World

March 28, 2012

News Briefs March 28, 2012

B-2 stealth bombers to get $2 billion upgrade

An officer at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., says B-2 stealth bombers soon will be undergoing the biggest and most complex update in the plane’s history.

The Kansas City Star reports the Pentagon is moving forward with a 10-year, $2 billion effort to modernize the defensive capabilities of the fleet, which is kept at the central Missouri base.

Planned improvements include replacing analog equipment with digital, upgrading antennas and enhancing communications systems and pilot displays.

Keeping the nation’s 20 B-2’s in top shape is a priority at Whiteman, since the bat-winged bombers are expected to be in use until 2058.

Col. Rob Spalding says some improvements already have been made by technicians at the base to keep the planes current with changing technologies. AP

 

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,788

As of March 27, 2012, at least 1,788 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

The AP count is four less than the Defense Department’s tally.

At least 1,489 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 110 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 13 were the result of hostile action.

The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is one more than the department’s tally.

The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 15,488 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP

 

Robots and masks: Military gadgets displayed in U.K.

Transformable robots and weight-distribution backpacks are among the cutting-edge gadgets on display at a London showcase for defense science and technology.

The government’s Center for Defense Enterprise March 27 unveiled the latest gizmos being developed by small and medium-sized companies for use by Britain’s troops.

They included thin-fabric keyboards for military uniforms and gunshot-detection systems for helmets. The show also featured a weight-distribution backpack fitted with special cooling panels and masks designed to maximize the efficiency of oxygen delivery.

Peter Luff, Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology stressed the need to champion such firms to encourage and drive innovation.

Luff announced an additional 2 million pounds of funding for companies working on defense research. AP




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F-16 crashes in Bavaria

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, crashed Aug. 11 at approximately 9:38 a.m. near Engelmannreuth in the county of Bayreuth, Germany. The incident happened during a training flight at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria, Germany. The pilot safely ejected. U.S. military...
 
 

Japan annual defense paper shows heightened worry over China

Japan emphasized China as a threat in escalating regional tensions in this year’s annual defense report as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government tries to convince the public of the need to pass legislation to give Japan’s military a greater role. The report, approved July 21 by the Cabinet, was delayed for more than a week...
 
 

Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 

 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 
 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 
 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 




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