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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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....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 

 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 
 

Iran unveils new short-range missiles, drones

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones Aug. 24, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers. The official IRNA news agency said the Ghadir missile, with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), is designed to destroy marine...
 
 

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 




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