; some thought it is “a sign of progress”,while some other questioned “Why not continue to keep it as secret”.
Others also suggest to popularize the arrangement of the designation to the citizens, as most non-professional citizens would not know what the designation refers to.
Major general Zhu Chenghu, dean of the strategy teaching and research department of the National Defense University, talked about the questions over “the secrecy of Chinese military” when speaking as a guest at the Qiangguo Forum of People’s Daily Online. Zhu said,the transparency of military is relative. Every country has secrecies to some extent. Chinese military has become increasingly transparent over the years. He also mentioned that some related issues could be affected by cultural and history reasons, like the designation and it is more important to adjust the conception.

China should increase ‘military presence’ on Diaoyu Islands

‎Saturday, ‎January ‎19, ‎2013, ‏‎12:11:59 AM | admin
2013-01-19 — Maj. Gen. Luo Yuan, deputy secretary general of the China Military Science Society (CMSS) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently proposed at the forum on the topic of “Marine Rights and Interests: The National Interests and Security of China” that China should realize military presence on the Diaoyu Islands in order to highlight China’s territorial sovereignty.
According to Luo Yuan, China should preserve its maritime rights and interests in a comprehensive way. Although China often focuses on the “presence of sovereignty” on related islands and reefs, the “presence of sovereignty” should not be a lip-service. Rather, it should be realized in actions to highlight the six kinds of presence, namely the administrative presence, the legal existence, the military presence, the law enforcement presence, the economic presence and the public opinion presence.
Luo Yuan said that in terms of economic presence, not only the resources of oil and gas in relevant waters but also their tourist and cultural resources should be developed. The “development” should be a comprehensive one. In terms of legal presence, although China has already announced the territorial sea baselines of the Diaoyu Islands and the Xisha Islands, the territorial sea baselines for the Nansha Islands have yet to be announced so that China should seize this commanding height of law as soon as possible. In terms of the law enforcement presence, Luo Yuan proposed the prompt establishment of our own coast guards so as to integrate China’s maritime law enforcement forces into a powerful unified force. “Otherwise, we will get the worst of it sooner or later if our unarmed peaceful enforcement to face the opponent’s armed law enforcement. It will be too late at that point to remedy the situations,” Luo Yuan said.

China accuses Japan creating Diaoyu Islands tension

‎Saturday, ‎January ‎19, ‎2013, ‏‎12:04:03 AM | admin
2013-01-19 — A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry Friday accused Japan of creating tensions over the Diaoyu Islands, running against the trend of solving disputes through talks.
“The Japanese side has continued to take negative acts on the Diaoyu Islands issue for a period of time, and organized its Self Defense Force planes to interrupt Chinese planes’ normal flights,” Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing here.
“Such moves, which highlight military implications and create tensions, go against the trend that all the nations in the region should peacefully solve conflicts through talks,” Hong said.
He noted that China and Japan have “maintained contact on the issue,” and that China holds a firm stance on safeguarding territorial sovereignty.
“We hope the Japanese side can exercise sincerity with calmness, work for shared goals with China, and thus find ways to properly solve and manage problems through consultations,” the spokesman said.
Relations between Japan and China have soured since the Japanese government said it would “purchase” part of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea in 2012. China insists that the islands are part of its inherent territory.

PLA Navy conventional Submarine flotilla in training

‎Saturday, ‎January ‎19, ‎2013, ‏‎12:01:45 AM | admin
Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)
Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Recently, the officers and men of a submarine flotilla under the North China Sea Fleet of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted routine training. The photo features the scene of the training. (chinamil.com.cn/Li Zhikai)

Tonga says China’s Y-12 aircraft to provide cheaper price

‎Friday, ‎January ‎18, ‎2013, ‏‎11:58:50 PM | admin
2013-01-19 — Tonga’s Acting Prime Minister Hon Samiu Vaipulu said today that Government’s move to introduce two new aircraft from China to operate the domestic service was to provide competition and offer cheaper inter-island airfares.
The Acting PM and Minister for Infrastructure in a press conference held at the Prime Minister’s Office today said it was government’s intention that the management of the new aircrafts would be tendered out while government maintained a regulatory role and ownership of the two aircraft.
“It is unfortunate that Chathams Pacific has decided to cease its services in the coming months”, he said.
He said government had yet to announce plans for the management of the new aircraft but would remain independent of its operation.
In the meantime, he believed that a local airline company called Real Tonga operated by Palu Aviation would be leasing two Y-12 17 seater aircrafts from Vanuatu to service the outer islands.
Samiu said the first leased aircraft would start flying on March 4, immediately after Chathams Pacific ceased service on March 2. A second aircraft would arrive a few weeks afterward.
He said the first M-60 aircraft from China was now expected to arrive in April. The aircraft are 50 seater turboprop-powered commercial aircraft.
Government was now making preparations to send crew, including pilots and engineers, to be trained for two months in China and return on the aircraft, he said.
He said that an airline from Samoa had also expressed interest to provide domestic service in Tonga.
“The aircraft from China is to provide competition and give people access to cheaper flights because at the moment fares costs around $365 to Vava’u. Even I can’t afford it, it’s too expensive,” he said.

China’s general aviation industry ready for takeoff

‎Friday, ‎January ‎18, ‎2013, ‏‎11:56:23 PM | admin
2013-01-19 — A pilot program that saw low-altitude airspace in key Chinese cities being opened up for general aviation may be extended nationwide in 2013. The accelerated reform will certainly give a fresh impetus for the domestic generation aviation industry to spread its wings.
The State Council and the Central Military Commission are said to be in last stage of reviewing the final draft proposal to ease the grip on airspace below 1,000 meters, aiming to streamline the approval processes for small planes and commercial helicopters to take off.
Formal administrative measures to regulate the fledging generation aviation industry will be rolled out intensively this year, the China Securities Journal reported. Given China’s vast geographic and demographic size, there could be a big upside for the industry in terms of business potential.
According to data from the nation’s Civil Aviation Administration, there are only about 1,200 registered general aviation vehicles in China, in a stark contrast to over 230,000 in the United States. Still, airports available to accommodate private flights in China number less than 300 at present, while the US has 19,700.
Some players have already geared up for a spurt in demand. Airport ground equipment provider Weihai Guangtai (002111.CN), air-traffic control systems supplier Wisesoft (002253.CN) and light utility helicopter manufacturer AviChina Industry and Technology Co. Ltd. (2357.HK) would be the main beneficiaries from the opening up of airspace.