News Briefs – July 2, 2018


Putin: New Russian weapons decades ahead of foreign rivals

Russian President Vladimir Putin is boasting about his country’s prospective nuclear weapons, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.
Speaking June 28 before the graduates of Russian military academies in the Kremlin, Putin said the new weapons represent a quantum leap in the nation’s military capability. He said Russia has achieved a “real breakthrough” in designing new weapons.
The Russian leader singled out the new Avangard hypersonic vehicle and the new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, which are set to enter service in the next few years. Putin also mentioned the Kinzhal hypersonic missile that has already been put on duty with the units of Russia’s Southern Military District.
Those systems were among an array of new nuclear weapons Putin presented in March amid tensions with the West. AP

House backs $675 billion spending bill for Pentagon

The House has approved a $675 billion spending bill for the Defense Department that includes a 2.6 percent raise for the military.
Lawmakers approved the bill, 359-49, June 28. The vote sends the bill to the Senate, where the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar measure last week.
The House bill provides $146 billion for equipment and upgrades, including $22.7 billion for 12 Navy ships, two Virginia-class submarines and three fast-moving littoral combat ships.
The bill includes an amendment by Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego to bar the Pentagon from buying goods or services from Chinese telecommunications giants ZTE and Huawei. ZTE is accused of violating trade laws by selling sensitive technologies to North Korea and Iran. Huawei has ties to the Chinese government and is considered a security risk. AP

Australia awards UK’s BAE $26 billion navy frigate contract

British defense company BAE Systems has won a 35 billion Australian dollar ($26 billion) contract to build Australia’s fleet of new navy frigates, the government said June 29.
The company’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be the design for the frigate program to replace the aging Anzac-class frigates.
The new ships will be built by the Australian government-owned company ASC Shipbuilding in the southern city of Adelaide and will be known as the Hunter class, with the navy to receive nine advanced guided-missile frigates beginning in the late 2020s.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the program would create 5,000 direct jobs nationally, and 10,000 indirectly through a national supply chain.
“This city, Adelaide, will be the center of naval shipbuilding in Australia. It will be one of the major shipbuilding centers in the world and in the region,” Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
The Hunter class frigates gave Australia the highest levels of lethality and deterrence, Turnbull said.
BAE had been shortlisted for the frigate program with Italian company Fincantieri and Spain’s Navantia.
ASC Shipbuilding will become a BAE subsidiary under the deal.
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said the project was a sign of a strong bilateral relationship.
“Fantastic news that #Australia has chosen @BAESystemsplc Type 26 frigate … Even further proof the UK-Australia relationship is stronger than ever!” Johnson tweeted. AP

French helicopter company testing prototype in New Mexico

A France-based helicopter company has come to test a prototype helicopter at the Four Corners Regional Airport in Farmington, N.M., where mid-altitude conditions and warm weather can be found.
Experimental flight test engineer Nicolas Certain tells The Daily Times that the test performed this week involves mimicking engine failure.
He says the test is necessary so Airbus Helicopters’ H160 can receive certification from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.
Prior to visiting Farmington, the crew tested the H160 helicopter in the hot temperatures of Lake Havasu, Arizona. Its next stop will be Leadville, Colorado, where the crew will test its ability to fly at high altitude.
Airbus hopes to get the helicopter certified so it can start selling it by 2019. AP